Give Your Defense and Move On

When Paul returned to Jerusalem in Acts chapter 21, “…all the elders were present. When he had greeted them, he told in detail those things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord. And they said to him, “You see, brother, how many myriads of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law; but they have been informed about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs. What then? The assembly must certainly meet, for they will hear that you have come. Therefore do what we tell you: We have four men who have taken a vow. Take them and be purified with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads, and that all may know that those things of which they were informed concerning you are nothing, but that you yourself also walk orderly and keep the law. But concerning the Gentiles who believe, we have written and decided that they should observe no such thing, except that they should keep themselves from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality” Acts 21:18-25 (NKJ)

Paul had been accused by the hard-line, old-school Jews of teaching some scandalous stuff that disrespected the Law and the temple. Of course, none of that was true. The Jerusalem elders sat and listened to Paul as he told them “in detail those things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.” The elders glorified God when they heard it and they wanted to prove to the naysayers that Paul was okay and was not roaming around like a loose canon teaching things contrary to the Gospel.

As we keep reading in this chapter, we find that everything was going well until some Jews from another region came to town. Even though the elders had backed Paul up, these outsiders stirred the people of Jerusalem into such a frenzy that they almost beat Paul to death because of their false accusations.

What’s my point? No matter what we do, or who is on our side, there are still going to be some times when we are going to have to be able to answer for ourselves concerning what we believe and teach. Some will listen; some won’t. Some will agree; some won’t. First Peter 3:15-17 says, “ But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil” (NKJ).

Our only responsibility is to be able to clearly communicate the Gospel and let the chips fall where they may.


©2010 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at

REMINDER: Remember to study your Bible regularly. At any time of the day or night, log on to and click the podcast. Increase your knowledge of the Word as you study the Bible with Sharon’s weekly A Heart for the Word devotion and daily study guide.


~ by sanewriter on July 20, 2010.

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