Book of Acts Chapter Twenty-Eight (Part One)

Introduction: A key idea in the book of Acts is that believers are to be witnesses for the Lord, everywhere we go. Today, we hope to discuss Paul in Malta and his continued journey to Rome.

Body:

Read Acts 28:1-16

8. Paul in Malta and on to Rome. In the book of Acts Paul and company landed safely on the island of Malta. A snake bites Paul, but he is not harmed. The people go from thinking Paul is a murderer to thinking he is a god.

Paul is shown great hospitality, as he makes his way to Rome. In Rome, he is given a private house with a soldier to guard him.

Applications -

- Opinion polls. Notice in vss. 1-6 of the book of Acts that the fan fair of people cannot be trusted. The people in the text went from condemning Paul as a murderer to thinking of him as a god, based on faulty interpretations.

We should be careful about putting too much confidence in opinion polls. The majority can be wrong, especially if they are not saved and striving to live by God’s word. Let’s work on keeping our trust in God, instead of opinion polls.

- Hospitality and blessings. Notice in vss. 7-10 that the people were hospitable and they were blessed with the ministry of healing.

First, it is important for believers to be known for hospitality and kindness. It is embarrassing to see non-believers in the text being kinder than those who claim to be believers in our church pews. At very least, we can practice greeting one another with a smile and getting to know one another (i.e., Relationship Building Project).

Second, God has a way of seeing that we reap what we sow. When we sow that which is good, God sees that we reap that which is good. To be clear, God has a way of blessing our kindness towards people. He may not do it when and how we want Him to, but we can trust Him to take care of His own. Let’s work on being kind and trusting God to take care of His own.

- Healing. Notice in vss. 8-10 of the book of Acts the ministry of healing. On one hand, there is no debate about God being able to heal. God is more than able. But on the other hand, there is much debate about people having the gift of healing, as in the text.

If a person has a gift of healing then no matter what we say will add to or take away from that gift. However, it seems rather strange to have a gift of healing that is only used in exchange for money. In the Bible, signs and wonders were often used to help people believe God’s word. God’s word includes the most saintly people dying and often being sick before death.

Let’s be careful where we place our trust for healing. There should be caution towards those who claim to have a gift of healing, while there is confidence towards God’s continued ability to perform miracles according to His purposes.

- In the world but not of it. Notice in vss. 11-12 that Paul traveled on a ship that had objects related to idol gods. As believers, there will be times that we will have to be in the world but not of the world.

We don’t always have the luxury of taking our automobiles to Christian mechanics, ride buses operated by Christian bus drivers, or obtain electricity for our homes from utilities companies owned and operated by Christians.

Let’s strive to live in the world without being of the world. That is to say, we can survive in the world without adopting the world’s values and beliefs. For example, we can live in a capitalistic society without being greedy for money.

- The ministry of presence. Notice in vs. 15 of the book of Acts the ministry of presence. When Paul saw the warm welcome of the brothers, he was encouraged. Someone reading these notes understand that seeing a friendly face in the times of trouble can be like a cool glass of water on a hot and humid day.

Let’s work on developing the ministry of presence. That is, we should work on being present for one another, especially in our times of trouble - hospitalization, home bound, bereavement, etc.

- Trusting God to provide what we need. Notice in vs. 16 that God worked things out for Paul to have a private house with apparently one soldier as a guard.

This was a much more comfortable situation than being in the inner rooms of a prison chained to guards around him. In like manner, if we would stay faithful, God has a way of giving us what we need, right when we need it. Let’s work on being faithful - obeying God based on our faith in Him.

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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