Acts 24 Caesarea Prison, Felix

Tod Kennedy, July 29, 2001

Main points of application or “So what?” from Acts 24

  1. We can ask this question about ourselves that we ask about Paul: How did Paul survive all these difficult situations and yet continue to have an inner contentment and to strive to accomplish God’s will? Paul would have answered that knew who he was in Christ, and he knew how to stay strong in Christ, and he knew his ultimate destiny in Christ.
  2. Paul gained spiritual courage by believing and applying these three categories of Bible doctrine.  He had the ability to face many different challenges because he acted on what he believed.  We can be spiritually courageous in our difficult situations just like Paul was in his.

Summary Outline

  1. Acts 24.1-9. Ananias, the high priest from Jerusalem, who had just recently interrogated Paul, and a group of Jewish elders arrived at Caesarea, including their attorney, Tertullus. The attorney made three charges against Paul: political treason (Acts 24.5), religious heresy (Acts 24.5), and temple desecration (Acts 24.6). Tertullus claimed that Felix would see the truth in these charges and decide against Paul.
  2. Acts 24.10-21. Paul stood up and made his own defense. He answered each charge. To the first charge he said that the time period involved was too short to have organized a political rebellion. Furthermore, there was absolutely no indication or evidence to support the charge (Acts 24.10-13). Paul admitted that he was a believer in Jesus Christ; his faith was in agreement with the Old Testament Law and Prophets. He, as they, believed in a future resurrection of the righteous and the wicked (Acts 24.14-16). As to the charge that he desecrated the temple, there was no truth to that. He had come to Jerusalem to deliver alms (money) that other Christians had sent to help out the struggling Jerusalem Christians. Besides that, Paul told of his visit to the temple, during which he had followed the correct procedure. The riot that eventually resulted was caused by Jews from Asia who were wrong when they claimed that Paul had brought a Gentile into the temple (Acts 24.17-19).  Paul concluded his defense by reminding Felix that the Sanhedrin had not even charged Paul (Acts 24.20-21).
  3. Acts 24.22-23. Felix put off making a decision. He would wait for commander Lysias to come from Jerusalem before he decided the case. Felix was somewhat familiar with Christianity because he had been governor of Judea and Samaria for six years and knew a little of what had been going on. In addition to that, his wife, Drusilla, was Jewish. Meanwhile, Paul was house arrest.
  4. Acts 24.24-27. Paul ended up staying under house arrest in Caesarea for two years. During this time Paul told both Felix and Drusilla about Jesus Christ. Felix became a little frightened when Paul told him that in the future God will judge all mankind, but we have no biblical evidence that Felix or Drusilla ever believed the gospel even though Paul talked with Felix many times over the next two years.  It turned out that Felix was hoping that Paul would pay him to gain his release. Paul did not. So, for that reason and also in order to gain favor with the Jews, Felix never closed Paul’s case.

Dictionary of Bible Doctrine

  1. Spiritual courage
  2. Salvation from the penalty of sin, from the power of sin, and from the presence of sin.