Paul - Claiming his Roman Citizenship Living Water Route Assembly Sept. 2008
Scripture – Acts Chapter 22:22-29 22 “Up to this point they listened to him, but then they shouted, “ away with such a fellow from the earth! For he should not be allowed to live.” 23 While the were shouting, throwing off their cloaks, and tossing dust into the air, the tribune directed that he was to be examined by flogging, to find out the reason for this outcry against him. 22 But when they had tied him up with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who was standing by,: Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who is uncondemned?” 26 When the centurion heard that, he went to the tribune and said to him,” What are you about to do? This man is a Roman citizen?” 27” The tribune came and asked Paul,” tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” and he said,” Yes.” 28 “the tribunes answered,” It cost me a large sume of money to get my citizenship?”Paul said,: But I was born a citizen.” 29 Immediately those who were about to examine him drew back from him and the tribune also was afraid, for he realized that Paul was a Roman citizen and that he had bound him. 30 “Since he wanted to find out what Paul was being accused of by the Jews, the next day he releases him and ordered the chief priests and the entire council to meet. He brought Paul down and had him stand before them..
Paul’s Background - Acts 21:39; 22:3 Paul’s Name Saul, his Hebrew name, means "asked for". (Acts 13:9) Paul, his apostolic name, means "small" or "little one” Paul’s family Jewish parents One sister and a nephew (Acts 23:16). a tent maker, therefore his father could have worked at the same occupation. (Acts 18:1-3) Never married
Paul’s background Brought up in Tarsus, a city of Cilicia. Acts 21:39 A thriving city with many things to experience familiar with the slave markets saw slaves receiving their "mark" on their foreheads and hands often used term, bond slave, to illustrate his relationship to Christ Saw the Roman soldiers in the city frequently used military illustrations in his writings
Paul’s background - was never married -an educated and articulated man - persecuted Jesus’ followers -was transformed on the road to Damascus. -became a Christian -started witnessing for Christ - speaking to a big crowds of Jews -shared his own experience with Jesus
22 “ And they listened to him until this word, and then they raised their voices and said, “Away with such a fellow from the earth, for he is not fit to live!” Then, as they cried out and tore off their clothes and threw dust into the air.” erupted into rage over the one word - “Gentiles.” The Jewish mob was incensed that God’s salvation could be given freely to believing Gentiles.
no problem with Gentiles becoming Jews. offended that Gentiles becoming Christians just as Jews became Christians implied that Jews and Gentiles were equal, having to come to God on the same terms
The Jews’ reaction Some members of mob : took off their coats threw dust in the air Ready for action Stoning of Stephen
. (24) The commander demands an explanation of the riot. The commander ordered him to be brought into the barracks, and said that he should be examined under scourging, so that he might know why they shouted so against him. Examined under flogging Paul was be beaten with a scourge Men often died or were crippled for life after a scourging. To be examined under flogging was brutal but was customary in that time happened to non- Roman Citizens
(25-29) Paul reveals his Roman citizenship. The commander answered, “With a large sum I obtained this citizenship.” And Paul said, “But I was born a citizen.”
Roman Empire 4 classes of people A Roman citizen full range of benefits and rights The Native Peoples who lived in territories conquered by Rome given a limited form of Roman citizenship such as the Latin Right - a second- class citizenship within the Roman state
Woman were a class apart never accorded all the rights of citizens not allowed to vote could not stand for civil or public office had right to own property having rights barely more than those of slaves in many legal areas
Slaves were considered property had very limited rights slaves could be : sold tortured maimed raped and killed at the whim of their owners killing of a slave was a matter of property, not a crime against a human being. a freed slave, a freedman, was granted a form of full Roman citizenship all slaves freed by Roman owners automatically received a limited Roman citizenship
Methods to obtain Roman citizenship Every male child born in a legal marriage of a Roman citizen The sons of freed slaves became full citizens under condition as a reward for outstanding service to Rome. One could also buy citizenship, but at a very high price.
Rome gradually granted citizenship to whole provinces the third-century Constitutio Antoniniana granted it to all free male inhabitants of the Empire.
Rights of a Roman Citizen The right to vote The right to stand for civil or public office The right to make legal contracts, and to hold property The right to sue in the courts and the right to be sued The right to have a legal trial (to appear before a proper court and to defend oneself). The right to appeal A Roman citizen could not be tortured or whipped nor could he receive the death penalty, unless he was found guilty of treason.
Paul asserted his rights the right to appeal to the emperor Paul used his citizenship as a means to further his message. a citizen by birth and used the rights of a citizen to further his apostolic mission. Paul - an extremely rare individual educated, intelligent, devout Jew - a Roman citizen God would use this unique background to use Paul in a special way God wants to use your unique background to use you in a special way.
Application -Canadian citizen rights and responsibilities -Do not take it for granted
Voting is a citizen’s responsibility -Vote in this coming election -Chinese has low turnout rate to vote -60% vs 30-40%
Know your rights as a citizen Use your Canadian citizenship to serve Chinese people in or outside of China