Scripture: Acts 26

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READ and STUDY the WORD

Paul Speaks Before King Agrippa

Acts 26:1-8 (KJV) Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself:  I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews: Especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently.  My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.  And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God, unto our fathers: Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope’s sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.  Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?

Questions and Answers:

1. Who gave Paul permission to speak for himself (Acts 26:1)? King Agrippa gave Paul permission to speak for himself.

2. How did Paul begin his speech (Acts 26:2-3)? Paul spoke of his appreciation at having the opportunity to speak in his own defense.  He acknowledged that King Agrippa was an expert in all the Jewish customs and questions. And Paul asked King Agrippa to listen to him patiently.

3. Who did Paul say had known him since he was a child and what did they know about him (Acts 26:4-5)? Paul said the Jews had known him since he was a child. They had known him for along time and they could testify that according to the strictest sect of their religion, he had lived as a Pharisee.

4. Why did Paul say he was on trial (Acts 26:6-7)? Paul said he was on trial because of his hope in what God had promised their fathers.  It was the promise the twelve tribes were hoping to see fulfilled as they earnestly served God day and night. Paul said it was because of this hope that the Jews were accusing him.

5. What question did Paul ask those gathered (Acts 26:8)? Paul asked, “Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?”

Paul Admits His Treatment Of The Saints

Acts 26:9-11 (KJV) I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.  10 Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them.  11 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities. 

Questions and Answers:

1. What did Paul confess to doing (Acts 26:9-11)? Paul confessed that he had done many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.  He confessed he shut up many saints in prison and was responsible for them being put to death. He confessed to going from synagogue to synagogue punishing them.  He confessed he tried to force them to blaspheme. And he confessed to going to foreign cities to persecute them.

Paul’s Experience On The Road To Damascus

Acts 26:12-18 (KJV) 12 Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, 13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.  14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.”  15 And I said, Who art Thou, Lord? And he said, “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.  16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee17 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.” 

Questions and Answers:

1. What did Paul experience on the road to Damascus (Acts 26:13)? Paul saw a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about him and those journeying with him.

2. What happened next (Acts 26:14)? Paul and all those with him fell to the ground.  Paul heard a voice speaking in Hebrew say, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.”

3. What did Paul ask and what did the voice answer (Acts 26:15)? Paul said, “Who are You, Lord?” And the voice said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.”

4. What instructions and information did the Lord give to Paul (Acts 26:16-18)? Jesus said, “Now get up and stand on your feet.  I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of Me and what I will show you.  I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles.  I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light and from the power of satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.”

Paul Obeyed The Heavenly Vision

Acts 26:19-23 (KJV) 19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: 20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.  21 For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me.  22 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: 23 That Christ should suffer, and that He should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.

Questions and Answers:

1. What did Paul preach to those in Damascus, in Jerusalem, in all Judea and to the Gentiles (Acts 26:19-20)? Paul preached that those in Damascus, in Jerusalem, in all Judea and the Gentiles should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their works.

2. Because of what Paul preached what did the Jews do (Acts 26:21)? Because of what Paul preached, the Jews caught him in the temple and went about to kill him.

3. What did God help Paul to do (Acts 26:22-23)? God helped Paul to continue witnessing both to small and great, saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen.  That Christ would suffer and would be the first to rise from the dead and would show light to His own people and to the Gentiles.

Almost Persuaded

Acts 26:24-32 (KJV)  24 And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.  25 But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.  26 For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.  27 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.  28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.  29 And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.  30 And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them: 31 And when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, This man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds.  32 Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar.

Questions and Answers:

1. What did Festus say to Paul (Acts 26:24)? Festus accused Paul of being beside himself, that is mad.

2.  How did Paul respond (Acts 26:25-27)? Paul said he wasn’t mad but speaking forth the words of truth and soberness. And Paul believed King Agrippa knew these thing too; that nothing was hidden from him. He asked King Agrippa did he believe the prophets. Paul said, “I know that thou believest.”

3. What did King Agrippa say (Acts 26:28)? King Agrippa replied, “Almost thou persuades me to be a Christian.”

4. What did Paul say he wanted to happen (Acts 26:29)? Paul wanted not only King Agrippa but all who were listening to become like him.

5. What happened next (Acts 26:30-32)? It was decided Paul had done nothing worthy of death or prison. Then King Agrippa said to Festus, “This man might have been set free if he had not appealed unto Caesar.” 

HEAR the WORD

Acts 26:17-18 (KJV) 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.” 

MEDITATE on the WORD

Ponder the verses above. Are you a Jew or a Gentile?  My Bible notes: Paul took every opportunity to remind his audience that the Gentiles have an equal share in God’s inheritance. This inheritance is the promise and the blessing of the covenant that God made with Abraham (see Ephesians 2:19; I Peter 1:3-4). Paul’s mission was to preach the Good News to the Gentiles.

MEMORIZE the WORD

Acts 26:17b-18 (NIV) Jesus is speaking, “I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.”

LOVE and LIVE the WORD

We live out the Word when our eyes are opened and we turn from darkness to light, turn from the power of satan to God, receive forgiveness of sins and are placed among those who are sanctified by faith in Christ Jesus. 

TEACH and SHARE the WORD

We are to witness of the changed life we have because of our obedience to God.

PRAY the WORD

Lord, I pray we will hope in You (Acts 26:6).  Lord, I pray we will stand firm and receive Your assignment (Acts 26:16).  Lord, I pray we will share with others how You’ve open our eyes and turned us from darkness to light, turned us from the power of satan to God, so that we may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Your Son, Christ Jesus (Acts 26:17b-18). Lord, I pray all who receive Your message will live out Your message (Acts 26:29).  In Christ Jesus’ name I pray.  AMEN.

ENCOURAGEMENT

“May everyone you and I know receive and believe the Good News.” <>< Dona