Book of Acts Chapter Twenty-Six (Part Two)

Introduction: A key idea in the book of Acts is that believers should be witnesses for the Lord, everywhere we go. Today, we hope to continue our discussion of Paul’s defense before Agrippa.

Body:

Read Acts 26:19-32

6. Paul’s Defense Before Agrippa (continued). In the book of Acts Paul talked about how he is simply doing what the Lord told him to do. He was faithful in Damascus, Jerusalem, Judea, and to the Gentiles. Paul says the Jews are trying to kill him because he is simply acting according to his convictions.

Paul defends against Festus’ claim that he is out of his mind. Agrippa doesn’t commit to believing what Paul is talking about. The authorities agree that Paul has done nothing worth of death or prison, but his appeal to Caesar must be honored.

Applications -

- A track record of faithfulness. Notice in vss. 19-23 that Paul was able to talk about how faithful he had been to the Lord’s will. Too many people have so little faithfulness to talk about. We should work on being faithful - obedient to God’s will with confidence in His promises - in our loving God, others, and ourselves.

We should have a track record of worshiping God and obeying His word. We should have a track record of helping people get saved and responding to their needs. We should have a track record of taking care of our health and wealth. Let’s work on having a track record of faithfulness.

- God’s keeping power. Notice in vs. 22 of the book of Acts that Paul acknowledged that God was keeping him. There are too many who don’t give enough acknowledgment to God’s keeping power.

We are long on telling people about our credentials and contacts. But we are too short on telling people that it was really the Lord who made a way out of no way for me to be still standing. Let’s work on giving God the credit He deserves for keeping us.

- Adjusting our expectations. Notice in vss. 24-27 that the authorities did not understand the depth of Paul’s convictions. And in like manner, we should not expect the authorities of this world to understand the depths of our Christian convictions.

We should strive to be respectful in how we communicate with others, but we should not expect non-Christians to understand Christian matters. Let’s work on adjusting our expectations towards non-Christians.

- Evangelism. Notice in vs. 28 of the book of Acts that King Agrippa is an unsaved king. No matter how great a king he may have turned out to be, as an unsaved king, he was doomed to an eternal Hell.

In like manner, no matter what a person may have going for him/her, without salvation, that person is doomed to Hell. Let’s work on helping people get saved.

Furthermore, when a leader is not saved, not only is he/she doomed to Hell, but he/she doesn’t have the Christian values to draw from that saved leaders have, and consequently, his/her leadership and judgment are sure to be less than those who are saved. In other words, saved leaders make for better leaders.

Thus, we need to help even those who are leaders and those on their way to being leaders to get saved and be disciples of Christ.

- Focused on serving the Lord. Notice in vs. 29 of the book of Acts that after all that Paul had been through, he is still focused on serving the Lord, instead of simply being bitter about the things he has had to suffer through.

There are too many who allow bitterness to keep them from being effective in serving the Lord. Let’s work on staying focused on serving the Lord, no matter what happens in our lives.

When we think about it, as bad as things have been, they could have been worse, and by the grace of God, they will get better.

- Faith over doubt. Notice in vss. 31-32 that the authorities see that the charges were unmerited, but the appeal to Caesar had to be honored. In moments like these the devil may suggest that Paul should not have appealed to Caesar, because without the appeal, he may have been released.

First, there is nothing Paul can do about the appeal. Therefore, there is no need in fretting over what cannot be changed about the past. Second, there are no guarantees that Paul would have been released. What people say may have happened and what actually happens can be very different.

Third, mistake or not, God is still working things out for the good of His people. God had talked about Paul ministering in Rome. Let’s keep the faith, in spite of questions that come to mind.

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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