February 16, 2020
Pastor Ricky Smith
I. Weapons of Attack
And after five days the high priest Ananias came down with some elders and a spokesman, one Tertullus. They laid before the governor their case against Paul. 2 And when he had been summoned, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying: Since through you we enjoy much peace, and since by your foresight, most excellent Felix, reforms are being made for this nation, 3 in every way and everywhere we accept this with all gratitude. 4 But, to detain you no further, I beg you in your kindness to hear us briefly. 5 For we have found this man a plague, one who stirs up riots among all the Jews throughout the world and is a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. 6 He even tried to profane the temple, but we seized him. 8 By examining him yourself you will be able to find out from him about everything of which we accuse him.” 9 The Jews also joined in the charge, affirming that all these things were so.
Weapons of persistent hatred
- Disgusting Flattery
- Gross Misrepresentation
- Offensive Characterization
- Downright Falsehood
Unfair Weapons in Conflict
Choose to view others through the lens of Scripture rather than the lens of selfish pride
19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
II. Walking Under Authority
10 And when the governor had nodded to him to speak, Paul replied: “Knowing that for many years you have been a judge over this nation, I cheerfully make my defense. 11 You can verify that it is not more than twelve days since I went up to worship in Jerusalem, 12 and they did not find me disputing with anyone or stirring up a crowd, either in the temple or in the synagogues or in the city. 13 Neither can they prove to you what they now bring up against me. 14 But this I confess to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets, 15 having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust. 16 So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man. 17 Now after several years I came to bring alms to my nation and to present offerings. 18 While I was doing this, they found me purified in the temple, without any crowd or tumult. But some Jews from Asia— 19 they ought to be here before you and to make an accusation, should they have anything against me. 20 Or else let these men themselves say what wrongdoing they found when I stood before the council, 21 other than this one thing that I cried out while standing among them: ‘It is with respect to the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you this day.’ ”
Defense of innocence:
- Straightforward Statements
- Fearless Denial
- Righteous Challenge
We must die to self so we can live like Christ
20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
- I confess to having used weapons of ignorance and injustice and commit to change.
- I choose to die to self and begin a new life with Jesus.
- I commit to respond to conflict with a spirit of meekness.
- Paul was treated unfairly and with malice. Discuss how you view our community treating others with malice and injustice. What should the church do about what we see?
- Read Daniel 12:2. This prophecy reinforces the idea that all men will live for eternity somewhere. Heaven and Hell are real places. How should this reality motivate us to tell our story of hope in Christ?
- Read Galatians 2:20 and discuss what it looks like in the everyday life of a Christian to be crucified with Christ.
Read James 1:2-4
- Why is a joyful attitude needed when we face a difficult situation, and how does our attitude affect others in the family?
- How can God use seasons of trial and hardship to help us grow stronger? Can you think of an example in your own life where God has used a trial to make you grow?