But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
We can be confident in what we believe, no matter how other people feel about it. The Word of God is true no matter who may deny it. And we don’t have to shrink from our biblical stance on things. We don’t have to apologize for believing the Bible. We don’t have to change our mind based on how other people feel about what we know the truth to be.
Paul was not willing to back down. His life had been changed so thoroughly by Jesus Christ, and he would not deny Him now. His knowledge of the Scripture told him everything he needed to know. And that’s the only way we’ll be able to stand firm when people come against us because of what we believe in. If our faith is not first of all rooted in Christ, we’re likely to crumble when attacks come. We will only stand up for Him so long if we are not completely dedicated to Him and His cause. If we don’t trust fully that Jesus is alive today and working in us, someone somewhere can convince us to abandon Him.
We also must have a knowledge of the Scripture. We can’t trust someone else to know it for us, but it must be real to each of us. We have to search it and study it for ourselves and then decide if we are going to stand on what it says. Because within it are all the answers we will ever need. All of our doubts can be alleviated if we’ll only dedicate ourselves to knowing for sure what the Bible says. God has given us everything we need to believe Him.
We have someone much more powerful to answer to than the ruler of an empire for what we do with our knowledge of Jesus and His Word. There will be a time, no matter who may deny it, that we all stand before the ultimate Judge in God Himself. And if we’ve chosen the path of unbelief, there will be consequences for that more grave than Paul’s prison sentence. And if we’re standing up for God’s truth in the midst of an increasingly evil world, we don’t have to be discouraged, because our ultimate hope is in the one we’re already trusting in.