Acts 23:12-24:27 Paul’s Second Defense

Even in an oration, whose direct object was the demonstration of his own innocence and the preservation of his own life, Paul contrives incidentally to indulge his ruling passion — that is, to commend the gospel of Christ, He carefully points out that the. belief of the gospel is not the rejection of the Mosaic system, but its natural result. He testifies to thoughtful Jews that the right understanding of Moses leads to the reception of Jesus as the Christ. In the matter of the resurrection, too, which was the immediate occasion of the tumult in the council at Jerusalem, his faith coincided with that of the Pharisees who were prosecuting him.

Besides allusions to controverted doctrines, he introduces a most interesting and instructive reference to personal, practical holiness of life; “Herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God and toward men’ This is a precious morsel ; especially when we consider the position in which it stands and the circumstances in which it was given. In great ecclesiastical and doctrinal contentions, such as those in which Paul was then engaged, or those which agitate the Church in our own day, zeal in public debate too often overrides and crushes private, personal godliness and purity of conscience. It is reproving and instructive to observe that the Apostle of the Gentiles, at the very moment when he was compelled to contend alone against a nation leagued to destroy him, devoted himself habitually and with all his might to the growth of grace in his own soul, and the practice of righteousness in all his conduct. Clear in his logic as well as ardent in his affections, he rightly divides the word of truth on this subject for our instruction in the end of the world. Morality with Paul, as with Moses, diverges into two main channels, — the first containing our duty to God, and the second our duty to man. He strove to have these two commandments written, not with ink, but on the fleshy tables of his heart. Let the conscience be clean, whether it point upward to God, or outward to men. The two great commandments in this preacher’s life were, ”Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, and thy neighbour as thyself.”

William Arnot

Heart Preparation
Read Acts 23:12-24:27. Notice how Paul fights for the preservation of the gospel in 24:14. Why is necessary to take such pains to preserve the gospel? Where does the gospel need to inform and be preserved in our lives?

Posted on: May 15, 2014 - 10:00PM

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