A very important question

Acts

26:1-32  –  Paul answers three questions concerning himself. He puts a most important question to his hearers. (a) What was I before my conversion? Here, he speaks of his religion – ‘According to the strictest party of my religion I have lived as a Pharisee’ (5). This brought him ‘to the ground’ (14). (b) How did my conversion come about? Here, he speaks of his Saviour – ‘I am Jesus… Stand up!’ (15). (c) What happened after my conversion? Here, he describes how he became a ‘servant’ and a ‘witness’ (16). (d) The final question concerns our response – What about you? Will you become a Christian? (27-29). Do you have a story to tell? – Tell your story:  the ‘before’, the ‘after’, the fact that it was Jesus who made the difference. Don’t forget the challenge: To ‘all who are listening to me today’ – Come to Christ (29).

27:1-44  –  There is, in this story, a great picture of God’s way of salvation. (a) Our human situation is hopeless: ‘All our hope of being saved was at last abandoned’ (20). We are sinners. We cannot save ourselves. (b) There is hope: ‘God has granted you all those who sail with you’ (25). God has provided a way of salvation: ‘God so loved the world that He gave His only Son’ (John 3:16). (c) Faith believes the Word of God:  ‘I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told’ (25) – ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved’ (16:31). (d) Safety: ‘all escaped to land’ (44). God has ‘prepared’ for us ‘a better country’, a ‘heavenly one’, ‘a city’, ‘the city which is to come’. Do you want to ‘escape’, to be saved? Make sure that you don’t ‘neglect such a great salvation’ (Hebrews 11:16; 13:14;  2:3).

28:1-31  –  Read of Paul’s protection from the ‘snake’. ‘Rejoice’ – Christ has won for us a great victory over ‘that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan’. When God gives us His victory, we must not think too highly of ourselves – ‘he was a god’. We must give all the glory to God: ‘Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of God and the authority of His Christ have come’ (3-6; Genesis 3:14-15; Revelation 12:9-12). ‘So we came to Rome’ (14) – These are words of triumph. God had fulfilled His promise: ‘you must bear witness also at Rome’ (23:11). Rejoicing that ‘this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles’, Paul was ‘preaching the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ quite openly and unhindered’ (29,31). Don’t miss God’s opportunities to share Christ’s Good News!

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