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IBC Women’s Blog Post November 14, 2019

IBC Women’s Blog Post November 14, 2019

Move together through Acts: Chapters 25-26 by Jodie Montgomery


Acts 26:4-7 “So then, all Jews know my manner of life from my youth up, which from the beginning was spent among my own nation and at Jerusalem; since they have known about me for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that I lived as a Pharisee according to the strictest sect of our religion. And now I am standing trial for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers; the promise to which our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly serve God night and day. And for this hope, O King, I am being accused by Jews.”

We do not start out as Pharisees, we begin as children. We become Pharisees as time in the strictest sect of our religion develops an attitude of “it has to be just so.” And “I can be just so”. What a change of heart for Paul! When adopted into Christ, Paul committed his life to proclaiming freedom in Christ. Paul accepted  persecution willingly for His Savior as Paul knew Christ is worthy. Christ gave Paul hope. Paul had been operating on the “I need to do this myself” agenda for so many years that finally acknowledging the truth that he could not do righteousness liberated Paul to embrace His good, holy God. The promises of God were now fulfilled for Paul through the redeeming care of His Savior.

Paul longed for those enslaved to their own righteousness to attain the truth of God’s provision of life in Christ. He proclaims that God raises the dead. He admits that his hostility led him to punish many. He confesses that self-righteousness is characterized by anger and evil pursuits.

It took a bright light and the voice of God to catch Paul’s attention. Paul’s conversion set him on a path of bringing light to many so that their eyes would turn from the dominion of Satan to God. We shouldn’t kid ourselves. Self-righteousness is the boulder of boulders as a stumbling block to life in Christ. Self-righteousness mimics Satan. As believers we are set apart to proclaim the mercy of God; as Paul states “that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Christ.”

As we near the end of moving through Acts, may we recognize that the history recorded in this book is still being recorded. Those in Christ continue to profess His liberating power in imputing His own righteousness to those that believe in His name and His forgiveness of their sin. Believers are still facing governors and their families and praying for the opportunity to share the truth of God. In some areas there are believers in chains that stand in greater freedom than their captives.