Mar 5, 2018
As followers of Jesus Christ, we live with a certain sense of duality. We are citizens of heaven, but we find ourselves having to live out our earthly existence in this world. And that can leave us facing a certain degree of conflict and tension, as we attempt to navigate a fallen world while maintaining the integrity of our heavenly citizenship. Paul was well acquainted with this ever-present reality for the believer because he faced it each and every day of his life. And Paul had learned how to straddle these two antithetical worlds with a certain sense of ease. That’s not to say it was easy. He faced rejection and ridicule. He was constantly misunderstood and misrepresented. He was hated and despised. And it was not uncommon for him to face both verbal and physical abuse for his beliefs. As we continue to look at Paul’s defense before the Jews who had accused him of desecrating the temple, we will see Paul effectively using his dual citizenship as a Jew and a Roman, in order to navigate the difficult circumstance in which he found himself. And the one thing we cannot afford to miss is how God had preordained every aspect of Paul’s life. His birth as a Jew had not been a case of blind fate. His Roman citizenship was not just a lucky coincidence. It had all been part of God’s divine plan for his life. Paul was a man divinely equipped for the role given to him by God. And in Acts 22:22-3, Luke will provide us with ample proof that Paul, a citizen of heaven, was ready, willing and able to live out his faith in the polarized world of the 1st-Century.