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Welcome to the Westside church’s special Monday Morning Coffee podcast with Mark Roberts. Mark is a disciple, a husband, father and grand dad, as well as a certified coffee geek, fan of CS Lewis’ writings and he loves his big red Jeep. He’s also the preacher for Westside church.
Hello, and welcome to the Westside churches special Monday Morning Coffee podcast on this podcast, our preacher Mark Roberts will help you get your week started right. With look back at yesterday's sermon so that we can think through it further and better work the applications into our daily lives . Mark will then look forward into this week's Bible reading so that we can know what to expect and watch for. And, he may have some extra bonus thoughts from time to time. So grab a cup of coffee as we start the week together on Monday Morning Coffee with Mark.Speaker 2:
Mark .Speaker 3:
Good morning. Good morning. Welcome to the Monday morning coffee podcast for Monday, September the 19th. I'm mark. And I am glad to welcome you this morning to the podcast. This is the podcast. That's all about taking a quick look back at yesterday's sermon and then a detailed look forward into our Bible reading for the week so that we can carry the momentum of Sunday into Monday and be yawn . I'm doing all of this. Of course, while I am holding a great cup of coffee. And so it's time. Yes, let's get starting Yesterday. I preached a sermon from Ephesians chapter six, titled a soldier's life, trying to help disciples get that combat ready battlefield mentality that Paul is driving for in Ephesians six. And here's a little sneak peek , a little look behind the scenes. I love sermons like this, where you take a , a verse. You take a passage that is close to maybe in front of, or behind a really famous passage. And you get a good look at this lesser known verse that almost always has so much to say. So everybody knows about the whole armor of God, beginning Ephesians six, 13, but we just don't talk as much from Ephesians 10, 11, and 12, particularly verse 12. We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers against the authorities against the cosmic powers over this present darkness against spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places. And I hope that sermon helped you to think more like a soldier . Let me give you an extra thought, something that did not make the final cut. You just can't get everything into a sermon. It is significant here, Matt , for Paul, the enemy is the devil. Not people who do what's wrong. Paul is as clear as he can be. And the verse, I just read verse 12, that the real enemies are not human beings or even human institutions, but Satan and his spiritual forces. Now that doesn't mean humans, can't be tempted and deceived and even used by dark powers. And that certainly does not mean that those who are being used by the devil to do evil and wicked things are not responsible for that. Don't don't go there. That doesn't absolve anybody of any responsibility, but it just helps us to remember that those who are doing wrong, they are simply people trapped and deceived by the devil into doing his bidding . And I wonder if I would be more patient with people if I thought in those kinds of terms, I wonder if I would be more urgent in trying to reach people with the gospel, the light of the gospel to help those who have been blinded by the God of this world. Think about that a little bit as we go forward into this week, who can you help to get out of the devil's army, stop being fooled and deceived and come and be part of the army of light and serve Jesus. The Christ let's work on that this week. Let's think a little bit now about our daily Bible reading in the book of acts. Here we go. Here we go. It's acts chapter 25 that we're reading the first 12 verses today on Monday. And we meet for the first time a new governor. This is fetus . He is replacing Felix. We know very little about fetus , just not very much. So see this briefly mentions him twice. His term began about 80 59 and ended with his death in 80 62 . We just don't know a lot, except that he seems to have been a much better governor than Felix and much better than his successors who end up taking the nation into war. We can't date exactly when he took office ad 59, ad 60, somewhere in there. But again, he dies in ad 62. And what stands out, I guess, in all of this is that two years have gone by that's act 24, 27, and yet the Jews have not forgotten. There's been a change in the high priest and has continuing to exercise a lot of power, but they still show up. And they're still concerned about Paul and they're still trying to undermine Paul and it looks like they're just gonna work this governor before he can really learn all the particulars of the case and see if they can get something done in their favor in this moment, when he's probably trying to get off on the right foot with everyone. Paul gives three answers to their charges in verse eight, neither against the law of the Jews or against the temple or against Caesar . Have I committed any offense? I'm a good Jew. I didn't violate the temple and I'm a good Roman citizen. That's very important. I'm stressing that a lot. And I want you to see that that's what Luke's stressing, which is why I'm stressing yet. It is clear. However that Festa doesn't really get it. He doesn't understand what's going on here. How about we just go to Jerusalem, we'll have a trial there. This seems to be some kind of religious matter. That's where we ought to be verse nine. And Paul says, I'm out, I'm out. Remember justice is bought and sold in this day and time. This is not like the United States of America, where you have attorneys and all kinds of civil protections and everything that you can imagine to make sure that people get a fair trial. Just think about it. Even in the United States, with all of our protection, sometimes people don't get a fair trial. What's Paul gonna get, if he gets to roll him , he's not. If he gets to Jerusalem, I'm sorry. He's not getting a fair trial. In fact, the last time he was in Jerusalem, he nearly got assassinated. 40 men said, we're gonna kill this guy no matter what Paul does not going to Jerusalem. So he says, I'll exercise my rights as Roman citizen. I'm going to Rome. We don't know all of the ins and outs. All of the particulars of how Roman citizen could do this business, where you appeal to Rome and at the Roman government's expense, you are taken to Rome. We just, we do know it is a very old right, going back to the foundations of the Roman Republic in 5 0 9 BC to appeal. In fact did imply a criticism of the current local level of justice. I'm not getting fairness here. I gotta go to Rome. That's kind of a black mark here against the governor. And it does not mean that Nero who is the seizure at this time would necessarily hear the case. It would be heard by a Roman tribunal in Rome. And so Paul says, that's what I can do. And I'm doing that. That's gonna be better than being sent back to Jerusalem. What's gonna happen next. Stay tuned will be reading that tomorrow on Tuesday. See tomorrow, welcome to Tuesday today. We read acts chapter 25 versus 13 to 20, and we are continuing with Paul while he is frustratedly waiting in prison. The Jews continue to make all kinds of attacks or press these attacks against him, leaving fetus , to be uncertain, what to do with this guy. There doesn't seem to be anything really wrong with this guy. And Vestus makes that very clear in verse 19 of our reading today, he just doesn't understand what's going on here at all. And so he tries to get a little help from a grip of the second. And we meet in our text today, hared a grip of the second , who is this guy, Herod and Bernice arrive in Caesarea verse 13 in Greek Festus . A grip of the second is the son of a grip of the first, a grip of the first is the king who dies in acts chapter 12. And I'll be teaching that on Wednesday night. He gets worms. He gets struck by God and he dies. He is the grandson of Aristo who is not mentioned in scripture, but was the favorite of Herod the first or herd the great herd . The great is the baby killer. The one who tried to kill Jesus in Bethlehem herd . The great is the, the 4runner , the founder, the head, the patriarch of this whole herd family, all these herds go back to him in some way. Well, a grip of the second was too young to take over his father's rule when he was struck by God and killed in acts chapter 12, herd , a grip of the second was only 17 years old, but in ad 50, he began to take over some of , uh, his uncle's kingdom and he steadily received more and more and more land until, until he ruled over nearly as much land as his great-grandfather haired . The great had ruled over with him is his sister, Bernice or Bernice, depending on how you want to say that she is the sister of a grip of the second . And she is a scandalous woman when she was 13, she'd married her uncle who was known as the, her of CSIS. And then in 80, 48, he died. So she moved in with the new ruler of CSIS, which happened to be her brother, a grip of the second rumors that there was something improper about their relationship and incestuous began to spread far and wide. Then in 80, 63 , she married king Pima OFIA, but that marriage didn't last and soon she was back with her brother, a GRPA more tongues wagging. Of course, finally, in the seventies, she became the mistress of the Roman general. Titu that's the general who destroyed Jerusalem and utterly defeated the Jews in the Jewish war, 80 67 to 70. That relationship created a huge stir in Rome. Here's a Roman general carrying on with a Jewish woman. Titus actually seems to have thought about marrying her. She was known for being very, very beautiful, but when the political fortunes turned and it was possible for him to become emperor in ad 79 TIDA said, Hm , I'm done with you and sent her away for good. So this is kind of a scandalous couple. They show up and Festa says, I need some help here. Pay careful attention to what he is saying and what he is not saying about Paul in our reading for today. So you tomorrow will finish acts chapter 25 beginning in verse 21 will be our reading tomorrow. See you on Wednesday. It is hump day climb on that camel let's ride a little bit on Wednesday today. We're finishing acts chapter 25, very short reading, but a very significant reading, great place to pay attention to what you're reading and make sure you're working those questions on the back of the reading schedule, because this is certainly a place where Luke is being very intentional in what he is reporting here. So in comes a GRPA and Bernice , and they've got all the pop and circumstance verse 23, clearly they're trying to intimidate everybody with their presence. And Festa goes on and says some things about what's happening here and what he does know and what he doesn't know. And all of this reminds us of Jesus when he was tried by her and to pass , who is the great uncle of her gr I second, each of these were both Jesus and Paul were arraigned before Roman governor. And then each was brought before a Jewish king who was curious to hear them. And both are said to be innocent of any crime deserving death. I think this is particularly a pointed reference because only Luke tells us that Jesus went to see or was sent to see herd and to pass. So clearly again, Luke is paralleling the life of Paul to the life of Jesus. The work of Jesus continues in the new Testament church. What Jesus did, the new Testament church did , does what Jesus did Paul is doing. And that just gives us a good place to summarize this whole chapter, which doesn't seem like it moves the story very far forward. There's a lot of saying, I don't know what to do with this guy. And I don't know what to do with this guy. What should I do with this guy? And somebody says, Hey, we'll hear what he has to say, Ian . And maybe we can help you figure out what to do with this guy, because we don't know what to do with this guy. And you don't know what to do with this guy. Well, how come we don't just cut this chapter out and cut to the chase a little bit? Well, there's a number of things here to hold onto first. There is this parallel between Paul and Jesus. And I think as well, once again, we're gonna get this idea that Jews, the best Jews follow after Jesus, Judaism should lead you to Christ. And don't miss that. Paul is vindicated. He is innocent. He has done nothing worthy of death. He has no political motivations. Christianity is not a revolutionary movement. It is not a threat to roam me in any shape, form or fashion. And I guess maybe the other thing that could be said here is it does show us that we have the right to exercise our citizens rights, particularly if that will help us when we're being persecuted for the gospel. So there's acts chapter 25. Let's go read acts chapter 26 tomorrow. That'll be Thursday. See you then welcome to Thursday. It's acts chapter 26 versus one to 11 that we begin with today. This is such a significant portion of acts. It is the third time that Paul's conversion is being recounted. And this is a very careful and very full account. It is the longest defense speech that Paul makes his fifth, by the way. And it is very personal. In tone. Paul speaks very engagingly appealing to king of GRPA. One writer said this speech sparkles with the beauty of its direct gospel appeal. Paul brings together many of the themes that he loves and that are so significant to him, particularly the resurrection of Jesus Christ. That's why he says he's being opposed by the Jews. And as Paul stood in this position, he, once again, parallels Jesus Christ just as Christ stood before Roman ruler and a Jewish king. Now Paul stands in front front of a Roman ruler and a Jewish king on trial literally for his life. And this is a good time to be reminded that while act shows the church does what Jesus did, what Jesus did, particularly in Luke. It also shows that the church gets done too . Like Jesus got done too lied about slandered mistreated and ultimately killed. That's probably not very good grammar done to , but you understand the point that's being made here. I love the detail that Luke includes in verse one, Paul stretched out his hand. Luke was there wasn't he? He saw that that's I witnessed detail. And so Paul says I'm gonna make my defense verse two. And I'm, I think I'm gonna need to back up. I , in times past I have said, Paul never makes really a defense. He just preaches every time and that's just not actually. So Paul is defending himself. He just bends the defense into a gospel sermon, but each one of these defense speeches is unique in its own way. And this one particularly look at verse six and seven majors in the idea of hope. The Jewish hope is the Christians' hope. The hope that God will save us through the Messiah. This is the hope that the 12 tribes verse seven wanted and hope to attain. I love the use of 12 tribes. It's it's not entirely accurate because Judah was the only tribe really that is left, but it would be like a British person referring to the United States as the 13 colonies. We're a whole lot more than 13 colonies now, but we would get the reference. And that would help us understand where that person is. And they're thinking about the United States, or if we refer to ourselves as the 13 colonies to an English person, they got it in the same way that expression, the 12 tribes would just, it would just call up all of the history of Israel and who they are. And Paul says, I am a good Israelite . This is all about what God has always been doing through Israel. And if people understood that I wouldn't be standing here, but a grip of the second , who he is appealing to knows things about Judaism. And that's why Paul is coloring this defense speech in the fashion and way that he is. We'll see more of that tomorrow. We'll resume our reading in acts chapter 26 and verse 12. I'm on the edge of my seat. What is Paul gonna say next? Let's see that tomorrow. See you on Friday. It is Friday and we made it through the week. Let's read a little further in acts chapter 26 beginning and verse 12. We're gonna read down through verse 21 today. And once again, we get Paul just pointedly working to get to herd a GRPA. I am so impressed with how Paul skillfully appeals to him. He calls king of GRPA three times by name verse two, verse 19 and verse 27 and six times by a Royal title verse 2 7, 13, 19 26 and 27. So he is looking at a GRPA straight in the eye and saying, you can be a Christian. You know, you ought to be a Christian, come be a Christian. And he's working that by talking about his own conversion. In verse 14, you get the famous expression. Why are you persecuting me Saul ? It is hard for you to kick against the goats. And I think lots of us know that expression. We know that verse, but we may not know what he means by that. One writer said the saying illustrates an straits and ox , delivering a swift kick only to experience the sharp pain caused by the point of a goat . The goat is this stick kind of like a spear that the owner of the ox carries. And he, he pokes the animal in the H quarters to make him move along. So the ox is unwillingness to serve its master leads only to pain. I'm quoting again. When the animal Dolly performs its required task, the master can put the good away metaphorically. Then this proverb applies to a man who resists God's call to serve him. Jesus wanted to use Paul's talent and training for the purpose of extending God's kingdom and proclaiming the gospel. But Paul persecuted, the church, his efforts resulted in pain, but Paul, you are only hurting yourself. And as Paul moves forward, particularly beginning about verse 16, you really start getting more emphasis on his commissioning to preach, not nearly so much his conversion, although of course his conversion is here, but watch 17 and 18th sending you to the Gentiles, to open their eyes, to turn from darkness, to light from the power of Satan, to God that they may receive forgiveness of sins, that they may receive their place to be sanctified. That's what's important. Paul is saying to a Gentile audience, I'm here for you. I'm here to give you the place in the kingdom of God that God wants you to have. And yes, some of these Jews are trying to keep you from having, and this does sound a lot like Ezekiel two , one or Jeremiah, one seven, some of this darkness to light comes out of Isaiah 42, for example, Isaiah 42 7 . Notice here, when Paul starts talking about turning from darkness to light and particularly opening eyes, how does God do that? How does God open people's eyes through the preaching of the gospel? So Paul sums up in verse 21 when he says, for this reason, the Jew sees me in the temple and tried to kill me. One writer noted that Paula is not making this up. What they objected to was not his announcing the fulfillment of what Moses and the prophets were told, but the terms in which he announced it, he is preaching a law free gospel, which in effect obliterates the religious barrier between Jew and Gentile. And that was quite unacceptable to treat Gentiles as if God loved them as much as he loves Jews, to treat them as they, as if they could have an equal place in God's plans and agenda and kingdom, that was utterly unthinkable. But Paul's looking around that throne room at all of those Gentile officials and soldiers and ambassadors and ministers there. And he's looking at here , a grip the second , and he is saying, I am preaching for people like you. You can be in the kingdom of God. What's gonna happen next well, I'll have to wait till Monday to see the results of this kind of powerful preaching. It is powerful and it does shake some people up. We'll talk about that more on Monday Until then. Let me just say, looking forward to seeing you on Sunday at the west side church of Christ, especially because Sunday in the nine o'clock hour, it will be question and answer morning. Love it, love it. Love it. Can't wait to see you Sunday at west side until Sunday then. Thank you so much for listening and for reading the Bible with me, please, don't forget to read and review the Monday morning coffee podcast, follow and subscribe so that you'll receive these automatically into your digital device, tablet or phone each Monday morning. And especially, would you tell someone else about the podcast that could help them stay in their daily Bible reading? So until Monday, may your coffee be delightful your Friday be wonderful. And I pray the Lord will be with you today all day. I'll see you on Monday with a cup of coffee.Speaker 1:
Thanks for listening to the Westside church of Christ podcast. Monday morning coffee with Mark. For our more information about Westside, you can connect with us through our website, just christians.com and our Facebook page. Our music is from upbeat dot that's upbeat with two P'S U PP, B E a T , where creators can get free music . Please share our podcast with others. And we look forward to seeing you again with a cup coffee, of course, on next Monday,