Wednesday Service: Paul Before Festus

Berlin Immanuel Church members gathered for Wednesday service, continuing in Acts 25. After two years of the apostle being held in custody under Felix, a new governor, Festus, comes to Caesarea. The high priest in Jerusalem had changed as well, but Paul’s situation was still the same. The Jews still breathed hatred and death towards the apostle and the Roman governor wasn’t able to do what was right and release Paul despite knowing the accusations against him had no evidence. Being a new governor in the province, he was more interested in gaining favor with the Jews and giving Paul over to them, rather than upholding the Roman law and protecting her citizen. Luke records a story of those who were in position to do justice but withheld justice, they were in position to do righteousness but they withheld it because something else was more convenient. They lived a life following what benefits them rather than following their principles and doing what was right. And the people of God are in the danger of falling in the same sin. In Micah 6:8, God says He has shown his people what he requires of us – to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with God. But they have failed and walked in sin too often. They forgot the love of God who saves us from sin (Micah 6:3-5) by his grace (vs 6, 7), so God gave them over to the consequences of their sin. But those who look at God first and remember his great love and walk humbly with Him will do justice, they will do what is right even when it comes at a cost. Paul said in his defense he was willing to receive even the punishment of death if it was deserved. A man who remembers the grace of God finds patience when injustice is committed against him and waits patiently on God; he finds courage to do what is right even when it’s hard because he loves God; and he finds wisdom to be ready to defend his hope. May we be people who remember to look at the cross of Christ first and put God’s will above self-interest, and God will not disappoint us.