And after some days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.” (Acts 24:24-25)
What Is The Faith In Christ?
The apostle Paul had extraordinary opportunities to preach before many different types of people. He helped bring a Philippian jailor and his family to the gospel and stood before kings and rulers sharing the same message. The audience would change but the message of Jesus Christ would not. Felix was a Roman governor in the city of Caesarea. After a plot was discovered to kill Paul, the apostle was delivered to the governor to hear the case against him and Paul used this time to do what he loved to do: tell the story of Jesus. The title of his sermon could be called “The Faith In Christ” and it contained three points.
The faith in Christ is about righteousness. Preaching about Jesus is declaring the nature of what is right. Adam Clarke defines righteousness as “the principles and requisitions of justice and right, between God and man; and between man and his fellows, in all relations and connections of life.” The basic tenets of faith in Christ must begin with the authority of God and who determines what is right and wrong. Man has always tried to establish his own righteousness and failed miserably. The only body of truth that is truth is the law of God and His law alone. From the beginning of time, there has been a measure of what is right and the consequence of what is wrong. In a world of acceptance of any moral code, the authority of God must first be established. Preaching Jesus begins with showing all men there is a rule of law that declares righteousness by the will of the Father. Felix needed to hear this message especially as his life was anything but righteous.
The faith in Christ is about self-control. Understanding what is right helps a man learn to control the passions of the heart, soul, mind and body. The greatest need for all men is the ability to exercise discretion and wisdom is curbing the passions of the flesh. This begins with righteousness but faith without works is dead. The message of righteousness must be carried out in the life of the individual. Preaching Jesus is about self-control. The Son of God died on the cross as a pattern of self-control to follow the will of the Father. There is no excuse to allow a lack of self-control to guide our lives. Jesus set the pattern and we must follow His example. The word of God helps us learn to control the desires of the flesh, curbing the pride of life and seeking those things that are holy. Children of God are not reckless. Righteousness fuels the heart of man towards those things that are pure, righteous and holy. Self-control comes from learning about Jesus Christ.
The faith in Christ is about the judgment. There can be no hope if a man denies righteousness and self-control. Failing in these two points brings a man to judgment. One of the greatest lies Satan convinces men to believe is there are no consequences to their actions. There is a judgment and a day is coming when all things men do will be brought before the throne of God. Preaching faith in Christ demands the knowledge of the judgment of the Lord on the final day. It will be without respect of persons. There will be no appeals. Right and wrong will be adjudicated by the mercy and grace of God and sadly – the majority of people will be lost. One of the main reasons a man will be lost is failure to believe in the judgment to come. It is real. It is coming.
Preaching Jesus is telling all men of the righteousness of God, self-control and the judgement to come. Anything less is not the faith in Christ. Felix listened intently to the words of Paul and was greatly moved by the message. His heart was touched by the power of the gospel and there was an appeal to make a decision for God. He chose to wait for another day to become a Christian but that day never came. Sadly, he will stand before the Lord and remember the aged apostles who stood before him and preached the faith in Christ. He will remember the lesson of righteousness and the need to control self. The final point of Paul’s sermon will be staring him in the face. There really is a judgment. To his eternal horror, it is too late. Are you ready for judgment?