When some bystanders expressed their shock that Paul would thus revile the high priest, Paul replied that he had not been aware that he was the high priest, and admitted his error by citing Exodus 22:28: “You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.” Scripture commands us to respect the office, if not the man. Things had not gone well in Jerusalem. Paul’s experience teaches us three practical lessons: We should always be alert for opportunities to speak out for Christ. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture Quotations are from the New American Standard Bible, Updated Edition © The Lockman Foundation, Related Topics: Evangelism, Spiritual Life, Steve served as the pastor of Flagstaff Christian Fellowship from May, 1992 through his retirement in December, 2018. The third view is that Paul had been gone from Jerusalem so long that he didn’t know who the high priest was. For the man was over forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed. We should know what to say in advance so that we can bear witness effectively. Our gracious Lord will use you in spite of your mistakes if you will speak out for Him! Beyond that, you should be armed with the basic facts of the gospel and the accompanying Scriptures to present it clearly. In fact, Paul was born a citizen, whereas the commander had obtained his citizenship by paying a large sum of money. When is it right to stand up for our rights, and when should we back off. So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done. Lesson 2 – Main Divisions and Events in Acts. a) Chapter 22 gives us... 3. It was on Thanksgiving Day, and I had just run in the Turkey Trot race at Buffalo Park. Copyright, Steven J. Cole, 2002, All Rights Reserved. There was a guy in our group named Ralph. And, you may want to examine yourself to see whether you truly do believe in Him! Why is it important for Christians to acknowledge their sins and ask forgiveness, even before unbelievers? On every issue, he took the libertarian side of things. This story teaches us three main lessons: If you have trusted in Christ as Savior, then you are His witness. Then Paul made his opening statement about living with a good conscience before God. When The Sun Finally Rises: Wrestling With The Past (Gen. 32:22-32), 2. During the Jewish revolt against Rome, some Jewish loyalists assassinated him. 3:21). "The Scribes," John Gee, at BYU New Testament Commentary, January 2019 conference This presentation is available in video and transcript. The puzzling question is, why didn’t Paul know that Ananias was the high priest? 5. Remember, several thousand of these Jews had even professed Christianity. As the soldiers stretched Paul out to tie him for the beating, he asked the centurion, “Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman and uncondemned?” (22:25). As you read Acts 22–28, write down the thoughts and feelings that come to you and take time to ponder them. It is only the blood of Christ applied to our hearts that gives us a clean conscience (Heb. 3. Otherwise, our witness will be used against the Lord and the gospel, because unbelievers will shrug us off as hypocrites. As Luke explains for his non-Jewish readers, the Sadducees deny the resurrection, angels, and spirits, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. Also, the high priest’s command was grossly unjust and revealed that he was not interested in justice, but only in getting Paul condemned. 2) Things God promises to do. Characters), The Net Pastor’s Journal, Eng Ed, Issue 37, Fall 2020. In Acts 22:1-22, Paul had taken the opportunity to preach to the Jewish mob that had tried to kill him. But in spite of all of the training and the books that I’ve read on the subject over the years since then, I still find that witnessing is an up and down sort of thing. 2 When he had gone through those regions and had given them much encouragement, he came to Greece. And the future looked uncertain and bleak. The Jewish nationalists hated him because of his pro-Roman leaning. Perhaps the person reacted in an unexpected way and told us that he never wanted us to talk to him about religion again. Study Tip: As you read the Bible make two lists; 1) Things you should do. So we really don’t know why Paul didn’t recognize him, but we have to take his word for it that he did not. At that moment, the Lord Himself stood at Paul’s side and said, “Take courage; for as you have solemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also.” What words of encouragement and hope! Lessons & Observations from Acts 22 1. Bible Study of Acts – Weekly Lessons The Church in Jerusalem (Chapters 1-7) Lesson 1 – Introduction to the Book of Acts. The commander, who probably wondered why everyone was in such an uproar, finally had to rescue Paul by force again. In this context it has reference to Paul’s life as a Jew in the Jewish theocracy. But you can’t let the fear of saying the wrong thing keep you from saying anything. Bible Lesson for Acts 3: After the day of Pentecost, Peter and John went to the temple to pray around 3:00 in the afternoon. This was the fourth time that the Lord had appeared to Paul (9:4-6 & 22:14; 22:17-18; 18:9-10). Finally. One of the hard realities to accept in life is that some people simply won’t accept the Gospel message, no matter how... 2. But it’s also possible that Paul’s intent was to use his background as a Pharisee to establish a common ground with the Pharisees who were present, and then to try to move from there to bear witness to Jesus’ resurrection and the gospel. That failure led me first, to pray for Ralph over the years when he has come to mind, that God would save him in spite of my failure. Alarmed, the commander came to Paul and discovered that he was indeed a Roman citizen. Even though Paul probably could have handled things better than he did, the Lord graciously appeared to him when he was discouraged and said, “Take courage; for as you have solemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also” (23:11). I was encouraged with the faithfulness of the Lord and reminded of the fact that He will work out His sovereign purpose in spite of my failures and mistakes. So the Pharisees immediately came to Paul’s defense, while the Sadducees attacked them and Paul. 1. If that was Paul’s scheme, then he was wrong. Some accuse him of using deceit (claiming still to be a Pharisee) to save his own neck. Facial expressions and body language can tell you a lot about where people are at. Leah: The Woman No Man Loved But Every Woman Envied (Gen. 29:15-35), 1. One day after class, Ralph looked me in the eye and asked, “Hey, man, are you for real, or are you just putting us on in there?” Instantly I knew that this was an opportunity to tell Ralph about Christ, but I was tongue-tied. As 1 Peter 3:15-16 exhorts us, “But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.” In 22:1-22, Paul had given his defense (22:1) with a good conscience (23:1). If this was his intent, his strategy didn’t work out as he had hoped. ACTS 22:4-5 4 “I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women, 5 as also the high priest bears me witness, and all the council of the elders, from whom I also received letters to the brethren, and went to Damascus to bring in chains even those who were there to Jerusalem to be punished. That’s a second lesson: After his admission of wrong, Paul took another tack. On every issue, I was the conservative member of the group. If we will speak out for Christ, even if we blow it, He will graciously encourage us and give us further opportunities to speak out for Him. As soon as he was hit, Paul shot back, “God is going to strike you, you white-washed wall! If I had not asked forgiveness for my wrong response, it only would have reinforced his negative bias against Christians. Recounting one’s obedience to Christ may teach, help, and encourage others. Thus we all are responsible to speak out for Christ, but sometimes we will blow it or things will not go as we had hoped. If you have been a Christian for very long, you have blown it as a witness. Learn some simple illustrations that help to clarify. 3. Lesson 3 – Jesus and the Apostles (Acts 1:1-26) Lesson 4 – The Birth of the Church at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-47) Lesson 5 – Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts … After that, we always waved in a friendly manner to each other. But the normal way the Lord encourages us when we feel that we’ve blown it is by bringing us to an encouraging verse of Scripture, or through an encouraging word or note from someone who may not even know that we needed it at that moment. If you haven’t blown it witnessing, you must not be witnessing! When we lived in California, we had a collie that for some unknown reason went crazy with barking at our neighbor’s truck when he drove by. As He gives you opportunities, you should bear verbal witness. When he stood before the Jewish Council, again he would attempt to tell them about his experience with Christ, although he didn’t get very far.