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Carried through dangers of land and sea Paul comes to Rome to present the gospel to all who will hear. The onward progress of Christ’s rule and grace continues still.
Take the challenge to work through the Book of Acts over thirty-five days. The notes will inform, and set you thinking. They are easy to read in under twenty minutes and include colour photographs, and a section for further reflection or discussion. Ideal for those who want to be prepared to read the Bible with first-time readers. At the end there is a section on words and their meaning, as well as who’s who in Acts.
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Well, welcome again to trainingforliferedeemed. We're up to episode 32, in which we're looking at Acts 27 through to the end of Acts. This is our final episode on the book of Acts when we're covering three studies. If you want your study notes, please make sure you head over to trainingforliferedeemed.com/32. Make sure you get your study notes to go deeper into this episode and to look into the book of Acts as a whole When we left our last episode, Paul was innocent, hed been tried by multiple Roman governors and king Felix of Jerusalem ánd Agrippa, too many of them. So they've declared that there's no charges, but they've got to send him now to Caesar to send him over to Nero. So we head off and get in a boat.David:
We're going to get in a boat, and he is, I mean, this thing is so full of irony. You've sent a Roman citizen who is innocent of all charges innocent before presumed innocent before conviction. You're sending him in the company of a group of convicted prisoners. So there's a whole bunch of prisoners there who are going to Rome, probably either to be executed or to be sold as slaves. You've got a group of Roman soldiers guarding them commanded by a Centurion. And the Centurion is organizing all the transport and the feeding and everything else. So in a sense, Paul's getting a free trip to Rome at Caesar's expense with a Roman guard. So, I mean, he'd been traveling around vulnerable to bandits and everything else for years. Now, he goes with a Roman escort , the safest he's ever been all except for the ship's captain. Yeah. So here's the problem for the Sanhedrin now is this under Roman law. If you appeal to Caesar, Caesar will hear your case when he's in the mood. So, I mean, he's a busy man. Caesar your particular case, your accusation against a Roman citizen who knows where that fits on them on his inbox. You know, so, but you have the day that he decides he's in the mood and he calls the case, the accusers must appear in court. If the accusers do not appear in court, (a) Caesar is offended because you're wasting his time and he will let the fellow go. So for the Sanhedrin, they would have to send their lawyers and their witnesses to Rome at their own expense, they would have to pay for their accommodation in Rome. And they'd have to sit there doing nothing, waiting for Caesar to be in the mood, to call Paul's case. Now we know that Paul was there without his case being called for two years. I don't think the Sanhedrin sent their accusers. Mind you during this time, they did send a bunch of people over to Caesar to accuse, If I get it right, I think the governor murdered the high priest. They sent representatives over there to prosecute somebody else. They've already reported Pontius Pilate, Felix, and a whole bunch of other guys got in trouble with Caesar. So they weren't capable of doing this, but you know, Paul's going to be sitting there open house arrest for two years, having a good time. What are these guys doing? Now with that in mind, we're off on a sea journey and sailing, the Mediterranean is going to be exciting,Dan:
Not quite as luxurious as it sounds these days. Well, now he can do the Greek islands. Yeah.David:
He takes two ships. He takes a little coastal vessel until he gets up to, I forget now it's Cyprus. And he they've got a transfer to an ocean going vessel effectively. And these are big ships. They hold, I think it was a thousand tons of something of wheat, the great big, long things. So he's in there with his troop of, Roman soldiers, 200 and something people on board and they're sailing at the wrong time of year because this guy wants to get his cargo is his cargo to Rome. Caesar has awarded an insurance policy and a bonus because of that famine. They've got to get grain to Rome. So he promised to pay for all the costs if they lost their ship at sea, Cesar would replace the ship. The cargo was effectively insured by the Roman government. So captains of ships were quite happy to press the risk and sail into the winter. If it meant that they could get their cargo to Rome, they would get a bonus for getting it there early in winter. And you know , if they lost the ship, well, they got a new one. So who cares about the people on board drowning, anything like that? As long as I get my money. So that's the kind of world Paul is sailing with and it's an adventure. Well,Dan:
Yeah, definitely ends in adventure to the ship, ends up getting shipwrecked and it breaks apart. Everyone has to jump overboard and swim to the little speck of dust. That's off the Italian bootsDavid:
Is that we're down here in Malta and all the Maltese are all excited about all of this. And I have to tell you, I , I had a great delight. A few years back. We visited a family from our church who were in Malta at the time, working with the church in Malta. And , they showed us around the island and we visited a few places. One of the places we visited was the maritime museum in V alletta, in Malta. And I'll tell you t he story Paul. The ship gets to M alter, it's blown off course. The sailors want to jump ship o r t he sorry, the soldiers want to jump ship and leave the prisoners to drown. Because Paul is a believer. Well, because Paul i s a Roman citizen. If they abandoned him on the ship to drown, the Centurion would be in all kinds of trouble. It doesn't matter about the prisoners who were convicted, but if Paul was to be lost, then the Roman Centurion and all those soldiers would be looking at execution. So the thought of abandoning the ship and abandoning the prisoners, the Centurion takes action to make sure the sailors don't leave them, everybody. And Paul says, if you want to live , you stay on board ship. God has spoken to me. You know, he's given me the instructions stay on ship and nobody, no lives will be lost. So the Centurion who didn't listen, when Paul said, don't sail in winter, he listened to the experts. Now the centurion is listening to Paul in the middle of a storm at sea. And they stay on board, the ship and the ship. They drop four anchors and they drop the sea anchor and they stay on board ship. And then they cut the anchor and they crashed into the shore, into the reef and they have to swim to shore. That's the story. And it reminds me of you think back, you know, when Lot was and God, was talking to Abraham and Abraham starts bargaining. You're going to destroy the city of Sodom and Gomorrah. What if there's 50 righteous peopleDan:
In there? Yeah . Down to one.David:
And he bargains him down. He gets to 10, but there's only lot in his family. And so the angels go down and get a lot out of town so that they can destroy the city. Can't destroy the city. If there's a righteous man in there, can't destroy all these lives. If there's Paul on board. So it's the , it's the having the presence of a Christian in the community that saves the community. And that's a message for Theophilus. You need Christians in your community. So anyway, they get to shore. So here I am at the maritime museum in Malta and maritime archeology, a Marine archaeologist looked at studied the tides and the winds and the climate and the weather and decided that where Paul, where the people thought Paul's ship had landed. So there's got to bay in Malta called the Paul's bay. And they thought it was there. And he said on the wind and the tides that it wouldn't go there. It would have landed over here in the east of the island. So he goes over there with his little diving team and they find four anchors and a big sea anchor on a sandbar. Exactly. As the Bible describes it. That's cool. And they're dated first century and it comes off the same model ship that's described. And here are these anchors in the maritime museum in Valetta. I don't know if they're off Paul's boat, but they're off another boat that sank in the same place in the same century and the same model boat. And you go this, yeah, this is all. So if you get to Malta visit St Thomas bay, go snorkeling, s ee if you can find some more stuff, but this stuff is real. This is history. It's, it's the Providence of God. And it really is gobsmacking. And the impact on Theophilus of Paul being the prisoner, falsely accused, who saves the Centurion, the soldiers, the prisoners, and everybody else has to have an impact. This is good news.Dan:
Yeah. So you spent a bit of time in Malta survives a snake bite and talks to a few people about Jesus before he heads back off to Rome.David:
It's interesting actually, in Acts there's no m a it's the only place Paul goes. W e, there's no mention of him talking about the Bible. It's quite extraordinary. Everybody is highly, he has conversations. He speds time with the Roman governor of Malta. He's the governor supplies them with supplies and hospitality. He's obviously had those conversations, but Luke, doesn't talk about it. And yet, y eah, there's this church on Malta that suddenly blossoms. S o,Dan:
Okay. Well we do end up in Rome . We do it at the end , Paul heads off, and he comes to Rome. What's happening in Rome. We have these kind of mock triumphal entry.David:
Yeah. He Le he doesn't land in Rome. There's There's a Harbor just out of Rome called Ostia, which is where all the big cargo ships go. But these guys drop him off about a hundred K south of Rome around Naples area. And he walks to Rome. And as he's walking to Rome, Christians are coming out of their houses, offering hospitality and food and keeping him company as he walks. And you just imagine here's this Roman Centurion, the soldiers and all the prisoners and the Christians are coming out, bringing them lunch , um , you know , escorting them along and come and stay at my house overnight. And if you were that Centurion, you've got this celebrity and all of these Italian Christians are just thrilled to hear. So the boat drops him off. South, goes up to Ostia people when get off the boat at osteotome to unload the cargo, tell the Christian, the word gets from Ostia to the city, to the Christians in the city. Paul has arrived. He's down south . He's in , down near Naples somewhere. And they all go, oh, let's go down and get him. And you know , they're on a, three-day hike down south and meet up with Paul. And some of them meet him here. And some of them meet him there. And it's this exciting time you made it, you made it, you made it. You've been promising to come for years. God brought you to Rome. Uh , oh, I'm under, I'm under arrest actually. And these guys are going to stay with me. That's all right. That's all right. Where are you staying? Let's get a house. And so here he is chained to a Roman soldier and all day he's running Bible classes in the house. And the first people he invites is the Jewish community. And this is, this is a funny scene. You'll love this. You arrive in Rome, you get set up in the house. And the first thing you do is you call all the elders of the Jews to come to your house. While you tell them the story before anybody comes from Jerusalem with the stuff ,Dan:
Cause then I'm going to be setting off a sale during winter. Is that okay ? Yeah.David:
So they're not, Their ship would be setting sail about the time Paul got there. Uh, he sailed from Malta . These they're going to sail from Jerusalem. So he's going to preempt thisDan:
Like what the naughty kids do though. They get in trouble and they get to the bathroom and call their parents on their phone. Before for the teacher gets a chance to be off class and call one because he'sDavid:
Explaining it to the Jews. They now get into their discussion of the Jews , Jesus, the Messiah, they go away and he just opens the doors and back to business as usual. And two years later, that's where we leave him. So what we find in the rest of the Bible is that he got released, I think 2 Timothy, Paul talks about his first hearing. And it seems to me that he's obviously seen Caesar back in AD 60 to 62, and he's been released. We know that he went on other trips after that. And then somewhere around 64, 65, he gets rearrested. And I think somewhere 67, 68 gets beheaded when Nero goes mad, but you just see the hand of God bringing the gospel to Rome, to the world like this virus. And then Paul comes along like this Bible teacher to try and strengthen and organize and help everybody make it work to the next step.Dan:
Well, that brings us to the end of our series on Acts. If you have enjoyed the series, we sure hope you have. We hope that you would leave us a review. It would be lovely to hear from you. If you would like to grab your study notes. As mentioned at the beginning, please head over to trainingforliferedeemed .com/ 32. You can grab the study that it's for this episode and for all the other episodes as well. They're all there available for you to grab. Please do make sure you subscribe and come back and join us as we start to dive into the books of Timothy over the next few weeks. And yeah, we look forward to having you join us then.
We are beginning a new series of studies on the Book of Acts.
Jesus is enthroned in glory and so God the Holy Spirit moves in to take up residence in each believer. The Kingdom of God has arrived and is moving as people hear the good news.