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                          "THE BOOK OF ACTS"

               Paul's Defense Before Agrippa (26:1-32)


1. Following his arrest in Jerusalem, Paul had the opportunity to defend
   himself before...
   a. The Jewish mob - Ac 22:1-21
   b. The Sanhedrin council - Ac 23:1-10
   c. The Roman governor Felix and Drusilla - Ac 24:1-27
   d. The Roman governor Festus - Ac 25:1-12

2. After being incarcerated in Caesarea for two years...
   a. Jewish leaders wanted Paul brought back in Jerusalem - Ac 25:1-3
   b. But there was a plot to ambush Paul along the way - Ac 25:3
   c. Rather than be returned to Jerusalem, Paul appealed to Caesar - Ac

[Festus was willing to grant Paul's appeal.  Uncertain of charges to
specify against Paul, Festus solicited King Agrippa's help (Ac 25:12-27).
Once again, Paul was permitted to defend himself (Ac 26:1)...]


      1. To be able to answer for himself before the king - Ac 26:2
      2. Because the king was known for his expertise regarding Jewish
         matters - Ac 26:3

      1. Brought up in Jerusalem (though born in Tarsus) - Ac 26:4; cf.
         Ac 22:3
      2. Lived as a Pharisee, the strictest sect of Jewish religion - Ac
      3. He was being judged for the hope of the resurrection, a promise
         made by God to the Jews which the king should not think 
         incredible - Ac 26:6-8; cf. Ac 23:6
      4. As a zealous Pharisee, he thought he should persecute Christians
         - Ac 26:9-11
         a. Imprisoning them in Jerusalem
         b. Casting his own vote to put them to death
         c. Punishing them in the synagogues, forcing them to blaspheme
         d. Persecuting them to even foreign cities

      1. While journeying to Damascus, commissioned by the chief priests
         - Ac 26:12
      2. Along the road, seeing a bright light shining about him and his
         fellow travelers - Ac 26:13
      3. Falling to the ground, hearing a voice in Hebrew - Ac 26:14
         a. "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?"
         b. "It is hard for you to kick against the goads."
      4. Asking "Who are you, Lord?", Jesus identifies Himself - Ac 26:15
      5. Jesus then tells Paul why He has appeared to him - Ac 26:16-18
         a. To make him a minister
         b. A witness of things seen and things yet to be revealed
         c. To be delivered from Jews and Gentiles, while opening their
         d. To turn them from darkness to light, from the power of Satan
            to God
         e. That they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance
            among those sanctified by faith in Him

      1. He was not disobedient to the heavenly vision - Ac 26:19
      2. But declared to those in Damascus, Jerusalem, Judea, and to the
         Gentiles - Ac 26:20
         a. That they should repent, turn to God
         b. And do works befitting repentance
      3. For such reasons Jews seized him in the temple and tried to kill
         him - Ac 26:21
      4. But with help from God, to that day Paul witnessed to both small
         and great - Ac 26:22
      5. Saying only what the prophets and Moses said would come - Ac
         a. That the Christ would suffer
         b. That He would be the first to rise from the dead
         c. That He would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the

[At this point, Paul is interrupted by an outburst from the Roman
governor Festus...]


      1. "Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you
         mad!" - Ac 26:24
      2. Paul's calm response - Ac 26:25-26
         a. "I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of
            truth and reason."
         b. "For the king, before whom I also speak freely, knows these
         c. "For I am convinced that none of these things escape his
         d. "Since this thing was not done in a corner."

      1. Paul:  "King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that
         you believe" - Ac 26:27
      2. Agrippa:  "You almost persuade me to become a Christian." - Ac
      3. Paul:  "I would to God that not only you, but all who hear me 
         today, might become almost and altogether such as I am, except
         for these chains." - Ac 26:29

      1. At this point, Agrippa, Festus, Bernice, and others went aside
         to talk - Ac 26:30
      2. Their conclusion:  "This man is doing nothing deserving of death
         or chains." - Ac 26:31
      3. Agrippa:  "This man might have been set free if he had not
         appealed to Caesar." - Ac 26:32


1. The final two chapters of Acts (27-28) will cover Paul's eventful sea
   journey to Rome...

2. In the meantime, give serious consideration to whether we are
   experiencing the blessings of Paul's ministry in our own lives... 
"to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and
from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of
sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me."
                                                            - Ac 26:18
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