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“Brothers and fathers, listen to my defense 1 that I now 2 make to you.”
This is my defense to those who examine me.
The latter do so from love because they know that I am placed here for the defense of the gospel.
At my first defense no one appeared in my support; instead they all deserted me – may they not be held accountable for it.
I answered them 1 that it was not the custom of the Romans to hand over anyone 2 before the accused had met his accusers face to face 3 and had been given 4 an opportunity to make a defense against the accusation. 5
For see what this very thing, this sadness 1 as God intended, has produced in you: what eagerness, what defense of yourselves, 2 what indignation, 3 what alarm, what longing, what deep concern, 4 what punishment! 5 In everything you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.
But set Christ 1 apart 2 as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess. 3
For 1 it is right for me to think this about all of you, because I have you in my heart, 2 since both in my imprisonment 3 and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel all of you became partners in God’s grace 4 together with me.