Year of the Bible – Acts 28:1-31




Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and . . . a viper driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. Acts 28:3

Acts 28:1-31 (28:1-10)

The Apostle Paul had been shipwrecked. Once ashore on the island off Malta it was necessary to be warmed. While going to get a pile of brush for the fire, the Apostle was suddenly bitten by a venomous snake. The local natives were sure that Paul was a condemned man. They believed in fate as justice.  When Paul did not die, they became convinced of just the opposite—that God’s blessings rested upon him. By using their own ways of thinking, God taught them something about the Gospel.

All Christians are guilty of sin and deserving of death. In Christ, however, the effects of death have been removed. Now, being baptized into Christ, we have become co-partakers with Him in eternal life. Since we do not experience the pains of death and have no need to fear death’s sting, we show to the world that God reckons us to be His children, heirs of the promised blessings. The Apostle Paul finally arrived in Rome. Though he wore a chain in his captivity, he had been granted the right to meet with Jewish leaders in Rome and present His case for Christianity.

Using the Old Testament (the Law of Moses and the Prophets), the Apostle proved Jesus to be the Christ in the light of sacred Scripture. Some believed, but not all. The Jews as a whole could not accept the Gospel—that salvation depended upon God’s mercy and not upon man’s righteousness under Law. They were offended when Paul pointed out that they were like their hard-hearted forefathers, who refused to repent and believe God’s Word and promises. It was also an affront to the Jews to hear that the Holy Spirit was to be given to Gentiles. That is what Paul did, boldly and without reservation, throughout the next two years of His captivity.


Questions – Acts 28
  1. Where was the Apostle Paul shipwrecked?
  2. What did the inhabitants consider to be a sign of Paul’s condemnation?
  3. How was this reversed?
  4. How does this illustrate the nature of sin and what Christ has done for us?
  5. Who met with the Apostle Paul upon his arrival at Rome?
  6. From what source of authority did Paul argue that Jesus was the Christ?
  7. What was the result of Paul’s persuasion?
  8. How long did Paul continue his preaching in Rome?
© John W. Fiene | Artwork by Brian McFarland