The Life of Paul

Paul and the Gentiles

Christianity Oasis provides this Paul's Testimony study on the Life of Paul and the Gentiles bringing forth truth, understanding and peace within.

Daily Bread Devotional Bible Study
The Acts of the Apostles
Chapter 22

Paul's Testimony on the Life Of Paul

Paul and the Gentiles

Welcome to our Christianity Oasis Daily Bread study program. This is our Paul's Testimony Bible study looking into the Life of Paul and the Gentiles. The Life of Paul and the Gentiles message will truly bring a smile to the lips and heart and shine the LIGHT of Truth upon your be-YOU-tiful Christian walk path.

Paul's Testimony on the Life of Paul The Apostle
Paul and the Gentiles Adventure

It is always nice to have you back with us at 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, then afterward, we'll dig deeper into it.

Paul's Testimony on the Life of Paul for Jesus
Paul and the Gentiles Saga

Acts 22:1-21

1 Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you.
2 (And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence [paid closer attention]: and he saith,)
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.
4 And I persecuted this way [Christianity] unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.
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.
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.
7 And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.
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.
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.
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.
12 And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there,
13 Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him [could see him].
14 And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know His will, and see that Just One [Jesus], and shouldest hear the voice of His mouth.
15 For thou shalt be His witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.
16 And now why tarriest thou [What are you waiting for]? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
17 And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the Temple, I was in a trance;
18 And saw Him saying unto me, Make haste [hurry], and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.
19 And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee:
20 And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him.
21 And He said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.

Paul's Testimony on the Life of Paul Presentation
Paul and the Gentiles Path

The people, thinking it absurd that the Gentiles should deserve Divine Grace, loudly objected, suggesting that Paul wasn'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), hoping to find out more of why the people were so against him.

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 replied, It cost me dearly to enjoy this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born (a native Roman). (See Paul's Second Journey concerning Paul being a Roman.)

Paul's Testimony on the Life of Paul Summary
Paul and the Gentiles Explanation

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.

Paul's Testimony on the Life of Paul Truth
Paul and the Gentiles Facts

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.

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 ...

Paul's Testimony on the Life of Paul Conclusion
Paul and the Gentiles Story

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.

There is a force out there that is attempting to overtake us all; it is Satan. There is another force that is protecting us from him; it is the Holy Spirit. It is a battle for souls. This battle is called Spiritual Warfare, and like it or not, you are right in the middle of it.

How to Prepare for Spiritual Warfare