The Fire Before Agrippa

The Apostle Paul Gives his defence before King Agrippa and all those gathered in the great hall. Since Agrippa was a Jew, this is a gospel tract for sharing with a Jewish person.

I. Paul Believes in the Resurrection (1-8)

Acts 26:1–8 NASB95
1 Agrippa said to Paul, “You are permitted to speak for yourself.” Then Paul stretched out his hand and proceeded to make his defense: 2 “In regard to all the things of which I am accused by the Jews, I consider myself fortunate, King Agrippa, that I am about to make my defense before you today; 3 especially because you are an expert in all customs and questions among the Jews; therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently. 4 “So then, all Jews know my manner of life from my youth up, which from the beginning was spent among my own nation and at Jerusalem; 5 since they have known about me for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that I lived as a Pharisee according to the strictest sect of our religion. 6 “And now I am standing trial for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers; 7 the promise to which our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly serve God night and day. And for this hope, O King, I am being accused by Jews. 8 “Why is it considered incredible among you people if God does raise the dead?
12 Tribes—no lost tribes.
You—Paul is speaking to all those who were in the room.

II. Paul Witnessed the Resurrection (9-18)

Acts 26:9–18 NASB95
9 “So then, I thought to myself that I had to do many things hostile to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 “And this is just what I did in Jerusalem; not only did I lock up many of the saints in prisons, having received authority from the chief priests, but also when they were being put to death I cast my vote against them. 11 “And as I punished them often in all the synagogues, I tried to force them to blaspheme; and being furiously enraged at them, I kept pursuing them even to foreign cities. 12 “While so engaged as I was journeying to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests, 13 at midday, O King, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining all around me and those who were journeying with me. 14 “And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew dialect, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15 “And I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 ‘But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; 17 rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, 18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’
Goads - young animals would kick to try and shake off a yolk when they are first learning to wear it. A sharp stick would be placed behind the leg of the bull so that as he kicked the stick would poke him. Every time he kicked, he would get poked and would eventually learn to stop kicking. Paul was a young bull and he needed to learn to stop kicking against the followers of Jesus. Maybe every time he tried to get one of them to blaspheme, they answered with strong consistent faith that impressed Paul, like when he heard Stephen being martyred. The blindness he experienced was another goad that he could not beat Jesus. Jesus had chosen Paul to share the gospel, but Paul was fighting the yolk of that calling.
There are goads for each of us to learn to obey Christ as the Holy Spirit convicts us. Some come in the form of sorrow about our sin. Some come in the form the loss of a loved one with whom we refused to share the gospel. Some goads that God uses, are financial ones that teach us be generous with the money that God has given to us. God has a purpose for you, if you acts like a young bull, then you are likely to experience goads from the loving Savior until you learn to die to yourself and take His yolk upon you.
Believer’s Bible Commentary H. Paul’s Arrest and Trials (21:27–26:32)

H. K. Downie shows how verse 18 is an excellent summary of what the gospel does:

1. It relieves from darkness.

2. It releases from the power of Satan.

3. It remits sins.

4. It restores a lost inheritance.

III. Paul Shared the Resurrection (19-23)

Acts 26:19–23 NASB95
19 “So, King Agrippa, I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance. 21 “For this reason some Jews seized me in the temple and tried to put me to death. 22 “So, having obtained help from God, I stand to this day testifying both to small and great, stating nothing but what the Prophets and Moses said was going to take place; 23 that the Christ was to suffer, and that by reason of His resurrection from the dead He would be the first to proclaim light both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.”

IV. Paul Applies the Resurrection (24-32)

Acts 26:24–32 NASB95
24 While Paul was saying this in his defense, Festus said in a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind! Your great learning is driving you mad.” 25 But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I utter words of sober truth. 26 “For the king knows about these matters, and I speak to him also with confidence, since I am persuaded that none of these things escape his notice; for this has not been done in a corner. 27 “King Agrippa, do you believe the Prophets? I know that you do.” 28 Agrippa replied to Paul, “In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian.” 29 And Paul said, “I would wish to God, that whether in a short or long time, not only you, but also all who hear me this day, might become such as I am, except for these chains.” 30 The king stood up and the governor and Bernice, and those who were sitting with them, 31 and when they had gone aside, they began talking to one another, saying, “This man is not doing anything worthy of death or imprisonment.” 32 And Agrippa said to Festus, “This man might have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”
The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Twenty-Three: Paul the Defender (Acts 25–26)

In his flowery speech before Agrippa, Festus indicated that he wanted the king to examine Paul (Acts 25:26), but there is no record that he did. In fact, before the session ended, Paul became the judge, and Festus, King Agrippa, and Bernice became the defendants! Paul

Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more