Summary: Paul appeals to the Jews regarding the faith.
a. A recent study revealed that non-Christians have a very tough time understanding what Christians mean when some they use some of the phrases that the church often takes for granted. 63% of non-Christians don’t know what Christians mean when they talk about the Gospel. 75% of non-Christians don’t know what John 3:16 is.
b. Add to that phrases like "I’ve been convicted", or "get into the Word, and non-Christians hear these quite differently. The problem is that many unbelievers think that since they don’t understand the christianese, then they don’t belong in the church.
c. On the flip side of this though, the same study found that we in the church don’t know how to share our faith with others. 40% of Christians don’t know what the Gospel means, and 53% don’t know John 3:16.
d. It’s been said that the average Christian is as unprepared facing an unbeliever as they are facing an armed terrorist group, and in this day and age, I tend to think that some of us would respond better to the terrorists.
e. Well, if this is you, then you might want to use the place we provided to take some notes in your handout this morning, because what we are going to cover here is Paul’s defense, Paul’s presentation of the gospel in Jerusalem.
a. If you recall last week, when we left Paul, he was under arrest by the Roman army. He was dragged out of the temple area by an angry mob, because they made the false assumption that Paul took gentiles into the temple.
b. Paul had not taken gentiles into the forbidden areas of the temple. In fact, he was observing a Jewish ritual cleansing, and taking a Nazirite vow, per the instructions of the elders of the church at Jerusalem.
c. As a riot broke out in the temple area, and a huge mob was carrying Paul away, the Romans came to rescue him. Not so much because they wanted to save Paul or anything, they simply wanted to keep the peace in Jerusalem.
d. So, the commander orders Paul to be taken to the Roman garrison which was on the Northwest corner of the Temple Mount there, which was called the Fortress Antonia, and from here, the Romans could see everything going on in the temple, without having to actually go into the temple, which was against the law.
e. One of the other things we looked at last week was the comparisons between Jesus’ final trip to Jerusalem, and Paul’s final trip to Jerusalem. Like Jesus, the Roman authorities thought that Paul was some kind of terrorist. So, the Roman commander was surprised when Paul addressed him in Greek, and asked to be able to address the raging mob, while he was going up the stairs into the fortress.
f. The commander obliged Paul, and allowed him to speak to the crowd, and that is where we left it last week. This week, we will look at all of Paul’s speech to the crowd gathered there, which is all of chapter 22.
g. **If you need a Bible**
h. Most weeks, I take the time to read through our passage entirely, before we get into our study, because I want us to look at the passage as a whole first, before we begin to break it down.
i. But, due to the length of our passage today, what I am going to do is to just dive in to our study, and read the verses as we get to them in the study.
j. I’ve broken our study down into seven parts, to make our passage a little more manageable as we look in depth at Acts chapter 22, as we finish up another chapter in our week-by-week study through Acts.
k. This morning, we are going to look at the Resume’ of Paul, The Road to Damascus, Receiving Sight and Salvation, Requirements, Reacting to the Message, In Roman Custody, and Respite for Paul. In the interests of time, let’s dive right in. Turn to Acts chapter 22, and we will pick up with verse 1, and we will finish out the chapter today.
b. The Résumé of Paul (Acts 22:1 – 5)
i. So, as Paul is standing there on the wall, and quiets the crowd, he begins to speak to them. We see the introduction of Paul in the first 5 verses. Verse 1 reads -
ii. 1 "Brethren and fathers, hear my defense before you now."
iii. Paul starts off by addressing the Jewish people, calling them brethren, this would apply to the Jews. He also addresses the religious leaders, who were no doubt present, calling them fathers.
iv. One of the things that strikes me most about this passage as a whole is that Paul is very, very respectful to the folks there. Keep in mind, that these were the very same folks that had just dragged Paul out of the temple, and were beating him, and wanted to kill him.