Sunday School Material 11-4-12: Paul Testifies Before King Agrippa



(Acts 26:19-32; 11/4/12)


Introduction: A key idea in today’s lesson is Paul stay focused on doing God’s will, in spite of stressful times. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to stay focused on doing God’s will for our lives, in spite of stressful times.

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Body:

Read Acts 26:19-23

I. Paul’s Obedient Life. In this section of the Sunday School material Paul is defending his ministry before Festus and Agrippa. He talks about being true to his God given vision to preach to Jews and Gentiles. It was his faithfulness to God that triggered the Jew’s hostility.

Applications –

- Responding to God’s call. Notice in vss. 19-23 of the Sunday School material that Paul responded obediently to what God was calling him to do. As believers, we should be known for obeying God’s call on our lives.

God’s call will not contradict God’s word; therefore, the need to study how to live by God’s word should be obvious. We should not think that living right in a world of so much wrongness is going to be easy; however, we can and should trust God to see us through our times of trouble.

One thing that we know God is calling us to do is to be a witness for Him. We ought to be telling people in word and deed about the salvation and living bread that are found in Christ.

We should be telling people about how Jesus’ death and resurrection makes our salvation and blessings possible. And we should be sharing how living faith produces changes in our behavior. Let’s work on responding to God’s calls on our lives.

- The devil’s use of religious people. Notice in vs. 21 of the Sunday School material that the devil can get religious people to oppose God’s will. On one hand, we should brace ourselves for satanic attack through religious people, as we strive to do God’s will.

On the other hand, we should make sure we don’t let the devil use us. The further we move from loving God and others, as we love ourselves, the closer we get to being used by the devil.

Prayerful study and obedience with the support of other disciples will help us in this area. Let’s work on be ready for the devil’s use of religious people.

Read Acts 26:24-27

II. Paul’s Bold Message. In this section of the Sunday School material Festus told Paul that he was insane and that his insanity was the product of great learning. Paul rejects the accusation. He then turns his defense to King Agrippa who is known for knowing Jewish scripture.

Applications –

- God’s will, instead of people’s expectations. Notice in vss. 24-25 of the Sunday School material that those who are not saved may call you insane because of your commitment to doing God’s will.

When the Bible talks about renewing our minds, being born again, and walking by faith, it should be no surprise that those who have not renewed their minds, been born again, nor committed to walking by faith in God don’t understand what God is doing in our lives.

Let’s stay focused on doing God’s will, instead of trying to live up to the expectations of those who are not committed to living for God.

- A wise steward of options. Notice in vss. 26-27 that Paul was a wise steward of his options. He understood that Festus did not know as much about the Jewish scriptures as Agrippa, so he turned to Agrippa, when he wanted to deal with the scriptures.

It is important that we stay calm and consider all options, when we are being accused and responding to the enemy’s attack. If we are not careful, we will get distracted and miss out on available options. Let’s work on being wise stewards of our options.

On your job, this application may include taking advantage of union representation, referring to emails or memos, or conferring with legal counsel.

Read Acts 26:28-32

III. A King’s Perplexed Response. In this section of the Sunday School material Agrippa rejects the idea of becoming a Christian. Paul reinforces his convictions about the value of being a Christian.

The session ends with Festus and Agrippa agreeing that Paul is not a criminal, but his appeal to Caesar cannot be denied.

Applications –

- Faithful in sowing and watering. Notice in vss. 28-29 that Paul could not make anyone get saved, but he was faithful in his attempts. We should be known for the same. We should sow and water the seeds of God’s word with both our words and deeds.

God provides the increase; however, we should sow the seeds that God wants to increase. Let’s work on being faithful in our soul winning ministries. We can at least invite people to church on a regular basis.

- Trusting God, when life seems irrational. Notice in vss. 30-32 of our Sunday School material that the devil can have people involved in activities that make no sense to them.

Agrippa and Festus agreed that Paul was not guilty of any crime, but yet they were being used to be a source of stress to Paul. However, God was using what people meant for evil for good.

This is a key point to remember when things seem to be so out of order. God is still working all things out for the good of His people. Let’s work on trusting God’s plan, even when life seems so irrational.

Conclusion: Let’s work on staying focused on doing God’s will for our lives, in spite of stressful times. God has much for those who obey His will.

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