New Testament In a Year: July 24 – Acts 26

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Acts 26
(1-11) Paul’s Defense Before Agrippa
Paul was glad to make his defense before King Agrippa because it gave him an opportunity to share the Gospel before some of the most powerful rulers in that part of the world. The status and wealth of people did not prevent Paul from preaching Christ to them. He truly believed that salvation was available for all people – kings and queens, Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor.

Amid his defense, Paul asks Agrippa: Why is it thought incredible by any of you that God raises the dead? Jesus said that all things are possible with God; therefore, it is not too hard for Him to do anything.

We can assume that it is with great regret that Paul told of his behavior before he came to faith in Jesus the Christ. Even though he was deeply religious and a very devout Jew, Paul’s relationship with God was not right. Instead of helping God’s people, he persecuted them. His raging fury drove him to put Christians in prison, put Christians to death, and try to make Christians blaspheme against God.

(12-32) Paul Tells of His Conversion
Paul now recounts his conversion experience to King Agrippa and the other rulers. On the road to Damascus, Paul is confronted by Christ who shows him that his actions which he thinks are right and pleasing to God, are actually dead wrong. In persecuting Christians, Paul is persecuting Christ Himself, and in persecuting Christ, Paul is persecuting God.

Christ tells Paul that He has called him for another purpose – a greater and more noble purpose than one of persecuting believers. Despite this confrontation, it was still Paul’s choice to accept the purpose Christ had for him. Paul could have rejected it and continued in his raging fury against God. He was not, however, disobedient to the heavenly vision; but submitted his life to Christ and allowed himself to be made a witness and a servant for the Kingdom. He fully accepted Christ’s purpose for him and was used to open the eyes of unbelieving Jews and Gentiles, to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to the power of God. Many received forgiveness of sins and received an inheritance among God’s people because of Paul’s obedience to Christ.

It was Paul’s earnest desire that King Agrippa, Bernice, Festus, and all others would become such as he was – a believer in Jesus the Christ, except for the chains that bound him.

Favorite verse: (25) But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words.

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