The Christian Testimony

Paul Shares His Testimony

Book of Acts Chapter 22

How important is our testimony?

Our testimony should reveal to others the truth of what God has done in our lives.

The opportunity to testify about the Lord Jesus Christ and the salvation that comes only by Him, often happens in unexpected places and under a variety of circumstances.

We should take a look at our own testimony and refine it to keep it short and to the point, keeping it full of the truth of our own lives.

We must always be prepared to give our testimony because we will be asked, “how is your life different today because you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior”?

We should lead a noticeably different lifestyle than we had prior to the meeting the Lord and our testimony should include this change!

How we came to trust the Lord as our Savior is important to mention.

What difference Jesus has made in our lives is important to mention.

God will use our testimony if we allow Him to do so!

In our lesson today, the Apostle Paul had come to this place where God caused him to give his testimony to strangers.

Even before a riotous mob is a good time to give our testimony!

We will see that Paul’s defense of his character became his offence as he witnessed to the things the Lord Jesus had done for him.

*Act 22:1 Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you.
Act 22:2 (And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,)

Here we have an innocent man, the Apostle Paul, who could not be heard because of the noise of this mob finally get a chance to defend himself before being carried off by these Roman guards.

We should know that these Roman Soldiers main job was to protect the Temple and the grounds of the Temple.

Antonio Fortress was located on the northwest corner and connected to the wall of the Temple, and someone would always be on guard to see what was going on at the Temple.

It was King Herod who had caused this to happen. This was Herod’s Temple, (the second Temple) in many views because he had spent so much money to rebuild this Temple into a showcase in Israel.

Disturbances in the Temple were sometimes dealt with harshly.

Paul was an innocent man of the things he was accused.

Paul was trying to appease the elders of the church in Jerusalem by compromising his own beliefs and it was not working out very well for him.

Notice it was not the local Jews who had stirred up this people, it was some trouble makers from out of town.

Paul loved this people.

Paul spoke in the local language which this crowd was not expecting, and these Roman soldiers would not understand much of what he said.

It is a fact that Paul would have been murdered had it not been for the work of these soldiers and this crowd could have easily overcome these few soldiers that came to put an end to this riotous mob.

The Apostle Paul was willing to face death, if it would be cause for some these Jews to be saved.

What did Paul have to say?

*Act 22:3 I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.
Act 22:4 And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.

In Paul’s testimony he began with what he used to be.

We all as Christians have a life that we used to be.

“We are no longer used to be s”!

It had now been about twenty-five years since Paul, at that time called by the name Saul, met the Lord Jesus Christ upon the Damascus Road.

There may have been a few that recognized Paul from those early days, but most of them would not have known anything about the Apostle Paul, past, or at that present time.

Paul wanted them to know that he was a Jew and Jerusalem had been his home for many years.
Paul wanted them to know he was just as much a Jew as any of them were.
Paul was born in Tarsus but he was raised in Jerusalem. His mother, and his grandmother were Jews, which made him a Jew.
Paul had come to Jerusalem at a very young age because his mother and his grandmother knew it was at Jerusalem where the best schools were located.

Act 26:4 My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews;

Paul was educated on the strictest laws of the Jews and became a Pharisee.

Act 26:5 Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.

Paul was now being judged by certain trouble-making Jews, because he believed all the Word of God.

Those same laws taught of the coming Messiah, which Paul believed had already come as the Lord Jesus Christ as promised by Jehovah.

Act 26:6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers:

Paul had always been zealous in keeping of the Law and had never forsaken it!

Paul claimed he had never forsaken the practice and the customs of the Mosaic Law and he had not.

Paul claimed he was as much a practicing Jew as those who accused him.

Paul even shared that part of his life which was hostile to the Church.

Many of those present knew this to be true of the Jewish High priests and the elders of Jerusalem, who had also been a part of the persecution of the Church.

*Act 22:5 As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.

The High Priests knew these things to be true!

Remember how the position of the High Priest had remained in one family since before the days of Jesus and was still in that family, none of them being the descendants of Aaron.

The High Priest was no more than a politician who remained friendly to Rome.

Those elders were all members of the Sanhedrin court and they could have acknowledged that what Paul was saying was the truth, but they refused to do so.

Act 9:1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
Act 9:2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

Paul explained that with his religious training and zealous devotion, only a radical, supernatural event could have altered him to what he was on that day, a child of God.

Some of same mob that was ready to stone Paul was now ready to embrace him.

Paul describes his meeting with the Lord Jesus Christ adding to his testimony.

*Act 22:6 And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me.
Act 22:7 And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
Act 22:8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.

There is only One who can save and He is the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ!

The Lord Jesus will get personal with us if we allow Him to.

The Lord Jesus will aways seek us out to save us!

The reason that the “noon” time is mentioned is because it seems the sun is always brightest at noon time.

Yet, the Lord Jesus Christ will outshine the sun.

2Pe_1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

The Lord Jesus Christ is the “Day Star”!

The Lord Jesus Christ is a Nazarene not because of some pledge that was made, but because for a while He made Nazareth His home.

Joh_1:46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.
Joh 1:47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!
Joh 1:48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.
Joh 1:49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.

Paul said he was overwhelmed by the things that were taking place around him that day, and he fell to the ground and it was then that he heard the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ, the “Voice” of God.

The Lord Jesus has always been the “Voice” of God!

Notice how the Lord Jesus addressed Paul by name.

Notice that all sin is against our Savior. He is the One who commands us to live righteously.

In fact, this is what the Mosaic Laws were all about, God’s directions for living righteously. Our School Master.

Gal 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Gal 3:25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

Paul was not sure until that Heavenly Voice said “why persecutest thou me”?

Try to explain these things to the Lord and you will find that you cannot!

Why do we treat our Creator like we do?

In today’s world God is rejected.

Climate Change is all about rebelling against God.

God has said we will have all four of the seasons until He returns.

There were many witnesses to this event the only thing they did not understand was the “Voice” of God.

They heard the “Voice” but they could not understand what was being said.

This world has not changed much since that day.

God is speaking through His many voices and His many Scriptures, but the world knows He is speaking but they have chosen to close their ears to understanding.

Eph 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
Eph 5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
Eph 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

*Act 22:9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.
Act 22:10 And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.
Act 22:11 And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus.

We know that the Lord Jesus addresses each of us personally, so it is not unusual for those around Paul not to hear what was said.

We know that the Holy Spirit had been working on Paul since the day that Stephen was murdered.

Paul had not cast a single stone, but he had held the coats of those that did.

We also know that when God saves us He does not remove us from our surroundings, He just gives us a new purpose and a new hope.

This is why it is called “faith”! We must trust God’s plan for us!

We have to make our own trip to a spiritual Damascus.

Paul had to finish his trip to Damascus to know God’s plan for him.

Paul had spent three years opposing Christianity and he would spend the rest of his life promoting Christianity.

We should not have to spend the rest of our days defending our actions while serving the Lord with all our heart.

Those traveling with Paul could not know the truth of what was happening.

All they saw was something they could not explain.

Paul continued on to Damascus, led there because he could not see for the Glory of that Light called Jesus.

God had already explained these things to a man named Ananias, who had a fear of Paul because of Paul’s reputation.

Paul had seen these things in a vision because he could not see with his eyes.

Act 9:12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
Act 9:13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:
Act 9:14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
Act 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
Act 9:16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

So Paul went to Damascus.

Paul was a chosen vessel to bear the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and some of those people would be Gentiles in many nations.

Some those people would be kings and those in the governments of many nations.

Some of those people would be the children of Israel who had been scattered in many nations because they had rebelled against Jehovah God.

Act 26:16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
Act 26:17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
Act 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

The Lord Jesus had made a remarkable promise to His Apostles when He forewarned them of some things they would encounter when serving Him.

Serving the Lord will not always be easy.

God told His Apostles that when they were delivered up to councils, and rulers, and kings, for His sake, to take no thought of what they should speak, but that the Holy Spirit would speak at that time.

Mar 13:9 But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.
Mar 13:10 And the gospel must first be published among all nations.
Mar 13:11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.

This too is a sign proving we are in the last days!

Paul may have been the beginning of these things as he stood on the stairs leading to the castle of Herod at Antonio’s Fortress.

A Jewish mob even caused fear in these Roman soldiers who were greatly outnumbered.

They would be throwing dirt up into the air and ripping their clothing, surely acting like true heathens.

We could say Paul was lucky to have escaped them if we did not recognize the providence of God in all situations.

Paul was now a prisoner in the hands of heathen masters in the very unhappy country of Israel.

Paul, not a very big man, was loaded down with the chains of this world, yet he asked for a moment to speak to this unruly mob.

Surely the Holy Spirit was leading Paul to speak and he began this speech by giving his own testimony.

This is how important it is for us to have our testimony prepared for the day or the days it will become necessary.

Paul apologized for the persecution he had caused to the Church.

Paul had nothing to hide for his actions and he did not try to. These things were well known by many in this crowd he was speaking to.

Paul could have stopped with these things, but Paul had also made a promise to his Redeemer.

The church at Jerusalem needed to know that the Gospel would be preached to Gentiles throughout this world and that the Jews and the Gentile were to become one in Christ Jesus.

Paul spoke in simplicity, because the message of the Gospel is a simple message, but what could be seen is that Paul now had a great zeal for the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ and the salvation of all men in every nation.

We sometimes forget that we are all in this thing together and it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that unites all Christians.

What we witness in our nation today is the fact, there is a close connection between ignorance and violence.

Those in power today try to rule without righteousness!

Paul was a true Jew, and he loved his Jewish heritage, but it would be the fact that he was also a Roman that would benefit him the most for him now.

The conflict we see in America today is not between Christianity and political power, but it is between the truth of Christianity and false religion.

Corrupt so-called Christianity must be swept out of the way so the truth of the Gospel can take its stand and continue to stand until the Lord returns.

It is the Gospel that must reach all around the world to each individual, before the Lord can return because this is what the Lord has said.


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