Paul’s Brilliant Defense: Acts 24:10-15
“10) When the governor had nodded for him to speak, Paul responded: “Knowing that for many years you have been a judge to this nation, I cheerfully make my defense, 11) since you can take note of the fact that no more than twelve days ago I went up to Jerusalem to worship. 12) Neither in the temple, nor in the synagogues, nor in the city itself did they find me carrying on a discussion with anyone or causing a riot. 13) Nor can they prove to you the charges of which they now accuse me. 14) But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets; 15) having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.” Acts‬ ‭24‬:‭10‬-‭15‬
As Paul made his defense, he had one simple strategy; he truthfully told his story in simple consecutive order. He showed how every charge against him was false and fabricated.
The reader is left with the realization that the wicked are always guilty of the very things they accuse the righteous of doing. Things have not changed in this regard. It was they and not Paul who had caused a riot. He had recently come to Jerusalem to worship God, bring alms to his nation and to present offerings. It had been several years since he had even set foot in Jerusalem.
What Paul did next was masterful. He turned his defense into a testimony for the gospel. He conceded to worshipping God according to the Way. This was a simple expression of believing in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, Who alone is the way, the truth and the life. (See John 14:6; Acts 19:9, 23; 22:4)
He then pointed out that the Way serves the God of their fathers, believing everything in accordance with the Law, and that is written in the prophets, having a hope in God and believing in a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.
In this brilliant move, Paul put the gospel on trial and pointed to Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of the whole Old Testament. Though not written yet, the books of Galatians, Romans and Hebrews could have been presented as his full case to defend the gospel.
Suddenly, the case against him was exposed as fabricated, fraudulent and foolish. But he skillfully turned the trial into a biblical defense of Jesus Christ and the gospel.
If you want the power of the Holy Spirit undergirding your life, do not shy away from Jesus Christ or the gospel. Instead, make it about Him! Take every opportunity to lift Him up and force people to wrestle with the implications of the gospel. Paul exposed that the true case of his opposition was not against him, rather it was against Jesus Christ and personal faith in Him.
This brings up and interesting point; if you were on trial for being a born-again believer, would there be enough evidence to convict you? Are you a devoted and shameless disciple of Jesus Christ? Paul made personal faith in Jesus Christ the central point of his defense. He pleaded guilty of believing in Jesus Christ.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global