Acts 26:16-18

Tom Harding

When Paul stood before King Agrippa he plainly declared unto him the experience of Godís grace in his soul. He recalls what he was before he met the Redeemer, "after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee" (Acts 26:5). Paul had religion, however he did not know God and he hated the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ; he said, "I truly thought with myself that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus Christ" (Acts 26:9). Then he describes how he was confronted and conquered by the very person who he persecuted, the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 26:13-16). Paul also declares before King Agrippa the purpose God had in raising him up out of religion and teaching him the gospel of His sovereign grace. "to make thee a minister and a witness both of the things which thou hast seen, and those things in the which I will appear unto thee" (Acts 26:16). God has ordained the salvation of His elect (Rom. 8:29-30). But remember, that He has also ordained the means to call them out (1 Cor. 1:21). I would not exalt the messenger, but I would exalt the means and make much of the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul and any other man sent to preach the gospel are only earthen vessels (2 Cor. 4:7). God uses the word preached by sinful creatures to the salvation of His sheep (Rom. 10:14-17). Paul also describes to Agrippa the effects of true peaching to the elect of God, "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me" (Acts 26:18). Here is a plain description of the work of grace in us through the gospel being preached. Notice these things:

Tom Harding, Pastor
Zebulon Baptist Church
Pikeville, Ky.

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