Thursday, August 6, 2015

Thurs., 8/6/15 Devotion (Acts 24:25a)

Today's encouragement comes from Acts 24:25a, which says this:

"Now as [Paul] reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid . . . "

Here (above) the Apostle Paul is evangelizing the public official Felix. The *order* of Paul's discourse is intriguing (as it is given us by the Holy Spirit, here in the Book of Acts). Paul *starts* with "righteousness." We can be sure he put all the stress on *Christ's* righteousness, imputed to sinners, by grace through faith (alone). Only then, does the apostle go into "self-control," and "the judgment to come."

Too often well-meaning Christians seek to "evangelize" by telling people they need to change the way they live; and by "scaring" them (with judgment). These subjects are important; but they are never effective without the gospel: the righteousness of Christ being freely offered to sinners.

[Puritan quote of the day: "The word 'Father' is a sweet word, for it sweetens all our duties.” —William Bridge, in, "A Lifting Up for the Downcast"]