Read: Acts 23: 1-5
1 And looking intently at the council, Paul said, “Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day.”
2 And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth.
3 Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting to judge me according to the law, and yet contrary to the law you order me to be struck?”
4 Those who stood by said, “Would you revile God’s high priest?”
5 And Paul said, “I did not know, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’”
Is my faith changing me or am I pretty much the same as I was a year ago? Do I know more of the Bible or is the truth of Bible changing my attitudes and behaviors? Am I continuing to grow in my love for Christ above everything and everyone else?
Don’t answer those questions too quickly.
In verse one of Acts 23, Paul declares that he had lived his “life before God in all good conscience up to this day”, but in the heat of the moment he lashes out at those who intended him harm. Kind of like us, don’t you agree? I think the key to this exchange is found in Paul’s response. He recognized his behavior didn’t honor God and he was convicted by Scripture.
It would be difficult to argue that anyone had a better understanding of Scripture than Paul, but the tipping point for Paul was the application of Scripture to his daily life. Likewise, we should know the words the Holy Spirit inspired men to write in Scripture, but they are nothing but words if our lives remain unchanged.