Summary: If we are following Jesus Christ, we have NOTHING to fear!! Paul demonstrates this clearly for us, and the challenge is: will we follow our Savior in proclaiming His grace to everyone we encounter?
Have No Fear
We are called to have a common purpose in what we do
-- The purpose is to worship, to love, and to celebrate Christ and share Him always
-- That is our challenge, mission, and it is STILL where we find ourselves today
-- Are you living what you speak because you want others to share in Jesus?
-- We cannot live in ways that bring glory to ourselves because we are temporary!
Today, we are going to discuss one of the greatest, and MOST crippling thing
-- The topic of fear brings lots of images to our mind: films, events, uncertainty
-- However, fear when applied to our lives by the enemy all too often silences us
-- This is where we find ourselves today and what we WILL work on together
Paul is currently on trial after spending 2 years in prison consistently delayed
-- Felix had no interest in really trying him; nor in hearing him (Acts 24:26)
-- So after 2 years Felix is replaced and now Paul is tried before Festus
What we start with is the usual trial of these times: accusation, hearing, judgment
-- However, something interesting happens here in the accusation stage
Let’s start with some background before diving into this topic of fear
Read Acts 25:13-27
Point 1 – Setting Up Paul (Acts 25:13-22)
King Agrippa and his sister Bernice have come to pay respect to Festus
-- Festus has an unusual situation here in that he doesn't really know how to act
-- He knows there is a problem … but what is he to do about it?
V14, Felix left this go for me to deal with and well … what would YOU do?
-- the Jews want him condemned (killed), but I cannot find out why?
V17, so I convened the trial immediately to get it out of the way – but now what?
-- The accusation is simply not there, the facts don’t match it, but no one’s happy
Festus knew that sending Paul to Jerusalem would mean his death, recommended it
-- v20 shows us that he didn't want to judge him, so let’s move it down the road
-- APP: Matters not how often you move something around, have to deal with it
-- A: Kids cleaning by stuffing under the bed? One day that has to be cleaned out!
So, in v22 we see Agrippa (a king) ask to hear from this man himself
-- Now don’t miss this, something very interesting is about to happen here
All the pomp & circumstance sets this up to be a great event; a spectacle to behold
-- The room is full, the people are all there, and face it: Let the show begin!!
-- If you were in this room probably be very excited; very anxious to witness it
-- I dare suggest that you would be a little sweaty; leaning forward to see this scene
APP: Now, consider Paul’s position: jailed for years, weak from illness, waiting
-- He’s not hanging out at the spa relaxing … he’s on trial for his life
-- If I had to speculate, even with his boldness there had to be fear within him
-- Fear of uncertainty, trusting in God of course – but weary from the run-around
Read Acts 26:12-23
Point 2 – Speak without Fear (Acts 26:12-23)