Year 2 Day 134
Read - Acts 24v22-27
Message - Scott Woodburn
As August comes upon us we return to the book of Acts and it seems fitting that in the month named after Rome’s first Emperor, Paul finds himself standing before a lesser known Roman called Felix. Felix may not be as famous as Caesar Augustus but we do know a little bit about Paul’s captor.
Firstly, Felix knew all about the Christian faith. He is described as “having a rather accurate knowledge of the Way” (v22). This doesn’t mean he was a saved man (we’ll see that soon enough) but instead he had listened to the Jews and to Paul and his knowledge of Christianity was solid.
Secondly, Felix didn’t lock Paul up and throw away the key. He allowed the Apostle (who was a Roman citizen) some freedom with his friends coming and going (v23). Thirdly, Felix enjoyed listening to Paul and over a period of two years he called upon Paul frequently who reasoned with the Roman about the Christian faith.
We know too that Felix had a beautiful young wife called Drusilla who was Jewish (v24). She was in her late teens and was the youngest daughter of Herod Agrippa I. Felix was her second husband and Drusilla was the third wife of Felix. History tells us that he was so overcome by her beauty that Felix did all he could to persuade her to leave her husband. We see in the passage that Felix also loved money. He conversed with Paul on a regular basis hoping that Paul would offer a bribe (v26).
What would you say to such a man? Paul with his usual directness spoke about righteousness, self-control and the coming judgement (v25). We will all stand before Christ and all of us must be counted righteous in His sight. This righteousness comes from outside us. As we receive Christ by faith, His righteousness is credited or imputed to our account. This is a vital issue that all must understand.
Paul also addressed the elephant in the room, self-control. Felix through manipulation had stolen another man’s wife who had now become his third. Such behaviour then and now was not acceptable in the sight of God. Marriage was to be taken seriously and so Paul addressed Felix directly with a condemnation of his adulterous ways.
Finally Paul preached about the final judgement. When Christ returns He will come as the judge. He will take His throne and the entire human race will stand before Him. We can be surer of this day than we can about seeing tomorrow. Why? Because the resurrection of Christ is a God given guarantee that Christ will return as judge (Acts 17v31).
Felix was a blessed man with the Apostle Paul as his personal preacher. What was his response to such a wonderful state of affairs? Paul’s teaching alarmed Felix (v25) but there is no record of his conversion. Indeed he is soon replaced, later accused of all kinds of underhandedness and probably dies as a result of tuberculosis.
The life of Felix always reminds me of the urgency of today. Today is a day of grace filled with opportunities to share Christ and Him crucified and it is a day of opportunity for repentance and preparation to meet the Lord. If the Gospel has thrilled your heart - then share it. If the Gospel has ever made you tremble - then believe it.
The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17v30-31)
Q24 How doth Christ execute the office of a prophet? Christ executeth the office of a prophet, in revealing to us, by his Word and Spirit, the will of God for our salvation.