The Book of Acts - Chapters 22 - 26
The Book of Acts
Chapters 22 - 26
Sticking up for yourself when you “need” to.
1. Do we or don’t we stick up for ourselves?
2. Can we stick up for ourselves?
3. Should we or shouldn’t we?
4. Different ways to do it.
“The whole city was aroused, and the people came running from all directions. Seizing Paul, they dragged him from the temple… 31 While they were trying to kill him… the rioters saw the commander and his soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.
“… “Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense.” 2 When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic, they became very quiet.
[Sometimes we need to state our credentials]
Then Paul said: 3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. 4 I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, 5 as the high priest and all the Council can themselves testify. I even obtained letters… to bring these people as prisoners… to be punished. 6 “About noon… a bright light from heaven flashed around me. 7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’ 8 “‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked. “ ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting’ … 22 The crowd listened to Paul until he said this. Then they raised their voices and shouted, “Rid the earth of him! He’s not fit to live!” … 24 the commander ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks. He directed that he be flogged and interrogated ...in order to find out why… 25 As they stretched him out to flog him, Paul said to the centurion standing there, “Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been found guilty?” 26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and reported it. “What are you going to do? …This man is a Roman citizen.” 27 The commander went to Paul and asked, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” “Yes, I am,” he answered. 28 Then the commander said, “I had to pay a lot of money for my citizenship.” “But I was born a citizen” … 29 Those who were about to interrogate him withdrew immediately. The commander himself was alarmed when he realized…
Paul Before the Sanhedrin
30 The commander wanted to find out exactly why Paul was being accused by the Jews. So the next day he released him and ordered the chief priests and all the members of the Sanhedrin to assemble. Then he brought Paul and had him stand before them…
12 The next morning some Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul. 13 More than forty men were involved in this plot… 16 But when the son of Paul’s sister heard of this plot… told Paul. 23 two centurions… a detachment of two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen to go to Caesarea at nine tonight… 31 So the soldiers, carrying out their orders… 35 … Paul… under guard in Herod’s palace.
"The Lord stood near Paul and said, 'Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.'"
God will always be with you.
Acts 24 - Paul's Trial Before Felix
Ultimately, Paul first pled his case before Felix after the governor heard he was from Cilicia. Felix kept him in prison for two years, and during that time Festus succeeded Felix.
Acts 25 - Paul's Trial Before Festus
“… the chief priests and the Jewish leaders appeared before him and presented the charges against Paul. 3 They requested Festus, as a favor to them, to have Paul transferred to Jerusalem, for they were preparing an ambush to kill him along the way. 6 After spending eight or ten days with them, Festus… convened the court and ordered that Paul be brought before him… They brought many serious charges against him, but they could not prove them. 8 Then Paul made his defense: “I have done nothing wrong against the Jewish law or against the temple or against Caesar.” 9 Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and stand trial… 10 Paul answered: “I am now standing before Caesar’s court, where I ought to be tried … no one has the right to hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!” 22 Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I would like to hear this man myself.” … Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.”
So Paul motioned with his hand and began his defense: 2 “King Agrippa, I consider myself fortunate to stand before you today as I make my defense against all the accusations of the Jews, 3 and especially so because you are well acquainted with all the Jewish customs and controversies. Therefore, I beg you to listen to me patiently… 9 “I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the Lord’s people in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. 11 Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. I was so obsessed with persecuting them that I even hunted them down in foreign cities. 12 “On one of these journeys… 13 About noon, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, 14 We all fell to the ground…voice saying… ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15 … ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ … 16 ‘Now get up and stand on your feet… I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’… 21 That is why some Jews seized me in the temple courts and tried to kill me. 22 But God has helped me to this very day… I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen— 23 that the Messiah would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would bring the message of light to his own people and to the Gentiles.” 24 At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.” 25 “I am not insane, most excellent Festus,”… “What I am saying is true and reasonable. 26 The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner. 28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” 29 Paul replied, “Short time or long—I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.” 30 The king rose, and with him the governor and Bernice and those sitting with them. 31 After they left the room, they began saying to one another, “This man is not doing anything that deserves death or imprisonment.” 32 Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”
Sticking up for yourself when you “need” to.
Q: Do you or don’t you?
Always ----------- Sometimes ----------- Never
(Not good) (Depends) (Not good)
Note: To those who have a tendency towards “boldness,” not every situation warrants a response.
Note: To those who do not have a tendency towards “boldness,” God can give you the wisdom and strength to “stand up’ as He leads.
"Can we or can’t we?"
(Do we have the ability)
Yes you can!
Realize or remember that standing up is always saying “No” to something/someone and can be a very valuable thing.
[Paul = “No” to J’Lem, “Yes” to Rome for trial]
[Luther said “No” to recanting on his 95 Thesis]
Have a plan and an “Exit Strategy”.
Timing is important.
Keep remembering that the importance of “Respect” is why you are standing up in the way that you see fit.
Practice/think through scenarios.
Trust in the Lord to do HIS business through you.