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God’s Truth Brings Conviction to Agippa’s Heart

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G. Campbell Morgan told about a preacher who was talking to the great English actor Macready.  He said, “What is the reason for the difference between you and me? You are appearing before crowds night after night with fiction, and the crowds come wherever you go. I am … More

Conviction

This passage starts out with Festus rudely interrupting Paul’s testimony by telling him he is insane; that his education has gone to his head and scrambled his brains (v. 24). Apparently this charge came as a result of Paul’s declaration that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead. To state that Jesus whom Rome had certified dead years before, was alive, was just too much for Festus. Paul answered him in a very courteous manner, and then he turned his attention to Agrippa, as he noticed the Lord was bringing conviction to his heart (vv. 25-26).

Festus was a newcomer, but Agrippa knew the truth of the matter because of his background.Paul spoke with conviction as he put the king on the spot by saying, “King Agrippa do you believe the prophets” (v. 27)? If he accepted the prophets, he would be forced to admit that Jesus Christ had fulfilled their prophecies. The king passed the question off by replying, “You are trying to persuade me to be a Christian” (v. 28). He is typical of the person who is quite willing to listen to a sermon, and even agree with what is being said - if the preacher does not make it personal. Actually Agrippa did not want to give up his sins, have a radical change in life-style, and run the risk of Jewish spite, Roman snobbery, and Greek scorn.

Paul answers the King by saying, “Whether it takes a short time or a long time, I wish you and everyone else who hears me today would become just like me – Except, of course, for these chains” (v. 29). The meeting was over, and they filed out. Paul had already been declared innocent by others, and Agrippa had said that he could have been set free, if he had not appealed to Caesar (vv. 30-32).

Application

Lord, help me to be a person who speaks truth with conviction. I know that people will not be drawn to Christ if I present truth like it is fiction. I want to speak the truth with compassion and boldness.

Acts 26:24-32 (English Standard Version)

And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, "Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind." But Paul said, "I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words. For the king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe." And Agrippa said to Paul, "In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?" And Paul said, "Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am--except for these chains." Then the king rose, and the governor and Bernice and those who were sitting with them. And when they had withdrawn, they said to one another, "This man is doing nothing to deserve death or imprisonment." And Agrippa said to Festus, "This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar."

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

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