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Acts 23_12-35 Providential Protection

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Providential Protection

Acts 23:12-35

Secular:

It is an interesting society we live in as a Christian…

·         Where teacher certification  from Christian Universities is challenged… because of the fear the that teachers they produce will be hate mongers…

·         Where the Judeo-Christian value of marriage… its basic definition crumbles before us…

·         Where the teachings of Jesus Christ are treated as intolerant and prohibited in many areas of public life…

·         You have got to wonder at Satan’s scheme…

o       Institutions plotting against the faith

o       Individuals plotting against the message of Christ…

o       A scheming world is what Paul faced in ministry…

·         Let’s look at Acts 23:12…

Biblical:

NAU Acts 23:12 When it was day, the Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink until they had killed Paul. 13 There were more than forty who formed this plot. 14 They came to the chief priests and the elders and said, "We have bound ourselves under a solemn oath to taste nothing until we have killed Paul. 15 "Now therefore, you and the Council notify the commander to bring him down to you, as though you were going to determine his case by a more thorough investigation; and we for our part are ready to slay him before he comes near the place." 16 But the son of Paul's sister heard of their ambush, and he came and entered the barracks and told Paul. 17 Paul called one of the centurions to him and said, "Lead this young man to the commander, for he has something to report to him." 18 So he took him and led him to the commander and said, "Paul the prisoner called me to him and asked me to lead this young man to you since he has something to tell you." 19 The commander took him by the hand and stepping aside, began to inquire of him privately, "What is it that you have to report to me?" 20 And he said, "The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down tomorrow to the Council, as though they were going to inquire somewhat more thoroughly about him. 21 "So do not listen to them, for more than forty of them are lying in wait for him who have bound themselves under a curse not to eat or drink until they slay him; and now they are ready and waiting for the promise from you." 22 So the commander let the young man go, instructing him, "Tell no one that you have notified me of these things." 23 And he called to him two of the centurions and said, "Get two hundred soldiers ready by the third hour of the night to proceed to Caesarea, with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen." 24 They were also to provide mounts to put Paul on and bring him safely to Felix the governor. 25 And he wrote a letter having this form: 26 "Claudius Lysias, to the most excellent governor Felix, greetings. 27 "When this man was arrested by the Jews and was about to be slain by them, I came up to them with the troops and rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman. 28 "And wanting to ascertain the charge for which they were accusing him, I brought him down to their Council; 29 and I found him to be accused over questions about their Law, but under no accusation deserving death or imprisonment. 30 "When I was informed that there would be a plot against the man, I sent him to you at once, also instructing his accusers to bring charges against him before you." 31 So the soldiers, in accordance with their orders, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris. 32 But the next day, leaving the horsemen to go on with him, they returned to the barracks. 33 When these had come to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they also presented Paul to him. 34 When he had read it, he asked from what province he was, and when he learned that he was from Cilicia, 35 he said, "I will give you a hearing after your accusers arrive also," giving orders for him to be kept in Herod's Praetorium.

Personal:

·         Do you know what it is like to have the hurdles laid down before you…

·         To worry about a house…

·         To worry about a job…

·         To worry about a ministry…

·         To worry about a family member…

o       We want to make plans… we want to deal with solutions…

o       We don’t want to face opposition

Bridge:

·         Paul wasn’t dealing the nebulous…

·         Paul was dealing in the revealed will of God

·         Both directly as an inspired writer and apostle

·         And in respect to the will of God in Scripture…

·         THE OUTCOME HAS BEEN FORMULATED…

o       We can not stray from God’s Providential Plan…

o       We must stay within his revealed will…

o       And know that ultimately God protects our soul… the part that matter’s… eternally… and the our bodies as the relate to the mission he has in store for us….

Body:

The Plot Formed

NAU Acts 23:12 When it was day, the Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink until they had killed Paul. 13 There were more than forty who formed this plot. 14 They came to the chief priests and the elders and said, "We have bound ourselves under a solemn oath to taste nothing until we have killed Paul. 15 "Now therefore, you and the Council notify the commander to bring him down to you, as though you were going to determine his case by a more thorough investigation; and we for our part are ready to slay him before he comes near the place."

  •  They formed plots…
  • They founded schemes…
  • The Jews had stirred up schemes..
    • The imprisoned him…
    • The lashed him…
    • The stoned him…
  • All in an attempt to thwart the Gospel…
  •  In war… like in Iraq… the Coalition Forces continually attacked… Targets Of Opportunity…
    • Plotting to do the most damage to the enemy…
    • Paul’s enemies hatched schemes… and attempt to take him down… eliminating the threat of the most powerful message… the weapon against the evil of the world…
  • We know the world will plot and scheme…
  • We are alien to the self-centredness…
  • We are alien to the self-glorification…
  • We are alien to their materialism…
  • We are alien to the hedonism…
  • WE ARE A THREAT BY ARE VERY EXISTENCE TO THE WAY OF LIFE OF THOSE OPPOSED TO GOD!!... or we ought to be….
  • The Plot Formed

The Plot Found Out

16 But the son of Paul's sister heard of their ambush, and he came and entered the barracks and told Paul. 17 Paul called one of the centurions to him and said, "Lead this young man to the commander, for he has something to report to him." 18 So he took him and led him to the commander and said, "Paul the prisoner called me to him and asked me to lead this young man to you since he has something to tell you." 19 The commander took him by the hand and stepping aside, began to inquire of him privately, "What is it that you have to report to me?" 20 And he said, "The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down tomorrow to the Council, as though they were going to inquire somewhat more thoroughly about him. 21 "So do not listen to them, for more than forty of them are lying in wait for him who have bound themselves under a curse not to eat or drink until they slay him; and now they are ready and waiting for the promise from you." 22 So the commander let the young man go, instructing him, "Tell no one that you have notified me of these things."

·         The Plot Found Out

  • Caring for one another…
  • “Taking someone’s back…”
  •  … a mean dog ahead…
  • A cranky person in the store…
  • Hopefully we do that with people… who purposefully tempt others… be careful… he’s moving drugs… etc
    • Paul’s Nephew…
      • Didn’t turn his back
      • Risked his own safety
  • It really is about God using the individuals in our life for his purposes…
  •  Providence is about God using all the things of creation… the miraculous and the mundane to provide for us…
  • We have an obligation to one another…
    • Paul’s Nephew wasn’t thinking… may goodness look at me… part of God’s Providential Protection of Paul…
    • It was making his life available to the service of the Lord and his servant Paul.
  • Sometimes we look to hard for Sky Writing and fleeces…
  • When we need to trust in God and in his people…
  • Not everything comes up roses…
    • Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose
  • Many of Satan’s Plans…
    • For splitting a marriage…
    • For tempting us with bad dealings…
    • For causing us to sin…
    • Are brought to light by God’s Providential care and his use of those who love and trust him….
  •  Plot Found Out

The Plot Frustrated

23 And he called to him two of the centurions and said, "Get two hundred soldiers ready by the third hour of the night to proceed to Caesarea, with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen." 24 They were also to provide mounts to put Paul on and bring him safely to Felix the governor. 25 And he wrote a letter having this form: 26 "Claudius Lysias, to the most excellent governor Felix, greetings. 27 "When this man was arrested by the Jews and was about to be slain by them, I came up to them with the troops and rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman. 28 "And wanting to ascertain the charge for which they were accusing him, I brought him down to their Council; 29 and I found him to be accused over questions about their Law, but under no accusation deserving death or imprisonment. 30 "When I was informed that there would be a plot against the man, I sent him to you at once, also instructing his accusers to bring charges against him before you." 31 So the soldiers, in accordance with their orders, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris. 32 But the next day, leaving the horsemen to go on with him, they returned to the barracks. 33 When these had come to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they also presented Paul to him. 34 When he had read it, he asked from what province he was, and when he learned that he was from Cilicia, 35 he said, "I will give you a hearing after your accusers arrive also," giving orders for him to be kept in Herod's Praetorium.

  •  Plot Frustrated…
  • It was not lightening bolts from heaven…
  • It was God working miraculously in the ordinary…
    • It was Claudius Lysias, the commanders, worry that this situation could get explosive… with the Jews attacking a “Roman” prisoner… in what was a very tense Jerusalem…
    • God works that way…
    • When we bought the house next door…
    • It wasn’t writing on the wall…
    • It was not because Doug Lye had deceived a specific divine revelation…
    • But it was a congregation of God’s people seeking after his heart… and his mission as a church…
    • Our neighbour was not… and believe still is not a person of faith… yet God used that situation…
  • What does it take to make plant grow…
    • Right Soil
    • Water
    • Sunlight
  • What elements does the Holy Spirit use to make the church of Jesus Christ grow…
    • Good Foundation
    • Good Light
    • Good Heat…
  • Philip… the evangelist… (with first seven deacons in the church @ Jerusalem)
  • Acts 21:5 - 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.
  • Paul’s ministry…
  • China…
  • NAU Psalm 124:2 "Had it not been the LORD who was on our side When men rose up against us, 3 Then they would have swallowed us alive, When their anger was kindled against us; 
  •  Proximity to God is key in his providential care… not the nature of the situation!
  • Larry Crabb story…
  • Why was the plan to assassinate Paul foiled?
    • Because it was not God’s plan…
  • Why did Joseph get thrown into the pit… sold into slavery…. Rise to prominence only to be cast in jail…
  • Because it was God’s plan
  • Why did Jesus Christ get dragged through the streets and nailed to the cross?
  • Not because in some twist of fortune Satan was able to put one over on God….
  • Be it was God’s plan!!
  • Genesis 50:20 "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.
  • Plot frustrated


Conclusion:

Plot Formulated

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Plot Found Out

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Plot Frustrated

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