ACTS CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO
PAUL'S TESTIMONY DECLARED TO THE JEWS IN JERUSALEM
SUGGESTED TEACHING OBJECTIVES:
To instill in our pupils the desire to have a burden for the lost.
To inspire our pupils to give their testimony often.
To teach that every Christian should know of the time and place of their conversion.
To teach the value of prayer.
To discuss the privileges of being a Christian.
Introduction: Paul had a great burden for the Jews. cf. I Corinthians 9:20; Romans 9:1-5; 10:1-3. He had a great desire to testify to the Jews. Acts 18:21; 20:22-24; 21:10-13. Oh, that we would desire that our fellow countrymen were saved as Paul did. Review Paul's reception in Jerusalem in Chapter 21.
Some people say, "I can't explain the plan of salvation to a sinner." Well, then you can do as Paul did here. Tell them what you were and what Christ has done for you.
The Childhood -- Vs. 1-3
Vs. 1-2 -- Paul quiets the people and gets their attention.
Vs. 3 -- He tells them that he has much in common with them. He was a Jew, taught by the great Gamaliel, taught in the Jewish tradition and that he was zealous as they were. In winning and witnessing we need to get people to have confidence in us and show them that we are human and have human characteristics as they. This created in the minds of Paul's hearers the question, "All right then, what changed you?" This is what we want people to ask of us.
The Champion -- Vs 4-5
Paul says, "I was the champion for Judaism." I believed there was no other way. In essence, Paul said, when people (our Jewish people) started following the religion espoused by Jesus' disciples, I persecuted them. Surely Paul felt a heaviness of heart as he thought of his actions. All Christians are sorry for their sins before being saved.
The Conversion -- Vs. 6-13
Vs. 6 -- Paul well remembered the PLACE where he was saved. We all need to know the place. Matthew 18:3; Luke 13:3. Paul also knew the time and this, too, we must know.
Vs. 7-10 -- Paul well remembered meeting Jesus on the Damascus road. He told this story about everywhere he went. He loved to tell it. "A man with an argument is no match for a man with an experience."
Vs. 11-13 -- Paul tells and recounts the effect that the conversion had on him. A conversion is a glorious experience! Note: A person when first saved needs to be led by other Christians. cf. Chapter 9.
The Chosen -- Vs. 14-21
Vs. 14 -- Paul tells why he had been saved. God had a purpose in it all. God wants us to know His will and He will show it to us if we will seek for it. Matthew 7:7; John 7:17; Acts 10:1-4.
Vs. 15 -- God wants us to witness. Ephesians 2:10; Acts 1:8.
Vs. 16 -- He is to be baptized, but of course the statement, "Wash away the sins" means symbolically, as we know, because baptism saved nobody -- washes nobody's sins away. It is a "like figure" of the Gospel. I Peter 3:21; Romans 6:3-5.
Vs. 17-21 -- It is often in the place and time of prayer that God can speak to our hearts. God says "Be still and know that I am God." It was at such a time that God revealed these things to Paul.
The Condemnation -- Vs. 22-23
The Jews hated the Gentiles so at the mention of the Gentiles, "they saw red." They threw dust into the air and said let's kill this fellow Paul. Many times we see Paul close to death and all because of his message about Christ. Paul didn't look for trouble but his great burdened heart kept him talking of Christ and this led him into danger time and time again. Paul knew the wrath of God hovered over the lost and he wanted all to be saved. Jn 3:36
The Citizen -- Vs. 24-30
The chief captain probably didn't understand Hebrew, therefore didn't understand the charges that the Jews were making. He decided to have Paul scourged in order to get the truth from him. But Roman citizens were few and enjoyed great privileges. It was unlawful for one to be scourged without a trial.
Paul stated he was free born. Like all Christians our birth into the family of God was provided by another (Christ) and because of that we enjoy many privileges. (e.g. prayer, peace, joy, needs supplied, etc.) The chief captain had purchased his citizenship. Of course, heavenly citizenship cannot be obtained by us in works or pay but can be accepted. Romans 6:23.
God spared Paul and would give him further opportunity to witness. Our lives are all in the hand of God. If we will use them for God. God will use us for Him.
Conclusion: Paul was always willing to give his testimony and as a result, thousands were saved. We should likewise always be ready to give our testimony. I Peter 3:21. Do you have a testimony? Have you told it lately?