1 Now after five days Ananias the high priest came down with the elders and a certain orator named Tertullus. These gave evidence to the governor against Paul.
2 And when he was called upon, Tertullus began his accusation, saying: “Seeing that through you we enjoy great peace, and prosperity is being brought to this nation by your foresight,
3 we accept it always and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness.
4 Nevertheless, not to be tedious to you any further, I beg you to hear, by your courtesy, a few words from us.
5 For we have found this man a plague, a creator of dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.
6 He even tried to profane the temple, and we seized him, and wanted to judge him according to our law.
7 But the commander Lysias came by and with great violence took him out of our hands,
8 commanding his accusers to come to you. By examining him yourself you may ascertain all these things of which we accuse him.”
9 And the Jews also assented, maintaining that these things were so.
10 Then Paul, after the governor had nodded to him to speak, answered: “Inasmuch as I know that you have been for many years a judge of this nation, I do the more cheerfully answer for myself,
11 because you may ascertain that it is no more than twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem to worship.
12 And they neither found me in the temple disputing with anyone nor inciting the crowd, either in the synagogues or in the city.
13 Nor can they prove the things of which they now accuse me.
14 But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets.
15 I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.
16 This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.
17 “Now after many years I came to bring alms and offerings to my nation,
18 in the midst of which some Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with a mob nor with tumult.
19 They ought to have been here before you to object if they had anything against me.
20 Or else let those who are here themselves say if they found any wrongdoing in me while I stood before the council,
21 unless it is for this one statement which I cried out, standing among them, ‘Concerning the resurrection of the dead I am being judged by you this day.’ “
22 But when Felix heard these things, having more accurate knowledge of the Way, he adjourned the proceedings and said, “When Lysias the commander comes down, I will make a decision on your case.”
23 So he commanded the centurion to keep Paul and to let him have liberty, and told him not to forbid any of his friends to provide for or visit him.
24 And after some days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.
25 Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.”
26 Meanwhile he also hoped that money would be given him by Paul, that he might release him. Therefore he sent for him more often and conversed with him.
27 But after two years Porcius Festus succeeded Felix; and Felix, wanting to do the Jews a favor, left Paul bound.
There is a preconception of “ministry” that can be constrictive in its actual application and implementation. For Paul, these constructs of what ministry should be might have restricted his actual effectiveness during this two years of confinement. There was for him, though, this continual opportunity that he had to be ready for, meeting consistently with Felix, writing letters and other chances to share. If he had been discouraged at all about his plight, there could have been no victory or inspiration in the message that was his ministry. There was, in fact, insight to be found from his vantage point in the prison that brought unique and powerful revelation to his teaching. Where there is a dedicated connection to the source of life in living its reality of triumph, no matter the circumstances, the effect of ministry will continue, unhindered, through the most ‘un-ministry’ conditions. The impact made from what doesn’t look like ‘real’ ministry will far exceed preconceptions if the vessel is kept in a condition of honoring service and out of self-reluctance.
Verse 25 depicts a man under conviction. As Paul spoke the word of truth about righteousness, judgment and faith in Christ; the scripture says he was afraid and sent him away.
There are other references that reveal the conviction of men after hearing the Word of God- brings favor, souls, revival, and the acceptance of Christ.
May we hold dear these truths- the Word is quick and powerful, like a two edged sword, dividing between soul and spirit. Bringing change to man!
Old Testament Examples:
Josiah, a young and godly Judean king who ruled the Lord’s people more than six centuries before Christ, succeeds a wicked ruler who hated righteousness. At the beginning of Josiah’s rule a copy of God’s Word is found in the temple. When it is read to the king, both he and his people are convicted of their sins in not keeping God’s law. A great revival takes place (2 Chr. 34:18–21).
Nehemiah returns to help the returning Jews rebuild the gates in the Jerusalem wall. This great wall builder thinks the Word of God to be so important that he assembles the people and has the Scriptures read to them for three hours per day. This soon causes them to confess their sins (Neh. 9:3).
New Testament Examples:
Before Jesus left this earth He promised that the Holy Spirit would soon come upon the apostles. “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8).
At Pentecost Peter uses the Scriptures to rebuke Israel for crucifying its Messiah. This sermon results in three thousand souls being convicted and accepting Christ (Acts 2:37, 41).
It seems his preaching gained Paul favor in the eyes of Felix.