Acts 22

Day 22, Acts 22.

This chapter of the book of the Acts of the Apostles begins with Paul speaking in “the Hebrew dialect.” There’s some discussion as to which one that would have been – Aramaic or Hebrew. But which ever one it was, the Jews became quiet enough to hear. Paul shared his history – that he was a Jew, strictly following the Law, and how he had persecuted those who followed the Way to the death, imprisoning men and women. He shared how he met Jesus and the power of God, and he suddenly was blinded by the light and was given a new direction. He was told by Ananias,

“14 … The God of our fathers has appointed you to know His will and to see the Righteous One and to hear an utterance from His mouth. 15 For you will be a witness for Him to all men of what you have seen and heard.”

Its clear that GOD had set an appointment for Paul so he would learn God’s will, to hear from His Son that he was to be a witness for Christ to all men. This was not an accident. This was not a surprise for God. This was something that God appointed for Paul.

Let me take some time here to address the fact that there are some who would believe that Ananias saying to Paul to be baptized and wash away his sins means that baptism is required for salvation.

16 Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.’”

If water baptism would have been so important, then Paul would have been sent to baptize.

1 Corinthians 1:14-17

14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one would say you were baptized in my name.16 Now I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any other. 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void.

 Let us look at the description of the actual event by Luke in Acts 9:17-18. Notice that Ananias was sent to Saul to lay hands on him to restore his sight and to receive the Holy Spirit. After THAT is when Saul was baptized.

17 So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized;

If water baptism would have been so important, then Paul would have been sent to baptize – but he was not.

1 Corinthians 1:14-17

14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one would say you were baptized in my name.16 Now I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any other. 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void.

We know that it is not water which washes our sins away. We are justified by faith in the blood of Christ – not by water.

Romans 5:1, 6-10

Therefore, having been justified by faith,we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man;though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

We are sanctified by the blood of Christ.

Hebrews 10:29

29 How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?

We are freed from our sins by the blood of Christ – His death.

Revelation 1:5

and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood

We were  washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord and the Spirit of our God.

1 Corinthians 6:11

11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

So, we were justified, sanctified, and washed from sin in the Spirit of God and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ by faith in the blood of Christ – NOT by water baptism.

Now that we have addressed the fact that water baptism does not save us, we return to Paul explaining what God had done. He had Paul leave Jerusalem because the believers  there would not accept him. God sent Paul to the Gentiles.

It was at this sentence where the Jews got upset again and said he shouldn’t even be allows to live. As they were working themselves up, throwing off their cloaks and tossing dust into the air, the Roman commander ordered him brought into their barracks and gave orders to whip him to find out why the Jews were shouting against him in that way.

Instead of taking it meekly, Paul stood up for his rights as a Roman citizen. This is an important thing to realize: This was Paul who had said we are citizens of the kingdom of God and ambassadors.

Philippians 3:20

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ
2 Corinthians 5:18-21

18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Even though we ARE citizens of the kingdom of God, even though we ARE ambassadors for Christ, we have the right to exercise our rights as citizens of a nation here on earth. this is what Paul did. He stood up for his rights as a citizen of Rome. He made it clear that he didn’t pay a price for his citizenship, but that he was BORN a citizen.  This caused the soldiers to release him at once.

The chapter ends with the Roman commander to call together the chief priests and the Council and Paul together to determine why he had been accused by the Jews.

Have you searched for the truth? Have you gathered together the various view points to see what the truth is? Christ is the truth and will answer your questions if you seek the truth.

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