Read This Week: Acts 26

At this point, Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.” “I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable. 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. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do.” Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” 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.” The king rose and with him the governor and Bernice and those sitting with them. After they left the room, they began saying to one another, “This man is not doing anything that deserves death or imprisonment.” – Acts 26:24-30 NIV

Christian Apologist, William Lane Craig that is known as one of the great scholars and thinkers of our time, said this about belief and the reasonable nature of saving faith in Jesus Christ:

“People who simply ride the roller coaster of emotional experience are cheating themselves out of a deeper and richer Christian faith by neglecting the intellectual side of that faith. They don’t know the riches of deep understanding of truth, of the confidence inspired by the discovery that one’s faith is logical and fits the facts of experience, and of the stability brought to one’s life by the conviction that their faith is objectively true.”

The Apostle Paul is making the same assertion to Agrippa in Acts chapter 26. He is defending himself and does so as he has before by sharing his testimony of conversion and life in Christ. He states, in a logical and reasonable way, what he experienced, learned, and observed in himself and others as a follower of Jesus.

At one point, his testimony causes the crowd to erupt in anger, and Festus, the governor, interrupts and accuses Paul of being insane. But he does so not because he believed Paul had lost his mind, but because Paul’s message of salvation through Christ had convicted his heart. Paul knows this and says in verses 25-27:

“I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable. 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. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do.”

Before Paul responds to Festus, he offered a summary of the gospel in verse 23. So, the two officials had now been confronted with a spiritual decision because they had heard the truth. Festus refuses faith through the accusation of madness and Agrippa eludes it by his superior attitude and belittling Paul’s witness to the gospel. He said, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” 

Their responses are not unlike so many today. When a person refuses to come to Christ, it is usually not because of a lack of evidence or the reasonable tenets of the gospel. The rejection comes because people ignore and reject the truth and the Holy Spirit drawing on their hearts. Unbelief is a spiritual problem, not a reason or intellectual one. 

Just like Paul testified to in this chapter, ours is a reasonable faith. The Christian life and experience is not based on a mystical fairy tale or ambiguous data from ancient times that are unsubstantiated. There is historical, factual, and philosophical evidence that not only points to the story of God but the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because of this, there is no conflict between faith and reason within Christianity.

This is how we should live our lives and share our faith with others. Our confidence should come from the ongoing affirmation that our faith is logical and syncs with observable experience. At the end of the day, the truth is undeniable and no one can effectively argue against a changed life.

6 Comments

  1. Alma Dolores Schmidt on April 19, 2021 at 7:41 pm

    This week in Acts 26, God gave me a song called, “Show Me the Way”:

    Show me the way, show me the way, show me your way, our Lord
    I need you, I want you, I believe in you, our Lord

    You give us the power and strength to stand up
    Let’s open our eyes to see what our Lord sees

    He can bring light in the darkness
    Hope in our Faith
    Love in our sadness
    He forgives our sins
    Brings joy to our hearts

    Show me the way, show me the way, show me your way, our Lord
    I need you, I want you, I believe in you, our Lord. Amen.

    Trust and believe in the Lord! For his way is always the right way. I put my complete faith in my Father God. I am thankful to Him for everything.

    • Jason on April 26, 2021 at 2:55 pm

      I love this, Alma, and this lyric section of your song is more than reason enough to be able to stand up in our lives when it seems improbable or too hard:

      He can bring light in the darkness
      Hope in our Faith
      Love in our sadness
      He forgives our sins
      Brings joy to our hearts

  2. Heidi on April 20, 2021 at 1:50 pm

    What touched my heart in Acts 26 was Paul giving his testimony again hoping they are listening with their heart, wanting to make a change, seeing with their heart that Paul is a changed man.

    Paul was hoping that they were listening and wanting to be like him, a child of God, a messenger for God and not man, that he was free from living a life following man, he now lives life following after Jesus Father God is now his boss, he has the best job and even thou there is many people that are after him, he knows what his mission is, and his peace and courage is from the Holy Spirit.
    In John 16:33 Jesus promises us this:

    I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]

    We need to continue to learn that everything we need comes from Father God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. So keep sharing and following after Jesus it’s the best job you’ll ever have.

    • Jason on April 26, 2021 at 3:06 pm

      I appreciate this post so much, Heidi, and the way you married Acts 26 with the words of Jesus in John 16. It is so bibliological and fitting to the idea of living for God. This was such an impactful part:

      He was now a child of God, a messenger for God and not man, that he was free from living a life following man, he now lives life following after Jesus.

      It is a wonderful freedom to be a child of God and not be subservient to the will of man.

  3. Kathy on April 22, 2021 at 9:55 am

    This was what God was saying to me through Acts 26. Your commission as a Christian is not to make your testimony serve you. You are called to serve the message. What you have witnessed and what you have experienced through knowing Me, is what you will share. The opening of your eyes and others’ eyes will “turn you from darkness to light.” You will turn from the power of satan to Me. You receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among My people.

    You are sanctified by your faith in Jesus, not by your works, but by your connection of love and trust in My Son Jesus. As I reveal myself more and more to you, you should not disobey Me. Repent and turn to Me. Your actions should reflect this. Testify to others who Jesus is and what He has done for you.

    What this said to me is I need to continue to share my testimony with others so that I can help others go through some of the same trials I have been through, to help bring others to Him. This is where God uses my struggles for good. He turns ashes into beauty in our lives if we let Him.

    • Jason on April 26, 2021 at 4:24 pm

      This is a very strong post, Kathy. It is also emotional yet reasonable as is our faith. This part stuck out to me about using our stories and journeys to point people to Jesus:

      What this said to me is I need to continue to share my testimony with others so that I can help others go through some of the same trials I have been through, to help bring others to Him. This is where God uses my struggles for good. He turns ashes into beauty in our lives if we let Him.

      The Lord is a Good Father like that. He takes those things that were meant for evil and destruction and makes something beautiful and lasting out them.

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