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 defense.
Read Acts 22:1-16
1. Paul’s Arrest and Defense (continued). In this section of the book of Acts Paul makes his defense before a hostile crowd. When he speaks in Aramaic, they pay attention. He talks about his Jewish upbringing and how he persecuted those who followed after Jesus.
He then describes his experience on the Damascus Road. Ananias shares with him how God will use him to be a witness. Paul is to be baptized.
- Relating to the ones you are ministering to. Notice in vss. 1-5 Paul’s attempt to find common ground with those he was talking to. To refer to them as brothers and fathers, to speak the respected language of Aramaic, and to essentially talk about being like them are efforts to start with common ground.
It is important that we strive to start with common ground, as we minister to people. If people feel as if you cannot relate to who they are, it is not strange for them to dismiss whatever you are talking about.
Let’s work on doing our part to relate to those we are ministering to. As in the text, there are no guarantees about our effectiveness; but we will get credit with the Lord for trying.
- Treating God’s people as God’s people. Notice in vss. 7-8 in the book of Acts the idea of persecuting believers is the same as persecuting Christ. There are too many who behave as if gossiping about and not cooperating with the God sent Pastor is different than gossiping about and not cooperating with the Lord.
There are too many who behave as if bad mouthing the church is different than bad mouthing Christ. But our text teaches differently. Let’s work on treating God’s people with the respect that we are called to respect them with. God has a way of fixing whatever is broke, without our assistance.
- Our individual experiences with God. Notice in vs. 9 how people can be with you and yet not experience what you experience. This is often the case in worship. One person can be convicted or encouraged by the sermon, the next person angered by the sermon, and the next person didn’t even hear the sermon.
Consequently, we cannot allow our spiritual nurture to be governed by opinion polls and what other people report they felt. Let’s work on coming to occasions designed for our spiritual nurture with a mind to experience God for ourselves.
- Discovering and obeying God’s will. Notice in vss. 10-11 of the book of Acts a great question is raised – what shall I do? Because God is calling believers to be doers, instead of simply hearers, we should find ourselves asking the same question.
After a sermon or teaching or even a devotional, we should ask, what does God want me to do? Look for the “verb” or action item. And then we should obey the answer. Too many people hear the answer but don’t obey the answer. Let’s work on discovering and obeying God’s will for our lives.
- Being faithful with our assignment. Notice in vss. 12-19 of the book of Acts that Ananias played a role for a season in God’s plan. Prior to God’s using him to minister to Paul and after God used him to minister to Paul, very little is said about Ananias. Perhaps his greatest claim to fame is his ministry to Paul.
Imagine if he had belittled his work with Paul or complained about not having a larger role. It is important to remember that God is working out a master plan that is good for His people. We often do not understand how all of the pieces fit together.
However, we need to trust God enough to do our parts and trust Him with the big picture. Let’s work on being faithful over what God has called us to do.
Conclusion: Let’s work on being a witness for the Lord, everywhere we go. God has much for those who obey His will.Please click here to let us know, if this has been quality and helpful information for you (i.e., make sure you let us know the name of the article). Feel free to share your questions and comments about the article as well.