The same glorious salvation

Acts 26:14-15 “And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.”

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There are few better tactics for Christian witness than giving our own, personal testimony.

We see Paul endeavor to do so on a number of occasions in this book.

Certainly he had a dramatic salvation experience. It was a great story to tell – perhaps much more exciting than our own account.

God does not give every man a glorious story, but He does give every man the same glorious salvation.

People want to know that Christ has transformed our life and changed our heart.

We know that in the end it is only the word of God, in the power of the Holy Spirit that will move a man to faith. Yet it is the testimony of God’s saints that often first reveals the efficacy of Bible truth.

Every man that believes is a new creature, whether born again in old age or young. This change is an affirmation of gospel truth and the story of it is a unique tool God gives, which can have amazing impact on the hearer.

Acts 26:14-15 “And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.”

Which they could not prove

Acts 25:7 “And when he was come, the Jews which came down from Jerusalem stood round about, and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove.”

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We continue to see the persecution of Paul in this chapter. As with all organized oppression of Christianity, the evidence is falsified.

How can a power structure justly eliminate the good Christians brings to society?

Disciples of Christ, by their very nature, bring improvement to the cultures in which they minister. Therefore trial of the brethren must rely on lies, falsified evidence, and illegitimate witnesses.

Just as God takes action in perfect harmony with His character, performing His works in holiness, justice, love, and grace; the enemy operates in an equally authentic fashion.

He was a liar from the beginning, ever seeking to undermine the honest and righteous working of God.

Paul is enduring the false accusation that is typical of Satan. Those who live Godly in Christ will likely face such wicked treachery.

Acts 25:7 “And when he was come, the Jews which came down from Jerusalem stood round about, and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove.”

What minor thing?

Acts 23:12-13 “And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. And they were more than forty which had made this conspiracy.”

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Few things have sparked more violence throughout history than the preaching of God’s word.

We must understand that the enemy has worldly means alone to confront our Lord and His disciples. If men are obedient to Christ, his only recourse is to stop them.

There is no philosophy or logic that can compete with gospel truth. This is why servants of Satan turn to intimidation, imprisonment, and murder.

What they fail to understand is that God’s message cannot be stopped. They can kill Christians, burn Bibles, and destroy churches, but they can never prevent God’s will from being carried out in this world.

Certainly we do not wish for this kind of violent rage against believers, yet throughout the ages it has served to greatly strengthen righteous resolve and accelerate church growth.

Men of God during Paul’s time in history faced the threat of death and kept preaching. What minor thing stops us from preaching today?

Acts 23:12-13 “And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. And they were more than forty which had made this conspiracy.”

The outline for success

Acts 20:20-21 “And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”

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This is a magnificent description of a faithful, thorough, and effective ministry.

Keeping nothing back is working systematically through scripture without skipping the difficult parts.

Preaching of this kind is both public and private, to every man one encounters regardless of nationality or status in life.

It keeps in mind at all times the message of the gospel and encourages the hearer to turn from sin and embrace Christ.

Sounds like Paul did a fairly good job!

Men of God today should model their ministries on such an example. Instead, some look to polls, trends, fads, or gimmicks.

I hope this is not our legacy of outreach. How sad it would be to have the outline for success spelled out and miss it by wrapping ourselves in the methodology of the world.

We ought to hold firm to the scripture, proclaim it everywhere we go, to anyone we meet, in faithfulness to its message and the Lord who delivered it.

If we do, we can tell a similar story (with confidence) at the end of it all.

Acts 20:20-21 “And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Thirty minutes extra now and then

Acts 20:7 “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.”

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It has likely been pointed out a thousand times before, by preachers the world over. Believers we know today would never last through a service like this one.

Complaints of all sorts would arise from the congregation about tired school children and sleepy husbands at the office. Even five minutes outside the regular routine is too much for many.

Why then were the people of Paul’s day different? The answer is simple; they were not.

We have the same living Spirit of God inside us and can listen, stay awake and learn in the very same fashion.

We are equipped, but without appetite, because we are too often without the Spirit’s filling.

Total surrender to Christ will make our appetite for His word insatiable.

Do we fear a lengthy sermon on Sunday? Perhaps it would be a good idea for us to examine our level of commitment.

I’ll not advocate an after-midnight service every week, but thirty minutes extra now and then couldn’t hurt us a bit!

Acts 20:7 “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.”