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What! Another trial?

Our sermon text for August 4 is Acts 25:1-12. Two years have passed since Felix put Paul in prison. Felix was replaced by Festus and, almost immediately, the Jews were attempting to trick Festus into sending Paul to Jerusalem so that they could ambush him along the way. But once again, the Jews’ plans to ambush Paul failed. And once again, the Jews cam to Caesarea to bring charges against Paul, but they could not prove that he was guilty of anything.

This has become a routine in Paul’s life. Trial and after trial, he is never found guilty; yet because of the pressure the Jews are bringing, Paul is never set free.

Now we (with our finite human reasoning) would think that Paul would be more useful for building the kingdom of God if he were set free from prison and was able to go wherever he wanted. But God is going to show us that Paul’s most mighty work will be done while incarcerated.

This Sunday we’re going to look at what God was able to accomplish through a man who was shackled in chains. Those chains were, along with the Jews’ incessant charges, were Paul’s ticket to Rome. Because of these bogus charges, Paul will eventually stand on trial before emperor Nero and give his testimony concerning Christ to one of the most wicked men to ever rule in Rome.

Acts 25:1-12 is one of the pages in this story of Paul travelling from Jerusalem to Rome… and it has some unique aspects that we’ll highlight this Sunday. As you read through this section of Scripture, pay particular attention to how Paul interacts with the civil government.

What statements does Paul make that demonstrates a limitation of the civil government?

What statements does Paul make that recognizes the legitimate authority and power of the civil government?

Is there a lesson here on how the church government is supposed to interact with the civil government?