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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

Accusations Against Paul (Acts 24)

The Apostle Paul was warned not to go to Jerusalem. He obeyed God and went anyway. He was arrested and appeared before Claudius, Felix, King Agrippa, and Caesar. But what was Paul's crime? He disagreed with the establishment and voiced his opinion.

That's hard to believe isn't it? It's hard to believe that Paul would be put on trial for simply disagreeing with the establishment about sin, death, and salvation and voicing his opinion on that? But it's true.

In Acts 21, Paul is warned by multiple disciples not to go to Jerusalem. But Paul responded in Acts 21:13, "I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus." Paul obeyed God and went on to Jerusalem.

In Acts 21:30 the Jews seized Paul and started beating him.

In Acts 22, Paul gave his defense, his testimony of how Jesus changed his life.

In Acts 23, Paul gave his defense before the Sanhedrin. But because he disagreed with the Jewish establishment on sin, death, and salvation, they rioted against him and schemed to put him to death.

In Acts 24, Paul stands trial before Governor Felix. There he was accused of being a pest and having a different opinion.

Acts 24:5 For we have found this man a real pest and a fellow who stirs up dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.

Translation, Paul believed salvation was by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, not by works and not by circumcision:

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

This is why he was on trial. He believed that sin separates us from God. Sin, being anything God says is wrong, according to His Word. He believed that we could not do enough good to repay even one of our sins. He believed that only by repenting of sin and trusting in Jesus' sacrifice in our place, could we have eternal life.

That is why Paul was on trial. He was on trial for preaching the good news, the gospel message of salvation in Jesus Christ alone.

But we don't have to worry about that today, right?

In the United States, we are supposed to be protected by the 1st Amendment to the Constitution which says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Yet in reality, what we see today is the same as what we saw in Paul's day.

The Jews were bent out of shape at the thought that they were guilty of sin and could only find forgiveness for their sins by repenting and trusting in Jesus.

People today are bent out of shape at the same thought; that we believe in God's definition of sin in the Bible. That we believe that we all have sinned and can only have eternal life through repenting of our sins and trusting in Jesus sacrifice in our place.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Having these thoughts are offensive to people today just as Paul's thoughts were offensive to the Jews in his day.

So not much has changed in the last 2,000 years, worldwide. But Paul gives us an example to follow. He didn't fight with people over, "what is sin?"

He focused on sharing his personal faith story:

  • what his life was like before he met Jesus

  • how he met Jesus

  • what his life was like after he met Jesus

He shared with his oppressors that God loves them and wants them to know the finished work of salvation provided for them on the cross of Jesus Christ.

That's what our focus needs to be; sharing our faith story and sharing the gospel message of salvation through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Share God's love through the person of Jesus. Share the life change you have experienced through faith in Jesus. God is calling us to be light in the darkness. He is calling us to share His love with a world who does not know Jesus but desperately needs Him. Will you share your faith story with someone today?

Jan Weihl

Living Word Ministries

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