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The Scriptorium


A break in Paul's trial.

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 24.22-27.

Felix put the trial on hold for the time being. He apparently intended to send to Jerusalem for Lysias, perhaps in the hope he might be able to verify Paul’s statement of the facts. But either he did not send for him or Lysias was unable to come, since we have no record of his arriving. Meanwhile, the court is in recess – for two years (wouldn’t we have loved a two-year recess as school kids?).

For reflection
1.  Felix was generous to Paul, allowing his friends to visit and provide for his needs, and entertaining him not infrequently, albeit with mixed motives (v. 26). Why do you suppose the Lord considered this sabbatical to be needed?

2.  Given the opportunity to explain his views more fully, Paul didn’t hold back. The Gospel is about the resurrection of Jesus and the coming of His Kingdom, and that means righteousness, self-control, and preparation for the coming judgment (v. 25). Note that we cannot preach the Gospel without advising people of the moral obligations it entails, and the judgment which awaits us all. How would you work this into your presentation of the Gospel?

3.  We note that Paul didn’t merely preach to Felix and his wife; he reasoned with them, thus implying a give-and-take that must have been more like an extended conversation (vv. 25, 26). What kinds of topics might we use to begin a conversation like this with people in our Personal Mission Fields?

4.  Felix was alarmed at what he heard. The warning of judgment to come can have that effect on people. Felix dragged this out as long as he could, hoping for a little money out of it all, until at last he was replaced by Porcius Festus. But he must have been going to remain in the area because he left Paul in prison as a favor to the Jews (v. 27). Thus far in Paul’s detention, what has been accomplished for the Gospel?

5.  The Gospel is Good News, it’s true. But it’s only Good News against the backdrop of the bad news about sin and judgment. Unbelievers who reject the Gospel when we tell it to them need to know that judgment is coming, and they’re in danger of not being ready for it. They may not believe that – may not become alarmed by it – but they need to hear it anyway. Since moral change and judgment are so much a part of the Gospel, why do you suppose Christians today are reluctant to talk about these?

We see here no grumbling, complaining, or impatience on Paul’s part. The Lord has told him he’s going to Rome, and he’s content to let the Lord unfold the timing. Meanwhile, he is making the most of every opportunity to proclaim Christ and the Kingdom. What does it mean for you to make the most of every opportunity in this way?

Closing Prayer
My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and give praise.
Awake, my glory!
Awake, lute and harp!
I will awaken the dawn.
I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing to You among the nations.
For Your mercy reaches unto the heavens,
And Your truth unto the clouds.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
Let Your glory be above all the earth.

Psalm 57.7-11

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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