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Bible Commentaries

Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the Bible
Acts 26

 

 

Introduction

Paul's Sermon Before King Agrippa

- Acts Twenty-Six -

Acts twenty-five pictured Paul before the judgment bar of Festus, Agrippa, and Bernice and some great men of Caesarea. They wanted to hear what Paul had to say as he spoke for himself. In Acts chapter twenty-six we have record of Paul as he carefully answered the charges made against him.

Paul had lived his life as a Pharisee but he learned that the hope of the Jews is the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. He is now in bonds because of that hope. He asked Agrippa why he thought it would be impossible for God to raise the dead? Paul had thought he should do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. He did his best to destroy Christianity because he felt that he was doing the will of God.

Christ was made know to Paul as he journeyed to Damascus to persecute Christians. He saw a bright light and heard the voice of the Lord. He became convinced that the Righteous One had been raised from the dead. He obeyed the Lord quickly. (Acts 22:16, Acts 9:18) As a Christian Paul was sent to be a missionary among the Gentiles. He wanted it understood that his commission to work among the Gentiles had its origin in heaven. God told Paul that he was sending him to the Gentiles 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." (Acts 26:18)

Festus thought that Paul was a mad man but Agrippa was not far from being converted. "Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." (Acts 26:28) Sadly Agrippa was only a little distance from being make a Christian, yet there is no Biblical evidence that his heart was ever changed. The wish Paul had for Agrippa should be our desire for all mankind. "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." (Acts 26:29)

Even after two years of being kept in prison unjustly Paul's heart was still filled with faith, hope, joy, conviction and love for God. Happiness does not depend on circumstance. Paul might have been bound by the government but he was free in Christ.

Festus, Agrippa and Bernice agreed saying, "This man has done nothing which might give cause for death or prison." (Acts 26:31) "Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar."


Verses 1-11

Paul humbly addressed Agrippa - Acts 26:1-11 : Agrippa gave Paul permission to speak for himself. As Paul began his defense he stretched forth his hand. This action was designed to gain their attention. He felt happy to answer the charges made against him by the Jews before King Agrippa. The charges involved profaning the temple, contempt for the Jews, their customs and the Law, blasphemy, and sedition. Paul was innocent of all charges.

The Jews had known Paul since childhood and they knew his manner of life. If they were willing to do so those Jews could verify that Paul had live in a strict manner as a Pharisee. He wanted it known that he was on trial because of God"s promise of salvation based on the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. He asked why anyone would doubt that God had raised the dead to life again. Early on, Paul was opposed to Jesus Himself, to His religion, to His Gospel, and especially to His people. Paul put many Christians in jail and even voted for them to be killed. He punished Christians in their meeting places. He tried to make them renounce the Christ. He was so angry against Christians that he pursued them to foreign cities.


Verses 12-18

Paul"s conversion and commission - Acts 26:12-18 : Paul was on my way to Damascus with the authority from the chief priests when he saw a bright light and heard a voice from heaven. He came to realize that he was fighting against Jesus of Nazareth. The Lord appeared to Paul to make him a minister and a witness. He was to become an apostle of Jesus Christ and by Jesus Christ. (Galatians 1:1) His work was that he was to be a minister of the gospel among the Gentiles. He received direct revelation from God to be delivered to the Gentiles and for this he was hated by the Jews.

Paul preached both among Jews and Gentiles, but his specific work was that of being an apostle to the Gentiles. His work was always to the Jews first, and then to the Gentiles. This was his method until the Jews had rejected the gospel then he turned to the Gentiles. He preached among them to open their eyes, to turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Gentiles had the opportunity to become part of God"s kingdom on the same terms by which the Jews entered -- obedient faith in Jesus.


Verses 19-23

Paul"s preaching among the Gentiles - Acts 26:19-23 : Paul was obedient to Jesus concerning his personal salvation and concerning the work the Lord had for him to do. He immediately began to preach at Damascus. Then he went to Jerusalem and all over Judea. Afterwards he went among the Gentiles preaching repentance and remission of sins. Paul said the Jews caught and imprisoned him for no other reason than that of preaching among the Gentiles.

God protected Paul and helped him as he preached both to the rich and to the poor. The only thing he preached was what the prophets and Moses said would happen. Paul proved that trough Jesus' suffering, death, burial and resurrection that He had brought light to the Jews and to the Gentiles.


Verses 24-32

Paul proved himself to be innocent - Acts 26:24-32 : Festus reacted by saying that Paul was a mad man. Paul said he was not mad and that what he preached was true and in harmony with scripture. Paul then turned to Agrippa and asked him if he believed what the prophets said? Agrippa said, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." Paul wanted Agrippa and all others to be Christians without chains or bonds.

King Agrippa, Festus, and Bernice, all agreed saying, "This man is not guilty of anything. He does not deserve to die or to be put in jail." Agrippa told Festus that Paul could have been set free, if he had not appealed unto Caesar. His appeal to Caesar would take him to Rome where God had promised Paul that he would preach also.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Acts 26:4". "Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/box/acts-26.html. 2014.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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