Repent and Turn to God

From Lynda Lindsey 

Paul speaking before Agrippa: ... I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds. Acts 26:20(b)

But I have had God’s help to this very day, and so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen—-that the Christ would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would proclaim light to His own people and to the Gentiles. Acts 26:22-23

Jesus, speaking to Paul: I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Me. Acts 26:17(b)-18

Concise, crisp, to the point. Paul, a master orator, knew how to get the audience’s attention, hold their interest, and prompt the audience to make a decision to follow Christ. Paul, speaking to Agrippa, recounted his past: Paul had actively persecuted and opposed the name of Jesus and all Jesus’ followers.

Paul objectively described his personal encounter with Jesus on the Damascus Road. Paul, struck blind, instantly obeyed Jesus’ command to get up, stand up, and fulfill God’s commission. God’s message through Paul? Repent. Turn to God. Prove repentance by one’s deeds.

Paul concluded his message by referencing what the prophets and Moses had already confirmed: Christ would suffer and die, would rise from the dead, and thereby proclaim light to both Jews and Gentiles.

Festus accused Paul of insanity. Agrippa became sarcastic, but Paul was undeterred. Paul appealed to all who listened to him to be as he was, except for the chains! The officials listening that day agreed Paul had done nothing deserving death or imprisonment and could have been set free had he not appealed to Caesar. But Paul? Paul, even in chains for the Gospel, had already been set free! Have you?