HOPE AND RESURRECTION: Acts 22:30-23:11

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SCRIPTURE

Acts 22:30–23:11 30 But on the next day, desiring to know the real reason why he was being accused by the Jews, he unbound him and commanded the chief priests and all the council to meet, and he brought Paul down and set him before them.

23 And looking intently at the council, Paul said, “Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day.” And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting to judge me according to the law, and yet contrary to the law you order me to be struck?”Those who stood by said, “Would you revile God’s high priest?” And Paul said, “I did not know, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’”

Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.” And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. Then a great clamor arose, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees’ party stood up and contended sharply, “We find nothing wrong in this man. What if a spirit or an angel spoke to him?” 10 And when the dissension became violent, the tribune, afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him away from among them by force and bring him into the barracks.

11 The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.”

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. 

BIG IDEA

As the Roman Tribune is trying desperately to figure out why the Jews are trying to kill Paul, the apostle takes the opportunity to remind everyone why he is on trial in the first place: “It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead.” The word hope in the Bible doesn’t simply mean wish or desire or longing, like we use it today. Rather, it means a joyful and confident expectation of future salvation. But how on earth can Christians claim to have that kind of hope? The answer is in verse 6: the resurrection of the dead. Christians can have an unshakable confidence for a bright future because Jesus’ resurrection proves the gospel is true, promises our own resurrection, and provides power to persevere in trusting and obeying Jesus.

DISCUSSION

1. Study through Acts 22:30–23:11 together. What stands out to you and why?

2. In the sermon pastor Brett said, “this word that’s translated hope in verse 6 actually means ‘a joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation.’” How does this definition of the word hope differ from the way we tend to use that word in everyday conversation?

Thomas Arnold, chair of modern history at Oxford, writes, “I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort…than that Christ died and rose again from the dead.” 

3. What are some examples of Biblical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus? Circumstantial evidence? Historical evidence? 

Jesus’ resurrection promises the resurrection of all those saved by Him. We will be given new, glorified bodies. We will never get sick (no cancer, no HIV, not even a common cold); never again suffer; never be depressed; never again wallow in guilt and shame. Never again will we feel fear; never will we shrink back like a coward. Selfishness will be gone. Never will we want to do something that’s right, yet fail to carry it out because of our weakness. Never again will we sin (we’ll not even be tempted!). 

 

We will see things more glorious than we have ever seen; smell things more intriguing than we have ever smelled;  feel things more satisfying that we have ever felt; hear things more beautiful that we have ever heard. And the culmination of all is this: we will see and Jesus fully.

4. Which part of future resurrection, other than seeing Jesus face to face, most excites you and why?

5. How was Paul encouraged to keep trusting and obeying Jesus? How can we be? How should the hope we have in Jesus lead us to persevere in trust and obedience to Him now?

GOOD WORD

No matter what pit you’re in or may fall into, remember Jesus was once in a grave. He will bring you out in this life or the next. Let that strengthen your heart and compel you to persevere in trusting and obeying Jesus.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • MEN’S WORKOUT / BIBLE STUDY (second and fourth Mondays of every month from 6–7am) – The Gospel Rescue Mission is hosting a men’s workout and Bible study. Pastor Brett will be there along with every other willing and able man.

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