First Baptist Church of Howard City
November 14, 2021

November Ushers:


Kris VandePanne

Jason Miller

Lendy Waller

Richard Wanamaker


      • Proverbs 4.20-24ESV

      • Proverbs 4.25-27ESV

  • More Love To Thee
  • Speak O Lord
  • Acts 23:12–35 NKJV
    12 And when it was day, some of the Jews banded together and bound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. 13 Now there were more than forty who had formed this conspiracy. 14 They came to the chief priests and elders, and said, “We have bound ourselves under a great oath that we will eat nothing until we have killed Paul. 15 Now you, therefore, together with the council, suggest to the commander that he be brought down to you tomorrow, as though you were going to make further inquiries concerning him; but we are ready to kill him before he comes near.” 16 So when Paul’s sister’s son heard of their ambush, he went and entered the barracks and told Paul. 17 Then Paul called one of the centurions to him and said, “Take this young man to the commander, for he has something to tell him.” 18 So he took him and brought him to the commander and said, “Paul the prisoner called me to him and asked me to bring this young man to you. He has something to say to you.” 19 Then the commander took him by the hand, went aside, and asked privately, “What is it that you have to tell me?” 20 And he said, “The Jews have agreed to ask that you bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though they were going to inquire more fully about him. 21 But do not yield to them, for more than forty of them lie in wait for him, men who have bound themselves by an oath that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him; and now they are ready, waiting for the promise from you.” 22 So the commander let the young man depart, and commanded him, “Tell no one that you have revealed these things to me.” 23 And he called for two centurions, saying, “Prepare two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen to go to Caesarea at the third hour of the night; 24 and provide mounts to set Paul on, and bring him safely to Felix the governor.” 25 He wrote a letter in the following manner: 26 Claudius Lysias, To the most excellent governor Felix: Greetings. 27 This man was seized by the Jews and was about to be killed by them. Coming with the troops I rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman. 28 And when I wanted to know the reason they accused him, I brought him before their council. 29 I found out that he was accused concerning questions of their law, but had nothing charged against him deserving of death or chains. 30 And when it was told me that the Jews lay in wait for the man, I sent him immediately to you, and also commanded his accusers to state before you the charges against him. Farewell. 31 Then the soldiers, as they were commanded, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris. 32 The next day they left the horsemen to go on with him, and returned to the barracks. 33 When they came to Caesarea and had delivered the letter to the governor, they also presented Paul to him. 34 And when the governor had read it, he asked what province he was from. And when he understood that he was from Cilicia, 35 he said, “I will hear you when your accusers also have come.” And he commanded him to be kept in Herod’s Praetorium.
    Don’t forget God’s promise!
    Acts 23:11 NKJV
    11 But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.”
    You will testify for me in Rome. - PROMISE - FACT.
    What promises of God do you need to claim today?
    There are promises for us all through scripture.
    What you have to understand as you claim that promise is that God may not work them out the way you think.
    He is not bound to our ideas or what we think will work.

    1. The conspiracy against Paul.

    Acts 23:12–15 NKJV
    12 And when it was day, some of the Jews banded together and bound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. 13 Now there were more than forty who had formed this conspiracy. 14 They came to the chief priests and elders, and said, “We have bound ourselves under a great oath that we will eat nothing until we have killed Paul. 15 Now you, therefore, together with the council, suggest to the commander that he be brought down to you tomorrow, as though you were going to make further inquiries concerning him; but we are ready to kill him before he comes near.”

    (1)A. The severity of the conspiracy.

    The Jews banded together under oath not to eat.
    They were dedicated to the cause.
    They literally invoked a curse on themselves.
    They were convinced.
    This was urgent.
    They wouldn’t eat or drink until they accomplished their task.
    This meant it happened as soon as possible.
    To KILL Paul.
    Death!
    Romans 3:9–18 ESV
    9 What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God. 12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” 13 “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” 14 “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 in their paths are ruin and misery, 17 and the way of peace they have not known.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
    The thinking of the unsaved should never surprise us.
    It is in their very nature.

    (1)B. The magnitude of the conspiracy.

    Over 40 Jews.
    Not a couple of hot headed Jews
    Over 40 that made a pact that involved a curse.
    One Paul
    The enemies of the gospel always outnumber believers.
    Matthew 7:13 NKJV
    13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.
    These 40 Jews could care less about the law.
    We can’t be surprised when enemies of the gospel disregard the law.

    (1)C. The strategy of the conspiracy.

    They were deceitful.
    They schemed WITH THE COUNSEL to have Paul killed.
    Don’t be surprised when those that should protect you do not.
    Don’t be surprised when schemes of the enemies of the gospel gain the backing and some sort of authoritative consent.
    Tell the commander that the counsel wants to see Paul again.
    On their way to this meeting they would ambush Paul and kill him.
    Man was doing everything in his power to destroy God’s plan.

    2. The sovereign plan of our GREAT God!

    Acts 23:16–30 NKJV
    16 So when Paul’s sister’s son heard of their ambush, he went and entered the barracks and told Paul. 17 Then Paul called one of the centurions to him and said, “Take this young man to the commander, for he has something to tell him.” 18 So he took him and brought him to the commander and said, “Paul the prisoner called me to him and asked me to bring this young man to you. He has something to say to you.” 19 Then the commander took him by the hand, went aside, and asked privately, “What is it that you have to tell me?” 20 And he said, “The Jews have agreed to ask that you bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though they were going to inquire more fully about him. 21 But do not yield to them, for more than forty of them lie in wait for him, men who have bound themselves by an oath that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him; and now they are ready, waiting for the promise from you.” 22 So the commander let the young man depart, and commanded him, “Tell no one that you have revealed these things to me.” 23 And he called for two centurions, saying, “Prepare two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen to go to Caesarea at the third hour of the night; 24 and provide mounts to set Paul on, and bring him safely to Felix the governor.” 25 He wrote a letter in the following manner: 26 Claudius Lysias, To the most excellent governor Felix: Greetings. 27 This man was seized by the Jews and was about to be killed by them. Coming with the troops I rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman. 28 And when I wanted to know the reason they accused him, I brought him before their council. 29 I found out that he was accused concerning questions of their law, but had nothing charged against him deserving of death or chains. 30 And when it was told me that the Jews lay in wait for the man, I sent him immediately to you, and also commanded his accusers to state before you the charges against him. Farewell.
    Paul’s nephew heard about the plan.
    Luke writes: “the son of Paul’s sister”
    Who knew Paul had a sister or a nephew?
    And how does he get this information?
    A conspiracy of this nature is not going to be front page news.
    In God’s incredible plan, Paul’s nephew found out.
    Paul and his nephew are able to get this message all the way to the commander.
    Don’t miss this moment.
    It is one thing for the guard to have some sympathy.
    Yet the commander take this young man aside and speaks with him.
    The commander could have easily said: “I’ve got this covered” - I have trained soldiers and a lot more than 40.
    But he didn’t.
    He put his own secret plan together to move Paul out of Jerusalem to Caesarea.
    Paul was a Roman citizen - a Roman citizen being killed by Jews on the Commanders watch was not ok.
    Ultimately - because God was sending Paul to Rome!
    Get this picture.
    40 Jewish men swearing death on Paul is scary.
    Some might say hopeless.
    200 soldiers.
    These men would guard Paul until he was safely out of Jerusalem.
    70 horsemen.
    200 spearmen.
    470 well trained soldiers.
    From the greatest army assembled at the time.
    Imagine the site - clanging armor.
    Spears glistening in the moonlight.
    The steam from the snort of the 70 war horses.
    Even giving Paul a horse!
    At this moment, if the Jews had seen this - the curse was coming.
    Paul’s enemies not made nothing.
    God called together the very people that nailed His Son to the cross.
    The assembled the enemy to protect His own assets and move His plan forward.
    This is just what our God does!
    Psalm 115:3 NKJV
    3 But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases.
    Once again The Great Rome is bowing to the mighty hand of the God of the universe.
    Once again they are pawns in His plan - and they don’t even know it.
    One time they were used to kill.
    The next they were used to save a life.
    Neither outside of God’s plan.
    Both for the furtherance of God’s eternal plan.
    Isaiah 40:15–17 ESV
    15 Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust. 16 Lebanon would not suffice for fuel, nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering. 17 All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.
    THIS IS OUR GOD!!
    Why do we get so caught up with what is right in front of us?

    3. Paul is delivered.

    Acts 23:31–35 NKJV
    31 Then the soldiers, as they were commanded, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris. 32 The next day they left the horsemen to go on with him, and returned to the barracks. 33 When they came to Caesarea and had delivered the letter to the governor, they also presented Paul to him. 34 And when the governor had read it, he asked what province he was from. And when he understood that he was from Cilicia, 35 he said, “I will hear you when your accusers also have come.” And he commanded him to be kept in Herod’s Praetorium.
    He is on his way to Rome.
    It didn’t matter what any man did.
    Christ was going to keep his promise: “You will testify for me in Rome.”
    It doesn’t matter what any man does, Christ will keep His promise: “ I will build my church.”

    Application: Do you recognize God’s goodness in your own life?

    Not only did God save Paul’s life.
    Not only did God thwart an evil plan.
    He used those plans to work out His plan and further the gospel.
    They were literally pawns in God’s plan.
    Humanly speaking this was bad.
    A lot of evil people were trying to kill Paul.
    This was simply God working His plan.
    Romans 8:18–25 NKJV
    18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
    Romans 8:28–30 NKJV
    28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
      • Acts 23:11ESV

      • Acts 23:12–15ESV

      • Romans 3:9–18ESV

      • Matthew 7:13ESV

      • Acts 23:16–30ESV

      • Psalm 115:3ESV

      • Isaiah 40:15–17ESV

      • Acts 23:31–35ESV

      • Romans 8:18–25ESV

      • Romans 8:28–30ESV

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