- The Jewish prosecution employed on this occasion a trained advocate, Tertullus. What four charges are brought against Paul? What evidence is produced in support?
- How did Paul answer these charges? See verses 11-13; 14-16; 17, 18. Note especially: (a) That Paul had to contend with unsupported and false accusations (verses 19-21). He was firm but calm in refuting them. Are you, when you are in the same situation? (b) Paul was able to give a reason for the hope that he had (verses 14-16). Can you? (c) Paul was really on trial because he believed in the resurrection of the dead (verse 21). Does this truth make a practical difference to your life?
Acts 24:22 -25:12
- 24:22-27. Paul before Felix. What four motives controlled Felix’s treatment of Paul? Do self-interest and fear ever stop you from doing what is right?
- 25:1-12. Paul before Festus. Why did Paul refuse Festus’ offer for a trial in Jerusalem, and instead, as a Roman citizen, claim his right to appeal to Caesar? Do you think Paul was taking the right course of action regardless of the consequences?
- What evidence is there that Festus can be commended for his fair dealings with Paul? Nevertheless, what major fault did he reveal (cf. Mark 15:15; Acts 24:27; 25:9)? Do you believe that God sometimes uses non-Christians, with their faults, for his own purposes? Cf. Is 45:1. Should this our attitude towards people in authority?
- What promises of God are now being fulfilled in Paul’s experience? Cf. Acts 9:15, 16; 22:15. What condition did Paul have to satisfy? How would God’s word prevent him from feeling that the last two years awaiting trial had been a waste of time?
- Paul makes his defence before King Agrippa. He deals with three themes: (a) his life before he was converted (verses 4-11), (b) hi conversion (verses 12-15), and (c) his commission to serve Jesus (verses 16-18). Sum up in a few words each of these three periods in Paul’s life. What made this change and what was the real question at issue in this trial? See verses 6-8; 13-15.
- How does the Lord Jesus, in the commission which he gave to Paul (verses 16-18), describe (a) the lost condition of mankind, (b) the content of salvation, and (c) the method of salvation?
- What do you learn about obedience from Paul’s example (verses 19-23)? Note especially (a) the place where he witnessed, (b) the message he gave, (c) the cost involved, and (d) the help God gave. Does your obedience cost you anything?
- What was the motive that enabled Paul to speak so boldly and yet politely before such men as Festus and Agrippa? Cf. verse 29 with I Cor. 9:16-22 and 2Cor. 5:14. Is this true in your life?