Acts 22; 24 Commentary: Paul’s Submission to Authority

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Paul focused on the Gospel and submitted to the horrors of the civil government authority

Apostle Paul was careful to offend Roman authority. However, he rebuked high-ranking religious leaders, such as the Sanhedrin. (Acts 23:1-3)

A son of a Pharisee himself, he criticized them for their hypocrisy. His focus was not to change how they ran the abusive “religious government” but to tell them who Jesus is.

“Saint Paul” had a single mission, to proclaim who Jesus is (Acts 23:6). He knew that repentance and turning to Jesus would bring real transformation.

Acts 23:6
“My brothers, I am a Pharisee, descended from Pharisees. I stand on trial because of the hope of the resurrection of the dead.”

Paul used his privileges to witness in Rome, his testimony was critical in influencing the governor.

Apostle Paul was a citizen of Rome by birth. By law, he had certain privileges that he used to supervene his mission. The commander and soldiers became worried about how they treated him after learning he was a Roman citizen. (Acts 22:29)

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He didn’t openly criticize authority, Governor Felix enabled him to talk about Jesus.

Acts 16:37
“They beat us in public without a trial, although we are Roman citizens, and threw us in jail. And now are they going to smuggle us out secretly? Certainly not! On the contrary, let them come themselves and escort us out! ”

Acts 23:23
Then he called two of his centurions and ordered them, “Get ready a detachment of two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen to go to Caesarea at nine tonight. Provide horses for Paul so that he may be taken safely to Governor Felix.”

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Paul was accused of stirring riots, but the ‘peaceable reputation’ of Christians made it difficult to prove

He was respectful to the soldiers, commander and accepted the course of law without contempt and bitterness. When he wrote to the Philippians, Paul’s heart was full of joy and thankfulness.

As a result, the commander protected him from his own people, and Paul was able to share the Gospel in Jerusalem and Rome (Acts 23:11,23).

Paul’s ‘peaceable attitude’ towards civil authority earned him favor

Governor Felix knew the reputation of Christians (the Way), and he clearly had difficulty finding fault in Paul. That is why the Apostles admonished Christians to always be at peace with unbelievers to win them. (Acts 24:22-27; 1 Peter 2:23-24)

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