The gospel ministry is the most exciting adventure you could devote your life to.
Scripture: Acts 24
- The gospel ministry is the most exciting adventure you could devote your life to.
- Paul engages in evangelism and defense of the gospel.
- His activity is deemed such a great threat that he is arrested. He faces an assassination plot, and he faces political and religious charges.
- As Paul brought his defense before Jew and Gentile, it was his judges who were being judged by the gospel.
- The charges of being a ring-leader of a Jewish Messianic sect was a serious charge; it was an unapproved movement in non-compliance with Roman law.
- If the Jews could separate Paul from the Jewish faith, they could label him as a rebel against Roman law.
- Paul was respectful, but he was not flattering of Felix.
- In refuting the charges that he was a sect leader, Paul asserts that he worships the God of Abraham, he believes the law and prophets, he believes in the resurrection, and he has lived with a clear conscience before God.
- Paul affirms that he is in fact the consistent Jew.
- Paul did not violate the temple; in all his ministry he took care to avoid unnecessary offense over customs.
- Felix wanted to court favour with the Jews; so he came up with an excuse to hold Paul for 2 years.
- Paul then has the opportunity to proclaim the whole gospel of faith in Jesus Christ to Felix and Druscilla.
- Felix was alarmed by the ethical implications of the gospel, as Paul reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment.
- Like Paul, we can expect to be accused of political crimes for our allegiance to Christ and His Law-Word.
- In Western society, secularism increasingly sees Christianity as a plague and a threat to the social order.
- But, in fact, with the widespread abandonment of the Christian faith, we are facing collapse of social order.
- Western governments first became democractic, then paternalistic, and finally totalitarian.
- What is good or evil is to be determined by parliamentary vote, or worse, by well placed bureaucrats.
- Our faith is on trial because we have a different law and a different Lord, who is above the pagan state and its laws.
- As always, they question the authority of the Bible.
- Despite our fear of giving offense, we must speak to the conscience in an unrighteous age. The righteousness and justice of God is a necessary component of the Gospel.
- If you're not confronted with God's holiness, you'll never grasp the meaning of the gospel (cf. Isaiah 6).
- Don't be deterred by false witnesses, high paid lawyers, evil and immorality. Evil cannot prevail against Christ.
- How does Paul refute the charge that he is a religious innovator?
- What is it about the gospel that its message puts kings and judges on trial?
- Can we, like Paul, defend the faith in conversation?
- Do we affirm by our witness the full authority of Scripture?
- What's the appropriate response to evil according to Psalm 36:4 and Psalm 37:1-5?
- How can we work to see the church again take its place as the moral compass and conscience of the nation?