- Go On Offense means step forward, especially when life is hard
- Acts 25-26 demonstrate how the Apostle Paul pivoted into a difficult situation and saw God work on his behalf.
Christians are different, our pain and challenges in life do not make us bitter, they draw us closer to our Savior and make us sweeter.
Kingdom power means christians play offense more than they play defense. Paul the wonderful apostle demonstrates such things are possible during his time with hostile authorities in Caeserea.
In the chapters 25/26 Paul is not exactly on trial, at best it can be called a hearing, at worst a legal sham. The apostle goes on offense in the most cunning way—with no fear, he engages in a strategy that works—forcing the devil to show his cards.
On Sunday I embellished a few things about Bernice in order to illustrate a few truths, here are the facts.
Her great grandfather was Herod the Great, the same man last found trying to kill Jesus when he was born. She was married at least twice, and was known to have a few lovers, in particular a man named Titus, who dumped her before becoming Caesar, mainly because Rome was against having a Jew in Caesar’s bed. That should tell you all you need to know about the hostilities the church faced, especially since Titus loved Bernice, but not enough to choose her over the throne.
Her brother was King Herod Agrippa, and together they enjoyed the favor of Rome. Turns out Agrippa was a decent King, although I like to think of him more as a Mayor than a king, mainly because his jurisdictions and authority was limited. One of Agrippa’s strengths was understanding the Jews, and finding ways for Rome and Jerusalem to work together.
He was Governor of the region and as seen in the text, was a slimy politician. Paul is accused of corruption but the fact is Festus is corrup. Paul is so clean, Festus needs to bring him before Agrippa in order to see if he can makes something up since Paul is now to be sent to a young man in Rome named Nero. Festus does not want to be on the wrong side of Nero, and for good reason.
Here is the main application from the message.
1. Speak The Truth. cf Acts 25:8
Paul defends himself by saying he has done nothing wrong, and mentions “the law, Temple and Caesar” as his innocence.
2. Know Your Rights. cf Acts 25:11
Paul appeals to Caesar forcing Festus to make a determination, did Paul break the law or not. In sending Paul to Rome Festus leaves himself open to incompetency.
Here are the spiritual rights of God’s children:
Right to be children of God (John 1:12)
Right to never face condemnation from God (Romans 8:1)
Right to cast demons away (Colossians 2:15)
3. Believe God Is At Work. cf Acts 25:13-27
4. Verbally Share A Personal Testimony. cf Acts 26
Here is how to do it: share a personal Jesus story, and ask questions.
5. Mature Into Good Sound Theology. cf Acts 26
6. Pivot Strong Against Oppostion
Check out these online resources for possible future helps:
I highly recommend Ravi Zacharias Ministries, and two other helps on YouTube. One is from a Jew, Dennis Prager, and his platform is called Dennis Prager University. It’s not a real university but does a great job at the popular level of addressing many ethical dilemmas. The last help is also found on YouTube and is called the Bible Project, and their work and ministry is self explanatory.
7. Kneel. Sit. Stand. Run