At his trial, Paul tells the account of his conversion. His testimony has a good effect. King Agrippa realizes that Paul wants him to become a Christian. [UPDATED]
VERSE 1. Agrippa said to Paul, “You may speak for yourself.” Then Paul stretched out his hand, and made his defense.
You may speak for yourself. Paul uses this permission to tell the story of his conversion. He describes his life in three stages:
- His life before the Lord Jesus Christ
- How he came to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ
- His life after trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ
Then Paul … made his defense. This is called “giving your testimony.” It is a great way to witness to non-baptized people. It is a personalized advertisement, telling how Jesus Christ has changed your life.
Paul’s “testimony” has a good effect. Later in this chapter, King Agrippa says, “With a little persuasion are you trying to make me a Christian?”
VERSE 2. “I think myself happy, King Agrippa, that I am to make my defense before you today concerning all the things that I am accused by the Jews,
happy … to make my defense before you. Paul begins his testimony with some complimentary remarks.
VERSE 3. especially because you are expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews. Therefore I beg you to hear me patiently.
VERSE 4. “Indeed, all the Jews know my way of life from my youth up, which was from the beginning among my own nation and at Jerusalem;
VERSE 5. having known me from the first, if they are willing to testify, that after the strictest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.
I lived a Pharisee. There can be no doubt that Paul is a practicing Jewish person.
VERSE 6. Now I stand here to be judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers,
VERSE 7. which our twelve tribes, earnestly serving night and day, hope to attain. Concerning this hope I am accused by the Jews, King Agrippa!
VERSE 8. Why is it judged incredible with you, if God does raise the dead?
VERSE 9. “I myself most certainly thought that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
do many things contrary to the name of Jesus. Paul had been fanatic in his opposition to the followers of Jesus Christ.
VERSE 10. I also did this in Jerusalem. I both shut up many of the saints in prisons, having received authority from the chief priests, and when they were put to death I gave my vote against them.
VERSE 11. Punishing them often in all the synagogues, I tried to make them blaspheme. Being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities.
VERSE 12. “Whereupon as I traveled to Damascus with the authority and commission from the chief priests,
VERSE 13. at noon, O king, I saw on the way a light from the sky, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who traveled with me.
VERSE 14. When we had all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’
VERSE 15. “I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ “He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
VERSE 16. But arise, and stand on your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose: to appoint you a servant and a witness both of the things which you have seen, and of the things which I will reveal to you;
VERSE 17. delivering you from the people, and from the Gentiles, to whom I send you,
VERSE 18. to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
I was not disobedient. Paul walked with sincerity before God. He strove to keep his conscience clear.
Acts 24:16. So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man. (NIV translation)
VERSE 20. but declared first to them of Damascus, at Jerusalem, and throughout all the country of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance.
VERSE 21. For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me.
VERSE 22. Having therefore obtained the help that is from God, I stand to this day testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would happen,
VERSE 23. how the Christ must suffer, and how, by the resurrection of the dead, he would be first to proclaim light both to these people and to the Gentiles.”
VERSE 24. As he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are crazy! Your great learning is driving you insane!”
VERSE 25. But he said, “I am not crazy, most excellent Festus, but boldly declare words of truth and reasonableness.
VERSE 26. For the king knows of these things, to whom also I speak freely. For I am persuaded that none of these things is hidden from him, for this has not been done in a corner.
VERSE 27. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.”
are you trying to make me a Christian? Paul’s sharing his testimony had a good effect.
When somebody says words like this to you, you know they’re getting your message! “You’re hoping I’ll become a Christian!”
VERSE 29. Paul said, “I pray to God, that whether with little or with much, not only you, but also all that hear me today, might become such as I am, except for these bonds.”
VERSE 30. The king rose up with the governor, and Bernice, and those who sat with them.
VERSE 31. When they had withdrawn, they spoke to one another, saying, “This man does nothing worthy of death or of bonds.”
VERSE 32. Agrippa said to Festus, “This man might have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.