Bible Study from Calvary Chapel Newberg

with Tom Fuller

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The Accuser

Acts 24

As some of you know I grew up the son of a lawyer. I spent some time in my youth in courtrooms, and many hours around the dinner table in conversation about the law. \r
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In my profession as a reporter I spend a great deal of time in court. I most recently sat through a week?s worth of testimony about Kip Kinkel ? the Springfield shooter who killed and injured many at Thurston High school.\r
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Though I had little sympathy for the young man, I did put myself in his shoes as he sat there, watching the fate of his life decided. I thought about the fear, the anxiety, as person after person railed on him and wished him dead. I wondered what he must have been thinking. \r
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I wondered what I would think ? brought before a court ? accusations flying ? especially if none of it were true.\r
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Our justice system isn?t perfect ? recently several death row inmates were released after DNA evidence cleared them of wrong-doing. \r
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Imagine the fear Paul must have felt as he was drug before the powerful rulers of Palestine ? accused of who knows what ? his destiny uncertain, his life hanging in the balance. \r
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How his accusers acted, and how Paul responded can teach us lessons when we face trials ? whether in real life, or in the spirit.\r
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Vs 1-9\r
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Tertullus ? most likely a lawyer ? is a trained professional orator. He brings three accusations against Paul.\r
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1. He was a pest who created dissension among the Jews throughout the world. \r
2. He was the ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. \r
3. He tried to profane the Temple.\r
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There is a veiled accusation here that Paul was responsible to Jewish sedition against Rome ? this was, of course not true.\r
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This is the first place Christians are referred to as ?Nazarenes.? Christians were looked upon as a group within Judaism, not a separate entity.\r
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Tertullus actually toned down the earlier accusation that Paul had actually profaned the Temple. Conviction of that offense would have required execution.\r
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It must have been awesome listening to Tertullus ? he flatters Felix and flattens Paul with accusation after accusation. Most men would have folded.\r
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But not Paul.\r
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Vs 10 ? 22\r
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Paul one by one shoots down the accusations brought by Tertullus.\r
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1. His recent arrival in Jerusalem can be verified.\r
2. He wasn?t doing anything wrong or causing trouble\r
3. There is no proof of their charges\r
4. Paul does admit to being part of the sect ?The Way? but says it is in line with Judaism.\r
5. Paul asserts that no one can accuse him of wrongdoing in his personal life\r
6. If he has caused trouble all over the world, then why aren?t the people of Ephesus here to press charges?\r
7. The Sanhedrin tried him and found no wrong doing.\r
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There are here some points for us when accused:\r
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? Stick to the facts\r
? Admit to your beliefs\r
? Correct misunderstandings\r
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This is a good time to talk about another accuser ? whom we face sometimes daily. He?s had a lot of practice making people feel guilty ? his name? Lucifer, whom the Bible calls: The accuser of the brethren. (Rev 12:10)\r
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Satan is like one of those self assured, cocky district attorneys who strikes fear into the heart of the defendant ? us.\r
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What does Satan do?\r
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? Lies (John 8:44)\r
? Sins (1 John 3:8)\r
? Deceives (Rev 20:10)\r
? Prowls (like a lion ? 1 Peter)\r
? Puts in prison (letter to church ? Rev 2:10)\r
? Disputes (Body of Moses ? Jude 9)\r
? Prompts (Judas ? John 13)\r
? Traps (2 Tim 2:26)\r
? Divides (Matt 12:26)\r
? Takes away the Word (Mark 4:15)\r
? Afflicts (Job 2:7)\r
? Falls (Luke 10:18)\r
? Enters (Luke 22:3)\r
? Outwits (2 Cor 2:11)\r
? Masquerades (2 Cor 2:14)\r
? Torments (2 Cor 12:7)\r
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What does Satan accuse us about?\r
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? Sin\r
? Our inability to serve God\r
? Our inability to hear God\r
? Our unworthiness to belong to God\r
? The reasons we undergo trials\r
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Satan brings accusations to us to do two things:\r
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1- Make us pull away from God\r
2- Make us ineffective for God\r
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His tactics include:\r
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? Uses half truths to assert whole lies\r
? Sounds irrefutable\r
? Twists God?s truth just a little\r
? Questions God?s motives on our behalf\r
? Brings up the past to cloud the present and ruin the future\r
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How do we fight such an accuser? Here are some tips:\r
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? Discern the difference between Satan?s accusations and the Holy Spirit?s conviction (the difference: The Spirit leads to repentance, the enemy leads to hopelessness. Satan is a good prosecutor, but his arguments are flawed.\r
? Admit that you are guilty of sin.\r
? Don?t argue You can?t win in a face to face point to point argument, so don?t try \r
? Discern the true motive behind his accusations\r
? Resist the temptation to despair\r
? Focus on God?s Word, not the enemy?s words\r
? Hide in Christ?s blood ? the enemy can?t get the Judge to convict you if you are already dead.\r
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Rom 6:8-11 ?Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.?\r
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Like a good prosecutor, he works the evidence to look as bad as possible ? but remember, you have the best defense attorney ever on your side ? better than Perry Mason or Johnny Cockran. \r
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1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (King James)\r
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Even as Satan stands up and accuses us, Jesus stands up and defends us by saying to the Father ?I will take the punishment for their sin, rendering them free from guilt.?

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