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The Scriptorium

Just the Facts

Paul's trial continues.

Acts (21)

And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Luke 24.27

The video for lesson 21 is the same as for lesson 17. You can view it by clicking here (scroll down to Lesson 17).

Read and meditate on Acts 24.10-16.
Paul’s accusers have just presented their case against him, based on hyperbole, innuendo, and lies. Paul determines to bring forward just the facts for the governor’s consideration. The Gospel and the Kingdom are about facts, not feelings.

For reflection
1.  First, Paul explained that he did not resent this opportunity; rather, he welcomed it (v. 10). He said that Felix could verify his claims. Thereby he nodded toward the governor’s fairness, even as he reminded the court of how Roman justice works: facts, evidence, verification, then judgment. What can you learn from Paul’s approach here to help you in sharing the Gospel with others?

2.  The facts of the case included Paul’s reason for being in Jerusalem (v. 11) and the circumstances surrounding his visit (v. 12). He challenged his adversaries to prove their case rather than simply assert his guilt (v. 13). Do you think it’s a good idea to ask those who oppose the Gospel to defend their own position against more careful scrutiny? Explain.

3.  Paul admitted his involvement in the Christian movement (v. 14), but he insisted this was completely in line with the hopes even his adversaries embraced (vv. 14, 15). The final fact Paul asserted is that he was settled in his conscience. He was not troubled about anything he’d done, whether toward God or toward men. How does one maintain such a clean or good conscience?

4.  Paul’s approach was reasoned, calm, clear, and concise, and he will hold to that tack through the rest of this trial. Is this the way you would describe your own approach to explaining your faith in Jesus? Why or why not?

5.  Paul was in a Roman court, and he understood Roman law, how it operated, and what it required. This was not a platform for preaching, even though Paul will get the Gospel out eventually. He was there to accommodate the interests and satisfy the demands of the Roman court, and so his speech was suitable for the context. In the same way, we need to learn how to assess the situations in which we find ourselves at any time and speak the truth in love accordingly.In case such an opportunity should arise, what would you explain as the factsabout your involvement with Christ?

We don’t have to argue with people when we’re sharing the Gospel, and we don’t have to appeal to their emotions. We just need to set forth the facts of the Gospel and of how it has affected our lives. But many Christians seem to have trouble doing this. Why?

Closing Prayer
Stir up Yourself, and awake to my vindication,
To my cause, my God and my Lord.
Vindicate me, O LORD my God, according to Your righteousness;
And let them not rejoice over me.
Let them not say in their hearts, “Ah, so we would have it!”
Let them not say, “We have swallowed him up.”
Let them be ashamed and brought to mutual confusion
Who rejoice at my hurt;
Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor
Who exalt themselves against me.
Let them shout for joy and be glad,
Who favor my righteous cause;
And let them say continually,
“Let the LORD be magnified,
Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.”
And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness
And of Your praise all the day long.
Psalm 35.23-28

T. M. Moore

Each week’s studies in Acts are bound together into a free PDF that you can download for personal or group use (click here). Each week also features a video related to the studies of the week, which you may find helpful as you work through our studies in Acts.

Acts is the record of Christ’s ongoing work as King and Lord. This is the work of bringing the Kingdom of God to earth as it is in heaven. Read more about the implications of this work in our new book,
The Kingdom Turn (click here).

Please prayerfully consider supporting The Fellowship of Ailbe by sending a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452. Or, you can click here to donate online through credit card or PayPal.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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