GOD ESTABLISHES HIS CHURCH IN THE WORLD
Speaking Boldly for the Lord
Jerry A Collins
∑ Should we expect our ministry to benefit others?
∑ Do our trials make us more useful to God?
∑ How are Godís purposes vindicated through us?
A necessary characteristic of all followers of Jesus Christ is the courage and conviction to speak out boldly in His name. The reason why this is a necessary trait is because of the need to do so. The need arises from the natural opposition that exists in the heart of man against this name and all it stands for. Speaking boldly for the Lord is required for us. The world around us, the relationships amongst us, the society we live in, must hear this message and it will demand courage and boldness in order to deliver it to them. Not so that they will believe it but so that they will hear it. That is our job. So, appropriate to the priorities of the book of Acts, we have one more bold proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. One last courageous and bold proclamation risking rejection yet again. Should we be relentless in our proclamation as well? Why? How is God at work through this bold and courageous activity?
1. A FINAL PAUSE BEFORE THE CLIMAX 1-10
of events on
mercy from God is now found in the hospitality of the people of this island.
The rain & cold; the wet & chilled are relieved by the warm fire and
provision of the natives. Interesting that though the apostle has been the
voice of God throughout, he is now serving in the simplest of ways collecting
sticks to cast on the fire. This is a Christ-like quality by the way. The same Saviour who washed His disciples
feet and who could say I have come not to
be served but to serve is again visible now in His servant here. If you
become too big to do little things then you are too little to be much use to
God! The incident with the fire and the snake was misunderstood by the natives.
First the expected him to die and then determined him to be a god when he did
not die from the venomous snakebite. Paulís calmness conspicuous but he had
faith in Godís repeated promises to deliver him to
(5-6) Somehow the carnal mind cannot grasp the actual realties involved and misreads these in one way or another (1 Cor ). Yet Luke wants a true assessment of Paul to be made as the book draws to a close.
(7-8) So with the trials of the voyage past and the attack of the serpent over, from now on the comforts of God will prevail for Paul! It begins with the hospitality of Publius who welcomed and entertained them for 3 days. Here he also heals his father.
(9-10) This miracle attracted others with physical needs who were
also healed. So Paul and his party are benefited by the natives and every
provision is made for the continuation of the journey. As those on board the
ship owed their lives to Paulís presence, so then his presence on
2. A FINAL TOKEN OF GODíS GOODNESS 11-15
(11-14) The remainder of the journey recorded here and fully marked
by the help and encouragement of God. Interesting that the ship they now take
hails again from
Here in this final segment is a focus on Paulís concluding witness to Jews.
(16-17) The lightness of Paulís confinement is a new mercy from the Lord. God is arranging the circumstances that enable Paulís witness in that city. After 3 days he summons leading Jews to establish good relations showing he has no antagonism toward them tho the Jews have toward him. The truth of God has now passed into Gentile custody.
legal course was forced upon him by Jewish antagonism. He has no intention of
accusing their nation before
The day arrives and he explains, solemnly testifies
The gathering breaks up in disagreement and once again
(28-31) Due to this blindness the Gentiles acquire their own opportunity to hear and that is Paulís real purpose for being in Rome and these Jews validate Godís wisdom in sending Paul here. After all Paul has passed thru, his bold and unrestrained service to His Master is a profound encouragement to us that like him we serve a sovereign Lord in whose name we may dare to be bold and in whose purposes no man can hinder.
(1) So we continue to preach His kingdom during extended age for which Book of Acts simply furnish a challenging introduction.
(2) Determine not to be deterred.