- All right, “Luke/Acts for Beginners”. This is lesson number 23, and it is entitled “Paul’s Arrest and Imprisonment”.
00:09 - The first part in this series of lessons. Acts chapter 21, verse 15 to 23:11.
00:17 - So in our last lesson, we left off where Paul, having completed his third missionary journey was making his way back to Jerusalem.
00:27 - He had been warned by several people that trouble in the form of arrest, awaited him there.
00:34 - But despite these cautions, the apostle could not be dissuaded from going back.
00:39 - He wanted to go back to Jerusalem. And so this then brings us to the section in the book of Acts dealing with his arrest and imprisonment in Jerusalem.
00:50 - And we’ll pick that up in Acts chapter 21. Let’s go there, beginning in verse 15.
00:58 - Luke writes, “After these days, we got ready and started on our way up to Jerusalem.
01:04 - Some of the disciples from Caesarea also came with us, taking us to Mnason of Cyprus, a disciple of longstanding with whom we were to lodge.
01:14 - After we arrived in Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.
01:17 - And the following day, Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present.
01:23 - After he had greeted them, he began to relate one by one the things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.
01:31 - And when they heard it, they began glorifying God. “ So note, once again, the little details that Luke includes about the short trip from Caesarea, where he says that they stayed with Philip, one of the original seven deacons and his four daughters.
01:52 - And then he names the people and the place where they stayed overnight.
01:57 - Just a small little detail, you know, Mnason of Cyprus.
02:02 - Again, these were not important doctrines or theological insights, but just a simple set of factual details that give Luke’s account a proper historical and social and cultural credibility for his reader then, and for us today.
02:21 - We gain insight into the small details of Paul’s life.
02:26 - Spectacular things happened. We know that, we’ve read that, things like miracles and speaking in tongues, healings, but these are surrounded by everyday type details, how they traveled, where they stayed, so that Luke’s writing sounds and feels like what it was meant to be: an orderly narrative describing the dynamic ministry of both Peter and Paul in establishing the early church.
02:55 - Another point of interest here is the pattern established for the work and the cooperation between the missionary and the churches that had sent him and the churches that he planted during his missionary journeys.
03:10 - So we see that it is the church that sends out.
03:15 - Note that in Acts chapter 13, it was the church that sent Paul and Barnabas out into the mission field.
03:22 - And we read about that when we were covering Acts chapter 13, verses one, two, and three.
03:27 - Even though Paul had received this calling directly from God, he did not act on it until the church blessed and sent him on his way.
03:38 - Then there is the work of the missionary, whether it be as one person or a team of missionaries, the goal of those sent is not to do benevolence work or teach languages or provide medical care.
03:55 - The role of missionaries is to plant churches.
03:59 - Now, these other activities, these other benevolent type activities, I mean, they’re marvelous, they’re wonderful, they’re serving the people! And they can in the part of a larger strategy, but they’re not the goal in themselves.
04:12 - If you’ve gone out in the mission field and the only thing that you’ve established is a medical clinic, great for the people, you’re taking care of their bodies, but you haven’t provided anything for their souls.
04:23 - I mean, the work of the missionary, ultimately, is to plant a church, preach the gospel.
04:28 - And then there are, there’s the church that sends also oversees.
04:35 - Note that Paul would return and report on his work to the church at Antioch that sent him, and this time, the church in Jerusalem, he even visits the church in Jerusalem to give them a report because the leaders there had given their blessing to his work among the Gentiles.
04:52 - So he wanted to go back to let them know, you know, the result of the work that he had done.
04:57 - The churches that Paul planted were equipped with their own leaders, as they grew in maturity.
05:03 - We read about that in Titus chapter one, verse five, but Paul himself continued to report on his work to the churches that had originally sent and blessed his mission.
05:15 - So this is the pattern we follow with the missionary, both financially and socially, if you wish, what I mean is, this is what we do today.
05:26 - This is what they did then, and this is what we do today.
05:29 - We have a missionary that we support in Africa, in Kenya, Jeffery Karima.
05:36 - We also provide some partial support to Jean Almira in Haiti, but another congregation oversees his work, the church at Britain Road.
05:45 - But we are the church that sent Jeffrey, not to, but sent him to do the work in his home province of Meru.
05:56 - And we support him financially in this work.
06:00 - And he regularly reports to us about the progress of his work and the school, he has a school there as well that he serves, preacher training school.
06:11 - So we follow, here at Choctaw, we follow exactly the same model that we see in the New Testament.
06:18 - So Luke describes the scene where Paul is carefully detailing the work he has done among the Gentiles.
06:25 - And this report brings up an issue that has come up among those Christians converted from Judaism.
06:33 - And so we go to Acts chapter 21 and begin reading in verse 20.
06:39 - It says, “and they said to him, ‘You see brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believe, and they are all zealous for the Law.
06:47 - And they have been told about you, that you are teaching all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children, nor walk according to the customs. ‘” And so a problem arises.
07:04 - Many of the early Jewish converts to Christianity continued to keep their Jewish customs and religious practices.
07:14 - They maintained dietary restrictions as was their custom as following the Jewish faith.
07:23 - They practiced circumcision. They went to the temple, they celebrated the feasts.
07:30 - So these practices were permitted and tolerated in the early church, since the Jewish religion and culture were so intertwined.
07:39 - The only restriction by order of the apostles that we read about in Acts chapter 15, was that these things could not be imposed on other Jewish or Gentile believers as conditions for salvation, as the Judaizers had attempted to do.
07:58 - After the destruction of the temple in 70 AD, Christianity began to be viewed as a distinct religion, apart from Judaism, and this kind of dual practice, you know, that Jewish Christians had begun, began to disappear at that time.
08:18 - However, as this passage indicates, this practice was quite alive during the time of Paul’s ministry, these Jewish people who had been converted to Christianity who continued following in the tradition of the Jewish religion.
08:35 - So the problem seemed to be that there were some people who were spreading malicious accusations among these dual-practicing Jewish Christians, that Paul was teaching the churches that Jewish Christians had to abandon these traditions and customs and practices.
08:55 - What’s interesting is that he was being accused of teaching what the Judaizers had taught, but in reverse.
09:03 - Let me explain. The Judaizers, what they taught was you must keep the Jewish customs, especially circumcision, in order to become a Christian.
09:15 - The accusation against Paul was that he was teaching you must abandon Jewish customs, including circumcision, in order to become a Christian.
09:28 - The truth of course, was that to become a Christian, you needed to believe that Jesus was the son of God and express that faith in repentance and baptism, Acts chapter two, verse 38.
09:40 - Now whether you kept Jewish customs after that time, that was irrelevant, because in becoming a Christian, you became acceptable to God because of your faith in Jesus Christ, not what religious customs you maintained or abandoned.
09:57 - And Paul goes into this situation, explains this in detail, but in the book of Romans chapter 14.
10:07 - But at this particular time, these accusations were causing problems in the churches that were predominantly made up of these Jewish Christians, churches in and around Jerusalem.
10:20 - And so the leaders of the church in Jerusalem proposed the following solutions.
10:25 - So we pick up our passage back chapter 21. It says, “‘What then is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come.
10:34 - Therefore do this that we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow, take them and purify yourselves along with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads and all will know that there is nothing to the things which they have been told about you, but that you yourself also walk orderly, keeping the Law.
10:57 - But concerning the Gentiles who have believed, we wrote, having decided that they should abstain from meat sacrificed to idols and from blood, and from what is strangled and from fornication. ‘ Then Paul took the men, and the next day, purifying himself along with them, went into the temple giving notice of the completion of the days of purification until the sacrifice was offered for each one of them. “ So their suggestion to solve this problem is for Paul to join four Jewish Christians from the Jerusalem church who had, according to Jewish Law and custom, these men had taken vows, which were about to be completed.
11:47 - A little background on this. These vows were taken many times as a way of thanking God for answered prayers or thanking God for blessings they had received, or perhaps a taking a vow and asking God for a certain blessing.
12:09 - These vows were voluntary, but the Law regulated how they were to be carried out.
12:15 - We don’t have time to read this, but if you’re interested in Numbers chapter six, verses one to 21 talk about this.
12:22 - And so during the time of the vow, usually about three months, a person would not drink alcohol, a person would let his hair grow, his beard, and remain away from the dead, would not participate in funerals and things like that.
12:39 - Now, if a person broke the vow in some way, even by accident, they had to start all over again at the beginning.
12:47 - Once the time for the vow was ended, the person would then shave his hair, and then take that hair and burn it on the altar, along with a sacrifice.
12:57 - And so the proposal of the elders was that Paul join these Jewish Christian men for the last week of their vow, and then complete it with them by paying for and offering to sacrifice for each of them.
13:12 - Since he was, you know, he was well known and being watched very closely, his actions participating in and respecting Jewish customs and laws would put to rest the gossip and the accusations being made against him about these things.
13:29 - So this action would be in keeping with Paul’s attitude about such things, written about in his letter to the Corinthians.
13:37 - And I want to read that, it’s important idea.
13:39 - We’ll flip over to 1 Corinthians chapter nine.
13:45 - Paul writes here, “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all so that I may win more.
13:52 - To the Jews, I became a Jew so that I might win Jews, to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law, to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God, but under the law of Christ so that I might win those who are without law.
14:18 - So Paul, you know, basically is saying here, I’m flexible! I respect people’s positions on things in order to have the opportunity to preach the gospel to them so as to not offend them.
14:35 - In other words, if I go to the house of someone who is very sensitive about the meat being sacrificed to idols, in those days, they, at the marketplace where you bought produce and meat, some of that meat had come from pagan shrines and temples, from animals that had been offered in sacrifice.
14:55 - And now that meat was being sold in the marketplace.
14:59 - Many Christians in the early times were very sensitive about this idea.
15:04 - They felt that to eat meat, you know, that had been used in that way, would be wrong for them.
15:11 - And so, Paul, you know, his idea is, well, if I’m going to that person’s house for dinner, and someone suggests that we have this kind of meat that was offered to sacrifice, I won’t eat that meat because I don’t want to offend that individual.
15:26 - I want to win that individually for Christ.
15:30 - On the other hand, if I go to somebody else’s house and they have no qualms about this, and they’re serving the meat, well, then I’m going to eat whatever’s put in front of me.
15:39 - So the one who’s under the quote, the Law, I’m going to put myself under the Law.
15:43 - The one who feels free to do what he needs to do, you know, feels the freedom of Christ, well then I’m going to be free with that person.
15:53 - And so with that spirit, he enters in to this plan given to him by the elders in Jerusalem, in order to quell the gossip about him and denouncing the Law and so on and so forth.
16:11 - Alright, well, as we learn, all good plans, you know, run into trouble at some point.
16:19 - So let’s read what takes place, and go back to Acts chapter 21.
16:23 - It says, “When the seven days were almost over, the Jews from Asia, upon seeing him in the temple began to stir up all the crowd and laid hands on him, crying out, ‘Men of Israel come to our aid.
16:36 - This is the man who preaches to all men everywhere against our people and the Law and this place, and besides, he has even brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place. ‘ For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with him, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple.
16:59 - Then all the city was provoked and the people rushed together, and taking hold of Paul, they dragged him out of the temple, and immediately the doors were shut. “ So despite his best efforts, Paul is seized by the crowd in the temple area, falsely accused of doing exactly the opposite of what he was doing in the temple.
17:20 - Now you have to understand that Gentiles who were converted to Judaism could enter the temple court area and only remain in the court of the Gentiles, but they could not go further into the temple area, ‘cause this was reserved for Jewish man and another area reserved for Jewish women.
17:42 - There were actual signs that were posted, warning Gentiles that to cross the threshold into the Jewish area would be punishable by death.
17:52 - So as a Jew, Paul would naturally go into the Jewish section of the temple, along with the four Jewish Christians to offer sacrifice and to complete the vows, according to the plan, you know, offered him by the elders in the church.
18:10 - Luke writes that “Jews from Asia”, well who are the Jews from Asia? Well, they’re the Ephesians Jews from Ephesus who had caused trouble there, who recognized the Gentile Christian Trophimus, who was also from the Ephesian church and was accompanying Paul in Jerusalem.
18:32 - Now he was not one of the brothers who had taken the vows.
18:36 - So he was seen in the city, but he would not have been in the temple area.
18:41 - And so these Asian Jews used this as a, well, when I say Asian, from Asia, yeah let’s not get confused here.
18:49 - So these individuals use this as a pretext for accusing Paul of not only disrespecting Jewish Law and custom, but actually bringing a Gentile into the forbidden area of the temple.
19:03 - So Luke describes the seizing of Paul, and then the riot that ensues in chapter 21:31-36, they began beating him, but he is rescued by a centurion and his soldiers who arrest Paul and begin leading him away.
19:22 - Now Paul, not wanting to miss an opportunity to speak or to preach to his fellow Jews, asks his Roman guards permission to address the crowd.
19:33 - And let’s pick it up there in verse 37. It says, “As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he said to the commander, ‘May I say something to you?’ And he said, ‘Do you know Greek? Then you are not the Egyptian who some time ago stirred up a revolt and led the 4,000 men of the assassins out into the wilderness?’ But Paul said, ‘I am a Jew of Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city, and I beg you, allow me to speak to the people.
’ When he had given him permission, Paul, standing on the stairs, motioned to the people with his hand, and when there was a great hush, he spoke to them in the Hebrew dialect, saying,” the following.
20:15 - So when the centurion realizes that Paul is not some Jewish troublemaker, but a Roman citizen, and the significance of that is you could not arrest or punish a Roman citizen without due process of Roman law, he permits Paul to address the audience.
20:33 - Now Paul’s speech here is a recounting of his past life as a well-educated Pharisee bent on destroying the Christian faith and those who pursue it.
20:43 - He reminds his crowd that this is who he is.
20:47 - He goes on to describe his meeting with the Lord on the road to Damascus, his conversion and baptism, and then the vision he had in the temple, where God renewed the original mission for which he was called, and that is to bring the gospel to the Gentiles.
21:03 - As a Jew, Paul naturally returned to Jerusalem after his conversion, in order to preach to his fellow Jews, thinking that his past life and conversion would be a strong witness in converting these people.
21:18 - But God tells him in the vision that the Jews will not accept him.
21:22 - So he must bring the gospel to the Gentiles who will.
21:26 - Well, it’s at the mention of the Gentiles that the riot breaks out once again, and we read in verse 22, it says, “They listened to him up to this statement, and then they raised their voices and said, ‘Away with such a fellow from the earth, for he should not be allowed to live!’ And as they were crying out and throwing off their cloaks and tossing dust into the air, the commander ordered him to be brought into the barracks, stating that he should be examined by scourging so that he might find out the reason why they were shouting against him that way.
22:01 - But when they stretched him out with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who was standing by, “Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman and uncondemned?’ When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and told him, saying, ‘What are you about to do? For this man is a Roman. ’ The commander came and said to him, ‘Tell me, are you a Roman?’ And he said, ‘Yes. ’ The commander answered, ‘I acquired this citizenship with a large sum of money.
’ And Paul said, ‘But I was actually born a citizen. ’ Therefore, those who were all about to examine him immediately let go of him, and the commander also was afraid when he found out that he was a Roman, and because he had put him in chains.
22:43 - But on the next day, wishing to know for certain why he had been accused by the Jews, he released him and ordered the chief priests and all the Council to assemble, and brought Paul down and set him before them. “ So we see the importance of Paul’s Roman citizenship here, as the commander, over the centurion, halts the questioning and illegal torture they were about to inflict on Paul.
23:11 - Now, Paul’s citizenship was probably inherited from his father who was a citizen of the city of Tarsus located in the Roman province of Cilicia.
23:25 - His father probably obtained his citizenship because of his city’s service to Rome.
23:32 - Rome granted, not to everyone, but Rome granted automatic Roman citizenship to various cities and towns and regions that cooperated with the empire, paid their taxes, they didn’t put up a fight, you know? So this is probably the way that Paul’s father received his citizenship, and Paul inherited from his father.
24:00 - So Paul’s declaration of his citizenship is enough to stop the proceedings, since a false declaration of this was punishable by death, according to the law, and let’s face it, the soldiers had plenty of time to verify his claim, since he was in custody.
24:18 - If they were wrong about him, then their arrest and torture of a true Roman citizen would make them guilty of a serious crime.
24:27 - So they took his word for it because they knew they had plenty of time to verify his story.
24:33 - A compromise is found when they decide to release him from his chains and turn him over to the Jewish leaders for questioning, since this seemed to be a religious matter concerning the Jews and their religious beliefs and laws and not Roman law.
24:50 - Paul had not committed any crimes against Roman law, so turning him over to the Jews might resolve the matter without any more trouble and they wanted to find out why were the Jews so mad at this guy? Why did they want to kill him? And so now the scene changes.
25:07 - Paul is before the Jewish Council in Acts chapter 23, we read, “Paul, looking intently at the Council, said, ‘Brethren, I have lived my life with a perfectly good conscience before God up to this day. ’ The high priest Ananias commanded those standing beside him to strike him on the mouth.
25:27 - Then Paul said to him, ‘God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit to try me according to the Law and in violation of the Law order me to be struck?’ But the bystanders said, ‘Do you revile God’s high priest?’ And Paul said, ‘I was not aware, brethren, that he was high priest, for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people. ‘” So note that Paul is not treated as well by the Council, he’s struck in the face, as he was by the Romans.
26:03 - And he was struck in violation of Jewish Law at that.
26:08 - Now, his response is to point out the hypocrisy of the one meant to uphold the Law who actually uses his position to violate the Law with impunity.
26:19 - Doesn’t that sound familiar? (chuckles) Nothing new, people in power often, you know, abuse their power.
26:26 - Paul’s charge is that God will judge this action.
26:31 - Now, when it’s pointed out that the order was given by the high priest, Paul apologizes for speaking out against the office, not against the man, but against the office.
26:42 - He respects the office because it is a divinely appointed office.
26:47 - And also because the Law said that if an offense is committed by one in office, you had to bear it out of respect for the office, and trust God to do justice in a proper way, and at a proper time, Exodus chapter 22, verse 28, Luke only records the beginning of this inquiry.
27:12 - You know, this was not an official trial. It was only an inquiry called and organized by the Roman commander to find a possible charge that could be made against Paul that would be legal in a Roman court.
27:25 - So Luke only reports the beginning of this inquiry, you know, the slap and the response, and the end.
27:35 - He provides no details about the questions, and the answers, and the comments, you know, the back and forth discourse, no further information.
27:43 - So let’s keep reading in verse six. This is what happens at the end of the inquiry, how the inquiry ended.
27:53 - It says so, “But perceiving that one group were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, Paul began crying out in the Council, ‘Brethren, I’m a Pharisee, a son of a Pharisee.
28:02 - I am on trial for the hope and resurrection of the dead. ‘ As he said this, there occurred a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided.
28:13 - For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection nor an angel, nor a spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.
28:20 - And there occurred a great uproar, and some of the scribes of the Pharisaic party stood up and began to argue heatedly, saying, ‘We find nothing wrong with this man, suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?’ And as a great dissension was developing, the commander was afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them and ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force and bring him into the barracks.
” So Luke reveals how this meeting ended, so he describes how it starts, you know, between Paul and the high priest, and he describes how it ends.
28:58 - Now, I’ve pointed out in previous lessons, the major theological differences between the Sadducees, the party of priests, who only accepted the Pentateuch.
29:10 - In other words, they only accepted the first five books of the Bible as authoritative, okay? And thus rejected the prophets and the spirit beings, the miracles, life after death, all these things, they rejected, while the Pharisees accepted and believed all of these things.
29:31 - Luke describes how Paul, as a former Pharisee himself, cleverly exploits these differences in order to disrupt the meeting and disarm his Jewish enemy.
29:42 - Remember he’s there, and these people are trying to find a way to charge him with something that will result in his death.
29:54 - So Paul is using all of his, you know, considerable intellectual strength to figure a way out, or could we say that the Lord provides for him? It’d be easy to accept that the Lord provides for him this idea, these words, the strategy.
30:13 - Anyways, the clash between the two groups that ensues threatens to once again harm Paul.
30:19 - So the soldiers, once again, rescue him and detain him for his own safety, thus giving them time to consider their next move.
30:28 - So we read in verse 11, “But on the night immediately following, the Lord stood at his side and said, ‘Take courage, for as you have solemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also. ‘” So Luke provides information here that could have only come from Paul concerning a vision or revealing that Paul receives directly from the Lord concerning his present and future ministry of the gospels, you know, amid these circumstances.
31:03 - Okay, so we’ll stop right here. A couple of lessons that we can draw from the material we’ve covered today.
31:11 - Lesson number one, be patient with the process.
31:16 - Be patient with the process, even though the Bible explains the gospel in few words, you know, Jesus was God made man.
31:26 - He died to pay the moral debt for your sins.
31:30 - He was resurrected to prove that he is God, you are forgiven and have eternal life if you believe in Jesus, you are forgiven and have eternal life if you believe in Jesus and you express your faith through repentance and baptism.
31:50 - Now, for most people, understanding, internalizing, and responding correctly to these things can be a long process that takes many years.
32:01 - I mean, I mentioned, you know, some key ideas in the gospel, and it only took me what, it took me less than a minute to just say these ideas, but it takes more than a minute to absorb these ideas, to believe them to be true, and then to act on these things.
32:20 - So even if the Bible describes the mature Christian person in just a few strokes, who is the mature Christian person? Well, a person full of the spirit.
32:31 - If it’s a man, he loves his wife, as Christ loves the church, if it’s a woman, she’s the one who fears the Lord.
32:38 - What does the Bible say an excellent wife who’s worth is far above jewels those who are faithful and love the Lord.
32:46 - Different ways of describing people who are mature in Christ.
32:50 - Very easy, quick, to say, to describe these types of qualities of character, but the process in order to enter into these quality qualities of character can take a long, long time.
33:09 - It takes a long time for a man to be a mature spiritual leader in his home, and then cultivate mature spiritual leadership abilities in the church.
33:22 - The ideas are easy to understand, but the actual doing of them, not so much, right? So Paul’s willingness to take vows and submit himself to the maturity level of those who are weaker than himself demonstrated his willingness to be patient with the process of growing Christians.
33:45 - Maturing Christians. If your task in life, if your ministry in life is to serve the church in some way, to help brothers and sisters grow in their faith, grow spiritually, you have to be patient with the process.
34:02 - It takes a long time. Our natural and fleshly reaction to other people’s immaturity is to be angry at them or gossip or ridicule them, or avoid them altogether.
34:16 - Being patient with others as they go through the process of growing up, listen, growing up as teenagers, or growing up in Christ, our patience with that will guarantee that the Lord will continue to be patient with us as we move through the same process, but perhaps at some other point in the continuum of maturity.
34:40 - So let’s be patient with the process. We want God to be patient with us in the process.
34:47 - We need to be patient with one another as well.
34:49 - And then another lesson, God’s ways are not our ways.
34:54 - I don’t think that’s anything new. Paul wanted to appease those in the church who were causing his ministry trouble.
35:01 - If he could calm the rumors and gossip, he could then have the opportunity to reach out to his own people, fellow Jews in the city, at the center of Judaism, the city of Jerusalem.
35:14 - With this problem settled, he could then go from preaching to his own countrymen in Jerusalem to proclaiming the gospel in the city at the center of the Gentile world, and that would be Rome.
35:28 - The riot and his arrest must have been discouraging.
35:33 - Seeing his plan defeated, that wasn’t the plan! The plan was I get to preach at the temple to my people.
35:41 - That was the plan. Getting arrested and nearly killed was not in the plan.
35:48 - And so God appears to Paul and reminds him that the goals that he had were still intact, to preach at Jerusalem and Rome, but this would be done with God’s plan and God’s way, not Paul’s way.
36:03 - For example, he got to preach to a very large crowd in the temple, but he did so because of a riot and his subsequent arrest.
36:11 - And he will also preach at Rome, but not as a free man, as a prisoner, which the following years would confirm.
36:23 - You know, sometimes God uses trouble and pain in order to advance His will, not only for our life, but also for the life of other people.
36:33 - Don’t be angry and discouraged when bad things happen, it’s better to be still, and to be faithful, and to be listening, so you can discern what God is accomplishing through your suffering, or through your inconvenience, or through your waiting.
36:50 - Sometimes we have to wait for things. And we think that waiting is a waste of time, but no, if we are waiting patiently, depending on the Lord, if we are waiting patiently, offering our prayers and confidence in the Lord, that type of waiting is not wasted.
37:10 - It builds tremendous spiritual character and patience into our souls.
37:19 - So don’t be angry, as I say, and don’t be discouraged when bad things happen.
37:26 - Better still, be faithful, be listening, so you can discern what God is accomplishing through your suffering and inconvenience.
37:34 - I think I mentioned that before, but it’s worth repeating.
37:37 - Sometimes simply maintaining your faith in the storm of life is itself the objective that God has in mind.
37:47 - You know, you wonder, wow, well God, why did I go through all of this? And what’s the result of this? And the answer could be, well, I just wanted to see how you would react to a storm or a trial.
38:00 - Yeah, there is no other end game. The only end game is I was testing you.
38:03 - I wanted to see, would you be faithful through all of this? Would you abandon me? Would you curse me? Would you stop believing me? If I put you into a storm of life, if I put you into a trial, sometimes that’s the only thing that that means, will we be faithful? So we need to remember that God’s ways of achieving spiritual things inside and outside of us is not always ever our own way of achieving spiritual things.
38:37 - We have good plans, you know, to achieve spiritual things.
38:41 - But we have to remember that the way God achieves spiritual things in us, not always our plan, okay? And we have to be patient with that.
38:50 - All right, so our assignment for next week, Acts 23:12 to Acts 25:12.
38:57 - We really are closing in to the end. Appreciate you reading up ahead of time so that we can kind of go through the material more quickly.
39:06 - Thank you very much, we’ll see you next week, God bless you. .