Feb 23, 2020 // By:Dave // No Comment
(Paul explains his case to Festus and Agrippa)
Paul goes into his testimony
He does not put up his hands and say “I left my scrolls and notes back in the cell. Can I go get them so I can read them to you ?
Relate this to those who prepared testimonies but had to read them from notes
“If someone approached you in a store and said “hey, I heard you became a christian… what does that mean… how did it happen?”
Would you start reading from your notes , or speak from memory and heart , eye to eye contact ?
Do you need notes to tell me how you met your significant other?
Do you need notes to tell about your children being born (or any significant event in your life?
It should be the same, or greater, with talking about “meeting God”
1 Agrippa said to Paul, “You are permitted to speak for yourself.” Then Paul stretched out his hand and proceeded to make his defense:
2 “In regard to all the things of which I am accused by the Jews, I consider myself fortunate, King Agrippa, that I am about to make my defense before you today;
3 especially because you are an expert in all customs and questions among the Jews; therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently.
4 “So then, all Jews know my manner of life from my youth up, which from the beginning was spent among my own nation and at Jerusalem;
5 since they have known about me for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that I lived as a Pharisee according to the strictest sect of our religion.
6 “And now I am standing trial for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers;
he answers the charge, but manipulates his testimony so that he is able to present it again (but cannot be accused of not answering the charge)
his purpose for determines his responses (he does not defend himself by simply saying “is it a criminal offense to believe in the resurrection ?” rather he carries out his purpose of evangelizing the world by, once again , creating an opportunity to share his faith.
Luke 6:45 The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of evil treasure produces evil; for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.
2 Tim 2:4-7
Phil. 3:4 although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more:
Phil. 3:5 circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee;
Phil. 3:6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.
Phil. 3:7 ¶ But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
Phil. 3:8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,
Phil. 3:9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,
world (cosmos) is against a Godly purpose (Eph 6:12) the system is not going to help us prioritize our purpose.
Each of us have our own world, circle of influence to set our priorities.
We have husbands, wives, children, grandchildren, extended family, friends, co-workers, strangers, etc
many of those tend to demand priorities, and often limit our activity out there
but how are we setting our priorities even within those boundaries, those smaller worlds ?
(are we prioritizing reflecting Christ and the Gospel to our husbands, wives, children, grandchildren, extended family, friends, co-workers, strangers, etc)
our priorities determine our responses
7 the promise to which our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly serve God night and day. And for this hope, O King, I am being accused by Jews.
8 “Why is it considered incredible among you people if God does raise the dead?
9 “So then, I thought to myself that I had to do many things hostile to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
Acts 26:8 For the life of me, I can’t see why it’s a criminal offense to believe that God raises the dead.
Acts 26:9 “I admit that I didn’t always hold to this position. For a time I thought it was my duty to oppose this Jesus of Nazareth with all my might.
10 “And this is just what I did in Jerusalem; not only did I lock up many of the saints in prisons, having received authority from the chief priests, but also when they were being put to death I cast my vote against them.
11 “And as I punished them often in all the synagogues, I tried to force them to blaspheme; and being furiously enraged at them, I kept pursuing them even to foreign cities.
12 “While so engaged as I was journeying to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests,
13 at midday, O King, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining all around me and those who were journeying with me.
14 “And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew dialect, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’
15 “And I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.
16 ‘But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you;
17 rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you,
18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’
19 “So, King Agrippa, I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision,
20 but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.
21 “For this reason some Jews seized me in the temple and tried to put me to death.
22 “So, having obtained help from God, I stand to this day testifying both to small and great, stating nothing but what the Prophets and Moses said was going to take place;
23 that the Christ was to suffer, and that by reason of His resurrection from the dead He would be the first to proclaim light both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.”
24 While Paul was saying this in his defense, Festus *said in a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind! Your great learning is driving you mad.”
25 But Paul *said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I utter words of sober truth.
another common method to resist the gospel
(if you can’t discredit the message, discredit the messenger)
26 “For the king knows about these matters, and I speak to him also with confidence, since I am persuaded that none of these things escape his notice; for this has not been done in a corner.
27 “King Agrippa, do you believe the Prophets? I know that you do.”
28 Agrippa replied to Paul, “In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian.”
29 And Paul said, “I would wish to God, that whether in a short or long time, not only you, but also all who hear me this day, might become such as I am, except for these chains.”
30 The king stood up and the governor and Bernice, and those who were sitting with them,
31 and when they had gone aside, they began talking to one another, saying, “This man is not doing anything worthy of death or imprisonment.”
32 And Agrippa said to Festus, “This man might have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”” (Acts 26:1–32 NAS95)
Paul looks for opportunities to share the gospel
He creates them out of practically nothing.
If a man is alone on an island and never hears toe gospel will he be judged by God and sent to hell. ?
people do not go to hell because the reject the gospel.
John 3 tells us that the world was condemned already before Jesus came. (He came to offer anyone who would believe a “change of destination”)
Romans tells us that all creation testifies of God. Those who reject this natural testimony of creation, and their internal knowledge of God and His power, condemn themselves.
people go to hell for rejecting the Father. They “seal the dea” by rejecting the Son.
The guy on the island will not be judged for rejecting a gospel he has never heard, but he will be judged for rejecting the testimony of creation itself, and his internal knowledge of God.
we carry the only, only, chance to reverse that condemning choice.