SERIES: 44 Acts - 2017
MESSAGE: Acts 21:14-22:30
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Acts 21:14-22:30


  1. Introduction
    1. Paul was ready to risk it all—to die—for the gospel
    2. En route to Jerusalem, three different groups warned Paul about the dangers that awaited him
      1. Christians in Tyre
      2. Clergymen in Caesarea
      3. Ministry and travel companions, including Luke
    3. Paul viewed those predictions not as prohibitions but as preparation for whatever lay ahead
    4. Paul listened to their counsel but disagreed with their interpretation (see Proverbs 11:14)
    5. Paul measured his life by spiritual calling; he was certain God called him to Jerusalem
  2. Acts 21:14-26 | Paul arrives in Jerusalem and makes peace with the Jews
    1. Paul made it to Jerusalem, but this was the last time he would be there
      1. Phase one of Paul's plan was accomplished (see Acts 19:21)
      2. Final, formal rejection of the Jewish people toward the gospel
    2. Paul reported to James and elders on his ministry to the Gentiles
      1. They rejoiced and "glorified the Lord" (v. 20)
      2. Leader of the first church was James, Jesus' half-brother (see Acts 15)
    3. James reported to Paul that myriads of Jews had come to Christ
    4. Paul learned that his reputation among the Jews was very strained
      1. He submitted to James' suggestion to go through a Jewish ritual
        1. Likely the Nazirite vow (see Numbers 6)
        2. Nazir means consecrated or devoted
        3. Paul likely viewed the ritual, including animal sacrifice, as a memorial to Jesus' sacrifice, not as efficacious
      2. Paul became all things to all men for the gospel (see 1 Corinthians 9:19-23)
      3. Paul was firm in essentials, flexible in nonessentials
  3. Acts 21:27-40 | Paul is arrested in the temple
    1. At the end of his vow, Paul was accused of bringing Greeks into the temple
      1. Gentiles were forbidden from entering all but the outermost court of the temple
      2. Gentiles could be killed for crossing the barricade
    2. A riotous scene ensued as the Jews aimed to kill Paul
    3. A Roman commander intervened, and Paul was "bound with two chains" (v. 33)
      1. Reminiscent of what Jesus endured in Jerusalem
      2. The commander mistook Paul for an Egyptian criminal
      3. Paul corrected his identity and spoke Greek to the commander
    4. Paul was given permission to address the crowd
  4. Acts 22:1-30 | Paul addresses the crowd
    1. Paul spoke in Hebrew to the Jewish crowd
    2. Paul gave his personal testimony to the multitude
      1. Paul's "defense" (v. 1) is the Greek word apologia, meaning a verbal defense
      2. Same word Peter used in 1 Peter 3:15
      3. Paul detailed his conduct before Christ, his conversion to Christ, and his commission by Christ
    3. Your testimony is powerful (see Revelation 12:11)
    4. Paul showed the mark of a genuine conversion when he asked, "What shall I do, Lord?" (v. 10)
      1. The Lord gave Paul just the next step: "Arise and go into Damascus" (v. 10)
      2. What is the next step in your walk to bring spiritual growth?
    5. God uses people to reach people
      1. Philip reached the Ethiopian eunuch
      2. Stephen and Ananias reached Saul
      3. An angel reached Cornelius
      4. Peter reached Cornelius
      5. God will use you to speak His word to someone
    6. Paul shared that God sent him to the Gentiles
      1. At the word "Gentiles," the crowd stopped listening and turned on him
      2. Paul was taken for scourging by a Roman centurion
      3. The scourging was halted when Paul declared himself a Roman citizen
      4. Paul appeared before the Sanhedrin
Figures referenced: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Vance Havner, Titus Josephus, Claudius Lysias

Greek/Hebrew words: apologia, nazir

Cross references: Numbers 6; Proverbs 11:14; Acts 15; 19:21; 1 Corinthians 9:19-23; 1 Peter 3:15; Revelation 12:11

Topic: Testimony

Keywords: apologetics, centurion, calling, commission, conversion, Gentile, ministry, scourging, testimony, vow

Acts 21:14-22:30 - Acts 21:14-22:30 |
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