Bahan Alkitab: Acts 21-28, Romans 1:16,17, Romans 5:3
God sent Paul to Rome Acts 21-28
Image 1 ( time line )
Jesus was crucified, died, resurrected on the third day. After that for another 40 days He was with his disciples to be with them in bodily form which was evident that he was crucified and died. He even ate with them.
He ascended to heaven, 10 days later God the father and God the Son send the Holy Spirit on The Pentecost Day. They speak in tongue and everybody understands That day 3000 people believe in Jesus Christ.
Review Acts 1-20
The day of Pentecost .
God the Father and God the Son send the Holy Spirit to be the helper of the believers as promised by Jesus . The helper will stay with us forever.
- The Holy Spirit empowered the Apostles and disciples to witness to the Jews and later to the Greeks and gentiles that Jesus Christ is the promised messiah.
- The Holy Spirit also regenerate sinners to be born again.
- The Holy Spirit sanctify the believers to live holy.
- The Holy Spirit lead people to The Truth.
- The Holy Spirit comfort us, help us, rebuke us when we sin.
- The Holy Spirit live with the believers forever.
The day of Pentecost is the day the birth of The Church. 3000 people believe. After that the numbers of believers increased very fast. The apostles, and the believers learn the word of God and witness for The Gospel boldly. There are many believers, there are also many who hardened their hearts . Saul was there to witness how the people stoned Stephen to death. Later when Saul on the way to Damascus to persecute more Christians God reveal to him, God strikes him with a bright lights and his eyes were blinded and God told him that he is persecuting him when he persecute Christians. Paul is a transformed man from somebody who persecuted the followers of Christ to somebody who proclaim the Gospel and lead people to Christ. Not only He is not afraid to suffer for Christ, he is willing to die for Christ.
From this we learn that God justified us through the blood of Jesus once and for all. When we accepted Christ as our saviour He took all our sins and cleanse us and He imputed His righteousness to us. So our status changed from sinners to righteous the time we accepted Christ. However our condition is not righteous. We are still sinners that could fall into sin, we will be sanctify by the Holy Spirit until we meet God in this case ( this week lesson ) through sufferings. We can see from the life of the Apostles, they suffered for Christ. They were persecuted, imprisoned, flogged until they die for example Stephen, but he has joy in his heart. The disciples never give up in witnessing for Christ because they know the Gospel is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes. Romans 1:16 – 17
In Acts 21-28
We can see how Paul was transformed from persecuting Christians to the most courageous disciple to witness for Christ. God led him to witness to the gentiles, rulers of Roman Empire and King at that time as Paul has a unique background, he is a Roman citizen and he can speak in Hebrew and Greek (regarded as high academic). This is the work of the Holy Spirit. After he went 3 times of his missionary trips.
After preaching the Gospel in many areas of Macedonia and Greece. Paul sailed back to Israel, sailing past Cyprus, he made his first stop in Tyre and then Cesarea.
In Cesarea, the prophet Agabus came to Paul, he said The Jews at Jerusalem will bind him and deliver Paul to the hands of the Gentiles.
Paul didn’t fear prison or beatings. He went to Jerusalem and went to the temple grounds.
When Jews saw Paul in the temple, they were angry and they stirred up a mob by telling people lies that Paul taught rebellion against the Jews and the laws given by Moses.
The Mob dragged Paul out of the temple ground and wanted to kill him. But the Roman cohort ran to rescue Paul and take him away to the barracks.
According to Roman Officials Paul was to be blamed for the disturbance in the temple ground. But Paul speak to the Jews his faith in Christ but They didn’t want to listen.
To protect Paul, the Romans having known that Paul is Roman citizen, they put him in barracks but The Lord told Paul
Take courage for as you have solemnly witness to my cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also. Acts 23:11
The next day 40 Jews gathered , they took the oath that they would neither eat or drink until they had killed Paul. Unknown to them a young man heard about the evil plan. He is Paul ‘s nephew.
His mother sent him to Paul. When Paul heard about the evil plot he sent the young man to the Roman commander. The commander quickly made plans to save Paul from this conspiracy.
The Roman commander (Claudius Lysias) secretly fathered 200 soldier and took Paul to Jerusalem down by the sea to Jerusalem .
In Caesarea Paul was held as prisoner until he could face trial. He witness to Felix the corrupt governor about Christ. But he didn’t want to believe. Paul’s friends also visited him in prison.
Finally God led Paul to meet King Agrippa and Bernice his wife/ sister. He share his testimony with the King and a large audience. King Agrippa almost believed the Gospel.
Paul appealed to Caesar so they brought him to Rome.
He was taken by a ship to Rome.
But again he witness boldly to the men on the ship, they faced a bad storm and were safely on shore, they learned they were on the island of Malta. Again Paul witness to the people in Malta, they saw how poisonous snake bite didn’t kill Paul. They think he was God. He also prayed for the chief of island , Publius’ father who was sick and he was healed. Many sick people were healed after Paul prayed for them. 3 months after that , they set sail another ship to Rome. On the way, they stopped at Puteoli where Paul met some Christians. Paul thanked God and felt encouraged every time he met Christians. Finally he arrived in Rome. He spoke to the Jewish leaders and explained why he was chained and he appealed to Caesar. He told them the Messiah has already come. He explained and persuade them about Jesus from the scriptures using the law of Moses and the books of the prophets, he spoke to them from morning until evening. Some believe and some did not. Paul said this salvation from God has also been offered to the gentiles and they will accept it. For the next 2 years Paul boldly teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ. Christians believe Paul was beheaded in Rome.
There are 4 types of sufferings :
1. When we sin, the consequences of our sin is we suffer. For example people who is a drug addicts, we could get AIDS because sharing the needles.
2. When somebody sin and we suffer. If someone burn the forest and we inhale the smoke for some time we could get lung cancer.
3. When there is natural disaster like earthquake in Aceh, people who lives in that area lost their houses and their possessions. They have no place to live.
4. When you witness for God, people may hate us, persecute us, create false accusation on us, refuse to be our friends. So we suffer for The Gospel, we suffer for Christ just like Paul but he is not sad, he has joy in his heart. Romans 5:3
Why the Gospel is considered shameful :
For the Jewish – those who are hanged on a trees is considered cursed ( Deuteronomy 21:22)
For the Greek – it is considered foolish , they worship academics .
For the Romans – it is considered weak . No worldly empire / kingdom to safe us .
Questions to ponder :
1. King Agrippa almost believe. What about us ?
2. When we believe, our status is immediately changed from dinner to righteous. But we are continuously sanctified by the Holy Spirit through His Words.
3. Why did Paul say he is not ashamed of the Gospel?