Acts 26:1-18 (web)

Paul's Hearing by Agrippa
Part II

26:1 Agrippa said to Paul, "You may speak for yourself." 
Then Paul stretched out his hand, and made his defense. 
26:2 "I think myself happy, King Agrippa, 
that I am to make my defense before you this day 
concerning all the things whereof I am accused by the Jews, 
26:3 especially because you are expert in all customs
and questions which are among the Jews. 
Therefore I beg you to hear me patiently. 

Paul's Testimony

Pre-Conversion Experience

26:4 "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; 
26:5 having known me from the first, if they are willing to testify, 
that after the strictest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. 
26:6 Now I stand here to be judged for the hope 
of the promise made by God to our fathers, 
26:7 which our twelve tribes, earnestly serving night and day, hope to attain.
Concerning this hope I am accused by the Jews, King Agrippa! 
26:8 Why is it judged incredible with you, if God does raise the dead? 
26:9 "I myself most assuredly thought that I ought 
to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 
26:10 This I also did 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. 
26:11 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. 

Conversion

26:12 "Whereupon as I traveled to Damascus with the authority
and commission from the chief priests, 
26:13 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. 
26:14 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.' 
26:15 "I said, 'Who are you, Lord?' "
He said, 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 
26:16 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; 
26:17 delivering you from the people, and from the Gentiles, to whom I send you,
26:18 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.' 
 

Comments

This is largely a repeat of Acts 22 in which Paul also gave his personal testimony of conversion.
vs 18 is perhaps the most relevant in that it speaks of his mission. 
To open their eyes involves imparting a revelation. Of course the main hinderance to this is the tendency of people to cling on to their sins. 
"This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed." John 3:19,20
"Power" is speaking in terms of authority.  "For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves." Col 1:13 

Forgiveness of sins is of course central to the salvation which God offers. For without forgiveness there can be no inheritance and no sanctification. Faith in Christ is God's requirement to receive salvation. The message of the gospel is inevitably humiliating as it deals with sin. And such is the most common reason people reject it. In this way God filters out the proud and makes salvation only available for the humble.
 




The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources Jul 29,2015