In Acts 22, Paul defended himself for the first time. Paul defended himself three times throughout Acts. In chapter 22, he spoke in front of the Jews. In chapter 24, he debated before Felix. In chapter 26, he argued in front of Agrippa. Paul said, in chapter 22, that “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia.” Paul was not living in a slum, and he was not ordinary people, why would he praise and glorify Jesus? Paul told people how he met Jesus, which is also recorded in Acts 9 (he met God while he was on his way to Damascus). He recounted how he met Jesus three times in total; once in chapter 9, once in chapter 22, and once in chapter 26 (before Agrippa). The story is basically the same in that three accounts.
In Paul’s story, a known figure, Ananias, was mentioned. He was the one who baptized Paul, the great one and the loyal servant of God in the New Testament. Hence, you don’t necessarily need a pastor or elder to pray for you; a little one’s prayer may be just as powerful! We don’t need to ask famous preachers to come all the way from the States to pray for us; we believe in the same God as they do. It is not necessary that we ask pastor to pray for us every day. You may find a nobody to pray for you, and God will listen. By doing so, your brothers and sister will be encouraged too!
Baptism cannot save a man, it is only a testimony. What really saves a man is the calling to God from the bottom of one’s heart. If you don’t believe in Jesus and don’t call to His name after your baptism, your soul would not be saved even if you are baptized in the Jordan. You have to pray to Jesus’s name, believe with all your heart that Jesus is the son of God and that He has resurrected, and to let Him be your Savior. We are all saved by the love of God, and we are now the slave of love. If we are not willing to live in God’s Kingdom, to be the servant of God, and to let God raise and elevate us, we will be on the path of Satan. It is like what happened in Noah’s time; you are either in the ark, or in the flood. If you are not living in God’s Kingdom, you are living in, and being controlled by, this world. We are fighting a spiritual war against Satan.
Paul suffered so much in his life; he was persecuted because he held firmly to the Lord and spread the words of God. If Paul yielded a little, no one would have oppressed him; however, he never compromised God’s Truth. Today, we may also be oppressed when we spread God’s words, but do not be frightened because Jesus has already won. Persecution is temporary, and it makes your spiritual life grow. Those who are not trained, their lives won’t grow. So, what we endure is to equip us with the ability to help those who are in need. There are four kinds of food mentioned in the Bible that can give us strength to withstand the hardships we encounter: the word of God, the work of God, our environment, and our enemy. If we can eat all these four kinds of food, our spiritual life will grow healthily, and we will become a victorious Christian.