Talks for Growing Christians
Paul’s defense before the Mob in the Temple Courts
Lesson Number 34
- Believers are expected to witness faithfully.
- Believers are not expected to suffer needlessly.
- Don’t run ahead of the Lord.
- Review the context of Acts 22.
- How did the Roman soldiers get to the Temple courts so quickly to rescue Paul?
- Explain Acts 21:2: “And when they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, they kept all the more silent.”
- Is Acts 22:16 saying that you are saved through baptism? “Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”
- Why was the Roman commander so startled to hear that Paul was a Roman?
- In the previous chapter we had the record of Paul’s arrest in the Temple Courts in Jerusalem. Paul was falsely accused of bringing a Gentile into the inner courts of the Temple Complex. The Jewish mob had dragged Paul out of the inner courts and was beating him up and might have killed him if the Roman military forces hadn’t intervened.
- Along the northwest corner of the Temple platform was the Antonia Fortress. This was the barracks of Roman soldiers and commanders. There were stairs leading fro the Temple Court of the Gentiles up into the Antonia Fortress.
- Most of the Jews from around the Roman Empire spoke Greek, so him speaking Hebrew, the mother tongue of the people living in the Land, certainly caught the attention of his audience.
- No, we know from other clear teachings in the New Testament that baptism does not save anyone. A better translation of this verse would be, “Having arisen, be baptized, and have your sins washed off by calling on the name of the Lord.” Calling on the name of the Lord is how you have your sins removed. Baptism is symbolic of your identification with Christ who has washed away your sins.
- It was unlawful to scourge or even bind a Roman citizen before he was proven guilty. To scourge Paul would have put this commander in danger of losing his rank and maybe even his life.
- When Paul witnessed to the Jewish mob that had just beaten him, he started with his own personal testimony. This is an effective technique for evangelism, because no one can argue with your own personal experience. Review your testimony. How could you use it in an opportunity for witnessing?
- When the Lord called Paul He only revealed to him the next step in his walk of faith. In the same way the Lord will guide us step by step. Don’t run ahead of the Lord.
- “I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia…taught according to the strictness of our fathers’ law, and was zealous toward God as you all are today.” Acts 22:3
- “And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’… ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’” Acts 22:7-8
- “Take care what you do, for this man is a Roman.” Acts 22:26