Sermons

Summary: Victorious Christians... 1. Believe the Bible (vs. 22-27). 2. Recognize the danger of rejecting Jesus (vs. 28-29). 3. Are undefeated by unfairness in life (vs. 30-32).

Victorious Christians

The Book of Acts - Part 87

Acts 26:19-32

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - June 21, 2015

BACKGROUND

*God's Word has a whole lot to say about this season in Paul's life. Back in Acts 21, Paul arrived in Jerusalem. Paul went there, both to worship the Lord, and to deliver a generous love offering for the poor Christians in the city.

*After Paul got to Jerusalem, he was nearly murdered three different times. He was also held prisoner by the Roman governor in Caesarea for at least two years. Now in Acts 26, Paul is in the middle of the fourth trial where he faced the death penalty. With this background in mind, let's read about the end of the trial starting in Acts 26:19.

MESSAGE

*If anybody ever lived a victorious Christian life, it was the Apostle Paul. That's why in his last letter, in 2 Timothy 4:7, Paul could write: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

*God wants all of us to have victorious Christian lives, and Paul pointed us to this truth in Romans 8:35-37. There he said:

35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36. As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.''

37. Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

*God wants us to have victorious Christian lives, and this Scripture helps us understand what that means.

1. FIRST: VICTORIOUS CHRISTIANS BELIEVE THE BIBLE.

*We believe the Bible, and this includes the New Testament we are studying tonight, the New Testament that was being written as Paul spoke these words before the court.

*Paul began his testimony by telling the story of how Jesus miraculously met him on the road to Damascus. Then starting in vs. 22, Paul said:

22. "Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come

23. that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.''

24. Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, "Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!''

25. But he said, "I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason.

26. For the king, before whom I also speak freely, knows these things; for I am convinced that none of these things escapes his attention, since this thing was not done in a corner."

*Jesus Christ was not some kind of secret Savior. He lived His life in a very open and public way. The story of Jesus we read in the New Testament was well known everywhere that Jesus went.

*John Phillips explained that "Festus was a newcomer to the country. Agrippa, on the other hand, was at home there. He could not help but know about Jesus of Nazareth. For three and a half years Jesus had preached, crossing and re-crossing the country from northern Galilee to Jerusalem. He had taught God's truth in a pungent, authoritative, and unforgettable way. Who, having heard them, could forget the parable of the prodigal son or the Sermon on the Mount?

*Jesus had electrified the country from end to end with remarkable, numerous, and spectacular miracles. People by the score had been healed. Thousands had feasted on a few loaves and fish miraculously multiplied from a little boy's lunch. Demons recognized Jesus and fled at His command. The very dead had been raised. Moreover, He had lived a life of immaculate holiness combined with all-embracing compassion and love.

*The Lord's illegal trial and crucifixion, His burial in the tomb of one of the wealthiest and most influential Jews in the country, and His subsequent resurrection had rocked the country. . . Christ had appeared again and again, on one occasion to more than 500 credible witnesses. Nothing but deliberate refusal to face the facts could account for unbelief." (1)

*That's why we have every reason to believe the New Testament we are studying tonight. But we also believe the Old Testament Paul mentioned at his trial. Again in vs. 22-23, Paul said:

22. "Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come

23. that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.''

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