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Acts 21_1-16 The Courage of Conviction

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The Courage of Conviction

Acts 21:1-16

Secular:

  • We are amazed at those who stare down the harshest of punishments in favour of their convictions…
    • The husband who continues to insist despite adamant opposition that his wife is wrong to her vibrant protestations….
    • The martyr who responds to the threats at the barrel of a gun… with words of love, peace and conviction of their faith…
  • NAU Daniel 3:16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. 17 "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 "But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up."
  • Before they would bow down to Nebuchadnezzar, his gods… they were willing to be tossed into a furnace….
  •  Paul in the text we are studying this morning… continued to exhibit the “Courage of Conviction” as he prepared to return to Jerusalem.
  •  The Gentile Church throughout Greece and Asia had been faithfully helping the Jerusalem Church survive its waves of persecution…
  • Paul continued his mission and was returning again with the generous offerings of brothers and sisters in Christ.
  • He didn’t stop even when he knew the possible consequences…
  • NAU Acts 20:22 "And now, behold, bound in spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me.
  • This is Paul’s Lion’s den
  • “Courage of Conviction”

Biblical: NAU Acts 21:1 When we had parted from them and had set sail, we ran a straight course to Cos and the next day to Rhodes and from there to Patara; 2 and having found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, we went aboard and set sail. 3 When we came in sight of Cyprus, leaving it on the left, we kept sailing to Syria and landed at Tyre; for there the ship was to unload its cargo. 4 After looking up the disciples, we stayed there seven days; and they kept telling Paul through the Spirit not to set foot in Jerusalem. 5 When our days there were ended, we left and started on our journey, while they all, with wives and children, escorted us until we were out of the city. After kneeling down on the beach and praying, we said farewell to one another. 6 Then we went on board the ship, and they returned home again. 7 When we had finished the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais, and after greeting the brethren, we stayed with them for a day. 8 On the next day we left and came to Caesarea, and entering the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, we stayed with him. 9 Now this man had four virgin daughters who were prophetesses. 10 As we were staying there for some days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 And coming to us, he took Paul's belt and bound his own feet and hands, and said, "This is what the Holy Spirit says: 'In this way the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'" 12 When we had heard this, we as well as the local residents began begging him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, "What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus." 14 And since he would not be persuaded, we fell silent, remarking, "The will of the Lord be done!" 15 After these days we got ready and started on our way up to Jerusalem. 16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea also came with us, taking us to Mnason of Cyprus, a disciple of long standing with whom we were to lodge.

Personal:

  • Bungee jumping….
  •  … certain conviction about the bungee…
  • … quality…
  •  … competence
  • When you leap… you are either crazy…
    • Or you have courage based on your convictions… established

Bridge:

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Body:

The Courage of Conviction Knows its Purpose

NAU Acts 21:1 When we had parted from them and had set sail, we ran a straight course to Cos and the next day to Rhodes and from there to Patara; 2 and having found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, we went aboard and set sail. 3 When we came in sight of Cyprus, leaving it on the left, we kept sailing to Syria and landed at Tyre; for there the ship was to unload its cargo.

  •  Simple recounting of the details…
    • Paul on a mission
    • Had a task or purpose to complete…
    • Not bogged down… side-tracked…
  • For us…
    • Know our purpose
      • Family
      • Marriage
      • Community
      • Church
  • Knowing where you are heading…
    • If you aim at noting you are sure to hit it!
  • Engage the Mission…
  • NAU 2 Corinthians 4:5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
  • The Courage of Conviction is to know your Purpose!!

 

The Courage of Conviction Cannot be Diverted

4 After looking up the disciples, we stayed there seven days; and they kept telling Paul through the Spirit not to set foot in Jerusalem. 5 When our days there were ended, we left and started on our journey, while they all, with wives and children, escorted us until we were out of the city. After kneeling down on the beach and praying, we said farewell to one another. 6 Then we went on board the ship, and they returned home again.

  • Paul was on a mission…
  • We probably all have a story about a friend who was passionate about a field of study… a job or a plan…
    • When for good or bad…. A special someone shows up in the picture…
    • Distracts… takes them off course…
    • Never did accomplish their goal…
  • “Paul through the Spirit not to set foot in Jerusalem”
    • 1 Corinthians 14:29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment…. Paul new as an Apostle to check test this claim of prophecy…
    • Paul had been sensitive to the leading… obedient to God… and faithful to the Word….
    • Paul never received specific revelation… as an Apostle… not to go to Jerusalem… only that he would face severe physical persecution…
    • Paul’s mission was of Christ… true to the mandate of Christ…
      • Similar to being convinced not to evangelize… or not to baptize… or not to take communion… against the mission mandated by Christ.
  •  Lived the mission… NAU Acts 23:1 Paul, looking intently at the Council, said, "Brethren, I have lived my life with a perfectly good conscience before God up to this day." – he was obedient…
  • NAU Acts 24:16 "In view of this, I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men.
  • Neither Persecution of the enemies of the gospel nor the persistence of well meaning fellow believers could dissuade them of the mission at hand…
  • Ephesians 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.
  • Not scattered… intentional… focused… not distracted…
  • The Courage of Conviction cannot be Diverted…

The Courage of Conviction Pays any Price

7 When we had finished the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais, and after greeting the brethren, we stayed with them for a day. 8 On the next day we left and came to Caesarea, and entering the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, we stayed with him. 9 Now this man had four virgin daughters who were prophetesses. 10 As we were staying there for some days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 And coming to us, he took Paul's belt and bound his own feet and hands, and said, "This is what the Holy Spirit says: 'In this way the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'" 12 When we had heard this, we as well as the local residents began begging him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, "What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus." 14 And since he would not be persuaded, we fell silent, remarking, "The will of the Lord be done!"

  • Philip one of the godly men set apart for ministry in the early church…
  • NAU Acts 6:5 The statement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch. 6 And these they brought before the apostles; and after praying, they laid their hands on them.

  • Philip undertook ministry in Tyre after the scattering of the church…. Persecution surrounding the stoning of Stephen… enacted by Paul…
  • Philip demonstrated a heart like Paul’s…
  • Philip went on to preach to the detestable Samaritans…
  • NAU Acts 8:5 Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them.
  • In the way Paul ministered to the Gentiles… Philip brought the Gospel to the Samaritans…
  • Think of your worst fear…
    • The slums of India
    • The East side of Vancouver
    • The violence of Indonesia
    • O the sacrifice…
    • Philippians 3:7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
    • NAU Luke 18:18 A ruler questioned Him, saying, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" 19 And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. 20 "You know the commandments, 'DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT MURDER, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER.'" 21 And he said, "All these things I have kept from my youth." 22 When Jesus heard this, He said to him, "One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." 23 But when he had heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. 24 And Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God! 25 "For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
    • We often dismiss… or minimize the cost…
    • It doesn’t SELL well.
    • It doesn’t sound like health and wealth…
    • It doesn’t sound like personal esteem…
    • It sounds like surrender…
  • Phillip paid a price… he would have ostracized for living with the Samaritans…
  • Paul paid a price… not only ostracized from the IVY LEAGUE crowd… but he was physically beaten, and abused for his conviction… that Jesus Christ is Lord and all the world ought to know  it!!
  • True Conviction is willing to pay the price…  
  • The Courage of Conviction Pays any Price
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The Courage of Conviction Motivates Others

15 After these days we got ready and started on our way up to Jerusalem. 16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea also came with us, taking us to Mnason of Cyprus, a disciple of long standing with whom we were to lodge.

  • Despite the warnings Paul convictions registered as an invitation to follow.
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Conclusion:

The Courage of Conviction Knows its Purpose

The Courage of Conviction Cannot be Diverted

The Courage of Conviction Pays any Price

The Courage of Conviction Motivates Others

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