Paul's Stairway Address

  1. INTRODUCTION:

    1. SCRIPTURE READING: Acts 22:1-29
    2. AN OVERVIEW OF THE EVENT:
      1. The apostle is arrested.
      2. The calm with which he adapts himself to the changed conditions.
      3. Paul’s winning courtesy.
      4. Paul’s explanation:
        1. That at first subdues his hearers.
        2. Then turns his hearers into a raging mob.
    3. CHRYSOSTOM: From the writings of John Chrysostom (345 to 407), born in Antioch of Syria, 
      was considered to be one of the great preachers of his day had this to say: "What nobler spectacle 
      than that of Paul at this moment! There he stands, bound with two chains, ready to make his defense
      unto the people. The Roman commanders sits by, top enforce order by his presence. An enraged
      populace looks up to him from below. yet, in the midst of so many dangers, how self-possessed he 
      is, how tranquil!"
    4. THE ADDRESS – THE STORY OF PAUL’S LIFE:

  2. DISCUSSION:

    1. AS A STUDENT: [Acts 22:1-3]
      1. Paul was of Jewish blood:
        1. It has been assumed that he was an Egyptian, as the captain had supposed.
        2. He surprised them in speaking in the Hebrew tongue. "… He spake in the Hebrew 
          tongue to them
          " [Acts 22:2], which caused them to keep "the more silence…"
      2. Born in Tarsus, a city of Cilicia. [Acts 22:3]
        1. A city of prominence, or importance. Paul spoke of it as a "no mean city" (Acts 21:39).
        2. The city was called Tarsus.
      3. His education was in Jerusalem at the feet of Gamaliel . [Acts 22:3]
        1. He was a Pharisee.
        2. He was a doctor of the law.

        Acts 5:34 = "Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a
        doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put 
        the apostles forth a little space;
        "

      4. He was "taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers." [Acts 22:3]
        1. Paul was a "Hebrew of  Hebrews:" [Philippians 3:5]
        2. In regards to the law he was "a Pharisee" [Acts 26:5].
      5. Paul was very "zealous toward God, as ye are this day".
        1. The were zealous to protect that which they believed.
        2. Paul was just as zealous until his conversion.
    2. AS A PERSECUTOR. [Acts 22:4-5]
      1. The object of his persecution:
        1. Those of "this way".
          1. This was a term used by Luke frequently as a term for Christianity.
            1. Since all of God's plans and purposes tend toward man's salvation, His
              provisions to this end are frequently spoken of as His Way, and inasmuch 
              as all of the divine plans center in Christ He is preeminently the Way 
              (John 14:6).
            2. Out of this fact grew the title, "The Way," one of the earliest names 
              applied to Christianity.

            Acts 9:2 = "And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, 
            that if he found any of this way whether they were men or women, he 
            might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
            "

            Acts 18:24-26 = "And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, 
            an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This 
            man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the 
            spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing 
            only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue:
            whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, 
            and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.

            [see also Acts 19:9; Acts 19:23; Acts 24:22]

          2. "The way" was applied to the course of conduct, or the manner of life which one
            lives. I Corinthians 4:17 = "For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus,
            who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into
            remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in 
            every church.
            "
        2. Those persecuted included "men and women".
      2. The intensity of his persecution:
        1. He bound them.
        2. He delivered them to prisons.
        3. He persecuted them even "to the death".
      3. The zealousness of Paul could be attested to by:
        1. "The high priest".
        2. "The estate of the elders".
        3. Paul had letters from the high priest and elders to "the brethren, and went to
          Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be
          punished
          " [Acts 22:5]
    3. A TRANSITION OCCURRED ON THE JOURNEY TO DAMASCUS [V.6-16]
      1. The place of the transition. "As I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus".
        [Acts 22:6]
      2. The time of the transition. "about noon".
      3. The cause of the transition:
        1. "Suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about" Saul.
        2. A voice speaks to Saul: "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" [Acts 26:7
          Note:
          The voice is one that is part protest, enlightment and instruction.
        3. Saul having fallen on the ground recognizing this was of divine origin says:
          "Who art thou, Lord?" [Acts 22:8]
        4. The voice replies: "I am Jesus of Nazareth whom thou persecutest."
        5. The reaction of those traveling with Saul: [Acts 22:9]
          1. They "saw indeed the light".
          2. They "were afraid".
          3. They "heard not the voice of him that spake to me."
        6. Saul ask what he is to do and is given answer: [Acts 22:10]
          1. The question: "What shall I do, Lord?"
          2. The answer: "Arise, and go into Damascus, and there it shall be told thee 
            of all things, which are appointed for thee to do.
            "
        7. The affects of the event on Saul: [Acts 22:11]
          1. Saul was blinded by the great light: "I could not see for the glory of that light:"
          2. Saul had to be led into Damascus by those that were with him: "Being led by 
            the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus.
            "
        8. Ananias comes to Saul in Damascus: [Acts 22:12]
          1. The man:
            1. "A devout man according to the law"

            (b) He was of "Good report of all the Jews which dwelt there."

          2. The coming of Ananias given:
            1. He restored Saul’s sight: "Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the 
              same hour I looked up upon him.
              " [Acts 22:13]
            2. Ananias delivered a message to Saul from God: "The God of our fathers
              hath chosen thee, that thou aholdest know he will, and see that 
              Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. For thou 
              shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.
              "
              [Acts 22:14-15]
            3. Ananias asks Saul a question: "And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and 
              be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the 
              Lord.
              " [Acts 22:16]
      4. The result of the transition: Saul was baptized in Damascus at the hands of Ananias.
    4. PAUL NOW HAS BECOME THE OBJECT OF PERSECUTION. [Acts 22:17-21]
      1. He is hated and hounded by his own people the Jews.
      2. He is also loved, protected and used by the Lord who called him into His service and is sent to
        the Gentiles.

  3. CONCLUSION:

    1. THE REACTION OF THE MOB [Acts 22:22-23]
      1. They raise their voices in anger: "lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow
        from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live.
        " [Acts 22:22]
      2. They "cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air" [Acts 22:23]
    2. THE REACTION OF THE ROMAN CAPTAIN. [Acts 22:24-29]
      1. Brings Paul into the castle.
      2. He has Paul bound and made ready for scourging to know why the people were reacting so
        against him.[Acts 22:24-25]
      3. Paul asks one of the centurions: "Is it lawful for you to scourage a man that is a Roman,
        and uncondemned?
        " [Acts 22:25]
        1. The centurion tells the chief Captain: "Take heed whag thou doest: for this man is a
          Roman.
          " [Acts 22:26]
        2. The chief Captain comes to Paul and asks" m "Tell me, art thou a Roman?
          [Acts 22:27]
        3. Paul replies "Yea".
        4. The chief Captain asks how: "With a great sum obtained I thee freedom?" and is
          surprised by Paul’s answer: "I was free born". [Acts 22:28]
        5. The chief captain and those about to examine Paul depart being "afraid" for two 
          reasons: [Acts 22:29]
          1. Paul "was a Roman"
          2. "He had bound him".
    3. CONSIDER THE END RESULTS OF THIS STIRRING MESSAGE:
      1. The people that hear Paul are enraged. "Away with such a fellow"
      2. The blunder of the Roman Captain. He had bound in against Roman law.
      3. The salvation of Paul was his citizenship.
    4. WHAT IS THE RESULT OF THE STIRRING MESSAGE OF GOD TO YOU?
      1. Are you enrage?
      2. Do you make the dreaded blunder of acting with careful consideration of what is said?
      3. Only you faithful obedience as a citizen of God’s kingdom will save you.

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