Acts 24:14-16 (E.S.V). |
But this I confess to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets, having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust. So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.
Hear these words spoken by Yeshua’s apostle Paul, several years after his encounter with the Master: I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the Torah (my edition) and written in the Prophets. In other words, Paul’s defense against the High-Priest’s accusations of sedition and profanation was that he never swayed from practicing Judaism; that he believed and practiced the commandments written in the Pentateuch, as well as the teachings of the prophets, which in Jewish understanding is everything else except the poetry books. .
Judaism is not a creed; it is a way of life. It is not something that can be practiced without it showing on the outside. The High-Priest knew it and couldn’t refute Paul’s confession; that is why he had to add accusations of seditions to the package of accusatory evidence against Paul. Ananias knew that the Roman governor couldn’t care less about religious squabbles, but disturbing the peace of the Empire was a very serious offense, especially in Jerusalem.
Paul proclaimed his innocence by insisting that he always took pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man. In the mouth of Paul, what did this mean? It means that he kept his conscience clear of offenses in front of God and man simply by his sincere efforts to serve God by obeying his commandments. By bringing these facts to the fore, he hoped to close the mouth of his accusers.
The Accuser is always in front of us, accusing us of evil not to the Roman emperor, but to the King Creator of the universe. It is one thing to be accused of an evil that we have done, and we all have done plenty, but this we can do to close the mouth of the Adversary: we can strive to take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man: before God, by obeying His commandments, and before men by submitting to the ordinances of earthly authority; to strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).
There are times when we may feel that man’s command goes against God’s command, but I have observed that it is very often our personal tangential application of both which creates the conflict, which then becomes striving for conflict, not for peace.
Let’s take the stand and today make the resolution to follow in the footsteps of the apostle; to for peace, take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.
Patrick Gabriel Lumbroso Patrick' book: 'Under the Fig Tree' is now available at: http://www.xulonpress.com/bookstore/bookdetail.php?PB_ISBN=9781609574277
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Judaism, Messianic, Paul, Acts, defense, integrity, Torah, Commendments, Shaul, High-Preist, Israel, Jewish, Tanach,