A clean conscience brings courage!
Paul, the Roman citizen, in chains.
The trial continues…
1 Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, “My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day.” 2 At this the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth. 3 Then Paul said to him,
“God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck!”
4 Those who were standing near Paul said, “How dare you insult God’s high priest!”
5 Paul replied, “Brothers, I did not realize that he was the high priest; for it is written: ‘Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.’”
1. A clean conscience brings courage
The wicked flee when no man pursueth:
but the righteous are bold as a lion.
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.
Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Example: Reasons for wearing masks or getting the vaccine:
Mostly fear of punishment, not anything about health.
11 The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”
It wouldn’t end here.
What if the only purpose for your testimony is so people ‘have heard’ and therefore, have no excuse?
Example: Certified Letter, being “served”.
You see no fruit when you share, pray, etc?
2. Being obedient is enough.
Leave the results to God.
Same like Ezekiel.
7 But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted.
8 Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads.
9 As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.
A message from God:
1) You won’t see any fruit when you talk to them, but
2) I have made you strong as stone against their attacks.
12 The next morning some Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul.
40 men planned an ambush on the way to the trial.
Hatred leads to murder.
Sin is progressive.
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
3. Obedience and sin are both progressive.
Have you ever noticed that people either get progressively worse or better over time?
“Christianity asserts that every individual human being is going to live for ever, and this must be either true or false. Now there are a good many things which would not be worth bothering about if I were going to live only seventy years, but which I had better bother about very seriously if I am going to live for ever.”
– C. S. Lewis
Obedience is the road you want to be on.
16 But when the son of Paul’s sister heard of this plot, he went into the barracks and told Paul.
17 Then Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the commander; he has something to tell him.” 18 So he took him to the commander.
The commander sent Paul to Felix with more than 200 soldiers so he could be properly tried and not murdered along the way.
33 When the cavalry arrived in Caesarea, they delivered the letter to the governor and handed Paul over to him. 34 The governor read the letter and asked what province he was from. Learning that he was from Cilicia, 35 he said, “I will hear your case when your accusers get here.” Then he ordered that Paul be kept under guard in Herod’s palace.
4. Times and dates are in the hand of God.
The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.
Application: Appeal to God, not to man.
He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Are these the last days?
These are your and my last days.
Don’t let questions like that distract you from taking action and responsibility today.
5. To fear God is to be wise.
A politician will never save you.
Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.
Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the duty of all mankind.
For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil.
Keep a clean conscience and trust God.