2013 Acts #36: an exposition of Acts 25:13-26:32. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, March 9, 2014.
It was an impressive sight! The crowd was made up of kings, governors, religious leaders, military officers and curious on lookers. There was great pageantry and pomp. Everywhere you turned there were signs of wealth and power. Why had they come? What was the purpose of this gathering? They had come to hear the story of a political prisoner. Strange that a squabble between competing sects within a religion should gain the attention of such notables. But this prisoner had appealed to the Emperor himself. Threats had been made on his life. He had become something of a political football – tossed back and forth for the sake of political advantage. With the nod of a head and the wave of a hand the prisoner was escorted into the room. He was a small man, unimpressive in his appearance. Not the kind of man you would expect to hold an audience. But he was about to speak with great power and authority on how a dead man radically altered his life. Now you know the context for our Scripture passage this morning found in Acts chapters 25 and 26.
Text: Acts 25:13-26:32
Are you ever intimidated about sharing your faith?
It is not that you doubt your faith or that you are ashamed of your faith.
But when you go to speak – the words just don’t seem to come.
What if you are asked a question you do not know the answer?
What if you will say something wrong and unintentionally mislead them?
What if they will get angry?
For whatever reason you freeze up.
Paul found himself in what can only be described as an intimidating circumstance.
The most powerful men in the region are sitting before him.
Dressed in their finest garments, surrounded by symbols of power.
And Paul a prisoner.
A prisoner brought in chains with no prior notice and called upon to give a defense.
But Paul was not alone and neither are you!
God never calls or commands without equipping. “Lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age” was the promise of Christ to those who follow him. “When you stand before kings and princes, do not worry about what you will say – I will give you the words to speak,” Jesus said to his disciples. His final word to his followers before his ascension into glory was – “you will receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you will be my witnesses.”
The message of our text is that:
Thesis: God has graciously promised to empower you to be his witness in every circumstance.
There are three great truths related to God’s empowering found in our text.
- The empowered witness seizes every opportunity to proclaim his experience of God’s grace. (26:1-18)
- The empowered witness uncompromisingly calls on all to repent and believe. (26:19-20)
- The empowered witness presses his hearers for a response. (26:21-29)
- This is our job as witnesses and God has promised to empower you as his witness.
- Seize the opportunity.
- Call for repentance.
- Press for a response.
- And find God faithful to his promise.