Paul: The Preacher in Chains

Live like Paul: PREACHER IN CHAINS

We are now almost at the end of our sermon series “Live like Paul”. And we have heard sermons on the life of Saint Paul

Paul: The Persecutor of the Early Church
Paul: The Christian with his Conversion on the Road to Damascus Paul: The Missionary
Paul: The Preacher of Justification
Paul: The Preacher of Love
Paul: The Disciple-Maker
Paul: The Apostle of Hope

Today we would look into the Paul’s life as the Preacher in Chains. Acts 20:22-24
22

I. Prospect of Persecution and Chains

Acts 9:15-16

But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”

And suffer, he did 2 Cor 11
23

“And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me

there.

23

I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing

me.

24

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete

the task the Lord Jesus has given methe task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

For Paul, where once he was the persecutor, he will now be on the receiving end of the persecution - the arrests and imprisonment, the beating and stoning all for His name.

Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much

harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again

and again.

24

Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.

with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the

25

Three times I was beaten

open sea,

26

I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from

bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the

country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers.

27

I have labored and toiled and have often

gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold

and naked.

28

Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.

29

Who

is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?

(Partial) Timeline of Paul’s Prison Experience

AD 51 AD 57

Paul & Silas imprisoned after casting out a demon from a slave (Acts 16:16-25) Overnight stay at the Philippian jail

Arrested in Jerusalem, saved from scourging by declaring his Roman Citizenship Under the custody in the Roman barracks under commander Claudius Lysias Plot against Paul’s life, and sent to Ceasaria (to go before Felix the governor) Acts 24:1-27

Paul before Festus (Acts 25:1-12)

AD 59

AD 60

AD 62 AD 66

22

Paul’s appeal to Ceasar. (Acts 25:12
Paul before King Aggripa (Acts 25:13
26:32 )

Arrives in Rome (Act 28:14-16)
Meets with the Jews (Acts 28:17-28)
Preaches the gospel without hindrance for 2 whole years

Released from Roman Imprisonment
Second imprisonment and [Spoiler Alert] martyrdom under Nero

In spite of the certainty of prison and hardship, Paul maintained his focus on God and on the ministry that has been entrusted to him.

Acts 20:22-24

“And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me

there.

23

I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing

me.

24

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete

the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

Paul even considered suffering as a privilege.

Acts 21:10-14 10

12

2 Tim 1:11-12 11

13

After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from

Judea.

11

Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy

Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him

over to the Gentiles.’

When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem.

12

Then

Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also

to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”

14

When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and

said, “The Lord’s will be done.”

And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher.

as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is

That is why I am suffering

able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.

II. Provision in Persecution and Chains

Protection

It may seem ironic, but God used imprisonment to provide protection for Paul. The Roman commander confined Paul in the barracks to protect him from the Jewish mob. God spared Paul from scourging by the Romans when he declared his citizenship.
When they learned of the plot by the Jews to ambush Paul, he was sent to Caesaria under the Roman governor Felix. When the next governor Festus decided to send him back to Jerusalem to face his Jewish accusers, he made an appeal to Caesar and he was sent instead to Rome.

“Perks”

Even in imprisonment God had been gracious while he awaited his trial. In Caesaria, governor Felix put him under guard, but granted him limited freedom and allowed his friends and companions to minister to his needs.

In his imprisonment in Rome it was even better. Act 28:30

30

17

III. Progress Through Persecution and Chains

Paul’s Chains Advance the Gospel

Phil 1:12-13
12Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters,
b that what has happened to me has actually served

to advance the gospel. 13As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guardc and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ.

By his own witness
To the Philippian jailer

To the Jews and the Roman authorities in Jerusalem To Felix the governor in Caesaria
To Festus the governor, King Aggripa in Caesaria
To the Praetorian guard while in Rome

Paul used every opportunity, even while in chains to proclaim the gospel to anyone who would hear. Acts 26:22-32 (NIV)

22But God has helped me to this very day; so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen23that the Messiah would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would bring the message of light to his own people and to the Gentiles.”

24At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.”

25“I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable. 26The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner. 27King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do.”

28Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”

29Paul replied, “Short time or long—I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”

For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see

him.

31

He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christwith all boldness and

without hindrance!

Power
2 Tim 4:17

But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully

proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth.

30The king rose, and with him the governor and Bernice and those sitting with them. 31After they left the room, they began saying to one another, “This man is not doing anything that deserves death or imprisonment.”

32Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”

Encouragement to the other believers

Phil 1:14-18

14And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.

15It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

Instruction and Encouragement to all believers throughout the centuries.
It was
at the time of Paul’s imprisonment in Caesaria and Rome that the Prison epistles were written

Ephesians Colossians 1 Timothy

Philippians Philemon 2 Timothy

IV. Pain of Suffering and Chains
Paul’s 2nd imprisonment in Rome was very different from the first.

He knew the end was near. 2 Tim 4:6-7 Loss of Companions

Demas who deserted and gone to Thessalonica Crescens to Galatia
Titus to Dalmatia
Tichycus to Ephesus

Deprived of certain comforts
Asking for his cloak, scrolls and parchments

Feeling of Betrayal Alexander

No one came to support, instead everyone deserted him

2:Tim 4:8

Persecution was what many believers in the early church faced. And it is also a reality for believers in our time.

Luke 21:12-17 (Jesus speaking about the end times).

12“But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my
name. 13And so you will bear testimony to me.14But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.15For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17Everyone will hate you because of me

(Article from OpenDoors)

Christians remain one of the most persecuted religious groups in the world. While Christian persecution takes many forms, it is defined as any hostility experienced as a result of identification with Christ. Christians

• • • • •

throughout the world continue to risk imprisonment, loss of home and assets, torture, beheadings, rape and even death as a result of their faith.
Trends show that countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East are intensifying persecution against Christians, and perhaps the most vulnerable are Christian women, who often face double persecution for faith and gender.

Every day we receive new reports of Christians who face threats, unjust imprisonment, harassment, beatings and even loss of family because of their faith in Jesus.

Every month:

255 Christians are killed
104 are abducted
180 Christian women are raped, sexually harassed or forced into marriage 66 churches are attacked
160 Christians are detained without trial and imprisoned

V.
2 Tim 1:11-12
11 12

2 Tim 4:17-18. 17

Promise (Conclusion)

And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher.

That is why I am suffering

as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is

able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.

But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully

proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth.

18

The Lord will

rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for

ever and ever. Amen.

Roy Villarta