Paul’s Action Plan: Acts 26:1-29
“1) Agrippa said to Paul, “You are permitted to speak for yourself.” Then Paul stretched out his hand and proceeded to make his defense: 27) King Agrippa, do you believe the Prophets? I know that you do.” 28) Agrippa replied to Paul, “In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian.” 29) And Paul said, “I would wish to God, that whether in a short or long time, not only you, but also all who hear me this day, might become such as I am, except for these chains.”” Acts‬ ‭26‬:‭1‬, ‭27‬-‭29‬ ‬‬
Wow! How did this text progress from verse 1 to verses 27-29? This is absolutely miraculous! For that matter, what would you do and say if you suddenly have opportunity to stand before kings, governors, dignitaries and key community leaders? As the end times approach, it is likely to happen. Do you have a simple “go to plan” for every encounter and conversation with people?
I believe the story of Paul before king Agrippa, Bernice and Governor Festus as recorded in Acts 26:1-32 contains Paul’s personal “go to plan” in sharing the gospel with people. Sometimes Scripture is prescriptive, other times it is descriptive. In this chapter Paul provides a great example to follow. He followed this simple plan over and over as God gave him opportunity to converse with people.
Let’s break this chapter into four simple points and discover Paul’s action plan for sharing the gospel with people. (I confess… this chapter excites me!) This approach can be used by any Christian in any setting. By studying and following Paul’s action plan in this chapter, we can step into his sandals in our daily lives as well. Here are the four points of Paul’s action plan in sharing the gospel:
First, show honor and respect to civil authority and all people in general. (Acts 26:1-3) Paul conducted himself according to his own admonition of honor for government officials as recorded in Romans 13:1-7. Peter shared similar instruction in 1 Peter 2:13-17. When you treat people with love, respect and dignity, it pulls down their defenses.
Second, share your personal story of faith in Jesus Christ. (Acts 26:4-18) What Paul did in this chapter was amazing. He shared his personal story in simple, orderly and sequential fashion. He made Jesus Christ the center of his story.
As you study Paul, he took every opportunity to steer conversations toward the gospel. If you knock on the door, many people will throw it wide open. People are searching! Many can relate to your story.
Third, clearly share the simple gospel message. (Acts 26:19-23) In these four verses, Paul intentionally rehearsed the gospel. He was not ashamed of the gospel and understood that it was the power of God to salvation. His approach wove Romans 1:16 and 1 Corinthians 1:18 together. He understood how to unleash the power of God! Do not underestimate these two verses and how they become the epicenter of the Holy Spirit showing up with power in your witnessing. (See Acts 1:8)
Forth, persuade people to put personal faith in Jesus Christ. (Acts 26:24-29) Some say we are not to give an invitation to people. Paul had no problem calling people to repentance and personal belief in Jesus Christ. Look at verse 20 and 29. Compare this with 2 Corinthians 5:11 and 20. Paul said; “we beg people on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” His invitations were not passive. He was urgent and serious about people’s eternal salvation.
Compare these verses also with John 1:12, 3:16-18; Romans 10:8-15 and Ephesians 1:13. People are not saved apart from personal belief and faith in Jesus Christ. That is exactly what Paul was encouraging his hearers to do in Acts 26:27-29. Do not be shy about sharing the gospel and inviting people to place saving faith in Jesus Christ.
Rather than skipping over this chapter, take time to squeeze Paul’s simple action plan out of it. Practice this approach and watch the power of God show up in your conversations. Don’t be pushy with people. Just knock on the gospel door in every conversation by sharing some of your story and watch what God does! Then follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in the conversation.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global