Summary: Third Sermon in the Series "What Doest Thou Here?" Paul stands before Agrippa to give an acount of himself. He tells Agrippa why and how he got there. Agrippa finds purpose, but rejects it.
From the Desk of Rev. Toby Powers
Truth Baptist Church
WHAT DOEST THOU HERE?
Intro: We looked last week at Elijah and how the Lord came to him in the cave and asked him, “What doest thou here, Elijah?” Last week we saw David and how his brother Eliab asked, “Why camest thou down hither?” Staying on that same theme, I want us to see this man Paul before Festus and Agrippa. In the verses we read Festus is confused about why that Paul was brought before them. He could not understand what he had been arrested for. Some were angry at Paul, and it was for his message he preached, but Festus, finding no fault with him, could not understand why. He brings Paul before Agrippa to be interrogated, and each of them want to know the answer to the question, “What Doest Thou Here, Paul?”
I. I’M HERE FOR THE POWER OF MY REPENTANCE: They gave Paul a chance to speak for himself (26:1), and he began where Paul always seemed to begin, giving his testimony. He begins to tell them what he was, what he had done, and most of all what Jesus had done for him. Paul, in reality, was on trial for being a Christian; I wonder what kind of story you would tell before the court if you were on trial for being a Christian. Would you be found guilty? Would there be enough evidence to convict you? Paul tells the story of his life and his conversion:
A. His Childhood: 26:4, reared in a religious household. Was taught at the feet of Gamaliel, the most respected teacher of the day. He was given the best opportunities in life. He had good parents, a good pedigree, and a good path to grow in. He had been instructed in the scriptures, directed in the law, and educated in the customs and languages of all the world.
B. His Course: 26:5, He chose to live as devout a life as he could. He committed to his traditions and his upbringing.
C. His Contrariness: 26:9, Rather than open his eyes to Jesus as the Messiah he had learned about as a child, he became contrary against him and fought vehemently his cause.
D. His Cruelty: 26:10-11, He stood, supervising the stoning of Stephen. He breathed out slaughter and threatening against the people of God and his church. He regarded neither man, woman, nor child.
E. His Commission: 26:12, He was charged to round up all the Christians. It was his commission and desire to destroy the church of Jesus Christ altogether.
F. His Confrontation: 26:13-18, In the midst of it all he was confronted by the one who he denied. He could no longer deny his existence, and in the brightness of a light that cost him his sight, his eyes were opened!
G. His Choice: 26:19, I obeyed God. The things I used to hate, I now love, and the things I used to love, I now hate!
II. I’M HERE FOR PROCLAIMING THE RESURRECTION: Some believed there was no resurrection (Sadducees), others believed that the resurrection of Christ was a hoax (Pharisees), and still others believed that the resurrection was past and there would be no resurrection of the dead for the saints (Corinthians). But Paul preached Christ as the firstfruits of the resurrection, and the hope of all believers. He preached it for:
A. The Religious: 26:20, first to Damascus, Jerusalem, all Judea. These were Jews scattered in these areas. Paul declared to them to open their eyes as he had to the Messiah that they had been looking for. He is Jesus.
B. The Ruined: 26:20, 23, to the Gentiles. He is salvation to those afar off.
C. The Rulers: 26:29, Paul told Agrippa, Festus, and the whole court that he wanted them all to accept the living Lord and be saved.
For All: 26:26, This was not done in a corner! Public, for the invitation is to all.
III. I’M HERE TO PREACH AT ROME: Paul was in the court of Agrippa not as a destination, but as a stop on the way where he was going. He knew when he started for Jerusalem in Acts 20 that this journey would take him to Rome and eventually to martyrdom.
A. Paul Was Ready: Romans 1:14-16, He was a debtor, ready, and unashamed.
B. Paul Was Respected: 26:30-32, 25:25-27, They had nothing to condemn his for.
C. Paul Had A Reason: He had no money to go to Rome. He appealed to Caesar, being a Roman citizen. As such, he would travel to Rome to preach on a prison ship.
Conclusion: There are three men in this story we see, and there is a great distinction among the three.