Bro. Gan started with the story of the Commander of the King or Aram, Naaman. He was a great commander but he had leprosy. He had a Jewish servant girl who convinced Naaman that if he seeks the prophet in Israel he will be healed. Naaman got the King’s permission and he approached Prophet Elisha to heal him. Elisha asked him to dip into river Jordan 7 times and he will be healed. He did that and was healed. Effectively he was saved by the testimony of a Jewish servant girl. ( 2 King 5:1-19 )
Paul’s Testimony of the Risen Christ before King Agrippa
900 years later a Jewish man appeared on the scene of Palestine.
Apostle Paul – A former Pharisee who became a believer
Porcius Festus – A Roman Governor who succeed Felix
King Agrippa and Bernice – Ruler of Galilee region and married sister Bernice
Main story line – Paul was on trial before King Agrippa for the “crime” of preaching the Gospel
12 years after Paul’s conversion he conducted 3 missions – 1st mission to the many provinces up to Turkey, 2nd mission, a historic crossed to Europe, and 3rd mission Paul extended his mission to Jerusalem.
In Jerusalem he was arrested by the authority when a mob tried to kill him. Paul was transferred by the authority from Jerusalem to Caesarea because the Jews wanted to ambush and kill him. He was tried before Felix who found nothing wrong with him. Felix kept him in prison expecting a bribe. Festus succeed Felix and Paul was again stand trial before him, and he found nothing wrong with him. Festus wanted to move Paul from Caesarea to Jerusalem to be trialled there but he objected and appealed to Caesar. Festus has no charges against Paul and that was unreasonable to send him to Caesar. King Agrippa came along and Festus arranged for Paul to be heard before him. King Agrippa was an expert in Jewish customs and culture and he would be able to help Festus with his duties in sending Paul to Rome.
Paul gave his conversion testimony before the King, Queen, Governor, high ranking military officers and prominent men of the city.
Part 1 – Paul acknowledge the presence of his audience with respectful remarks ( Act 26:1-3) he agreed that King Agrippa was an expert in Jewish customs and counted himself fortunate to appear before him.
Part 2- Paul’s life before conversion ( Acts 26:4-11) a) he lived as a Pharisee b) he was a persecutor of the church.
Part 3 – Paul’s conversion (Acts 26:12-19) a) he met Jesus on the way to Damascus b) he became a firm believer. Jesus asked Paul why he persecute Jesus and told him it was hard to kick against the goad. A goad is a sharp stick for driving a ox forward. It is painful for the animal to kick against it.
Part 4- Result of Paul’s conversion
a) he was appointed as witness of Jesus ( Acts 26:16 )
b) he received hope for the future. ( Acts 26:6-8) because he believed in the resurrection.
Isaiah prophecy about the Resurrection of the body. “But your dead will live, Lord; their bodies will rise— let those who dwell in the dust wake up and shout for joy” (Isa 26:19)
c) he obeyed the calling to spread the good news. (Acts 26:17-18)
(i) Turn from darkness to light ii) transferred from power of Satan to God. Iii) received forgiveness of sin.
Two Reactions to Paul’s Testimony
a) Unbelief: Festus thought Paul was insane.
b) Belief: Agrippa showed signs of believing.
Judgement of Paul’s Trial
a) Paul had no done anything to deserve death or imprisonment.
b) He could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.
Therefore Paul was sent to Rome to bring the good news.
How Beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news! (Rom 10:15)