Paul to Agrippa–Honesty is the Best Policy

A story is told about a famous evangelist, Brownlow North, who had lived a life that was anything but Christian. Once, just before he was to enter the pulpit, he received a letter. This letter informed him that its writer had evidence of some disgraceful thing he had done before … More

Honesty

One of the extraordinary things about the great Christian leaders in the New Testament was they were not afraid to confess what once they had been. In the presence of the king, Paul frankly confessed that there was a day when he had tried to blast the Christians out of existence. In this passage we see Paul before King Agrippa. Agrippa tells Paul that he can now speak for himself (v. 1). Paul then explains that he was particularly pleased to be able to state his case to King Agrippa (vv. 2-3). Of all the government officials in the country, nobody knew better the precepts, principles and passions that motivated the Jewish people. Fetus might not understand, but Agrippa could.

This is the third time Paul’s conversion experience is recorded in the book of Acts. He also spoke of his life as a Pharisee and how sincerely he had tried to live a blameless life (v. 4-5) and follow the promise God made to the Jews (v. 6). Paul explains how day and night the twelve tribes have earnestly served God, waiting for his promised blessing (v.7). Why should anyone doubt that God raises the dead to life (v. 8)? Because of this hope the Jewish leaders have brought charges. This was why he had worked so hard to persecute the heretical sect of the followers of Jesus (v. 9-11). Just as in the case of Paul, no one can doubt the sincerity of most religious people. They are convinced that they are saved by following the religious beliefs and codes in which they have been raised. Human religion is man’s thoughts about God, sin, salvation etc. rather than what God actually says about Himself and what he says about man from His Word.

Application

What can I learn about sharing the gospel from this passage? If I have an opportunity to tell my story before government officials, how would I go about doing it? This would be a good time for me to be open and honest about my life before Christ, and tell about changes since I came to know Him.

Acts 26:1-11 (English Standard Version)


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