The community we are called to testify to
S - Acts 23:6-10 (NASB)
6 But perceiving that one group were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, Paul began crying out in the Council, “Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; I am on trial for the hope and resurrection of the dead!” 7 As he said this, there occurred a dissension between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor an angel, nor a spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all. 9 And there occurred a great uproar; and some of the scribes of the Pharisaic party stood up and began to argue heatedly, saying, “We find nothing wrong with this man; suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” 10 And as a great dissension was developing, the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them and ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force, and bring him into the barracks.
O - My observation is just how we as men have a tendency after long periods of religious analysis to divide ourselves in such significant ways. We see that in Paul's time the Jewish leadership was pretty well split on a significant topic of resurrection, spirit, and angels. This despite, some clear foundational scriptures and testimonies from the founding fathers. Paul used this known dissension to his advantage to escape persecution which was for kingdom purposes since ultimately he was being called by Jesus to testify in Rome.
A - The application for me is to recognize 2000 years later, we are doing the same thing with Christianity. We have it split into so many sects that we have Christians amongst themselves not able to reconcile truth. Catholics and Protestants differ on priesthood requirements. Baptist and Evangelicals differ on sufficiency for salvation and eternal life. Sects like Jehovah's witness, and Mormonism, have added to the base and taken on additional beliefs. So what are we to do. I believe we are to follow Paul's example, and testify to those God has associated with. We are not to worry about all, only those He is calling us to. Paul was raised a Pharisee, a son of a Pharisee. He encountered and was called by Jesus, and when given a chance to testify to the Jewish council, he appealed to those he knew, in a way they could understand, but it was based on revelation from Christ. I am called to those who didn't grow up in a church, but may have come from a family who had a small religious association. I am called to testify to those who feel they have a purpose but are not sure where it comes from, who have an inate sense of righteousness but don't yet know the one who is righteous.
P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's lesson, may it be sealed to my heart. I pray Lord that you continue to equip and shape my life more and more, so I may serve you more and more. I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.