Bold and Unhindered


By Pastor Roger Eng, June 05, 2022

Today is Pentecost Sunday. The Rabbi’s say this is the day Moses came down Mt. Sinai with the 10 commandments – and Israel became a nation. Christians say Pentecost is also the day the Spirit came down on the church and the church was put on mission – a mission to bring the Good News of Jesus to the ends of the earth.

Acts gives us the 30-year history of the early church, it is the story of the apostles, the missionary journeys, but more than that, Acts, is the continuing story of the Holy Spirit and how the gospel spreads through sanctified people, boldly and unhindered.

TITLE: Bold and Unhindered (Acts 27-28)

  1. Salvation at Sea

Acts 27:7 (NLT), We had several days of slow sailing, and after great difficulty we finally neared Cnidus.But the wind was against us, so we sailed across to Crete and along the sheltered coast of the island, past the cape of Salmone. 8 We struggled along the coast with great difficulty and finally arrived at Fair Havens, near the town of Lasea.9 We had lost a lot of time. The weather was becoming dangerous for sea travel because it was so late in the fall, and Paul spoke to the ship’s officers about it. 10 “Men,” he said, “I believe there is trouble ahead if we go on—shipwreck, loss of cargo, and danger to our lives as well.”

• 276 people are onboard a grain ship. It was slow sailing! • No one in their right mind sails across the Mediterranean Sea in mid-October. • No one listens to Paul when he warns them of trouble ahead. • The ship got caught in a typhoon for 14 days. • V. 20 - all hope is lost! • V. 21 - The angel of the LORD told Paul no one would die. • V. 30 - Paul warned Julius and Julius listened. He cut the rope to the lifeboat so the sailors could not escape. • V. 35 - Paul takes bread and he breaks it and encourages everyone to eat. It sounds like a communion service. • Everyone made it safely to shore. The LORD saved all 276 people on board. • God didn’t calm the storm. God got the people through the storm. • Paul didn’t keep the ship from sinking, but he did give the people reason for believing.

  1. Salvation on Land

Acts 28:1 (NLT), Once we were safe on shore, we learned that we were on the island of Malta. 2 The people of the island were very kind to us. It was cold and rainy, so they built a fire on the shore to welcome us. 3 As Paul gathered an armful of sticks and was laying them on the fire, a poisonous snake, driven out by the heat, bit him on the hand. 4 The people of the island saw it hanging from his hand and said to each other, “A murderer, no doubt! Though he escaped the sea, justice will not permit him to live.” 5 But Paul shook off the snake into the fire and was unharmed. 6 The people waited for him to swell up or suddenly drop dead.

• The island natives were curious and kind to the people washed up on their beach. • The NIV translation is better. • The people worshipped the goddess Justice, so they figured Justice caused the shipwreck and Justice bit Paul on the hand. Superstitious people think bad things only happen to bad people.

Acts 28:6 (NLT), But when they had waited a long time and saw that he wasn’t harmed, they changed their minds and decided he was a god. 7 Near the shore where we landed was an estate belonging to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us and treated us kindly for three days. 8 As it happened, Publius’s father was ill with fever and dysentery. Paul went in and prayed for him, and laying his hands on him, he healed him. 9 Then all the other sick people on the island came and were healed. 10 As a result we were showered with honors, and when the time came to sail, people supplied us with everything we would need for the trip.

• Paul is saved from the poisonous snake not because he is a god, but because God has promised Paul would testify in Rome. • This miracle of Paul’s healing, leads the way for many more healings on the island. • We don’t have any record of Paul preaching. Paul is caring for the well-being of others, first on the ship and now on the island. • All 276 marooned people are kept alive through the 3 months of winter. • Paul’s salvation at sea was followed by salvation on land. • God calls us to preach the Gospel, and also to care, to serve, to weather storms with others, to pick up sticks, to build a fire, to pray for the sick, and let human kindness lead others to Christ.

  1. Salvation in Rome

Acts 28:17 (NLT), Three days after Paul’s arrival, he called together the local Jewish leaders. He said to them, “Brothers, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Roman government, even though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors. 18 The Romans tried me and wanted to release me, because they found no cause for the death sentence. 19 But when the Jewish leaders protested the decision, I felt it necessary to appeal to Caesar, even though I had no desire to press charges against my own people. 20 I asked you to come here today so we could get acquainted and so I could explain to you that I am bound with this chain because I believe that the hope of Israel—the Messiah—has already come.”

• Paul always goes to the synagogue first. There were up to 50k Jews in Rome at this time. • Paul tells the Jewish leaders that the hope of Israel – the MESSIAH, has come.

Acts 28:21 (NLT), They replied, “We have had no letters from Judea or reports against you from anyone who has come here. 22 But we want to hear what you believe, for the only thing we know about this movement is that it is denounced everywhere.” 23 So a time was set, and on that day a large number of people came to Paul’s lodging. He explained and testified about the Kingdom of God and tried to persuade them about Jesus from the Scriptures. Using the law of Moses and the books of the prophets, he spoke to them from morning until evening. 24 Some were persuaded by the things he said, but others did not believe.

• The good news - after a long day some of the Jewish leaders believe in Jesus. • The bad news - other Jewish leaders argued and rejected Jesus. • All throughout the book of Acts, some accepted and some reject Jesus.

• Why do people reject Jesus and the Good News?
• Paul’s final words in Acts, answer this question.

Acts 28:25 (NLT), And after they had argued back and forth among themselves, they left with this final word from Paul: “The Holy Spirit was right when he said to your ancestors through Isaiah the prophet, 26 ‘Go and say to this people: When you hear what I say, you will not understand. When you see what I do, you will not comprehend. 27 For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes— so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.’” 28 So I want you to know that this salvation from God has also been offered to the Gentiles, and they will accept it.”

• Paul like Isaiah, knew that the more you speak of God, the more some will reject God. • There is a progression here: first a person will not see/hear the truth, then the person cannot see/hear the truth. Minds will grow dull. Ears will go deaf. Eyes will go blind.

• There is a warning here at the end of Acts. Do we sing or scram when we hear God’s Truth? The light of salvation dims and narrows every time we put off Christ – so please don’t ever close your eyes and close your ears to the truth Jesus.

• Acts ends victoriously. In spite of Jewish rejection of Jesus, the Gospel will keep going out and people will accept it. Phil 1:12, “...everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News.”

  1. Salvation Continues.

Acts 28:30 (NLT), For the next two years, Paul lived in Rome at his own expense. He welcomed all who visited him, 31 boldly proclaiming the Kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ. And no one tried to stop him.

• The acts of Luke, Peter, Paul and the apostles are done. The Acts of the Holy Spirit continue, through you and me. The Acts of Christians are still being written!

• Paul’s attitude at the end, “No one tried to stop him!”

• The final word in Acts, in the Greek. text is “unhinderedly.”

If nothing hindered Paul from sharing Jesus in his circumstances, what is our excuse?