Day 37

Paul’s Defense Before Felix

from the Acts reading plan

Acts 24:1-27, Jeremiah 29:10-14, Hebrews 13:15

BY Bailey T. Hurley

One of my personal frustrations as a disciple of Jesus is being misunderstood by others. Sometimes it comes in the form of practicing a Sabbath, when neighbors find our faithful church attendance as a restrictive rule of faith rather than a rhythm of fruitful labor. Other times it looks like a judgment on our hope in Jesus. Instead of it being understood as unwavering faith, it is deemed as dopey positivity that is unrealistic and immature (Hebrews 10:23). 

The life Jesus calls us to is often hard to understand because it is countercultural and uncomfortable for most, even believers! Paul was misunderstood numerous times in the story of Acts. In this chapter, Paul stands before the governor Felix to defend his faith. Instead of lashing out against the false charges, he says, “I always strive to have a clear conscience towards God and men” (Acts 24:16). He chooses the high road, staying above reproach when it comes to defending the gospel to those who may never fully understand it.

When it comes to defending our faith, there are many who take the wrong approach. They hold signs and yell; they cause unnecessary division. Some isolate themselves in ivory towers filled with theology books to prove they’re right and others are wrong. But Jesus shows us a different response.

When Jesus stood before Pilate, he also chose to not overreact or over explain. When questioned about his actions, Jesus responded, “I was born for this, and I have come into this world for this: to testify to the truth” (John 18:37). His entire life was living above reproach. 

Whether our faith is ever fully understood, may our actions never be disputed. For we know our reward for living faithfully is not found in the acknowledgement and acceptance of people, but rather in God’s promises to restore us in the final days. “There is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me, but to all those who have loved his appearing” (2Timothy 4:8). 

Just like the Israelites in Jeremiah 29, who had been rejected from their land, we may feel rejected by others for our faith. But we can have hope in this promise from God: “‘I will attend to you and will confirm my promise concerning you to restore you to this place. For I know the plans I have for you’—this is the LORD’s declaration—‘plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope’” (Jeremiah 29:10–11). 

May we strive to “walk worthy of the calling” (Ephesians 4:1) we have received and approach everyone with humility, gentleness and patience. Instead of taking a defensive stance, let’s bear with one another in love and walk with a clear conscience before God and one another. 

Post Comments (44)

44 thoughts on "Paul’s Defense Before Felix"

  1. Brittany Carbone says:

    I went back and read these comments today, my little girl was born Thursday afternoon and got transferred to a bigger hospital early this morning. This one really stuck out to me because I have definitely felt peach along side the fear. Thank you.

  2. Margaret W says:

    If you are asking, I would say that you have already heard His call. That may not be a full theological answer, but your heart knows that you long for Him.

  3. Margaret W says:

    Unjust situations—that has been so much of the last few years of my life. May I remember to find my value and my reward in You, Lord. ❤️

  4. Amanda Dahlberg says:

    Good morning Bev,
    This can be a hard concept and many people interpret this differently, but the way that I read it is as a reference to the belief that we seek God because He seeks us first. He calls to us through various ways, a friend, a radio program, a sadness that we are seeking to mend, a passage we read out of the Bible or a message in church, He calls to us and if we have the sensitivity to listen and respond than we are drawn into a deeper, meaningful, beautiful relationship with Him. This is what I believe Paul is referring to, but research and pray, there are many excellent commentary’s on this verse from the great theologians and many commentaries are available through a simple search online, but read and pray about it, this is how we can learn what God’s Word means. Jeremiah 29:13-14

  5. Amanda Dahlberg says:

    Good morning Bev,

    1. Bev Woods says:


  6. Truth Seeker says:

    Dorothy – praying for Jake and that he will see that “jumping bail” only leads to MORE legal problems and that surrendering to the authorities will be SOOOO much better for him to do than trying to hide from the law. God Himself gave the law but Christ gave Himself as the PERFECT sacrifice so that OUR sins may be forgiven and we are presented as HOLY to God. Your sister Carol needs to be concerned about aiding and abetting a fugitive. She could be charged herself for helping a fugitive escape. This is real life – not a TV show. She needs to take this situation seriously in order to not get charged herself.

  7. Truth Seeker says:

    Bev Woods – If you have heard God’s call and received Him as your God and Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior then you are among those who are called. There is no preset number – You ARE SAVED ! May God Bless YOU ! My sister in Christ !!!

  8. Bev Woods says:

    Hi ladies. Wondering if someone can help me understand Acts 2:39. I am wrestling with the phrase, “as many as the Lord our God will call.” Does that mean there’s a preset number? What if I’m not one of these? I’m struggling for sure!

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