Antonius Felix was a slave. His brother Pallas was a friend of Emperor Claudius. By that connection and influence, he first gained freedom. And through wise moves he became a governor of a Roman province. He was the first slave to attain such status. Though he became the governor, he had a mentality of a slave. He was very cruel and exercised power with lust and covetousness. Felix was recently married to a Jewish princess, Drusilla who was one of the three daughters of King Herod Agrippa I and the sister of Agrippa II. Drusilla had divorced her first husband, Azisus, Syrian king of Emesa, to marry Felix as his third wife. Drusilla was about 20 years old at that time. Felix took the initiative to invite Paul to come and speak about the faith in Christ. The delay in judgement gave Paul an opportunity to share the gospel to Felix.
Paul exhorts about: Righteousness, self-control and forthcoming Judgement. (Acts 24:24-27)
Righteousness: Humans cannot have or attain righteousness by their thoughts or words or deeds. All acts that are perceived righteous from a human point of view are just filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6) Paul must have emphasised the need for repentance as both Felix and Drusilla were leading immoral and unrighteous lives. They could seek forgiveness by believing in Lord Jesus Christ, who had died on the cross of cavalry, buried and rose again. He ascended to heaven and is seated on the right hand of God.
Self-Control: Then Felix and Drusilla should follow the Lord to lead holy and righteous life by exercising self-control. Forgiveness of sins and God’s power to lead a righteous life is available in Lord Jesus Christ. They could overcome sin by exercising self-control through the Holy Spirit.
Judgement: God is the ultimate Sovereign Judge. All are accountable to God in the final judgement and would stand before His throne. No one can escape from God’s righteous judgement. Hence, Felix and Drusilla should receive the grace of God and escape final judgement.
Do I understand righteousness, self-control and judgement?