Before Governors and Kings

Before Governors and Kings



Psalm 108:1-5 [ Scripture Reading ]
Come Ye Sinners [ Song ]
Prayer of Confession
Let Your Blood Plead For Me [ Song ]
See The Conqueror Mount In Triumph [ Song ]
New City Catechism Q.12
Praise To The Lord [ Song ]
Message
What A Friend We Have In Jesus [ Song ]
We Are Not Overcome [ Song ]
Benediction
(Psalm 108:1-5) With God We Shall Do Valiantly
A Song. A Psalm Of David.
1 My heart is steadfast, O God!
I will sing and make melody with all my being!1
2 Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn!
3 I will give thanks to you, O LORD, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to you among the nations.
4 For your steadfast love is great qabove the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!
(Acts 24-26) Paul Before Felix at Caesarea
[Ch.24]1 And safter five days the high priest tAnanias came down with some elders and a spokesman, one Tertullus. They laid before uthe governor their case against Paul. 2 And when he had been summoned, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying:
“Since through you we enjoy much peace, and since by your foresight, vmost excellent Felix, reforms are being made for this nation, 3 in every way and everywhere we accept this with all gratitude. 4 But, to detain1 you no further, I beg you in your kindness to hear us briefly. 5 For we have found this man a plague, wone who stirs up riots among all the Jews throughout the world and is a ringleader of xthe sect of the Nazarenes. 6 yHe even tried to profane the temple, but we seized him.2 8 By examining him yourself you will be able to find out from him about everything of which we accuse him.”
9 The Jews also joined in the charge, affirming that all these things were so.
10 And when the governor had nodded to him to speak, Paul replied:
“Knowing that for many years you have been a judge over this nation, I cheerfully make my defense. 11 You can verify that zit is not more than twelve days since I awent up bto worship in Jerusalem, 12 and cthey did not find me disputing with anyone or stirring up a crowd, either in the temple or in the synagogues or in the city. 13 dNeither can they prove to you what they now bring up against me. 14 But this I confess to you, that according to ethe Way, which they call fa sect, gI worship hthe God of our fathers, believing everything ilaid down by the Law and written in the Prophets, 15 jhaving ka hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be la resurrection mof both the just and the unjust. 16 So I always ntake pains to have a oclear conscience toward both God and man. 17 Now pafter several years qI came to bring alms to rmy nation and to present sofferings. 18 While I was doing this, they found me tpurified in the temple, without any crowd or tumult. But usome Jews from Asia— 19 vthey ought to be here before you and to make an accusation, should they have anything against me. 20 Or else let these men themselves say what wrongdoing they found when I stood before the council, 21 other than this one thing wthat I cried out while standing among them: ‘It is with respect to the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you this day.’”
Paul Kept in Custody
22 But Felix, having a rather accurate knowledge of xthe Way, put them off, saying, “When Lysias the tribune comes down, I will decide your case.” 23 Then he gave orders to the centurion that he yshould be kept in custody but have some liberty, and that znone of his friends should be prevented from attending to his needs.
24 After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about afaith bin Christ Jesus. 25 And as he reasoned cabout righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, “Go away for the present. dWhen I get an opportunity I will summon you.” 26 At the same time he hoped ethat money would be given him by Paul. So he sent for him often and conversed with him. 27 When two years had elapsed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius fFestus. And gdesiring to do the Jews a favor, hFelix left Paul in prison.
Paul Appeals to Caesar
[Ch.25] 1 Now three days after Festus had arrived in ithe province, he went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. 2 And the chief priests and the principal men of the Jews jlaid out their case against Paul, and they urged him, 3 asking as a favor against Paul1 that he summon him to Jerusalem—because kthey were planning an ambush to kill him on the way. 4 Festus replied that Paul was being kept at Caesarea and that he himself intended to go there shortly. 5 “So,” said he, “let the men of authority among you go down with me, and if there is anything wrong about the man, let them bring charges against him.”
6 After he stayed among them not more than eight or ten days, he went down to Caesarea. And the next day he took his seat on lthe tribunal and ordered Paul to be brought. 7 When he had arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many and serious charges against him mthat they could not prove. 8 Paul argued in his defense, “Neither nagainst othe law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor pagainst Caesar have I committed any offense.” 9 But Festus, qwishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, “Do you wish to go up to Jerusalem and there be tried on these charges before me?” 10 But Paul said, “I am standing before Caesar’s rtribunal, where I ought to be tried. To the Jews I have done no wrong, as you yourself know very well. 11 If then I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death. But if there is nothing to their charges against me, no one can give me up to them. sI appeal to Caesar.” 12 Then Festus, when he had conferred with his council, answered, “To Caesar you have appealed; to Caesar you shall go.”
Paul Before Agrippa and Bernice
13 Now when some days had passed, Agrippa the king and Bernice arrived at Caesarea and greeted Festus. 14 And as they stayed there many days, Festus laid Paul’s case before the king, saying, t“There is a man left prisoner by Felix, 15 and when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews laid out their case uagainst him, asking for a sentence of condemnation against him. 16 vI answered them that it was not the custom of the Romans to give up anyone wbefore the accused met the accusers face to face and had opportunity to make his defense concerning the charge laid against him. 17 xSo when they came together here, I made no delay, but on the next day took my seat on ythe tribunal and ordered the man to be brought. 18 When the accusers stood up, they brought no charge in his case of such evils as I supposed. 19 Rather they zhad certain points of dispute with him about their own religion and about aa certain Jesus, who was dead, but whom Paul asserted to be alive. 20 Being at a loss how to investigate these questions, I basked whether he wanted to go to Jerusalem and be tried there regarding them. 21 But cwhen Paul had appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of dthe emperor, I ordered him to be held until I could send him to Caesar.” 22 Then eAgrippa said to Festus, “I would like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” said he, “you will hear him.”
23 So on the next day fAgrippa and Bernice came with great pomp, and they entered the audience hall with the military tribunes and the prominent men of the city. Then, at the command of Festus, Paul was brought in. 24 And Festus said, “King Agrippa and all who are present with us, you see this man about whom gthe whole Jewish people petitioned me, both in Jerusalem and here, hshouting that he ought not to live any longer. 25 But I found that ihe had done nothing deserving death. And jas he himself appealed to kthe emperor, I decided to go ahead and send him. 26 But I have nothing definite to write to my lord about him. Therefore I have brought him before you all, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that, after we have examined him, I may have something to write. 27 For it seems to me unreasonable, in sending a prisoner, not to indicate the charges against him.”
Paul’s Defense Before Agrippa
[Ch.26] 1 So lAgrippa said to Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.” Then Paul stretched out his hand and made his defense:
2 “I consider myself fortunate that it is before you, King Agrippa, I am going to make my defense today magainst all the accusations of the Jews, 3 especially because you are familiar with all the ncustoms and ocontroversies of the Jews. Therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently.
4 p“My manner of life from my youth, spent from the beginning among qmy own nation and in Jerusalem, is known by all the Jews. 5 They have known for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that raccording to the strictest sparty of our treligion I have lived as ua Pharisee. 6 And now I stand here on trial because of my hope in vthe promise made by God to our fathers, 7 wto which xour twelve tribes hope to yattain, as they earnestly worship night and day. And for this hope zI am accused by Jews, O king! 8 Why is it thought aincredible by any of you that God raises the dead?
9 b“I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of cJesus of Nazareth. 10 dAnd I did so in Jerusalem. I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority efrom the chief priests, but fwhen they were put to death I cast my vote against them. 11 And gI punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them hblaspheme, and iin raging fury against them I jpersecuted them even to foreign cities.
Paul Tells of His Conversion
12 “In this connection kI journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. 13 At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me. 14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me lin the Hebrew language,1 ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15 And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and mstand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, nto appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, 17 odelivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—pto whom I qam sending you 18 rto open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from sthe power of Satan to God, that they may receive tforgiveness of sins and ua place among those who are sanctified vby faith in me.’
19 “Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to wthe heavenly vision, 20 but declared first xto those in Damascus, ythen in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also zto the Gentiles, that they should arepent and bturn to God, performing deeds cin keeping with their repentance. 21 For this reason dthe Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. 22 eTo this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so fI stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what gthe prophets and Moses said would come to pass: 23 hthat the Christ imust suffer and that, jby being the first kto rise from the dead, lhe would proclaim mlight both to our people and to the Gentiles.”
24 And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, nyou are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind.” 25 But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, omost excellent Festus, but I am speaking ptrue and qrational words. 26 For rthe king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.” 28 And Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me to be sa Christian?”2 29 And Paul said, “Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day tmight become such as I am—except for uthese chains.”
30 Then the king rose, and vthe governor and Bernice and those who were sitting with them. 31 And when they had withdrawn, they said to one another, w“This man is doing nothing to deserve death or imprisonment.” 32 And Agrippa said to Festus, x“This man could have been set yfree if he had not appealed zto Caesar.”

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