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PAUL'S TESTIMONY

Christianity Oasis Ministry has provided you with this Paul's Testimony Daily Bread Bible Study. We'll be looking into that and all aspects of the Christian Walk. This SON-derful study reveals truth as to bring forth understanding and peace within.

THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES

CHAPTER 22


PAUL'S TESTIMONY

Welcome to our Christianity Oasis Daily Bread study program. This is our Paul's Testimony Bible study on the story of Paul's Testimony in the Bible and how it affects your be-YOU-tiful Christian walk.

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CHECK OUT THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES STUDY FROM THE BEGINNING

ACTS BIBLE STUDY



THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES

CHAPTER 22

Welcome back to Daily Bread! I know you're as anxious as I am to know what Paul said to the people as he stood on the castle steps in chains, but let me first remind you of why he's there. The Jewish people found out that he was in Jerusalem and Paul had a reputation among the Jewish people that he turned people against the law, when in fact, he was just trying to tell them about the New Testament that God had given to the people through Jesus death, of remission of sins through repentance. Now, Paul stands in front of the people, and tries to say, Hey, I used to be like you, but Jesus opened my eyes. Let's look in and see what he says to them.

PAUL'S TESTIMONY STUDY ON PAUL'S TESTIMONY STORY WITH PAUL'S TESTIMONY MESSAGE

Men, brethren, and fathers, listen to my defense, that I present to you now. (He spoke in Hebrew to them, so they paid even closer attention, and he said,) I am truly a man of Jewish heritage, born in Tarsus, a city of Cilicia, but brought up in this city with the instruction of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as you all are today. I persecuted this new church (Christians) to the death, imprisoning both men and women. The high priest, and all the elders will tell you, I requested letters from them to the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring those who were bound there, to Jerusalem to be punished. And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was nearing Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light around me. I fell to the ground, and heard a voice say to me, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? And I answered, Who are you, Lord? And He said to me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you persecute. The people who were with me saw the light, too, and were afraid, but they didn't hear the voice of Him who spoke to me. And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said to me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and you will be told then of all the things that are determined for you to do. And when I was blinded because of the glory of that light, I was led by the hand of them that were with me, and I came into Damascus. And a man named Ananias, a man devoted to the law, having a good reputation of all the Jewish people living there, came to me, and said, Brother Saul, receive your sight. And that same hour I could see again. And he said, The God of our fathers has chosen you, that you should know His will, and see that Just One, and should hear the voice of His mouth. For you shall be His witness to all men of what you've seen and heard. And now, what are you waiting for? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord. And it came to pass, that, when I returned again to Jerusalem, while I prayed in the Temple, I was in a trance, and I saw Jesus say to me, Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they won't believe you, concerning me. And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat those who believed in you, in every synagogue, and when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing nearby, and consenting to his death, and kept the clothes of those who stoned him. And He said to me, Depart: for I will send you far from here, to the Gentiles.

The people listened to this, and then said loudly, Away with such a fellow from the earth. He isn't fit to live. And as they cried out, and tore their clothes, and threw dust into the air, the chief captain commanded Paul to be brought into the castle, and said that he should be tested by scourging (whipping), so he might find out why the people were so against him.

PAUL'S TESTIMONY LESSON WITH PAUL'S TESTIMONY EXPLANATION

As they tied him with straps, Paul said to the centurion that stood nearby, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and without a trial? Hearing this, the centurion went and asked the chief captain, What are you about to do? This man is a Roman. Then the chief captain came, and asked Paul, Tell me, are you a Roman? Paul said, Yes. And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born. (See Paul's Second Journey concerning Paul being a Roman.)

Now, let's summarize what just happened. We heard what Paul said to the people, and their reaction was quite contrary to him, but Paul has another card up his sleeve, doesn't he? Now remember, the chief captain doesn't even know what Paul is accused of, and when Paul speaks to the people, he speaks in Hebrew, therefore the chief captain, who speaks Greek, doesn't understand. The captain orders Paul to be whipped, thinking that he'll find out what Paul has done, but Paul says to a centurion standing there, Is it legal for you to whip a Roman? The centurion is afraid now, and has a little talk with the captain, saying, Hey man, think about what you're doing. A Roman having another Roman beaten won't look good. So the captain asks Paul, Are you really a Roman? Paul affirms and the captain says, With great expense I gained the freedom to be called a Roman. And Paul said, I was born with that freedom, which would make scourging Paul even more questionable.

Now let's back up to a few messages that should be pointed out from this story. Paul wasn't a whiner. He admitted to the people that he persecuted Christians, but that Jesus showed him the light and now his job is to shine that light to the Gentiles because the Jewish people wouldn't find him credible. He didn't wallow in pools of self pity saying, I was so bad, I'm too bad to ever be of any good. He used his past failure to be more of a success FOR THE CAUSE. Sometimes we experience things so that we can help others so they won't have to go through them, or to help them get up again when they've fallen. Nobody is too bad to have their sins washed away, and once they are, like Paul, you have to let them go, and use your experiences to bring other people up, not to be down on yourself.

Back to our story ... Immediately the soldiers who were ordered to whip Paul, left, and the chief captain was also afraid after he found out that Paul was a Roman, and because he had bound him. On the next day, because the captain wanted to know exactly why Paul was accused by the Jewish people, he untied him, and ordered the chief priests and all their council to appear, and he brought Paul down, and set him before them.

PAUL'S TESTIMONY INFORMATION WITH PAUL'S TESTIMONY MEANING

One last thing before we wrap it up for today ... You know how we've talked about discrepancies in the Bible several times, right? Well, I didn't want to distract you from the story and interrupt right in the middle of Paul's speech, so I'll tell you about one that is here in the book of Acts. You can take a look at the two verses below and clearly see a difference. This is not to degrade Luke's writing, heaven knows that writing the Acts of the Apostles is a tremendously admirable accomplishment and blessing to us. One can't possibly remember every detail of such a span of time as this with perfect accuracy ... They didn't have computers back then, so let's just understand clearer what Paul has said, and we've repeated several times, it's not the letter of the Word, but the Spirit that counts.

Acts 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.
Acts 9:7
And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

In the next chapter, we find out what happens as Paul is taken before the council, so be sure to come on back and don't miss the next Daily Bread.




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