The governor nodded at Paul, giving him permission to speak. He responded, “I know that you have been judge over this nation for many years, so I gladly offer my own defense. You can verify that I went up to worship in Jerusalem no more than twelve days ago. They didn’t find me arguing with anyone in the temple or stirring up a crowd, whether in the synagogue or anywhere else in the city. Nor can they prove to you the allegations they are now bringing against me. I do admit this to you, that I am a follower of the Way, which they call a faction. Accordingly, I worship the God of our ancestors and believe everything set out in the Law and written in the Prophets. The hope I have in God I also share with my accusers, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous. On account of this, I have committed myself to maintaining a clear conscience before God and with all people. After an absence of several years, I came to Jerusalem to bring gifts for the poor of my nation and to offer sacrifices. When they found me in the temple, I was ritually pure. There was no crowd and no disturbance. But there were some Jews from the province of Asia. They should be here making their accusations, if indeed they have something against me. In their absence, have these people who are here declare what crime they found when I stood before the Jerusalem Council. Perhaps it concerns this one statement that I blurted out when I was with them: ‘I am on trial before you today because of the resurrection of the dead.’” Felix, who had an accurate understanding of the Way, adjourned the meeting. He said, “When Lysias the commander arrives from Jerusalem, I will decide this case.” He arranged for a centurion to guard Paul. He was to give Paul some freedom, and his friends were not to be hindered in their efforts to provide for him. (Acts 24:10-23, CEB)
Could you do what Paul did in the text here?
We should all be ready to give a testimony of who we are and why we do and believe the things we do.
In an earlier chapter in Acts Paul said he was on trial because of hope. And in this chapter, he says because of the resurrection of the dead.
But I say hope and resurrection from the dead are the same things. The hope we have is in the fact that we will be raised with Jesus. That is the hope.
And that is the thing we all need to be ready to stand and give testimony of.
Are you ready?
Loving People. Loving God.