Paul upheld by God

Published 3:02 pm Friday, August 27, 2010

Scripture: Acts 28:16-31

Aim: To instruct the pupil in the affairs of Paul upon his arrival to Roman prison. To encourage the pupil to remain faithful even in difficult times.

Golden Text: “Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it” (Acts 28:28).

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The apostle Paul was imprisoned at Caesarea for two years. He was brought back to Jerusalem for a trial before the high priest and the chief Jews because they were intent upon killing him. At that time, Paul made an appeal to be tried at the court of Caesar. He was then sent to Rome for trial (Acts 27:1-4). After several stops, a ship wreck and an adventure on the island of Melita, the soldiers and Paul arrived in Rome (Acts 28:14-15).

I. Paul was housed in a separate place from other prisoners with a Roman guard (vs. 16). Paul was not placed in the prison house, but placed in a house where he lived with a prison guard.

II. Paul called for the Jews of Rome to come visit him (vs. 17-20). After three days Paul called the leaders of the Jews to meet with him in the house where he was a prisoner (vs. 17). Paul explained to them why he was a Roman prisoner (vs. 17-20).

First, Paul assured them that he had committed no offense against the Jewish people or their customs. Yet he was sent to Rome as a prisoner (vs. 17).

Second, the Roman leaders wanted to release Paul and set him free (vs. 18).

Third, the Jewish high priest and other leaders of the Jews wanted to have Paul executed (vs. 19). Therefore, Paul appealed to Caesar. As a Roman citizen it was necessary that Paul be sent to Rome to be tried (Acts 26:32; 28:19). Paul explained to the Jews that he was bound in chains because he believed and practiced the “hope of Israel” (vs. 20).

III. The response to Paul was mixed (vs. 21-24). They expressed that they had not received any word from Palestine regarding Paul (vs. 21-22). They knew nothing about Paul’s case but they desired to hear about his faith and belief (vs. 22).

Upon an appointed day many Jews came to Paul’s house to hear from him (vs. 23-24). He expounded to them the kingdom of God as revealed in the law of Moses and the prophets all day long (vs. 23). Some believed the words of Paul, but many did not receive Paul’s words. In Rome as elsewhere there was a controversy about Paul and his ministry (vs. 24).

IV. These events led Paul to declare the rebellion of Israel and affirm that God was in the process of calling a people for Himself from among the Gentiles (vs. 25-27). Paul quoted from Isaiah declaring that the Jewish people refused to hear and believe the truth of God. The Jews became hard hearted and refused to see or hear the truth that God intends to save the Gentiles.

The result is that Paul now, more than ever before, is certain that God intends to save those Gentiles who will hear and believe the Gospel (vs. 28). Paul finished his sermon and the Jews left reasoning among themselves (vs. 29).

Paul was in prison with his own hired household and a prison guard. He received those who came to visit. Paul spent these two years preaching and ministering to many people who came to visit and hear him. Many were converted as Paul ministered from his prison house.

Christian, what are you doing for the honor and glory of your Savior?

Are you a witness for Him?

Do you take a clear cut stand on Christ’s side?

May God help each of us to be faithful to the Lord.