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Scripture Reading: Acts 26:24-29
Become As I Am
1. Paul held himself out as an example, 1 Cor. 11:1 (Phil. 3:17).
2. Now, he finds himself imprisoned, waiting to stand before Caesar (Acts 21:33ff; 25:11).
3. He made his defense before King Herod Agrippa II by preaching the gospel to save lost men, Acts 26.
a. The Jews alleged Paul was not fit to live, Acts 25:24.
b. But, except for his bonds, Paul wanted his audience to be as he was, Acts 26:28-29.
4. What was there about this man that commended his condition to others? Are we as Paul was? Do we want to be? Should we?
I. PAUL WAS FREE FROM SIN'S BONDAGE AND DEATH.
A. Herod Agrippa II and Company.
1. Alleged incestuous relation with sister Bernice (outrageous, even by heathen standards).
2. All in the auditorium were guilty of sin and slaves to sin, Jno. 8:34.
a. Overcome by sin, 2 Pet. 2:19.
b. Yielded to it, Rom. 6:16.
3. Freedom from sin was available to them, Jno. 8:36; Rom. 6:17-18.
B. Paul had been in Bondage to Sin, 1 Tim. 1:12-16.
1. Paul came face to face with his sin; Saved, Acts 9:6; 22:16.
2. You need to become as Paul was that day.
II. PAUL WAS FREE FROM THE GUILT OF HIS PAST.
A. Paul’s Past was Filled with Shameful Treatment of the Innocent, Acts 26:9-11.
1. Murderous persecutor of Christians.
-All sin is futile and self-defeating, Acts 26:14.
2. Paul could not change the past, but he could (did) repent and become a “new creature” in Christ, 2 Cor. 5:17; Rom. 6:3-4.
B. How have you Dealt with the Guilt of Your Past?
1. Like Paul, repent and become Christian?
2. Cover, hide, ignore, blame others? Or, put it out of your mind? Phil. 3:13-14
3. Become like Paul and be freed from the guilt of past sins.
III. PAUL WAS FREE FROM THE LAW OF MOSES.
A. Keeping the Ceremonies and Rituals of the Law could not Free the Jews from Sin, Acts 26:4-7; Gal. 3:11-13; Col. 2:14.
-Religious rituals, including LOM, were never an end in themselves (shadows, tutor...), Hosea 6:6; Micah 6:6-8; Isa. 1:10-15 (Amos 5:21-27); Psa. 51:16-17.
B. Many Religious Ceremonies are Offered to God (Lent, Easter, Christmas...), cf. Gal. 4:8-12. (Made by men, not God)
1. Religious actions at the expense of truth are unacceptable to God, Jno. 4:23-24.
2. Basic lessons for us:
a. Without a contrite heart, even commanded actions are rejected.
b. Do not add man-made ceremonies to the gospel.
c. Do not ritualize what God has commanded us.
3. Become like Paul and do not rely on ceremony and rituals.
IV. PAUL WAS FREE FROM THE LOVE OF THE WORLD.
A. This had not always been so, Titus 3:3 (Phil. 3:3-7).
-Now, he gladly gloried in the cross of Christ, Gal. 6:14.
B. Some Only Half-Heartedly Refrain from the World and do not Glory in the Cross of Christ.
1. Israel longed for pots of meat instead of rejoicing in their God-given freedom, Exo. 16:3.
2. Some still put their hands to the plow and then look back, Lk. 9:62.
3. Stern prohibition, 1 Jno. 2:15-17.
4. Become like Paul and take pride in the cross, not the world.
V. PAUL WAS FREE FROM UNCERTAINTY.
A. Indecisiveness did not Characterize Paul, Phil. 3:14; 2 Tim. 4:7.
1. Be careful: We can be carried away with the error of the wicked, 2 Pet. 3:17-18.
2. Things that could have made Paul hesitate in doubt and uncertainty (why many still become doubtful and lose their faith):
a. Suffering, Rom. 8:18.
b. Unlawful arrest and attempts to kill him (Acts 21-28).
c. Lies against him, 1 Cor. 4:13.
d. Being abandoned by other Christians, 2 Tim. 4:16.
3. Become like Paul and live in confident faith, 1 Cor. 15:58.
1. Paul was not a perfect man, but he was a forgiven man.
2. His life as a Christian sets a standard of excellence for us to strive for and imitate: To become such as he was.
3. Become a Christian today, Acts 26:28-29.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: July 7, 2015