Taking the Hard Road to Further the Gospel
Paul and Agrippa – Acts 26
I love reading the book of Acts. My passion is the local church and when I journey through Lukeâ€™s accountingÂ of the Acts of the Holy Spirit it sets my soul on fire! One of the characteristics of the apostle Paul that challenges me is that when faced with an opportunity for personal comfort over Gospel proclamation, he seized the chance toÂ witness for Christ.
He is here before King Agrippa in a place where he could gain his freedom. He could avoid controversy, avoid entanglements, avoid being
wrongfully accused, mistreated, and scorned. To use our way of thinking, he is without a doubt unskillful at public relations management during a media crisis.
Instead of seeking his own freedom, he seeks the spiritual freedom of Festus and Agrippa and those in the kingâ€™s court. That seems so backwards to American Christians today. Personal comfort is at the highest premium, it is the one non-negotiable. For too many, the American Dream has replaced the Macedonian Call and materialism has replaced joy and contentment.
Imprisoned and in front of wicked men, Paul is consistent not only to preach to others that Jesus died for their sins, but that these men could and must be saved.
17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
The Preaching-A Devotional Outline of the Passage
-Foundation of the Word
-Fulfillment of Prophecy
-Failure of Judaism without Jesus Christ
-Faith in the Death, Burial, Resurrection of Christ
-Freedom (real) to all who who would submit to the Gospel (Jews and Gentiles)
-Festus accuses Paul of being â€œmadâ€ / Rational or Enlighted Attack.
-Agrippa plays games with his soul / â€œwith such a littleâ€ can you convince ME? It was not the view of Paulâ€™s message as being insufficient, but Agrippaâ€™s self-aggrandizing view of himself that is the problem.
The Predicament / Prize
-The Predicament was that Paul stayed in bonds. Apparently, according to verse 32, he might have been freed.
-The Prize was that Paul stayed in bonds. Yes, that is the prize! Paul willingly suffered this injustice and indignity because he wanted to preach Christ to Caesar. As you read the first chapter of Philippians, you see the fruits of this decision and desire as “those of Caesarâ€™s household salute you.” In spite of and because of his “bad” circumstances, he was proclaiming the liberating truth of the Gospel!
What are you willing to go through to share the good news of Jesus Christâ€™s birth, death, and resurrection?