Sunday, June 14, 2015

2015.06.14            Acts 21: 27-40; Acts 22: 1-16
                         Paul is arrested
As we walk with Paul through the birth of the Early church…. We have seen one amazing thing after another…. We have witnessed the radical transformation of not only Paul…. But countless numbers of Jews and Gentiles…. Many  have repented and believed the Good News of the Gospel… Paul brings believing Gentile Leaders from Asia to Jerusalem…. They have come to show their love for the Jewish believers by giving them money and encouragement to help them in their hard times…
Paul hopes that in this  beautiful act of love… the Jewish and Gentile Christians will come together as one body… Paul hopes to bring together the two parts of the church…. Jew and Gentile…..
It is the great climax of his ministry….. He has evangelized everywhere he could…  from Jerusalem all the way to Greece and Asia… In all of those areas… he has established churches… He has taught them and loved them…. He has been a godly example to them…. And down through the years…. Paul has been a tremendous example to us as well… He has  encouraged and strengthened them… They have become strong in The Gospel…  And as he comes back to Jerusalem…. In his last act as a free man…. He works for the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace… But there some unbelieving Jews from Asia…. Hey hated Paul and had tried to kill him before… Let´s pick up where we left off… Acts 21…v27…
Acts 21: 27- 30                       NKJV
27 Now when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews from Asia, seeing him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on him, 28 crying out, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people, the law, and this place; and furthermore he also brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.” 29 (For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.)
30 And all the city was disturbed; and the people ran together, seized Paul, and dragged him out of the temple; and immediately the doors were shut.

Acts 21: 27-30                                   slt 2000
27 Als aber die sieben Tage zu Ende gingen, brachten die Juden aus [der Provinz] Asia, die ihn im Tempel sahen, die ganze Volksmenge in Aufruhr und legten Hand an ihn
28 und schrieen: Ihr israelitischen Männer, kommt zu Hilfe! Das ist der Mensch, der überall jedermann lehrt gegen das Volk und das Gesetz und diese Stätte. Dazu hat er auch noch Griechen in den Tempel geführt und diese heilige Stätte entweiht!
29 Sie hatten nämlich vorher in der Stadt den Epheser Trophimus mit ihm gesehen und meinten, Paulus habe ihn in den Tempel geführt.
30 Da kam die ganze Stadt in Bewegung, und es entstand ein Volksauflauf; und sie ergriffen den Paulus und schleppten ihn zum Tempel hinaus, und sogleich wurden die Türen verschlossen.

v27… Jews from Asia, seeing him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd… They claimed that Paul was against the people [Israel], the law, and this place [the temple], but this was unfounded. Paul simply rejected trust in any of these as a basis for righteousness before God, which comes only through Jesus Christ.

I want us to notice that the charges against Paul here is this text…. are like the charges that Stephen was executed for (Acts 6:13)….. He was there approving of the stoning of Steven… … Now he is accused of the same things…. And make no mistake…. They plan to kill him too….
v29… Trophimus the Ephesian … whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple… It was absolutely forbidden for Gentiles to go beyond the designated "Court of the Gentiles"…. Signs were posted (in both Greek and Latin)…. "No foreigner may enter within the barricade which surrounds the temple and enclosure…. Any one who is caught trespassing will bear personal responsibility for his ensuing death….. The Romans were  sensitive to this…. They authorized the Jews to execute anyone that offended in this way….  
v30… All the city was disturbed…. and the people ran together….The crowd was huge because it was feast-time (Acts 20:16)….. It was enraged because they believed Paul not only preached against the people, the law, and the temple….. but also that Paul profaned the temple by bringing a Gentile into the inner courts…  verse 31…
Acts 21:31-39                         NKJV
31 Now as they were seeking to kill him, news came to the commander of the garrison that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. 32 He immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down to them. And when they saw the commander and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. 33 Then the commander came near and took him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains; and he asked who he was and what he had done. 34 And some among the multitude cried one thing and some another.

So when he could not ascertain the truth because of the tumult, he commanded him to be taken into the barracks. 35 When he reached the stairs, he had to be carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the mob. 36 For the multitude of the people followed after, crying out, “Away with him!”
37 Then as Paul was about to be led into the barracks, he said to the commander, “May I speak to you?”
He replied, “Can you speak Greek? 38 Are you not the Egyptian who some time ago stirred up a rebellion and led the four thousand assassins out into the wilderness?”
39 But Paul said, “I am a Jew from Tarsus, in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city; and I implore you, permit me to speak to the people.”

Acts 21: 31- 39                        slt 2000
 31 Als sie ihn aber zu töten suchten, kam die Meldung hinauf zu dem Befehlshaber der Schar3, daß ganz Jerusalem in Aufruhr sei.
32 Der nahm sogleich Soldaten und Hauptleute mit sich und eilte zu ihnen hinab. Als sie aber den Befehlshaber und die Soldaten sahen, hörten sie auf, den Paulus zu schlagen.
33 Da kam der Befehlshaber herzu und verhaftete ihn und ließ ihn mit zwei Ketten fesseln und erkundigte sich, wer er denn sei und was er getan habe.
34 In der Menge aber schrieen die einen dies, die anderen das; und da er wegen des Tumultes nichts Gewisses erfahren konnte, befahl er, ihn in die Kaserne4 zu führen.
35 Als er aber an die Stufen kam, mußte er von den Soldaten getragen werden wegen der Gewalttätigkeit der Volksmenge.
36 Denn die Masse des Volkes folgte nach und schrie: Hinweg mit ihm!
37 Und als Paulus in die Kaserne geführt werden sollte, sprach er zu dem Befehlshaber: Darf ich etwas zu dir sagen? Er aber sprach: Du verstehst Griechisch?
38 Bist du also nicht der Ägypter, der vor diesen Tagen einen Aufruhr erregte und die 4 000 Mann Meuchelmörder in die Wüste hinausführte?
39 Aber Paulus sprach: Ich bin ein jüdischer Mann aus Tarsus, Bürger einer nicht unberühmten Stadt in Cilicien. Ich bitte dich, erlaube mir, zum Volk zu reden!
v31a… Now as they were seeking to kill him… Paul has been seized by this crazy mob….   They wanted to kill him… right there in the outer courtyard area of the temple mount….. Paul had been attacked by murderous mobs before (Acts 14:5, 19)… and he must have thought, "Here we go again!"…..
v31b… News came to the commander of the garrison that all Jerusalem was in an uproar… The Tower of Antonia… Which is at the northwest corner of the temple mount…. The commander was a Chiliarch…. He had about 1000 Roman soldiers at his command… And they were only two flights of stairs from the court of the Gentiles…
v32… When they saw the commander and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul… The Romans  arrested Paul both for his own protection…. They moved to stop the cause of the uproar…..
v33… Two chains…  Paul was chained to a solider on each side… Paul certainly remembered the prophecy of Agabus (Acts 21:11)…

v36… The multitude of the people followed after, crying out, "Away with him!"… When the mob cried out for his death…. Paul must have had de-ja-vu here…. I think Paul remembered when he was part of that stoned Stephen to death(Acts 7:54-8:1)…..
v37-39… At first, the Roman commander thought that Paul was a terrorist…. and was surprised that Paul was an educated man and could speak Greek…..
According to Josephus… The Egyptian mentioned here   led an army of four thousand rebels…. They declared they would take over the temple mount….. Roman soldiers had quickly defeated them but the leader got away…. Paul says no… v39…
v39… I am a Jew from Tarsus, in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city… When Paul identified himself as a citizen of Tarsus…. The commander realized that he was not a terrorist… He was willing to let him speak… Even now with his life in danger from an angry mob…. Paul had one thing on his mind… He said to himself….What a crowd… Let me preach the gospel!"….. v40…
Acts 21: 40                      NKJV  slt 2000
40 So when he had given him permission, Paul stood on the stairs and motioned with his hand to the people. And when there was a great silence, he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, saying,
40 Und als er ihm die Erlaubnis gab, stellte sich Paulus auf die Stufen und gab dem Volk ein Zeichen mit der Hand. Und als es ganz still geworden war, redete er sie in hebräischer Sprache an und sagte:
v40a… So when he had given him permission… Why did the commander allow Paul to speak to the crowd? Because he had recognized that he had wronged Paul… and because he hoped that Paul's speech might quiet down the mob…
v40b… Paul stood on the stairs and motioned with his hand to the people. And when there was a great silence, he spoke to them in the Hebrew language… What a moment! Paul stood and looked at them…. The    rioting mob became silent….. Notice Paul spoke to them in Hebrew… He spoke Hebrew with his Jewish audience…. This was something Paul had long prayed for…. He had an incredible heart for the salvation of his fellow Jews Romans 9:1-5…. and He was the perfect man to effectively communicate the gospel to them…  
Paul's unbelieveable ministry shows us how to follow Jesus… With everything that we have…. In a way unlike most of us…. Paul really did know the fellowship of Jesus sufferings…. He was often being conformed to His death (Philippians 3:10)…. He followed Jesus no matter what it cost him….
My friends… we are called to follow Jesus to…. We shouldn't be surprised about our hard times…. Even when we are falsely accused…. Even when we are Hated for His great names sake…. Even when we are killed for Jesus´ sake… Jesus said that it would happen… Please turn with me to Luke 21… v16,17…
Luke 21: 16,17                       NKJV    slt 2000
16 You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. 17 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.
16 Ihr werdet aber auch von Eltern und Brüdern und Verwandten und Freunden ausgeliefert werden, und man wird etliche von euch töten,
17 und ihr werdet von allen gehaßt werden um meines Namens willen.
The Gospel is powerful….. It causes everyone who hears it to choose…. Some will choose life and repent of their sins and cry out Jesus…. Some will refuse to repent…. They will become enemies of Jesus and enemies of all Christians…. We must choose to follow Jesus…. No matter what the cost… Once again Isil has taken Christians captive…. We need to pray diligently for our suffering brothers and Sisters… We need to pray for ourselves too… there may come  a time when we must lay down our lives for Jesus…. and trust God will gloriously raise us up….
Let´s continue as Paul proclaims the Gospel to his fellow Jews… ch22…. V1..
Acts 22:1- 5                                     NKJV
1 “Brethren and fathers, hear my defense before you now.” 2 And when they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, they kept all the more silent.
Then he said: 3 “I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strictness of our fathers’ law, and was zealous toward God as you all are today.
4 I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women, 5 as also the high priest bears me witness, and all the council of the elders, from whom I also received letters to the brethren, and went to Damascus to bring in chains even those who were there to Jerusalem to be punished.
Acts 22: 1-5                                     slt 2000
1 Ihr Männer, Brüder und Väter, hört jetzt meine Verteidigung vor euch an!
2 Als sie aber hörten, daß er in hebräischer Sprache zu ihnen redete, wurden sie noch ruhiger; und er sprach:
3 Ich bin ein jüdischer Mann, geboren in Tarsus in Cilicien, aber erzogen in dieser Stadt, zu den Füßen Gamaliels, unterwiesen in der gewissenhaften Einhaltung des Gesetzes der Väter, und ich war ein Eiferer für Gott, wie ihr alle es heute seid.
4 Ich verfolgte diesen Weg bis auf den Tod, indem ich Männer und Frauen band und ins Gefängnis überlieferte,
5 wie mir auch der Hohepriester und die ganze Ältestenschaft Zeugnis gibt. Von ihnen empfing ich sogar Briefe an die Brüder und zog nach Damaskus, um auch die, welche dort waren, gebunden nach Jerusalem zu führen, damit sie bestraft würden.

v1,2… Brethren and fathers, hear… Paul began his great sermon before the Jews the same way Stephen did: Men and brethren and fathers, listen. (Acts 7:2) He was very respectful to these who were trying to kill him just minutes before…. I don´t even know  if I would have said anything at all…
v3a… I am indeed a Jew… Paul is careful to lay the common ground between them….
v3b… Born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel… Paul say that although he was born in Tarsus…  He was brought up in Jerusalem… And he told them that he learned at the feet of Gamaliel… one of the most respected rabbis of the day (Acts 5:34).
Paul still served the God of his fathers…. he had not rejected Judaism…. Judaism had rejected Jesus the Messiah…..
v3c… Zealous toward God as you all are today… Paul also reminds the crowd of his Zeal as a persecutor of the Way… I even traveled outside of Jerusalem seeking out these Christians… Paul is very clear…. "I understand your anger and Zeal… I was exactly like you….   I know where you are coming from… But something happened to Paul as he tried to kill Christians… v…6…
Acts 22: 6-11                              NKJV   
6 “Now it happened, as I journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me. 7 And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ 8 So I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’
9 “And those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me. 10 So I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Arise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do.’ 11 And since I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Damascus.
Acts 21: 6-11                     slt 2000
6 Es geschah mir aber, als ich auf meiner Reise in die Nähe von Damaskus kam, daß mich am Mittag plötzlich vom Himmel her ein helles Licht umstrahlte.
7 Und ich fiel zu Boden und hörte eine Stimme, die zu mir sprach: Saul! Saul! Warum verfolgst du mich?
8 Ich aber antwortete: Wer bist du, Herr? Und er sprach zu mir: Ich bin Jesus, der Nazarener, den du verfolgst!
9 Meine Begleiter aber sahen zwar das Licht und wurden voll Furcht, aber die Stimme dessen, der mit mir redete, hörten sie nicht.
10 Und ich sprach: Was soll ich tun, Herr? Der Herr sprach zu mir: Steh auf und geh nach Damaskus! Dort wird man dir alles sagen, was dir zu tun bestimmt ist.
11 Da ich aber wegen des Glanzes jenes Lichtes nicht sehen konnte, wurde ich von meinen Begleitern an der Hand geführt und kam nach Damaskus.

v6,7… Suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me… Paul was a determined persecutor of Christians…. and He rejected Jesus as Messiah until… This light from heaven shone on him….. It is as if Paul is saying: "I was just like you until I met Jesus…. In an instant… Jesus radically transformed my life….
v8-10… I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting… Paul realized that he was persecuting Jesus Himself…. This miraculous light was brighter than the noonday sun…..
v11… And since I could not see for the glory of that light… The brightness of that light made Paul blind…. Ironic because by persecuting Jesus…. This great Pharisee showed that he was spiritually blind…. now he is also physically blind… and This proud Pharisee must humbly be led by the hand into the city of Damascus….. v12…
Acts 22: 12 -16                     NKJV
12 “Then a certain Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good testimony with all the Jews who dwelt there, 13 came to me; and he stood and said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that same hour I looked up at him. 14 Then he said, ‘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. 15 For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
Acts 22: 12-16                        slt 2000
12 Aber ein gewisser Ananias, ein gottesfürchtiger Mann nach dem Gesetz, der von allen Juden, die dort wohnen, ein gutes Zeugnis hat,
13 der kam zu mir, trat herzu und sprach zu mir: Bruder Saul, werde wieder sehend! Und zur selben Stunde konnte ich ihn sehen.
14 Er aber sprach: Der Gott unserer Väter hat dich vorherbestimmt, seinen Willen zu erkennen und den Gerechten zu sehen und die Stimme aus seinem Mund zu hören;
15 denn du sollst bei allen Menschen ein Zeuge für ihn sein von dem, was du gesehen und gehört hast.
16 Und nun, was zögerst du? Steh auf und laß dich taufen, und laß deine Sünden abwaschen, indem du den Namen des Herrn anrufst!
v12,13… Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good testimony with all the Jews… Paul notes that it was Ananias…. a man with credentials as a good Jew who received him into the Christian family…..
v14… The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will… As we listen to Paul's speech… we see that God has ordained everything that has happened to Paul…  
v15… you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard…. This is exactly the mission of very believer…. To testify to the grace and mercy of our great God and Savior The Lord Jesus Christ…. Like Paul… Jesus has also transformed our lives…. Because you and I have also seen Jesus…… We have seen Him in this book…. Jesus said that we are blessed…. Turn with me to John 20…v29…
John 20: 29-31                                   NKJV  
 29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.
30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
29 Jesus spricht zu ihm: Thomas, du glaubst, weil du mich gesehen hast; glückselig sind, die nicht sehen und doch glauben!  
30 Noch viele andere Zeichen tat Jesus nun vor seinen Jüngern, die in diesem Buch nicht geschrieben sind.
31 Diese aber sind geschrieben, damit ihr glaubt, daß Jesus der Christus, der Sohn Gottes ist, und damit ihr durch den Glauben Leben habt in seinem Namen.
Although we have not directly seen and touched the Lord Jesus….. We have seen Him here in this book….. We have heard the Good News of the Gospel…. We have repented of our sins….. Jesus has saved and transformed us… And we have everlasting life through His name… The Good News is that although we are lost in ours sins…. Jesus has paid the penalty and redeemed us so that we can live for Him….
Back to Acts 22…v…16..
Acts 22:16                 NKJV  slt 2000
16 And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
16 Und nun, was zögerst du? Steh auf und laß dich taufen, und laß deine Sünden abwaschen, indem du den Namen des Herrn anrufst!
v16… Now Paul calls on his fellow Jews to get up and be Baptised….  This is a call to genuine repentance… He is asking for a public profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Messiah and Lord…. This was no raise your hand and pray the prayer altar call by Paul…. Paul called for a public display of repentance and conversion from them…. This was a direct assault on their pride and legalism…. You see…. Baptism was for Heathen converts to Judaism…. So that they could wash away their Gentileness…. Paul was saying…. Listen… you are not fooling me…. And you are not fooling God… He sees your pride and self righteousness…. You must show genuine repentance….
Humble your selves and be baptized now… Cry out to the Lord for mercy…. Wash away your sins once and for all… Can you see Paul´s deep love and care for these people…
Remember just a few minutes ago they were trying to Kill him… But that was Paul´s great example to us…. He faced the prospect of beating and death again….. and yet….. The only thing that he cared about was to seize the moment for the Gospel…. He took the opportunity to proclaim the Gospel to them….
We can clearly see his deep desire for their salvation by reading Romans ch 9 and 10…. A great place for your own quiet times…

I want to leave us with some very practical advice from Paul´s example on these temple steps…. We can apply these same principles to the disasters that we encounter in our lives… And we can use his pattern when we give our own personal testimonies…
1… Accept the Hard times that confront you as being God ordained…. The Lord was not surprised….. And The Lord has a plan for this disaster… We have nothing to be afraid of…
2… Know that this disaster is an opportunity….. It is an opportunity to trust the Lord and His unfailing love and mercy…. It is an opportunity  to testify to the great grace and mercy that He has shown you…. It is not a time to turn in fear…
3… build bridges to your enemies…. Show them that you can relate… Be loving and patient and gracious…
4… When you talk about Salvation magnify the LORD…. Talk about what the Lord did in your heart and life… Proclaim Gods´ desire and power to save and transform lives….
One last scripture this morning…. The whole reason for the conflict in the Temple that day…. was because some people continued to believe that they could obey the law of God…. and by perfect obedience become righteous on their own….. Impossible…. The reason for the law was to show us our sin filled hearts…. To point us to the need for a Savior…. To point us to Jesus…. turn to Galatians 2: 19…
Galatians 2 : 19-21                        NLT  
19 For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. 20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.
Galatians 2: 19 -21                          Neues Leben
19 Durch das Gesetz werde ich verurteilt, weil ich es nicht erfüllen kann. Ich aber bin mit Christus gekreuzigt, sodass ich jetzt nicht mehr unter dem Gesetz stehe, sondern für Gott lebe.
20 Ich lebe, aber nicht mehr ich selbst, sondern Christus lebt in mir. Ich lebe also mein Leben in diesem irdischen Körper im Glauben an den Sohn Gottes, der mich geliebt und sich selbst für mich geopfert hat.
21 Ich gehöre nicht zu denen, die die Gnade Gottes gering achten. Denn wenn wir durch das Gesetz gerettet werden könnten6, hätte Christus nicht sterben müssen.

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