by Roby Ellis
[Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 4:9-18]
A. When Paul made his defense in Jerusalem (his first in a long series of such), no man stood with him, but the Lord did (Acts 23:11).
B. Paul was always ready to give a defense, not just of himself, but of the Gospel that he preached with such boldness.
I. This was neither the first time nor the last that Paul had to make a defense.
A. Paul’s defense was for the Gospel (Philippians 1:17).
B. Paul had made his defense to the Jews on many occasions before (Acts 9:22; 13:45; 17:1-4, 10-11; 18:4; 19:8-9).
C. On some occasions, Paul had to make a defense before his own brethren (Galatians 2:1-5; 1 Corinthians 9:3).
D. After his arrest, Paul made his defense before multiple prominent rulers (Acts 24:10; 25:8; 26:1-2).
II. Let’s look at the defense Paul made in Jerusalem.
A. First he identified with them (Acts 22:2-5).
B. Next he showed them what events led to his dramatic conversion (vss. 6-16).
C. Finally he told them about the instructions he was given after his conversion (vss. 17-21).
III. What do we need in order to make a good defense?
A. We need courage (Acts 19:30-31).
B. We need a clear conscience (Acts 23:1).
C. We need adequate preparation (2 Timothy 3:13-17).
D. We need to focus on the hope that is ours through the Gospel (Acts 23:6; 24:15; 26:6-8).
Paul was always ready to make a defense. What about us?