Paul's Address Before Felix

  1. INTRODUCTION:

    1. SCRIPTURE READING:
    2. Acts 24:1-23 = "And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul. And when he was called forth, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness, and that very worthy deeds are done unto this nation by thy providence, We accept it always, and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness. Notwithstanding, that I be not further tedious unto thee, I pray thee that thou wouldest hear us of thy clemency a few words. For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes: Who also hath gone about to profane the temple: whom we took, and would have judged according to our law. But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands, Commanding his accusers to come unto thee: by examining of whom thyself mayest take knowledge of all these things, whereof we accuse him. And the Jews also assented, saying that these things were so. Then Paul, after that the governor had beckoned unto him to speak, answered, Forasmuchas I know that thou hast been of many years a judge unto this nation, I do the more cheerfully answer for myself: Because that thou mayest understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship. And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in the city: Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me. But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of  the dead, both of the just and unjust. And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men. Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings. Whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with multitude, nor with tumult. Who ought to have been here before thee, and object, if they had ought against me. Or else let these same here say, if they have found any evil doing in me, while I stood before the council, Except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you this day. And when Felix heard these things, having more perfect knowledge of that way, he deferred them, and said, When Lysias the chief captain shall come down, I will know the uttermost of your matter. And he commanded a centurion to keep Paul, and to let him have liberty, and that he should forbid none of  his acquaintance to minister or come unto him."

    3. THE BACKGROUND FOR THIS ADDRESS:
      1. Paul had given his "Stairway address" in Acts 22:1-29
      2. Paul has been held by the Romans since this address:
        1. The day following the address the Chief Captain called the chief priests and their council to come before him to know the reason for their accusations against Paul [Acts 22:30].
        2. In this meeting Paul tries to speak to them and has a confrontation with the high priest Ananias [Acts 23:1-5].
        3. Paul says Acts 23:6 = "Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope of the resurrection of the dead I am called in question."
        4. This causes a dissension between the Pharisee and Sadducees and the chief Captain takes Paul from their midst back to the castle. [Acts 23:7-10].
        5. A conspiracy is made to kill Paul, and Paul’s sister’s son hears of this and tell Paul and Paul has him tell it to the chief captain. [Acts 23:11-22].
        6. The chief Captain assembles a group of soldiers to take Paul to governor Felix with a letter to the governor in Caesarea. [Acts 23:23-33].
        7. When Felix learns Paul is of Cilicia, he says in Acts 23:35 = "I will hear thee, when
          thine accusers are also come. And he command him to be kept in Herod’s judgment hall.
          "
      3. A time is set and Paul comes before Felix.
        1. The accusers are present with there advocate, Tertullus, who speakes very favorable
          words to the governor and put his clients in a favorable position with the governor.
        2. The accusations made are: [Acts 24:1-9].
          1. Paul is guilty of sedition, and disloyal to the Roman government.
          2. Paul is guilty of heresy, and a ring leader of the "sect if the Nazarenes".
          3. Paul was guilty of profaning the temple.
      4. Paul has no one to speak for him and speaks in his own defense and answers the charges 
        thus made in order as they were presented by Tertrullus.

  2. DISCUSSION:

    1. THE CHARGE OF SEDITION WAS FALSE [Acts 24:10-13]
      1. There had not been enough time for him to have instigated a seditious movement.
      2. Acts 24:11 = "Because that thou mayest understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship."

      3. There was no one that could testify that he had created a disturbance in the temple or in the city.
      4. Acts 24:12 = "And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, 
        neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in the city:
        "

      5. There is no evidence to support the charges made by Tertullus.

      Acts 24:13 = "Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me."

    2. THE CHARGE OF HERESY WAS NOT TRUE. [Acts 24:14-16].
      1. Paul says he was serving the God of his fathers according to the law and prophets.
      2. Acts 24:14 = "But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:"

      3. Paul was, as they were, moved by the same hope of the resurrection.
      4. Acts 24:15 = "And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust."

      5. In this hope of the resurrection Paul says he had a conscience void of offence toward both 
        God and men.

      Acts 24:16 = "And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of 
      offence toward God, and toward men.
      "

    3. THE CHARGE OF SACRILEGE WAS WITHOUT FOUNDATION. [Acts 24:17-23]
      1. Paul had not come asking of his people, but had come to bring alms to the poor.
      2. Acts 24:17 = "Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings."

      3. Paul had appeared in the temple purified and not with any multitude or causing a tumult.
      4. Acts 24:18 = "Whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with multitude, nor with tumult."

        Acts 21:26 = "Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them."

      5. Paul says that those who first found him in the temple, who could personally witness of what
        happened were not present to testify against him.
      6. Acts 24:19-20 = "Who ought to have been here before thee, and object, if they 
        had ought against me. Or else let these same here say, if they have found any evil doing in me, while I stood before the council,
        "

      7. Paul did confess to preaching of the resurrection of the dead.

    Acts 24:21 = "Except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you this day."

  3. CONCLUSION: [Acts 24:22-23]
  4. Acts 24:22-23 = "And when Felix heard these things, having more perfect knowledge of that way, he deferred them, and said, When Lysias the chief captain shall come down, I will know the uttermost of your matter. And he commanded a centurion to keep Paul, and to let him have liberty, and that he should forbid none of his acquaintance to minister or come unto him."

    1. THERE IS NEITHER A CONVICTION NOR A RELEASE FOR PAUL.
    2. THE DECISION WAS DELAYED AND PAUL WAS GRANTED THE RIGHTS OF A 
      ROMAN CITIZEN.
      1. He could "have liberty".
      2. He could have "acquaintances to minister or come unto him"

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