Courageous Conviction, Part 4: Integrity Matters and Can Be Costly

Feb 5, 2023 • Mike Hubbard • Series: To Be Continued…

You don't have to look very far in our world to find a story about scandals in the church and among its leaders. Pastors and leaders are exposed for sexual sin and abuse, abuse of power, financial mismanagement, and a myriad of other moral issues. Whenever these things happen it negatively impacts the witness of the church and wounds others who are involved in the community of faith. Integrity matters! In this Acts passage, Paul is falsely accused by the Jewish High Priest and is able to defend himself and gain the ear of the sitting Roman governor. Felix knew about Christianity so Paul could have used this moment to leverage the relationship for his benefit. Instead, Paul speaks a warning to Felix about God's judgment for oppressors. But another thing becomes clear---if Paul will bribe the Roman official, he would be free to go. It was a common practice, and Paul should have no problem getting a few churches to throw a few bucks his way for the cause of the mission so he can go free. Not doing so leaves Paul in prison for two years. But the beauty of his witness was maintained as Paul chose to act in integrity. At times the world may be hostile toward those who believe in Jesus, but as followers of Jesus, we are called to turn the other cheek and respond like Christ when persecuted rather than stooping to the tactics of the world.

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