Dr. Oscar T. Moses
The Holy Spirit Provides Consistency In Inconsistent Conditions And Gives Us A Consistent Conclusion
Big Picture: Paul’s consistency does not waver in crisis.
Big Thought: God rarely allows us to see beyond the next step of faith.
Big Question: How do you handle life when your present predicament does not look like His future promises?
This is the last chapter of Acts and Paul has remained consistent in his faithfulness to God. Observe the movements in the chapter:
The Conditions and The Incident
(Verses 1-7) – All of those who were on the ship made it to dry land. However, they were among strangers. The barbarians (anyone who was not considered Greek) received Paul and his wet companions warmly. The natives made a fire to provide warmth. In verses 3-7, as Paul assist the natives in building a fire a snake comes from beneath the wood pile and bites Paul. The natives first accuse Paul of being a murderer expecting him to die from the snakebite but when he lives they call him a god.
The Healing and The Arrival
(Verses 8-16) Publius took Paul and his companions to his estate. He gave them (all 276) lodging and food for three (3) days. During the stay Paul discovered that Publius’ father lay sick with a fever and dysentery (inflammation of the intestines that leads to severe diarrhea). Paul prayed first then he placed his hands on him and healed him. Paul was walking in apostolic authority. In this chapter Paul carried out a mandate that is recorded by Jesus in Mark 16:17:18. Then others came and were healed over time. The natives honored the shipwrecked mariners in many ways during their 3-day stay and sent them away with supplies for their journey. In verse 11 the men set out to travel on a ship of Alexandria whose sign was Castor and Pollux (They are known in Greek Mythology as the twin sons of Zeus and were considered gods of the sailors). They remained in Syracuse for 3 days and the made additional stops. They met brethren (Christian friends) and stayed with them 7 days and then sailed with them toward Rome. On the outskirts of Rome, there were some Christians that heard of their arrival. Some came from as far as 40 miles away to see Paul. When Paul entered the city of Rome, Paul was allowed to live wherever he wanted to and was assigned a guard. Paul accomplished a journey that he set out for many years ago. God promised Paul twice that he would make it to Rome and now God has delivered on His promise. This scene is the fulfillment of a promise but not at all like Paul had imagined. He imagined he would enter the city a free man and openly preach to the masses but he is under house arrest with limited access to the people.
The Model of Ministry
(verses 17-30) In the remaining verses, Paul did what he has done throughout this complete study; he remained consistent with his witness of Jesus Christ. He met with Jewish leadership and defended his whole incarceration experience. He called them that they may understand. They told Paul that they never received letters stating anything bad about him but they were interested in what he had to say. They agreed to meet with Paul again so he could explain the gospel to them. On the day of the meeting the Jewish leaders brought their friends to Paul’s house to hear what he had to say. Paul taught them all day, pointing out what Moses and the prophets had to say about Jesus Christ. Some believed Paul and some refused to believe a word of it. When the unbelievers started arguing with each other, Paul said, “I have one last thing to say. The Holy Spirit said this would happen when he told Isaiah tell the people, ‘You’re going to listen with your ears, but you won’t hear a word; You’re going to stare with your eyes, but you won’t see a thing. People will stick their fingers in their ears so they won’t have to listen; and close their eyes shut so they won’t have to look, so they won’t have to deal with me face-to-face and let me heal them.” Paul did what he was supposed to do. He may not have been successful but he was faithful. He will now turn to the Gentiles in Rome to share the gospel with those that will receive it with open arms. Paul lived for two years in his rented house and welcomed everyone who came to visit. He consistently presented all matters of the kingdom of God. He explained everything about Jesus Christ. His door was always open.
- What Island did Paul and the others land on?
- What was the attitude of the natives?
- What did they do for the sailors?
- What happened to Paul as he assisted?
- Why were the natives amazed at Paul?
- What did they call Paul?
- What did Paul do for Publius?
- What happened when word got around about Paul?
- How long did they stay on the Island?
- What happened when the Egyptian ship came?
- What happned when Paul reached Rome?
- What happened three days later?
- How did the meeting with the Jewish leaders in Rome turn out?
- What happened when Paul had the opportunity to share the gospel?
- What does Paul say about the Holy Spirit and the prophets?
- How does this chapter conclude for Paul?
- How do you handle life when your present predicament does not match your promised future?
- How do you remain consistent in inconsistent conditions?
We Have Completed The Entire Book of Acts! Praise God!
Dr. Oscar T. Moses