There is a saying that the best defense is a good offense. I personally prefer the one that says, “Offense wins games… defense wins championships.” I think the reason that much of recent Christian culture has opted for offense (i.e. to the tune of creating a Christian sub-culture) is that offense (and the associated isolationism) is easier. Defense pre-supposes humility. It supposes that there may, in fact, be times when people just don’t understand where we’re coming from as followers of Jesus. Paul has been arrested and is now preparing for a run through the courts that could determine his fate. Yet all he sees are opportunities to explain why he has chosen to be a follower of The Way. This hefty portion of Scripture from Acts 24-26 provides us repeated chances to observe Paul putting together a defense… not a defense of himself as much as a defense of the gospel itself.
Here are some questions to get us thinking…
1. What are some of the inherent differences between offense & defense (in any context)?
2. Why do you think they say “offense wins games… defense wins championships”?
3. Why is it important to be able to defend your faith?
4. What recurring themes do you hear in Paul’s exchanges with Felix, Festus & Agrippa?
5. Did Paul rely on defense alone or was there some offense too? Explain your answer.
6. What surprises you about the responses of all 3 men to whom Paul spoke?
7. What was Paul able to do as he presented his defense?
8. In particular, how does King Agrippa’s response surprise you?
9. What part of defending your faith scares you the most?
10. How can we work to fortify those areas that make us feel inadequate?
If you’d like to dig a little deeper follow the link to this commentary… Acts 24-26.