Read Acts 26:1-18
6. Paul’s defense before Agrippa (26:1-32). Here in the book of Acts King Agrippa is hearing Paul’s case. Paul rehearses how he has done nothing wrong.
He is simply following his convictions to serve the God of his Jewish ancestors. He confesses that he had been an enemy of the church, but through divine intervention, he was called from being an enemy of to being a servant in the church.
- Presenting ourselves in various situations. Notice in vss. 1-3 of the book of Acts that Paul knew how to present himself before King Agrippa. It is important to know how to present ourselves in various situations.
We cannot simply be church specialists. We are to be the light of the world and salt of the Earth, which is much bigger than our church buildings. Let’s work on knowing how to present ourselves in various situations.
Living by this application calls for our paying attention to what is expected of us and how those expectations relate to what God expects out of us. Talking to other Christians who have had to go through similar situations may help us.
- Living how we want to be remembered. Notice in vs. 5 that people will remember what you have done. Therefore, we should work on having a long track record of doing good for the right reason. In Paul’s case, he was a Pharisee.
His heart may have been in the right place, but his behavior was wrong. Let’s work on living the way we want to be remembered, because people will remember the way we have lived. Even when people don’t remember, God will.
- Hoping in God’s promises. Notice in vss. 6-8 of the book of Acts that Paul’s hope was in the promises of God, including the resurrection.
First, it is difficult to put our hope in the promises of God, when we don’t know any of them. We should prayerful study God’s word and discover His promises and put our hope in them.
Second, the resurrection can help us face death with much less fear. Believers should understand that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. We believe that our souls or spirits will live on beyond the deterioration of our bodies.
Let’s live like our hope is in the promises of God. Such living should be known for obedience, joy, and confidence.
- Enemies of the church. Notice in vss. 9-11 that Paul was an enemy of the church. First, we should work on keeping the devil from using us, as he used Paul. It seems that Paul thought he was right, but there is a way that seems right to a person but it ends in death.
Prayerful study of and obedience to God’s word with the support of other disciples can help us avoid being used by the devil.
Second, as the church, we should brace for the devil’s usage of others. Staying prayed up, in supportive relationships with other disciples, and being committed to obey God, no matter what, are important items. Let’s work on avoiding being an enemy of the church and being prepared for the enemies of the church.
- Saved for service. Notice in vss. 13-18 of the book of Acts that God called Paul to help people get saved and to grow in the Lord. God also provided enough protection for Paul to be effective.
First, God can use whomever He wants to use. We should be careful about building too many rules about excluding people from serving the Lord.
Second, God wants to use all of us to help others get saved. We should at very least live so people want to know how we are able to be so positive, in such a negative world. And we should respond to such questions with answers that show how Jesus gives us joy on our journeys.
Third, God wants to use us to help people grow in the Lord - edification. We can all at least invite and try to bring people with us to Prayer Meetings and Bible Studies.
Third, God is able to give us enough protection to do His will. There is merit to the statement that “God gives provision for His vision.” Let’s work on letting God use us in His service.
- Treating the church like Jesus. Notice in vss. 14-15 of the book of Acts that fighting the church is to fight against Jesus. There are too many who behave as if talking the church down, not supporting the church, and even leaving the church are separate from the Lord.
But in reality, what we do to the church we do to the Lord. Consequently, we should strive to be loving, thankful, and useful to the church and by extension to the Lord. Let’s work on treating the church as we should treat the Lord.
Conclusion: Let’s work on being witnesses for the Lord, everywhere we go. God has much for those who obey His will.
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