A Question That Touches Two Worlds
October 21, 2007
INTRODUCTION: The basic idea of Acts 26 is Paul's gospel, and the basic idea of Paul's gospel centers in the resurrected Lord. Once again, we have learned that deep involvement in religion is not enough and can even be destructive. We have also learned that God can reach into the hearts of official fanatics to bring them to faith. Through Luke's pen, Paul has told us all about repentance, Christ's death as a propitiation for our sins, and the resurrection. He has set the gospel against the backdrop of one of the cruelest empires of ancient times.
I. PERSEVERANCE OF A FAITHFUL LEADER. 22-23
A. NOTE WHO GETS THE CREDIT. 22
"having obtained help from God" – 2 Cor 1:8-10; 2 Tim 3:11; 2 Tim 4:17-18
"For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us."
"Persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra -- what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me."
"But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!"
Paul – "I give credit where credit is due, for I owe my whole life to you"
B. NOTE HOW HE CONTINUES ON. 22
"to this day I stand" (I continue unto this day)
Paul had a great beginning with visions and voices, but quite another thing to keep on going, especially when the go ...
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