Summary: (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: email@example.com) Note: in case you are wondering: a mistake was made and the passage I was given to speak on does not truly match the title of the talk!
Reading: Acts chapter 26 verses 26-32.
Meet the Cast:
(1). Festus, the Roman Governor.
(2). King Agrippa.
(3). The Apostle Paul.
Meet the Need:
(1). “It is the Bible that gives our message its content” (vs 26&27).
(2). “It is the Bible that gives our message its authority” (vs 25-26).
(3). “It is the Bible that gives the message its power,”
• Your trivia question this morning is…
• What is Dutchman Hans Lippershey credited for inventing it in 1608?
• The answer is… the telescope.
• Some people point at this optical instrument and say, “It’s a telescope!”
• Some might see it as a valuable antique worth hundreds of pounds,
• But both of them have missed the point,
• It is not what it looks like that matters,
• A telescope has one main purpose, it is designed for people to look through it!
• And if you correctly look through a good telescope,
• You can see worlds beyond!
• TRANSITION: The Bible is like a telescope.
• Some folks see a Bible and say, “It’s a book!”
• But they have missed the point,
• The Bible is something we look through to see beyond our world.
• To discover the God of the universe,
• The God who made us and wants to be involved in our lives.
• This morning our subject is, ‘The importance of explaining the Scripture’.
• If we believe that God speaks to us clearest of all through this book,
• Then we need to make sure that we explain it clearly to people!
• Albert Einstein is widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest physicists of all time,
• Yet he would explain his theory of relativity this way.
“Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour.
Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That's relativity.”
• TRANSITION: Chances are you will remember that illustration!
• Because good communication sticks!
• Think of letters and parcels in a post Office Depot.
• They are not put randomly into the bag or van of a postman/woman.
• They are organized so they can quickly and efficiently reach their destination.
• Words are like parcels – packages of information.
• If they are going to reach the correct destinations quickly and efficiently.
• They need arranging, they need some kind of order, they need to be orchestrated.
• TRANSITION: That is the job of the communicator.
• To be clear, to be understand, to transfer truth from one person to another.
• Let’s meet the main characters involved in this passage:
• There are three of them that we need to know.
(1). Festus, the Roman Governor.
• Festus is a typical high-class Roman of his day.
• According to chapter 25 and verse 2 he is the ‘new kid on the block’.
• The Apostle Paul had been kept prisoner for over two years by his predecessor,
• A Roman Governor called Felix.
• But in chapter 25 he is moved on and replaced by a new Governor called Festus.
• But straight away, before he has time to settle into the job,
• We are told in chapter 25 and verse 2 that the Jews are in to see him,
• They are demanding Paul be delivered over to them.
• The Jews of that city hate Paul,
• Because Paul had been one of them!
• But now he was preaching the good news of Jesus!
• Over lockdown I have regularly gone up to speakers’ corner on a Sunday afternoon,
• It is a hive of activity between the good, bad, weird and ugly.
• The bulk of people there are representing Islam or Christianity.
• But there are a couple of people who the crowd really hate,
• And I mean hate, aggressive, abusive language and at times violence.
• The ones who are hated are the Moslem converts to Christianity.
• TRANSITION: The Jews hate the apostle Paul because he used to be one of them,
• Yet he now preaches another gospel, another message and they cannot handle it.
The Emperor Nero has made Festus the new Governor of Syria and Palestine.
• He has been brought in as a fixer.
• To try and clean up the mess his predecessor had left behind.
• His predecessor was a man called Felix – who made a number of bad decisions.
• The apostle Paul shared his testimony and the gospel with Festus.
• But Festus was a proud Roman and his stumbling block was the resurrection,
• As a Roman he knew that when you are dead you are dead.