Dr. Oscar T. Moses
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
The Holy Spirit Creates Consistent Lives
The Big Picture: Paul is clear, confident and consistent in his testimony
The Big Thought: If you desire to do anything great for God you must be consistent
The Big Response: Consistently Examine Your Commitment, Exercise Good Conduct, and Express Your Convictions
One thing we can agree upon is Paul’s consistency. In chapter 26, while in chains, Paul gives his final defense for the case of the resurrected Jesus in an attempt to convert unbelievers to the Christian faith.
His Conduct in Controversy
In this chapter Paul is about to make his defense to Festus. When Agrippa gave Paul the floor to speak the first thing he says is, “I think myself happy!” His conduct has been consistent all along. Whatever situation he finds himself in, he always finds the “silver lining.”
His Communication of Christ
In verse 4 Paul shared his testimony again. This is the third time in the Acts of the Holy Spirit that Paul gave the same testimony. He continued his discourse all the way to verse 18.
His Commitment to the Call
In verse 19 Paul explained his assignment in life was to be obediently committed to what God called him to do. Verse 22 is the key verse in the text. In verse 22 Paul stated how he had continued to witness to both small and great. After Agrippa and Festus listened patiently to the testimony of Paul, Festus called him crazy for his much learning. Paul stood his ground and said, “I’m not crazy! King Agrippa knows exactly what I am talking about because none of these things are hidden from him.” Paul turned to Agrippa and asked him straight forward, “Do you believe the prophets? I know you do!” This was an example of Paul’s consistent commitment. Whenever he had the opportunity to make an appeal for Christ, he did. Agrippa was trapped in a corner and his only way of escape was to flip the script with the statement he makes in verse 28. “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” Paul remained committed to his call and said, “I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.” The king arose with the governor and Bernice and those sitting with them. They went to another room to confer about Paul’s defense. They agreed that Paul had done nothing to deserve death or imprisonment. Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”
- How did Paul begin his defens to Agrippa?
- How did Paul flatter Agrippa?
- What does Paul do from verse 4 until verse 18?
- Who does Paul say he was obedient to?
- Who does Paul say helps him to this day to be a witness?
- What does Paul say about Christ in verse 23?
- How did Festus respond?
- How did Paul convict Festus?
- What was Festus’ response to Paul reminding him about his belief in the prophets?
- What was Paul’s desire for those who heard him speak?
- What did the counsel come to an agreement about in a private meeting?
- What did Agrippa conclude at the end of the chapter?
Group Life Application Discussion Questions
There are some stories that we need to rehearse and repeat over and over again for the purpose of winning others to Christ. There is no place in scripture where God calls us to be successful but He does call us to be faithful. Being faithful means being consistent.
- How do you show consistency with your life?
- Is your life one constant stop and start saga?
- Do you start a project and never complete it?
- Do you start a ministry and quit at the sign of trouble?
The Holy Spirit Gives Confidence In The Season of Life’s Dark Storms
Big Picture: When the storms of life come our way we must have confidence in our internal anchors.
Big Thought: “The Lord will help me make it through the night!”
Big Response: Proverbs 3:5-6
Big Question: How does Paul remain confident through life’s dark storms?
Paul was a prisoner being transported to Rome to stand trial before Caesar for preaching the gospel. In verses 4-7 we see the first signs of a storm arising and Paul warned them of danger ahead in verses 9-10. It was the equinox of autumn: the time of year when sailing was dangerous. The centurion ignored Paul’s warning and continued to sail. In verse 14 the perfect storm arose. It was dark for 14 days and everyone on the ship lost hope except Paul. Paul assured them that they would all survive the storm based on a vision he received from the Lord.
As they approached land they drop 4 anchors and prayed for daylight. Some of the sailors tried to jump ship pretending as though they were laying down anchors when they were really about to jump ship. Paul recognizes their plan and said to the centurion, “Except these abide in the ship we cannot be saved!” The soldier’s cut the line and the boat drifted off. Paul urged them to eat after 14 days of no food. At daybreak they saw an unfamiliar land and decided to try and run the ship ashore. The ship hit a reef and broke into pieces. The soldiers decide to kill the prisoners to prevent them from escape but the centurion determined to save Paul stopped them. He gave orders for everyone to swim for the lives and to grab pieces of the ship as a floatation device. Everyone made it to shore safely.
- Who was Paul and the other prisoners delivered to?
- How did Julius treat Paul?
- Why did the ship sail unto Cyprus?
- What happened when a ship was discovered sailing to Italy?
- What was Paul’s warning in Fair Havens?
- What was the centurions response to Paul’s warning?
- What was the name of the wind that arose?
- How did the sailors try to lighten the ship?
- What happened to the sailors after many days without sun or stars?
- How did Paul encourage the sailors?
- Who did Paul say stood with him?
- What was told to Paul?
- What happened the fourteenth night?
- What were the sailors fearful of hitting?
- How many anchors were dropped?
- What was Paul’s advice to those on the ship?
- What did Paul advise the men to do for health sakes?
- How does this chapter conclude?
Group Discussion Life Application Ouestion
Verse 29 says that they dropped four anchors out of the stern and wished for day.
- What or whom do you put your confidence in during life’s dark, raging storms?
- What are the internal anchors for the Christian?
- What do you need to make it through the night season?