Book of Acts Chapter Twenty-Four (Part One)

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 before Felix.

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Body:

Read Acts 24:1-16

4. Paul’s Defense Before Felix. In this section of the book of Acts Paul’s accusers make their way to Felix. A hearing is taking place.

The accusers say that Paul is a trouble maker and is desecrating Jewish religion. Paul declares that he is not a trouble maker. He worships God as a follower of the Way (i.e., Christian).

Applications –

- The religious and intelligent. Notice in vs. 1 of this section of the book of Acts that the devil can use religious and very intelligent people to persistently cause stress for believers.

First, just as the devil had the religious high priest and intelligent lawyer in our text to cause trouble for Paul, the devil can do similarly today. Therefore, we should brace ourselves for attack from even those who seem so religious and intelligent.

Second, since the devil used the high priest and lawyer, we should not think we are beyond being used by the devil. A great way to stay out of the devil’s army is to prayerfully study and obey God’s word, which places a high priority on loving others.

Third, the devil is persistent. If believers were as persistent with God’s agenda, as the devil is with his, we could be so much further along. Let’s be mindful of the devil’s use of the religious and intelligent.

- Blamelessness. Notice in vs. 5 that the accusations against Paul were false. First, the devil has no problem lying. He is the father of lies (see Jn. 8:44). So the fact that you did not really do what you are accused of doing, doesn’t stop him from causing trouble.

Second, we should make sure the accusations are not true. Too often, we give the enemy too much ammunition to work with.

That is, we sin and the devil throws our sins back into our faces. Let’s work on living so people cannot legitimately accuse us of causing trouble (i.e., live blamelessly).

- Co-signing. Notice in vs. 9 that the crowd co-signed (i.e., supported and said “yes” to) the false accusations. We should be so careful about getting caught up in the crowd or mob mentality.

As believers, we should know and act upon the truth. We should have knowledge and zeal (see Rom. 10:2-3). Too often, we are pulled into issues because of our loved ones or the people we are with. Let’s work on being people of knowledge and zeal.

- Guilty of worship and discipleship. Notice in vss. 10-14 of the book of Acts that Paul denies the false charges but admits that he worships God as a follower of the Way. First, as stated above, we should live so we can legitimately deny the sinful things we are accused of.

Second, we should be guilty of worshipping God. Every believer should be known for worshipping God with enthusiasm. Sadly, too many are not guilty of worshipping God.

Third, we should be guilty of being a follower of the Way. That is, we should be disciples of Christ. Again, there are too many who would never be convicted of being a follower of Christ. Let’s be guilty of worshipping God and being a disciple of Christ.

- Hope. Notice in vs. 15 of the book of Acts that Paul declares his hope in God resurrecting the righteous and wicked. First, there is more to us than our visible decaying and aging flesh and blood. We all have a spirit or soul that lives on after the death of the body.

Second, those who are righteous, when they die, will be with the Lord. Those who are wicked, when they die, will suffer eternal punishment. The only way to be considered righteous is by accepting Christ as one’s savior by faith. Otherwise, we are all wicked and sinful.

Third, no matter what happens to us, we can always have hope in the resurrection. No matter how a righteous/saved person dies, we shall be spiritually resurrected to be with the Lord.

And no matter how strong the wicked may appear, they will die and then be spiritually resurrected to experience eternal punishment. Let’s keep our hope in the promises of God.

- Clear conscious. Notice in vs. 16 that Paul talks about striving to keep his conscious clear before God and people. First, God can speak to us through our conscious.

Another way of saying this is to say that when our conscious or sense of comfort with a situation is not at ease, God may be trying to tell us something. When our conscious is at ease, it may be a clue that we are in the will of God. God is known for giving His people peace.

Second, we should strive to have a clear conscious about loving God with all that we have, including obeying His will. Third, we should strive to have clear conscious about how we interact with others, which should be known for loving others, as we love ourselves.

Let’s work on having clear conscious about how we obey God and love others. We will not have clear conscious all of the time, but we should strive for such.

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

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