The Story of the Church in Acts Courage When You


Jul 29, 2018 - Unstoppable – The Story of the Church in Acts ... And looking intently at the council, Paul said, “Brothers, I have lived my life b...

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Unstoppable – The Story of the Church in Acts Courage When You Need It Most Acts 23:1-11 Dr. Stephen Rummage, Senior Pastor Bell Shoals Baptist Church July 29, 2018 Acts 23:1 (ESV) And looking intently at the council, Paul said, “Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day.” Acts 23:2 (ESV) And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth. Acts 23:3 (ESV) Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting to judge me according to the law, and yet contrary to the law you order me to be struck?” Acts 23:4 (ESV) Those who stood by said, “Would you revile God’s high priest?” Acts 23:5 (ESV) And Paul said, “I did not know, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’ ” Acts 23:6 (ESV) Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.” Acts 23:7 (ESV) And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. Acts 23:8 (ESV) For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. Acts 23:9 (ESV) Then a great clamor arose, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees’ party stood up and contended sharply, “We find nothing wrong in this man. What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?” Acts 23:10 (ESV) And when the dissension became violent, the tribune, afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him away from among them by force and bring him into the barracks.

Acts 23:11 (ESV) The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about Me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.” When you follow Jesus, you can take courage from … 1. A Clear Conscience Acts 23:1 (ESV) And looking intently at the council, Paul said, “Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day.” a. Your conscience must be cleansed. Psalm 51:3 (ESV) For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Titus 1:15 (ESV) To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. Hebrews 9:14 (ESV) How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Hebrews 10:22 (ESV) Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. b. Your conscience must be calibrated. Acts 23:2 (ESV) And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth. Isaiah 5:20 (ESV) Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Acts 24:16 (ESV) So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man. 1 John 1:8 (ESV) If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:9 (ESV) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

2. A Certain Future a. The certainty of a future judgment Acts 23:3 (ESV) Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting to judge me according to the law, and yet contrary to the law you order me to be struck?” Acts 23:4 (ESV) Those who stood by said, “Would you revile God’s high priest?” Acts 23:5 (ESV) And Paul said, “I did not know, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’ ” 1 Peter 2:23 (ESV) When He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but continued entrusting Himself to Him who judges justly. b. The certainty of a future resurrection Acts 23:6 (ESV) Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.” Acts 23:7 (ESV) And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. Acts 23:8 (ESV) For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. Acts 23:9 (ESV) Then a great clamor arose, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees’ party stood up and contended sharply, “We find nothing wrong in this man. What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?” 1 Peter 1:3 (ESV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1 Peter 1:4 (ESV) to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 1 Peter 1:5 (ESV) who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

1 Peter 1:6 (ESV) In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 1 Peter 1:7 (ESV) so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 3. A Caring Savior Acts 23:11 (ESV) The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about Me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.” a. His presence with you in your trial Hebrews 13:5-6 (ESV) For He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” b. His plans for you beyond your trial Philippians 1:6 (ESV) And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Psalm 138:8 (ESV) The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; Your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of Your hands.