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A Testimonial Defense

Acts  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  29:24
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Today we will see that Paul had three purposes in addressing the crowd the way that he did. First he wanted to address his heritage and loyalty to that Jewish heritage. He was still loyal but now the big glaring difference was that he proclaimed Christ as Messiah. Second, he wanted them to understand why he made that proclamation, by making sure that they had a clear understanding of the facts of his conversion. And that would lead into the third purpose and that was to see that he was clearly called to do the will of God.

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1. Paul the _former_

Acts 22:3–5 NIV84
“I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. Under Gamaliel I was thoroughly trained in the law of our fathers and was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, as also the high priest and all the Council can testify. I even obtained letters from them to their brothers in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.

1. Paul the former

Acts 7:51–53 NIV84
“You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— you who have received the law that was put into effect through angels but have not obeyed it.”
Acts 7:58 NIV84
dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.

2. Paul the _encountered_

Acts 22:6–11 NIV84
“About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’ “ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked. “ ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me. “ ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ I asked. “ ‘Get up,’ the Lord said, ‘and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.’ My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me.

2. Paul the encountered

3. Paul the _commissioned_

Acts 22:12–16 NIV84
“A man named Ananias came to see me. He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there. He stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very moment I was able to see him. “Then he said: ‘The God of our fathers has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’

3. Paul the commissioned

a. Believe

b. Repent

c. Confess

d. Baptism

e. Live for Christ

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