In the book of Acts in chapter twenty-six we find a clear illustration of the Apostle Paul’s Testimony. When we have the opportunity to give our testimony we should have these elements in it. First and foremost our testimony should be very clear; this allows those who are listening to have a better understanding of the message behind our testimony. In the opening verse in Acts twenty-six the Apostle Paul is given the chance to speak on his defense by King Agrippa. In verse two we see Paul expressing his gratitude to the King allowing him to present his defense. We as Christians should always approach people with an attitude of gratitude and thank them for their valuable time. People who do not know Christ may view it as a waste of their time speaking to us. So be appreciative that they are giving up their time to listen. In verse four to eight we see Paul explaining his life before Christ. He speaks of the good parts of his life and how he had lived according to his Jewish heritage and followed the laws of God. Now he is standing before his own people who have themselves been seeking the Messiah and believe in the written word of God. Paul has been raised from the dead (born again) but they themselves do not believe he is telling the truth. This is an example of how people in our own lives may have trouble believing we are a changed person. We must approach them with a gentle love in order to keep their attention and bring understanding of how Christ can convert a life. How our Lord brings us out of the abyss and into the light of His presence. In verse nine to eleven we see the bad side of Paul, the side that ignorance that legalism brings into the life that has not been redeemed. Paul speaks of how he himself once persecuted those who followed “The Way” of Christ; of how he once voted against them and condemned them to death. When we reveal our past sinful nature to people as we are witnessing to them; they may become more at ease with us because they see that we are also human. They may become more comfortable speaking about some of the things in their lives that we may be able to help them with. This is a step closer to leading them out of the bondage of their sin and to the blood of our Savior. It gives us the opportunity to share the message of Christ on the Cross and how he bore all our sin. We no longer have to carry the baggage of our past mistakes; we just need to lay them at the cross. Our sins are forgiven and they are remembered no more. Our names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. In verses twelve to eighteen we see the story of Paul’s conversion; the Damascus road experience. Paul was on the road to Damascus when a Jesus intervened in his life. He questioned Paul on his behavior as to why he is persecuting Him….. For if someone persecutes a Christian they are persecuting Christ. Paul was called into service that very day and he followed. That is the day he went from being known as Saul of Tarsus to being known as Paul who met the Lord on the road to Damascus. Although some of us do have divine encounters with Jesus that cause us to turn away from our former lives and take up our cross to follow Christ; not all conversions are this way. What this testimony will demonstrate to the unbeliever we are witnessing too is… the Power of God. How God could open the heaven for one man and how He loved him in spite of his unbelief and his persecution toward Him. This reveals to the unbeliever that no matter what you have done in your life, Jesus will accept you. All you have to do is ask Him for forgiveness and invite Him into your heart as your Lord. It is such a simple step to take, but the most profound step any human being will make in their natural lives. It is a step of peace beyond any human understanding. It is a step of receiving forgiveness for your past and being wrapped in the Unconditional Love of a Father. In verses nineteen to twenty-three we see Paul’s life after he has received Christ. We see Paul’s great faith revealed and how he would tell his story of how he met his Savior. He would stand before his own Jewish people and remind them of the scriptures of the prophecies of Moses and how the savior would come; he would stand with boldness and confidence. He was assured of his salvation and his Lord. This will help us while witnessing to illustrate what the power and authority of having the Lord Jesus in your life will do. He will renew your strength and you are able to stand against adversity…. No one has control of our destiny but God once your life is given over to His Son. In verse twenty-four to twenty-nine we see the challenge that Paul faces. Paul is accused of losing his mind by the very people who once held him in high regard, but the King did not persecute him. This reveals that we all have to face trials in life and that our trust should not be with man but with God. The unregenerated man does not understand the mind of God. He does not understand that this world in only temporal and the rewards here on earth do not out way the rewards that await us in heaven. We need to lead the unbeliever into the knowledge of his/her eternal destiny. We need to pray that Jesus touches their heart and reveals Himself to them. We must always walk as ambassadors of our Savior. We represent a King and we are in His Kingdom here on earth. We must lovingly stress the importance of the message of salvation and always be leading people to the cross. Our lives should be a living testimony of how God has changed us, how His son saved us and of how His Spirit lives in us. We walk in victory over sin and darkness…. We walk in the blessing of the abundant life of Christ. He is our Lord and we have laid down our lives freely and lovingly for Him. We only get once chance to make a first impression, let’s leave the person that we are witnessing too with the impression of Christ, Not man. Amen.
God Bless You & Keep You Embraced in His Loving Presence ~Sincerely Cindy♥
Acts 26 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.” So Paul motioned with his hand and began his defense: 2 “King Agrippa, I consider myself fortunate to stand before you today as I make my defense against all the accusations of the Jews, 3 and especially so because you are well acquainted with all the Jewish customs and controversies. Therefore, I beg you to listen to me patiently. 4 “The Jewish people all know the way I have lived ever since I was a child, from the beginning of my life in my own country, and also in Jerusalem. 5 They have known me for a long time and can testify, if they are willing, that I conformed to the strictest sect of our religion, living as a Pharisee. 6 And now it is because of my hope in what God has promised our ancestors that I am on trial today. 7 This is the promise our twelve tribes are hoping to see fulfilled as they earnestly serve God day and night. King Agrippa, it is because of this hope that these Jews are accusing me. 8 Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead? 9 “I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the Lord’s people in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. 11 Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. I was so obsessed with persecuting them that I even hunted them down in foreign cities.12 “On one of these journeys I was going to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. 13 About noon, King Agrippa, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions. 14 We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic,[a] ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’15 “Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’“ ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. 16 ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. 17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’19 “So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. 20 First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds. 21 That is why some Jews seized me in the temple courts and tried to kill me. 22 But God has helped me to this very day; so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen— 23 that the Messiah would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would bring the message of light to his own people and to the Gentiles.” 24 At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.” 25 “I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable. 26 The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do.” 28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” 29 Paul replied, “Short time or long—I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”30 The king rose, and with him the governor and Bernice and those sitting with them. 31 After they left the room, they began saying to one another, “This man is not doing anything that deserves death or imprisonment.” 32 Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”
C. A. Livingstone © 2013