Faith, Righteousness, Self-control, and the Judgement to come
Acts 24:22-24 But Felix, having a more exact knowledge about the Way, put them off, saying, “When Lysias the commander comes down, I will decide your case.” Then he gave orders to the centurion for him to be kept in custody and yet have some freedom, and not to prevent any of his friends from ministering to him. But some days later Felix arrived with Drusilla, his wife who was a Jewess, and sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus.
Paul stands before the Roman Procurator of Judea “Felix” and his wife Drusilla, the daughter of Herod Agrippa. Here is Paul’s opportunity to present the message of the kingdom, the gospel message of grace and truth. How will Paul present this message?
How would we use this opportunity to present the Gospel?
It seems that Paul was not willing to restrict his message to faith in Christ Jesus but was prepared, for the sake of truth, to present to Felix the whole truth which includes righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come. Paul was no fool and knew the offence of his message but although he was concerned for the salvation of souls and the message of grace, he was just as concerned about truth.
Paul didn’t view Felix as a means of achieving church growth, prosperity or entry for the gospel into the higher elements of Roman society. Paul might have easily tailored his message to appeal to Felix, simply speaking only of faith and leaving the other stuff until Felix had made his commitment to Christ.
The scriptures tell us in Acts 24:25 But as he was discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix became frightened and said, “Go away for the present, and when I find time I will summon you.”
We know that for two years Felix maintained contact with Paul but he didn’t find in Paul a different message or a bribe, much to his disappointment.
Pauls message of faith in Jesus, righteousness, self-control, and the judgement to come is a message of grace and truth. We, like Paul, need to give priority to both regardless of the outcome.
For a related article of “Grace & Truth” see https://gatheringsaints.uk/under-grace-ruled-by-grace