Acts 21:26-40 | Part 44
Acts Part 44
You're in a tough situation. There is a decision to be made and you don’t know what to do. You have prayed about it, you have thought it through, you have worked through the pros and cons. You still aren’t sure
Do Christians make mistakes? YES
Is this ok in God’s economy?
The scriptures we will cover today are all from Christians that made pretty big mistakes. John, Paul, Peter. Big sinners. Also Christ-followers
John 1:10-12 (written around 90AD)
He was in the world, and the world was created through him, and yet the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name
The mistakes you make today in the right direction, will be reflected in the wisdom of your later life
Pentecost AD 30
5 years later, watches Stephen murdered AD 35
Converted two years later, AD 37
Seminary AD 37-40 (Galatians 1:17)
Acts is happening AD 45-47
Paul is arrested AD 57
Sent to Rome and wrote Romans AD 57
So the next day, Paul took the men, having purified himself along with them, and entered the temple, announcing the completion of the purification days when the offering would be made for each of them.
Paul accepts what James and the other leaders have HIGHLY ENCOURAGED him to do.
Potentially went over the line in intending to make an offering (prosphora) which in other passages is blood offering
1st Corinthians 9:19-20a
Although I am free from all and not anyone’s slave, I have made myself a slave to everyone, in order to win more people. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win Jews; to those under the law, like one under the law—though I myself am not under the law—to win those under the law.
For sin will not rule over you, because you are not under the law but under grace
27 When the seven days were nearly over, some Jews from the province of Asia saw him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd, and seized him, 28 shouting, “Fellow Israelites, help! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere against our people, our law, and this place. What’s more, he also brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.” 29 For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with him, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple.30 The whole city was stirred up, and the people rushed together. They seized Paul, dragged him out of the temple, and at once the gates were shut.
Where did the danger come from? The gentiles? The Jews. From within…
What is making the Jews so mad? Why are they violently angry?
I’ve kept all the rules
Christ is the only one who has kept the law
I’m better than most people
There is only one who lives a perfect life. His name is Jesus
The law is the ultimate
The law points to Jesus (Galatians 3:24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.)
What we face today:
I am in charge of my destiny
If the Lord wills…
My body my choices
Our body is God’s temple
I decide what is right and wrong
Scripture speaks clearly about what is right and wrong
I’m a good person
I’m a sinner saved by grace
I’m self-made (finances, family, health)
Apart from Christ, I have nothing
Is our faith in Christ offensive? YES
Are we called to speak up? YES
Are we called to love and be kind to others? YES
31 As they were trying to kill him, word went up to the commander of the regiment that all Jerusalem was in chaos. 32 Taking along soldiers and centurions, he immediately ran down to them. Seeing the commander and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. 33 Then the commander approached, took him into custody, and ordered him to be bound with two chains. He asked who he was and what he had done. 34 Some in the crowd were shouting one thing and some another. Since he was not able to get reliable information because of the uproar, he ordered him to be taken into the barracks. 35 When Paul got to the steps, he had to be carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the crowd, 36 for the mass of people followed, yelling, “Get rid of him!”
Paul is about to be murdered by a demonically charged crowd
The Romans, who crucified Jesus, saved Paul
Christianity is offensive. It began as offensive, and real Christianity continues to be very offensive today.
1st Peter 3:14-16
But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear them or be intimidated, 15 but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. 16 Yet do this with gentleness and reverence, keeping a clear conscience, so that when you are accused, those who disparage your good conduct in Christ will be put to shame.
Suffering is a blessing
Don’t embrace fear, embrace Christ
Be ready to explain why you embrace Christ
It has to be from the heart
Be kind when you explain who you are
Kindness is a HUGE superlative of Christians. Our content as we have covered today is offensive enough
37 As he was about to be brought into the barracks, Paul said to the commander, “Am I allowed to say something to you?” He replied, “You know how to speak Greek? 38 Aren’t you the Egyptian who started a revolt some time ago and led four thousand men of the Assassins into the wilderness?”
Paul keeps his wits about him even in the face of death
The Romans think he is someone else
39 Paul said, “I am a Jewish man from Tarsus of Cilicia, a citizen of an important city. Now I ask you, let me speak to the people.”
Paul identifies himself as a Roman citizen
He asks to speak, not for safety
40 After he had given permission, Paul stood on the steps and motioned with his hand to the people. When there was a great hush, he addressed them in Aramaic:
Many of you know your generational story
Are you prepared to talk about your spiritual bloodline?
Tell your story of salvation. Prepare it. Memorize verses that explain your experience and God’s incredible gift!
If what you are hearing stirs you at all, you are being called by Jesus right now
It is time for you to return to your maker