Book of Acts Chapter Twenty-One (Part Two)

Introduction: A key idea in the book of Acts is that believers should be witnesses for the Lord, everywhere we go. Today, we hope to discuss Paul’s ministry and defense in Jerusalem.

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Body:

Read Acts 21:15-26

5. Paul with the Jerusalem Church. Paul makes his way to the Jerusalem Church in this section of the Book of Acts. The leaders are happy about seeing Paul and hearing about the work of God.

They coach him on how to make peace with the hostile Jews in the area. Paul carries out their instructions.

Applications –

- Praising God for saved and growing souls. Notice in vs. 20 that the leaders of the church were praising God about people being saved and becoming disciples of Christ.

There can be too much apathy about people getting saved and growing in the Lord, among our church leaders. We should remember that godly evangelism and edification is the mission of the church.

Our mission is not simply having people in church during worship, nor raising money, nor having entertaining/inspiring worship, nor out dressing one another.

Let’s stay focused on our mission of godly evangelism and edification. When there is no praise of God, our passion about souls is suspect.

- Picking your battles. Notice in vss. 20-26 of this section of the book of Acts that Paul is coached on how to make peace with the hostile Jews in the area.

Jesus urges His followers to be as wise as serpents or as shrewd as snakes (see Mt. 10:16). As in this text, there are some things we should do to avoid unnecessary drama.

And beyond this text, there are times when we have to take a stand, no matter how much drama follows. Let’s work on having the discernment and courage to pick the right battles.

Read Acts 21:27-40

E. The Journey to Rome. 1. Paul’s Arrest and Defense. In this section of the book of Acts some Jews saw Paul in the Temple area. They caused a great uproar and tried to kill Paul.

The Roman officials took Paul into custody. As Paul was being led away by the Romans through the hostile Jewish crowd, he gained permission to speak to the crowd.

Applications –

- The devil’s use of religious people. Notice in vs. 27 of this section of the book of Acts that the devil knows how to stir up trouble among religious people.

First, we should be aware of such. The devil doesn’t only work in the world. He also works among religious people.

Second, we should keep the devil from using us to stir up trouble. He loves to use our mouths to speak his words and use our bodies to carry out his agenda.

Third, we should fight against the devil’s attempt to distract us from doing God’s will.

If we are not careful, we will become distracted by what the devil is doing and lose focus on being who God is calling us to be. Let’s guard against the devil’s use of religious people.

- Understanding the facts. Notice in vss. 28-29 that we should make sure we have the facts right. Too much confusion takes place in our churches and our lives outside of church because the facts are not clear.

Whenever the facts are not clear but we find ourselves passionate about our actions, we are at high risk of having zeal without knowledge (see Rom. 10:2).

Let’s work on understanding the facts of the matter, before we allow our emotions to get stirred up.

- Fearing God more than people. Notice in vs. 32 of the book of Acts that the religious people stopped beating Paul because they feared Rome’s punishment for disorderly conduct, not because they feared God.

It is sad when people who claim to belong to God are more concerned with the authorities of this world than they are with God.

But yet when we slow down because we see a police officer monitoring the speed on a city street but continue to rob God of His tithes, we behave like those we want to criticize in our text.

Let’s work on behaving like God is more important to us than the authorities of this world.

- Being enthusiastic about the right thing. Notice in vs. 34 of the book of Acts that all noise is not unto the Lord. There are a number of churches that are working on being more enthusiastic.

They are working on enthusiasm in their worship services, study periods, and even deliberations (i.e., business meetings). However, all enthusiasm is not of God. Some people can be loud, enthusiastic, and wrong, as in the text.

Let’s work on making sure we are enthusiastic about the right thing. We should be enthusiastic about being saved and being used by God to carry out His will.

- Being orderly and understandable. Notice in vs. 40 that Paul gained permission to speak to the crowd, and he spoke in a language that they could understand.

First, it is important to do things decently and in order. Too many people think that because they are emotional, they don’t have to be orderly.

Second, it is important to speak in ways that the listeners can understand. As believers, we should learn and use the world’s language in witnessing to them.

It is not reasonable to think that they will understand church jargon. Let’s work on being orderly and understandable to those we are speaking to.

Conclusion: Let’s work on being witnesses for the Lord, everywhere we go. God has much for those who obey His will.

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