Summary: To establish that the prophets' truth regarding Christ is discernable to any with an open heart. King Agrippa was "quickly persuaded to become a Christian” due to Paul’s preaching of the gospel. But he never became obedient to the faith of Christ Jesus.
1. So Quickly Thou Persuadest Me
1. In this lesson today, we will be discussing the theme: “So Quickly Thou Persuadest Me." This is the tenth lesson in the sermon-series entitled: "Re-digging in Old Wells." There will be many others bearing this title. We are re-digging in old wells to receive what Isaiah promised: "With joy, you will draw water from the wells of salvation," Isaiah 12:3. There are times we must re-dig in old wells to obtain the joy found in the: "waters of salvation." This sermon type is called: “expository preaching.” These lessons' goal will be: "to dig a little deeper" in the text of emphasis. We will allow the writer, the characters in the verses, and the words of the Master, to shed new meaning to His words of eternal life, John 6:63; John 6:67-69.
2. We will answer this question: "Does being persuaded mean you are saved?” By this, I mean: can one be fully persuaded concerning the gospel message and yet not be saved? Is there such a thing as "being fully convinced, convicted; but, not saved?" We will re-dig in old wells to find a biblical answer. Ulysses Shields called this kind of teaching: "digging a little deeper," in the word of truth. He was my grandfather in Christ. We will use as a foundational text for this sermon-series: "And Isaac re-dug the wells of water, which they had dug in the days of Abraham...for the Philistines had stopped them (closed them up) after Abraham’s death,” Genesis 26:18. The Philistines: “Stopped them, and filled them with earth,” because they envied Isaac’s possessions, Genesis 26:14-15.
3. Our scripture of emphasis reads as follows: “For the King knoweth of these things, before who 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. King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest. Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. 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," Acts 26:26-29. Paul's discourse among King Agrippa and others persuaded him to believe the gospel. Yet the King did not obey it. He said: "So quickly thou persuadest me to become a Christian." He was persuaded -- but never saved. This is the real problem with the doctrine: saved by faith alone. One might believe and be fully convinced; but, never become obedient unto Christ. Is there a solution to this question: Does being persuaded mean you are saved? I believe there is, and with God’s help, we will see it together while drawing: “New water from old wells.” With this introduction, let’s consider this topic carefully, with both our bibles and hearts opened unto God.
BODY OF LESSON
I SO QUICKLY THOU PERSUADEST ME
A. Background study. It is always beneficial to conduct a little background study before investigating the text of emphasis. This we will do with this lesson. Paul was arrested in Jerusalem, Acts 21:31-33. Time does not permit me to expound on this part of our background study. I will note Paul’s arrest and initial defense before the Council. Paul is bound in chains and questioned, by the Chief Captain into the reason for the turmoil in the temple, before the people. They responded--
1. Some cried one thing, some another. The people’s accusations, Acts 21:34-36.
2. Paul permitted to speak unto the people, Acts 21:37-40.
3. Paul’s address unto the people, Acts 22:1-21. He rehearses his conversion and commission to preach Christ to the world, to both Jews and Gentiles.
4. People’s rage re-ignited, Acts 22:22-23. The people's anger was re-ignited at Paul’s mentioning of the Gentiles.
a. This is the beginning of his persecution from the Jewish leaders and the people of Israel.
b. Their hatred of the Gentiles would cause Paul’s death because of Christ and his preaching unto the heathens!
c. It was by God's grace. Paul was called to preach Christ unto the heathens, Galatians 1:15-16.
5. Paul declares his Roman citizenship, Acts 22:24-29.
6. Paul brought before the chief priest and council, Acts 22:30.
a. Paul’s defense, Acts 23:1-5. Paul now begins his defense to the Jewish council.
b. Paul perceives the council's division, Acts 23:6-9. He witnessed these leaders' division and took advantage of it to declare his innocence for preaching a “resurrection of the just and the unjust,” Acts 24:15-16; Acts 24:21.
c. Paul’s message caused great debate among the Council, Acts 23:10a.
d. Chief Captain removes Paul from the Council, for fear he might be torn apart, Acts 23:10.
7. The Lord’s encouragement to Paul, Acts 23:11. As always, when it seems we face the darkest hours in our lives, the Lord will appear to provide encouragement and the promised help during these trials because of our love, trust, and devotion to Him. Observe, what Jesus said unto this apostles--