Shaking off the Viper



*Paul shook of the viper when attacked, so should we!

Acts 28:1-9

1And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita. (Which is now called Malta, 50 miles south of Sicily in the Mediterranean).

And the barbarous people shewed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold. (Luke did not mean barbarous to be an insult, they were a people not influenced with Greek culture).

And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, (Paul was always working) and laid them on the fire, there came a viper (Satan trying to use a snake again) out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. (Satan missed killing him during the shipwreck. Paul was attacked while doing good, we will also be attacked while we are doing good).

And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, (Viper of Criticism – they judged Paul falsely, people will also judge you falsely. They Judged Jesus falsely, they called Him a blasphemer, accused Him of being in league with Satan, of gluttony, of drinking too much, of treason, of desecration of the Sabbath, of being demon possessed, of being unbalanced, and mentally unstable) whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live.

And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm. (Viper of Discouragement – Paul was not discouraged, he remembered God’s promise in Acts 27:23-25… It’s of note that Satan will also be tossed into the fire!).

Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: (Viper of Low Expectations – They had no confidence that he was more than what he appeared to be. Some people will have low expectations of you because you are a Christian. They think and hope that you will stumble and fall and will wait for you to backslide. They will try to discourage you - criticize you. Shake off what others think, prove them wrong by being faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ) but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god. (Hercules was one of the gods of the Phoenicians, he was worshiped on Malta under the title, “Dispeller of Evil”).

In the same quarters were possessions of the chief man of the island, whose name was Publius; who received us, and lodged us three days courteously. (A Roman official on the island).

And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: (Medical term Luke used because he was a Doctor. He had a reoccurring fever and dysentery) to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him.

So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed: (of course, God did the healing).

1.   Shaking off… ALL FILTHINESS.

       James 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

2.   Shaking off… ALL FORMER LUST.

      Ephesians 4:22-24 - That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

3.   Shaking off… ALL LYING.

      Ephesians 4:25 - Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

4.   Shaking off… ALL ANGER.

      Colossians 3:8 -  But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

5.   Shaking off… ALL MALICE.

      1 Peter 2:1-2 - Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

6.   Shaking off… THE WORKS OF DARKNESS.

      Romans 13:12 - The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

7.   Shaking off… EVERY WEIGHT.

      Hebrews 12:1 - Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Conclusion:  Don’t get discouraged when the world (Bosses, co-workers, friends, family, or strangers) comes against you. Shake off the people or things which bring you down. Resist the traps that Satan lays for you and hold on to the promises of God. Jesus Saves and He will deliver you in your times of need.

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