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Volume 28 - Page 103 of 217 Index | Zoom | |
"I shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the
coasts of JudŠa, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, and turn to God, and do
works meet for repentance" (Acts 26: 20).
This is reminiscent of the Apostle's words to the Thessalonians in I Thess. 1: 9, 10:
"Ye turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His
Son from heaven."
Returning to Acts 26:, we read:
"For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me"
(Acts 26: 21).
The Jews did not accuse Paul of denying the teaching of the law and the prophets.
They unjustly charged him with desecrating the Temple by taking a Gentile into it
(Acts 21: 28); but the fact that they found him in the Temple, and that he had gone there
to refute the charge made against him that he taught the Jews who were among the
Gentiles to forsake Moses (Acts 21: 21), would be evidence that his teaching was in
harmony with the O.T. Scriptures.
"Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to
small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did
say should come" (Acts 26: 22).
It has been suggested that we must not press these words too far, and that all that Paul
intended to convey was that he was not an irresponsible iconoclast. When a man of
ordinary honesty is making a statement before a judge we expect his statement to be true,
and without a double meaning. And if such can be said of the ordinary man, how much
more should we expect the apostle of truth to speak with great plainness of speech. If we
were to find, in face of this statement, that his early epistles contained teaching that
neither the prophets nor Moses had said should come, then it would be difficult to offer
any defence. In this series of articles we intend to examine the Apostle's early ministry,
as found in the epistles written before Acts 28:, in order to discover whether or not
his statement before Agrippa was literally true.
His own extension of the statement is given in verse 23:
"That Christ should suffer, and that He should be the first that should rise from the
dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles" (Acts 26: 23).
This refers particularly to the gospel which Paul had preached. A little earlier we
"And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our
fathers" (Acts 26: 6).
This refers to the character of the hope which was in operation during the Acts period,
and which is to be found in the epistles of that time.