Accused and on Trial because of Hope


Before I move forward, let me say that I nor very many of you who live in these United States of America has experienced what the men who motivated the title of the post for his faith. There are those in the church universal who experience hardships. We call them the persecuted church. Their bodies and lives are challenged for their HOPE in Christ.

Jesus and Paul are those whom I referred as motivators for the post. I can’t tell you how excited I am at this very moment. I am just amazed at God and His plan. Both Jesus and Paul, as proclaimed, suffered for their faith. Both were accused because of their obedience to their faith. Both were put on trial because of their faith. Both were innocent; yet, both suffered because of their faith and obedience. Both are honored by God as their stories live on for eternity in the Word of God.

Conversely, one of the main characters in Acts 26 is King Agrippa. Okay, I must admit that I was just causally looking at the characters this morning, but the Holy Spirit directed me to find out more about Agrippa. Then the contrast of characters came to life. Then the perpetual battle between good and evil, light and darkness came to light. Remember the post Hope For Herod? Herod like others, had heard a lot about Jesus, but did not know who He was. In Luke 23:7-9, Herod’s HOPE was fulfilled. Remember that both Jesus and Paul were Accused and on Trial because of Hope. The commonalities don’t end their. Jesus stood before Herod. Paul before Agrippa. Watch this now. After investigation like the Spirit told me, King Agrippa II was the great-grandson of Herod the Great, who had attempted to kill infant Jesus and who did kill many baby boys in Judea.

Paul, like Jesus, was sharing his testimony about God. Jesus how He came from the Father for those chosen by God. Paul how he came from Jesus for those chosen by Jesus. Listen to a portion of Paul’s testimony in Acts 26.

24 At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.”

25 “I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable. 26 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.27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do.”

28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”

29 Paul replied, “Short time or long—I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”

This is too deep for me. I have been reading and trying to write for almost two hours now. It’s too much. Okay, back to the text, Acts 26. This trial really is the last of Paul’s defenses for the gospel.  During his time, the Word captures five speeches defend himself and the gospel. Like Jesus, he was charged with living in opposition to Jewish law and the customs seen in the temple. Like Jesus, he was imprisoned for his obedience to the Word, but none of the charges he was imprisoned for ever lead to a guilty conviction. Nevertheless, both Jesus and Paul were Accused and on Trial because of Hope.

I will come back to this text to continue looking into the similarities of Jesus and Paul. How Paul represents the godly lineage and Agrippa represents the ungodly lineage. The most important thing to note is that if we stand in defense of the gospel by living it and proclaiming it by words we will face opposition. This is what Jesus told Paul. This is what Paul told us. ““For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” Paul also told us that ” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8

If you are found worthy, God will afford you the opportunity to stand up for your faith. Then, be ready to be Accused and on Trial because of Hope.

 

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