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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Acts 22

Verses 1-30

  1. Intro:
    1. Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of God, Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood. This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long.
      1. This great hymn was written by the blind Fanny Crosby.
      2. She wrote more than 8000 hymns, still being sung more frequently than those of any other gospel writer. [at a time 3 hymns a week]
    2. Musician friends would 1st compose the music & then ask Fanny for the words. Such was the case for Blessed Assurance.
      1. Mrs. Joseph Knapp, a friend & amateur musician, & wife of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, played this melody for the blind poetess & asked, “What does this tune say?” Fanny responded immediately, “Why, that says: Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine.”
      2. Fanny died at 95. Engraved on her tombstone at Bridgeport, Connecticut are these significant words taken from our Lord’s remarks to Mary, the sister of Lazarus, after she had anointed Him w/costly perfume, “She has done what she could.” (Mark 14:7)
    3. I picture Paul singing this, for this was his story & this was his Swan Song!
      1. {Swan Song = A reference to an ancient belief that the Mute Swan is completely mute during its lifetime until the moment just before it dies, when it sings one beautiful song}
      2. My title: This is my Story, this is my Song.
    4. Well, last week we left Paul up on the steps, after almost being torn apart by the angry mob in Jerusalem.
  2. THIS IS MY STORY, THIS IS MY SONG! (1-30)
    1. ​​​​​​​LEARN, LOOK, LISTEN! (1-14)
    2. Paul gets to tell the story of his life.
    3. (1-3) He adapts it to this situation.
      1. He uses the national language of the day, actually Aramaic (mix of Hebrew & Syriac) {It predisposed the crowd to listen}
      2. A true Jew by birth, by training, by conviction.
    4. (4,5) He had been one with them in his opposition to Christianity.
      1. Involved men & women; it extended even to death; he went as far as Damascus.
    5. He uses tact & presence of mind, to win his hearers for Christ. (5a)
    6. (6-11) He recounts his vision, emphasizing the supernatural element.
      1. i.e. God’s action alone explained so great a change in my life!
      2. Understand they thought Jesus was dead. Paul’s saying, “No I saw Him alive, talked to him, and he changed my life.”
    7. (12) Paul’s description of Ananias show how orthodox he was.
    8. (14) The God of our Fathers…
    9. Not only saved, but saved to serve!
    10. Learn! Know His will.
      1. What is your calling? What His will for your life?
    11. Look! See the Just/Righteous One.
      1. It has been well said, “The invitation to “come & see” (the empty tomb) was immediately followed by “go & tell”!
        1. This is God’s order for everyone who has had a real vision of the risen Christ.
      2. Having “spiritual” sight of the Righteous One, is the secret of the Christian life! [Only He can: save us, sanctify us, qualify us, & satisfy us]
        1. ​​​​​​​Illus: When the flower, the Morning-Glory closes at night, even the most skillful surgeon with the most delicate instrument can open that flower w/o destroying it; but the returning sun the next day opens it easily, naturally, safely!
      3. Jn.9:29 For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.
    12. Listen! Hear the voice of His mouth.
      1. What’s He speaking to you lately?
    13. It has been well said, “The invitation to “come & see” (the empty tomb) was immediately followed by “go & tell”!
      1. This is God’s order for everyone who has had a real vision of the risen Christ.
    14. WHY ARE YOU WAITING? (15-21)
    15. (15) Witnesses – There is no word in the NT used so frequently to express Christian service.
      1. The dynamic of Christianity is a life that is a genuine witness for God.
      2. The greatest foes to Christianity is:
      3. [1] Mere profession - (ie) Standing up for the word of God, & then denying it by your life!
      4. [2] Living an exemplary life - & yet failing to speak up for belief at any opportunity.
    16. (16) The direction to be baptized follows logically.
      1. The grammatical structure here is important. The, wash away your sins ties to the calling on the name of the Lord part. (LKGNT = Linguistic Key to the Greek New testament.)
        1. Get baptized, because by calling on the name of the Lord your sins are washed away, so confirm it.
    17. Read Mark 16:16
    18. What it doesn’t say: It doesn’t say, “he who does not get baptized will be condemned.” – What it does say: But he who does not believe!
      1. Belief is always the common denominator in these verses!
        1. i.e. repent & believe; confess w/mouth & believe w/heart; hear His Word & believe; see the Son & believe.
      2. To Believe…is to trust, to depend, to rely upon Christ Jesus.
      3. To be Baptized…is to submit to the ordinance which our Lord fulfilled at Jordan; to which the 3000 converted ones submitted to at Pentecost; & to which the jailer yielded obedience the very night of his conversion.
    19. Baptism is an outward sign that sets forth our death, burial, & resurrection w/Jesus…& is not to be neglected!
      1. Baptism doesn’t confer salvation; it confirms it!
      2. No mere mechanical rite can ever bestow forgiveness.
    20. 2 verbs are used for baptism in the NT:
      1. Bapto (#911) Dipped. {To dip, dip in, immerse. To dip into dye, to dye, color}
        1. Example: Rev.19:13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.
      2. Baptizo (#907, used here) Baptized {immerse}
    21. The clearest example that shows the meaning of baptizo is a text from the​​​​​​​ Greek poet and physician Nicander (who lived 2nd cent B.C.) It is a recipe for making pickles and is helpful because it uses both words.
      1. Nicander says that in order to make a pickle, the vegetable should first be ‘dipped’ (bapto) into boiling water, and then ‘baptised’ (baptizo) in the vinegar solution.
      2. Both verbs concern the immersing of vegetables in a solution. But the 1st is temporary - The 2nd, the act of baptizing the vegetable, produces a permanent change. (Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon; See #907 or #911.)
    22. This word (Baptizo) more often refers to our union and identification with Christ than to our water baptism.
      1. Christ is saying that mere intellectual assent is not enough. There must be a union with him, a real change, like the vegetable to the pickle! (Bible Study Magazine, James Montgomery Boice, May 1989.)
    23. Our baptism is today…Why are you waiting? (come talk to me)
    24. (17-21) Luke’s account in ch.9, Paul’s supplements 9:26-29.
    25. (20) Consenting – to be pleased. Thought of pleasurable agreement, indicating Paul’s former callous attitude towards martyr’s suffering & death. (Griffith Thomas; pg.423.)
    26. (21) The Turning point – the using of the word Gentiles!
      1. Red lights flash, sirens go off.
      2. If he didn’t use that one word, he might have been set free.
      3. But that was the whole burden of his life & why he was arrested.
    27. SUFFERING FOR CHRIST VS. NEEDLESS SUFFERING! (22-27)
    28. Wow, extremely dramatic & filled with suspense. [Almost torn apart by mob; saved by Claudius Lysias; crowd mad again; now about to be scourged by Lysias; then saved again by him]
    29. (24) Scourging – the water boarding of the day to extract information.
      1. Try to flog Paul into some kind of confession.
    30. Although Christ called him to suffer for His name, that calling did not include needless suffering.
      1. And Paul new that his task wasn’t complete yet; he must still go to Rome. So he wisely guarded his life.
    31. Being needlessly victimized is not the same as humbly suffering for Christ.
      1. The scourging of a battered wife, an abused employee, or a molested child are not examples of biblical submission.
      2. There is a time to claim our rights as citizens of God’s kingdom & defend ourselves.
      3. Even slaves in the OT were by law protected from physical abuse.
        1. Ex.21:26,27 (they were set free if knocked out tooth, or damage eye)
    32. HOW WAS YOUR CITIZENSHIP OBTAINED? (28-30)
    33. This would delay things for 2 years in Caesarea (1 hearing after another).
      1. But God would work out His will in His time!
      2. And Paul was willing to wait!
    34. Country Citizenship!
    35. How to obtain citizenship? – By Birth(from citizen parents); By Reward(for services): By Freedom(after slavery).
    36. This commander was proud of his citizenship by purchase.
      1. Probably why he took Claudius as his 1st name (23:26) after Emperor.
      2. It was the Emperor Claudius who sold citizenships during his reign.
    37. Paul received his by birth (don’t know how he obtained this, but a great thing for a Jewish boy to inherit)
    38. U.S. Citizenship!
    39. You were born free as an American citizen, protected by the Constitution and product of the Declaration of Independence. You were born free, but it came at a great price!
    40. Heavenly Citizenship!
    41. Though we obtain our freedom in Christ through repentance, forgiveness of sin and then allowing Jesus to live in our hearts, the ability to do so was purchased for us by the Lord and He paid a heavy price for our redemption.
    42. I bought mine! – Works? Not possible.
    43. I got mine! – New birth. Only way possible.
      1. You must be born into it. You must be born a 2nd time!
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Acts 22". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/acts-22.html. 2017.