Summary: We should: 1. Attempt to connect with listeners (vs. 1-3). 2. Admit our faults (vs. 4-5). 3. Tell how we became aware of Jesus (vs. 6-8). 4. Tell what actions we needed to take (vs. 9-10). 5. Tell how we were assisted (vs. 11-16).
Giving Our Testimony for God
The Book of Acts - Part 78
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - March 15, 2015
*In this Scripture, Paul and his mission team have finished Paul's third missionary journey, and they have arrived in Jerusalem. Paul had traveled hundreds of miles through Greece and Turkey spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. He also discipled the believers and strengthened the churches.
*On top of that, Paul and the Gentile churches collected a large sum of money for the poor Jewish Christians in Jerusalem. Then Paul travelled many more miles to bring the gift to Jerusalem. But instead of being treated with gratitude and honor, Paul was treated with suspicion and disrespect.
*In Acts 21:20-26, the Jewish believers at Jerusalem accused Paul of heresy based on nothing but rumors. So, the church leaders at Jerusalem asked Paul to go through a purification ceremony as a good-faith gesture against the accusations. They also asked Paul to pay the expenses for four local believers who were planning to go through the purification. And Paul did exactly as the elders asked, even though he had to buy a dozen prime animals for the sacrifices, along with other expenses. (1)
*Paul was simply trying to do the right thing. But Acts 21:27-40 tells us that a terrible riot broke out when some Jews from Asia saw Paul in the Temple. And Paul would have been beaten to death by that mob, if the alarm hadn't been sounded for the Roman soldiers to break up the riot.
*Paul was rescued by the soldiers, but he was also placed under arrest. He had now entered a period of trials and tribulation. All of Paul's travels from now until the end of Acts will be as a prisoner of Rome.
*At the end of Acts 21, Paul pleaded with the Roman commander for permission to speak to the crowd. And Acts 21:40 closes the chapter by saying "when he had given him permission, Paul stood on the stairs and motioned with his hand to the people. And when there was a great silence, he spoke to them in the Hebrew language. . ."
*Tonight, we will begin to explore what Paul said to the crowd. Let's begin by reading Acts 22:1-16, and as we read please think about giving our testimony for God.
*Paul gave his Christian testimony to that angry mob. But what about us? Do we have a testimony to give? If we know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, then the answer is certainly "YES!"
*1 John 5:9-12 says this to all Christians:
9. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son.
10. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.
11. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
12. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
*When we believe God's testimony about His Son Jesus Christ, He gives us a testimony! And He wants us to share it. One reason why is because there is such a great need. People need to hear what God has done in our lives. There are billions of lost people in the world today. God wants us to help reach as many of these people as we possibly can, and our testimonies can help. Your testimony can help change people's lives for all eternity.
*But God wants us to speak up, even if people don't respond in a positive way. They didn't always believe Paul's testimony, and they won't all believe ours. Some people will respond positively, and some won't. As one author said: "They will either be glad, -- or mad." (2)
*I remember an incident years ago when I worked at Robins Air Force Base. About 7 or 8 of us were in the corridor for a few minutes. It must have been right after a meeting. And the conversation was very pleasant, -- until the conversation turned to Jesus. Almost as soon as His name was mentioned, it was like the waters parted, with the scoffers on one side, and the believers on the other.
*Everybody is not going to be thrilled to hear your story. But God wants us to tell it. How can we do it? How should we do it? Let's look at Paul's story and see.
1. First, we should attempt to connect with our listeners.