Acts of Paul – Defend and Witness

Acts 24-26  Witness before Kings

The trial before Felix, procurator of Judea from A.D. 52 to 59.

Paul is arraigned for trial before Felix, charged by the high priest and some of the Sadducee party who have come down from Jerusalem.  Several charges are brought against Paul — a political agitator, the leader of a subversive movement masquerading as a sect of Judaism, and a person who has desecrated the temple.

Paul defends himself skillfully.  He caused no uprising.  He has only been in Jerusalem for about two weeks, for the purpose of worship.  The Christian movement is not subversive but rests on and is an outgrowth of OT faith.

14 However, I admit that I worship the God of our ancestors as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets, 15 and I have the same hope in God as these men themselves have, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. 16 So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.

Felix refuses to make an immediate decision.  Later he confers with his Jewish wife, Drusilla, and listens with some terror as Paul talks with him about faith in Jesus and coming judgment.

21 unless it was this one thing I shouted as I stood in their presence: ‘It is concerning the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you today.’ ”

25 As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.”

Felix keeps Paul confined in Caesarea for some two years, hoping to be offered a bribe by the apostle.  In the meantime, keeping the apostle locked up is a favor to the Jewish leaders.

Paul could defend himself and the Christianity at the same time.  He was simply relaying the truth from the Scripture regarding resurrection and judgment.  He did not have any separate agenda.  So, he must have been feeling comfortable although he was in chains.  No contrived self-exertion required.

We don’t have to come up with something different from what he said above.  Many people’s reaction would be similar to that of Felix when we speak as witnesses of Christian faith.

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