Living life with the rulebook
Acts 26:5 “They have known me for a long time and can testify, if they are willing, that according to the strictest sect of our religion, I lived as a Pharisee.”
As a Pharisee Paul followed the laws of Moses and mans application of the laws in minutia detail.
They lived in communities that were closed to others. Apparently there were many in Jerusalem. Getting into such groups was strictly regulated. There were vows of obedience to all of the ceremonial laws and an allegiance to the dietary purity laws. The members would be monitored and scrutinised with the aim being accuracy and perfection.
Why does Paul start here in his defence? Perhaps it is to say that this was the foundation of his life. He lived under a strict regime so it cannot be possible that he is now guilty of some notorious crime.
He says ‘they know who I am’. But they wouldn’t testify as they didn’t want anyone to see any good in Paul at all.
What has been the foundation of your life? Rules don’t mean you will follow them as an adult and we know many people who have walked away from the church when they were old enough. Yet rules do give a basis for building a strong value system. Maybe getting children to follow more rules will help their next chapters of life.
Outside and inside the church rules are replaced with a readiness to believe and do anything.
Is it time for a reforming of some strictness upon you?
Will that keep you from making errors?
Do people know how you live and will they testify of how you live amongst the community?