When Integrity Goes on Trial.

October 9, 2022 Preacher: Gareth Franks Series: Acts - The Gospel in Motion

Topic: Christian Living Scripture: Acts 24:1–23

Our text teaches us a lot about character, integrity and living with a clear conscience. Talking about this and living it are two different things. If you find your conscience polluted by this fallen world, you are not alone. As a Christian, you have the capacity to walk before God with a clear conscience. In fact, that is your daily privilege and joy. Paul said, "I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men" (Acts 24:16).

The apostle Paul was a man who lived out his godly character. In his defense before Felix to the charges that the Jewish leaders brought against him, Paul could defend his integrity because it was true, he lived it out. He had a clear conscience.

Out text is divided into three parts:

  1. Paul Accused Before Felix (v.1-9)
  2. Paul's Defense Before Felix (v.10-21)
  3. Paul Put Under House Arrest (v.22-23)

D. L. Moody once said “Character is what you are in the dark.” What does our passage this morning reveal about your character? Are you serving the Lord with a clear conscience. Are you walking uprightly before God? In your difficult situations, can you say with Paul (and Joseph) that it’s better to have the Lord with you in prison than to have sinful pleasure without the Lord.

Jesus said in Mark 7:21-23, that all sin begins in the heart. We are called to get in the habit of examining ourselves at that level before it goes any farther. If we just go through the religious motions and ignore our sin and even rationalise and excuse our sin by blaming others, we deceive ourselves if we think that we are walking uprightly with God. Having a blameless conscience before God means that we quickly confess and turn away from any sin that His Word or His Spirit convicts us of. 

Getting Started

  1. What insight, principle, or observation from Sunday’s sermon did you find to be the most helpful, eye-opening, or troubling?
  2. The importance of using correct wording so as to reflect full repentance and sincere humility is very important. What does an insincere apology sound like?

 Digging Deeper

Read Acts 24:1-23

  1. Paul states that his practice of seeking to maintain a blameless conscience before God and men stems from the certainty of the resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked (24:15-16). How does a correct understanding of the day of judgment effect the way we live?
  2. Living with integrity does not shield us from being falsely accused. Since many of God’s servants are slandered, how can we avoid being taken in by slanderous accusations?
  3. Living with a clear conscience before God and men is the mark of every true Christian. Agree/disagree? Why?

 The Heart of the Matter

  1. Why is the phrase, “Let your conscience be your guide” only partially true?
  2. Does speaking the truth require that we divulge all that we know about a situation? How can we speak truth and yet keep appropriate confidences?
  3. John MacArthur said that, “You need to understand that God graciously implanted a powerful ally within you to aid you in the battle against sin. He gave you your conscience, and that gift is the key to bringing you joy and freedom." 

          8.1   How does procrastination affect your conscience?

          8.2.  How does unrepentance affect your conscience?

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