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                          "THE BOOK OF ACTS"

                Paul's Defense Before The Mob (22:1-21)


1. We left Paul barely surviving a beating at the hands of an angry mob 
   - Ac 21:30-36

2. When he appealed to the Roman commander who saved him to grant him an
   opportunity to speak to the people - Ac 21:37-39

[Paul was given the opportunity, and was able to quiet down the mob with
a motion of his hands (Ac 21:40).  The mob quieted down further when Paul
spoke in Hebrew (Ac 22:1-2)...]


      1. A Jew born in Tarsus of Cilicia - Ac 22:3
      2. Brought up in Jerusalem - Ac 22:3
         a. At the feet of Gamaliel - cf. Ac 5:34
         b. Taught according to the strictness of the Law (i.e., a
            Pharisee) - cf. Php 3:5
         c. Zealous toward God, just like they were - cf. Php 3:6
      3. His persecution of the church - Ac 22:4-5
         a. Persecuted this "Way" to death - cf. Ac 26:9-11
         b. Imprisoning men and women - cf. Ac 8:3
         c. To which the high priest and council could bear witness - cf.
            Ac 9:1-2
         d. From whom he received letters to synagogues in Damascus to 
            arrest those of the "Way" and bring them to Jerusalem - cf.
            Ac 9:1-2 

      1. On the road to Damascus - Ac 22:6-11
         a. Near Damascus, about noon, a great light from heaven shone 
            around him
            1) Falling to the ground, he heard a voice:  "Saul, Saul, why
               are you persecuting Me?"
            2) Paul answered, "Who are you, Lord?"
            3) The voice answered, "I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are
         b. Those who were with him were afraid
            1) They saw the light
            2) They did not hear (understand) the voice - cf. Ac 9:7
         c. The conversation continued between Paul and Jesus
            1) Paul:  "What shall I do, Lord?"
            2) Jesus:  "Arise and go into Damascus, and there you will be
               told all things which are appointed for you to do."
         d. Blinded by the light, Paul was led by the hand into Damascus
      2. In the city of Damascus - Ac 22:12-16
         a. The arrival of Ananias - cf. Ac 9:10-14
            1) A devout man according to the law
            2) Having a good testimony of all the Jews who dwelt in
            3) Who healed Paul of his blindness
         b. The message from Ananias - cf. Ac 9:15-16
            1) "The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should
               know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of
               His mouth."
            2) "For you will be His witness to all men of what you have
               seen and heard."
         c. The command from Ananias - cf. Ac 9:6
            1) "And now why are you waiting?"
            2) "Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling
               on the name of the Lord."

      1. Of the Lord, on a later visit to Jerusalem - Ac 22:17
      2. Of the Lord, telling him to flee Jerusalem - Ac 22:18-20
         a. For they would not receive his testimony concerning the Lord
         b. Even though Paul was telling them his persecution of the
         c. Even though Paul participated in the stoning of Stephen 
      3. Of the Lord, telling him to go to the Gentiles - Ac 22:21
[At this point the mob refused to listen further, and Paul had to be
taken away by the Roman soldiers (Ac 22:22-24).  Our next study will
continue with what happened next, but for now...]


      1. Note Paul's politeness under trying circumstances
         a. We saw earlier his polite appeal to the commander - Ac 21:37
         b. Now he addresses a mob wanting to kill him as "brethren and
            fathers" - Ac 22:1
         c. Demonstrating what he later taught others - cf. Col 4:6;
            2Ti 2:24-26
      2. Note Paul's purpose in recounting his conversion
         a. In the context of his earlier history, it was to explain his
         b. It was not "witnessing" (telling your conversion story) as 
            often done today
         c. In Acts, witnessing is always in regards to Jesus' 
            resurrection - cf. Ac 1:8,22; 2:32
         d. No one ever told their "conversion story" as a method of
            evangelism in the NT
         e. Such "witnessing" encourages one to believe in Jesus based on
            another's experience rather than on apostolic testimony 
            concerning Jesus' resurrection - cf. Jn 17:20
         f. Such "witnessing" calls for people to base their faith on
            subjective and often exaggerated stories rather than in the 
            objective eye-witness testimony of the apostles!

      1. We learn that Paul was not saved on the road to Damascus
         a. Perhaps converted in the sense of having his view of Jesus
         b. But after arriving in Damascus, he was still in his sins!
            - Ac 22:16
         c. Despite three days of praying and fasting (faith and
            repentance) - cf. Ac 9:9,11   
      2. We learn that Paul's sins were washed away in baptism
         a. As the Lord had Ananias tell Paul "what to do" - Ac 22:16;
            cf. Ac 9:6
         b. As the Spirit-led Peter told both Jews and Gentiles - Ac 
            2:38; 10:48
         c. Jesus' blood washes away sin at the point of baptism - Ro
            6:3-7; Col 2:12-13
      3. We learn how one calls upon the name of the Lord (Ac 22:16)
         a. One is saved by calling upon the name of the Lord - Ac 2:21;
            Ro 10:13
         b. Peter told people how to call upon his name:  via baptism! 
            - Ac 2:38
         c. Peter wrote that baptism saves:  as an appeal to God for a 
            clean conscience - 1Pe 3:21


1. Paul's defense before the mob is the first of several; he will defend
   a. Next, before the Sanhedrin council (Ac 23)
   b. After that, before two Roman governors (Felix, Ac 24, Festus, Ac 
   c. Then, before Herod Agrippa (Ac 26)
   d. Ultimately, before the Roman emperor Nero

2. Luke's record of Paul's defenses may have served several purposes...
   a. To help whoever ("most excellent Theophilus"? Lk 2:4) handled
      Paul's appeal to Nero 
   b. To help all better understand Paul's conversion and ministry as
      an apostle of Christ

As we continue in our study of Acts, may such understanding serve us
well regarding our own conversion and ministry as servants of Christ...!
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