This summer I get to go to the Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference with some ladies from church. It is June 14-16th. I can choose which speakers I would like to hear based on what they will be speaking about. For instance, Don Carson’s talk is on “Teaching the Bible as One Book.” The title tells me what he will be speaking about.
If I told you that Paul was one of the speakers and he was speaking on the gospel or about faith in Jesus Christ what do you think he would talk about? He would talk about Jesus resurrection, how Jesus was the Messiah promised from the Old Testament or maybe even how Jesus was the final passover lamb for all sins, right? Sometimes, that is what he talked about. In today’s Scripture though, that is not what he spoke about. Today, in Acts, we read about Paul coming before a governor and when he spoke “about faith in Christ Jesus”, he “discoursed” on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come. It is not exactly the main subject I would expect him to talk about to the governor. Not only wasn’t it what I was expecting, but the governor’s response is also different than I would expect: We are told he was afraid. He was scared, but not scared enough to stop meeting with Paul. Not scared enough to stop listening.
This portion of Paul’s life can remind us to just speak truth. The response of the listener is not our responsibility. Felix was apparently familiar with “the Way”, which was what they called Christianity sometimes in that day. He continued after this encounter, to send for Paul because he and his wife wanted to talk to him more about Jesus. They had questions, so Paul answered whatever questions they had.
If I asked you today to go out and “share the Gospel” or “tell someone about faith in Christ”, would it be easy for you? Maybe, speaking about our “faith in Christ” is not always the formal, practiced speech that we think of when we are challenged to “share the gospel”. I know I have an inherent fear of trying to “share the gospel” with a stranger. But, if a stranger or friend asked me to answer some questions about Jesus Christ I am pretty sure I could do that. What about you?
Paul reminds us today that sharing or speaking “about faith in Christ Jesus” may mean just giving someone our time and attention, answering their questions, and helping them in whatever specific way God leads us. I am certain we could all do this well. There will be no governors calling us today to answer questions, but there may be a person at Starbucks waiting on you who sees you attend a Christian college called Liberty. Maybe the person checking your membership at Planet Fitness will see your RLCA shirt and ask what you like about the school. Perhaps a co-worker will ask what you do on Sundays and why. Those questions are a good start to further conversation. Who knows, maybe it will turn in to you and I telling someone about Jesus in the most unexpected place and way. Look for that opportunity, and count on God to give you the “talking points” as needed, just like He did for Paul.