"Roman Citizen!"

April 11, 2015

“Roman Citizen!”

Blessings folk!

We will continue looking at what the Word says about humility tomorrow.

For today, look at this account.

Paul/Silas have been imprisoned.
They had upset the wrong folk.
Setting a young lady free from a demon had cost some people some money.

Read the passage...longer than normal.
Then, consider the short questions.
Give close attention to how Paul/Silas reacted.

Acts 16:22-40
22 The crowd rose up together against them, and the chief magistrates tore their robes off them and proceeded to order them to be beaten with rods.
23 When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely;
24 and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
25 But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them;
26 and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened.
27 When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped.
28 But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!”
29 And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house. 33 And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household.
34 And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household.
35 Now when day came, the chief magistrates sent their policemen, saying, “Release those men.”
36 And the jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, “The chief magistrates have sent to release you. Therefore come out now and go in peace.”
37 But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us in public without trial, men who are Romans, and have thrown us into prison; and now are they sending us away secretly? No indeed! But let them come themselves and bring us out.”
38 The policemen reported these words to the chief magistrates. They were afraid when they heard that they were Romans,
39 and they came and appealed to them, and when they had brought them out, they kept begging them to leave the city.
40 They went out of the prison and entered the house of Lydia, and when they saw the brethren, they encouraged them and departed.

Why did Paul wait until being released to declare that he was a Roman citizen?
Why not say so while being beating initially?

I think it is for this reason.

Paul knew that he would suffer for the cause of Christ.

Act 9:15-16
But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel;
for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake

While being beaten, Paul considered suffering to be for the cause of Christ.

Yet, Paul would not allow the cause of Christ to suffer.
To be dismissed from the town in secret, as the magistrates desired, would have harmed the cause of Christ.
Paul used his Roman citizenship to reveal that the magistrates were wrong.
The Kingdom preached by Paul and his entourage was not just some fad religion.

We will suffer for the cause of Christ.
Let us not allow the cause of Christ to suffer.