Acts 26:1-11 King Agrippa gave permission to Paul to speak. Paul was happy that he had the chance to defend himself before Agrippa who was learned in Jewish customs. Paul began his defense making it known that he was a Pharisee, the strictest party of the Jewish religion. He was on trial because of the hope in the promise made by God of the coming of the Messiah and His Kingdom. Paul said he was once blind to this truth and persecuted the Christians who believed that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ. He locked them up in prison and cast his vote against them when they were put to death. He tried to get them to recant their belief and with a raging fury chased them down even to foreign cities.
Notes: Paul’s main purpose was not to defend himself but to convert Agrippa and the others
Acts 26:12-18 Paul describes his journey to Damascus to drag the Christians from there to Jerusalem when he met Jesus on the road. Jesus appeared to Paul as a great light from Heaven and falling to the ground he heard Jesus asking why he was persecuting Him. Jesus then appointed Paul as a servant to witness to what he has seen and heard and yet to hear. Jesus would deliver Paul from the Jews and the Gentiles that wanted him dead and would send him to the Gentiles to convert them from darkness to light that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Him.
Notes: from darkness to light. Since unbelievers are in the darkness of their spiritual blindness, the Bible often uses light to picture salvation. forgiveness of sins. This is the most significant result of salvation. a place. The blessings believers will enjoy throughout eternity in heaven. sanctified by faith. The Bible plainly and repeatedly teaches that salvation comes solely through faith apart from human works.
Acts 26:19-23 Paul said he obeyed what Jesus set him apart to do. He preached that all men should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance. Paul said that is why the Jews seized him and wanted him dead, but God protected him each time. Paul said his message about Jesus is no different than what Moses and the prophets had preached from old, that the Christ would suffer, and that by being the first to rise from the dead, He would proclaim light both to the Jews and to the Gentiles.
Notes: deeds in keeping with their repentance. Genuine repentance is inseparably linked to a changed lifestyle.
Acts 26:24-29 Festus cried out that Paul was out of his mind! Paul said he was speaking true and rational words, for even King Agrippa could testify that what Paul was saying had been heard before in the scriptures. Paul asked King Agrippa if he believed the prophets in what they had to say concerning the Christ. King Agrippa thought it crazy to be convinced of these truths in a short time. Paul said whether short or long, he wished all that heard his voice would become Christians.
Notes: you are out of your mind. Festus was astonished that a learned scholar like Paul could actually believe that the dead would live again—something no intelligent Roman would accept.
Acts 26:30-32 King Agrippa, Bernice, and Festus the governor left the hall. They discussed Paul’s defense and agreed that Paul has done nothing to deserve death or imprisonment. King Agrippa, most likely by the help of his authority, would have set Paul free on the spot if it wasn’t for the fact that Paul had appealed to Caesar for a trial in Rome.