Faithlife Sermons

A Holy Life & a Bold Witness

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"A Holy Life & A Bold Witness" - Acts 24.1-27 Intro: Luke 21.12-15; 12.11-12. I. The Prosecutor's False Charges against Christ's Apostle (vv. 1-9) The High Priest hired a professional, a prosecuting attorney, Tertullus, to lay out their case. Verses 2-4: It's flattery. He's not telling the truth about Felix nor the Jewish leaders' sentiments. Verses 5-8: He's unflattering of Paul. These are lies, but nonetheless formal charges (21.28). These false charges sound like those leveled against the Lord Jesus in Luke 23.1-5. II. The Defense's Truthful Reply & Gospel Witness (vv. 10-21) Verse 10: Paul doesn't butter up Felix, yet he's polite & respectful while speaking the truth. Verses 11-13: Paul emphasizes that their attacks are baseless & nonsensical. Verses 14-15: Yet there's something he'll gladly confess about his identity & activity. "The Way" - A name given to Christ's early followers (Jn 14.6). Further, Paul's not opposed to Judaism, but his beliefs come from the sacred Scriptures, in line with the faith of our fathers (Jn 5.39-40; Lk 24.44-49; Mt 5.17-18). Included therein is his hope in the resurrection (Dan 12.2). Verse 16: Knowing that I too will stand before God, that's why I live as I live (1 Cor 10.31-32). A person's lifestyle will reflect whether they think this life is it or there's a coming judgment. Do you know why Paul's words have weight? A clear conscience makes for a compelling witness. A holy life produces a bold witness. Verses 17-21: He closes with a clear & compelling answer to their most recent charges (23.6). III. The Gospel Boldly Delivered to a Godless Governor (vv. 22-27) Verses 22-23: Felix reserves judgment, seemingly to gather more info. Does he need more info? Verses 24-25: What historical information fills in important details about Felix & Drusilla? They heard him speak "concerning the faith in Christ Jesus." He proves from the Scriptures that Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah, the Son of God (Rom 1.1-5). \ He continues by showing that faith in Christ leads to a total change in all of life. The author Luke provides an outline of what Paul taught and they discussed on 3 areas: 1. Righteousness. Declared righteous by faith in Christ & ethical righteousness. See Rom 1.17-18; 3.10-11, 19, 23-25; 4.3-5. 2. Self-control. This means not being governed by unquenchable fleshly appetites. Only possible by the purification and indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5.23). See Titus 2.11-13. 3. Coming Judgment. This is how Paul first lives (vv. 15-16), then what he boldly proclaims. If this life is all there is, then it doesn't matter how you live, not ultimately. But no matter who you are, even if you're a human judge like Felix, we'll all stand before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor 5.10). You ready? Paul preaches a pointed gospel sermon, that cut to the heart. So much so that it made Felix too uncomfortable to continue. He felt conviction, and knew Paul spoke as God's prophet. In the same vein as John the Baptist before Herod Antipas (Lk 3.19-20). On that day, Felix heard the truth, was convicted by the truth, but refused to repent and run by faith to the Lord Jesus for salvation. This happens still today. Like with Felix, often why do people shut down Gospel preaching? Verses 26-27: Felix continued having conversations with Paul, but mostly to seek a bribe. Paul didn't compromise his character to win his freedom, but trusted in the Lord. Felix left Paul in custody for 2 years, from 58-60 AD. Then pawned him off to his replacement. What was Paul's companion, Dr. Luke, up to for these two years in Israel? Conclusion:
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