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    Aug 13, 2017

    Is this Good News?

    Is this Good News?

    Passage: Acts 26:22-32

    Speaker: Ben Seneker

    Series: Acts: The Perpetual Power of the Gospel

    In this week’s passage, Paul is still on trial in Caesarea. As he concludes his defense before King Agrippa, he appeals to Agrippa’s knowledge of the Jewish prophets to confirm that Paul’s message throughout his ministry was simply “what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.” While Paul tries to reason with Agrippa on these matters, it is ultimately the good news of Christ that compels Paul to proclaim the gospel to those before him.

    In this week’s passage, Paul is still on trial in Caesarea.  As he concludes his defense before King Agrippa, he appeals to Agrippa’s knowledge of the Jewish prophets to confirm that Paul’s message throughout his ministry was simply “what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.”  While Paul tries to reason with Agrippa on these matters, it is ultimately the good news of Christ that compels Paul to proclaim the gospel to those before him.

    Call To Worship: 1 Corinthians 15:20-22 ESV
    Reading: Luke 24:44-48 ESV
    Central Text: Acts 26:22-32 ESV
    Sermon Title: Is this Good News?
    Response: Westminster Shorter Catechism, question 31
    Benediction: Colossians 2:6 ESV

    Illustration: Door to Door

    Call To Worship: 1 Corinthians 15:20-22 ESV

    LEADER:  20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.

    ALL:  22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

    Reading: Luke 24:44-48 ESV

    LEADER: 44 Then Jesus said to them,

    ALL:  “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”

    LEADER: 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them,

    ALL: “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.”

    Central Text: Acts 26:22-32 ESV

    22 To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: 23 that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.” 24 And as he was saying these things in his defence, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind.” 25 But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words. 26 For the king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.” 28 And Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?” 29 And Paul said, “Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am—except for these chains.” 30 Then the king rose, and the governor and Bernice and those who were sitting with them.31 And when they had withdrawn, they said to one another, “This man is doing nothing to deserve death or imprisonment.” 32 And Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”

    Sermon Title:  Is this Good News?

    Response Westminster Shorter Catechism, question 31

    LEADER: What is effectual calling?

    ALL: Effectual calling is the work of God’s Spirit, whereby, convincing us of our sin and misery, enlightening our minds in the knowledge of Christ, and renewing our wills, he does persuade and enable us to embrace Jesus Christ, freely offered to us in the gospel.

    Benediction: Colossians 2:6 ESV

    6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

    Post-Service Text: Joel 2:28, 32 ESV

    28 “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh … 32 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

     

    Discussion Questions & Applications (not finalized):

    1. Festus accuses Paul of being out of his mind when he heard about Christ’s death and his resurrection.  Have you ever received a similar response when someone heard of your faith in Christ?  In your experience, what part of the Christian faith tends to be the most difficult for non-Christians to believe?  Why do you think that is?
    2. How does the fact that Christ is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy add credibility to the Christian message?  Just as the prophets looked ahead to the coming messiah, provide examples of ways in which New Testament authors wove Old Testament passages into their writings in light of Christ’s coming (ex. Romans 11:26-27; Isa 59:20-21).
    3. How is the good news of the gospel such a powerful motivating force in sharing your faith with others?  What specific elements of the gospel are the “best” news to you?  To the world around you?  What is it about grace that prevents the sharing of your faith from becoming too programmatic?

    Quotes:

    “As Christ ascended, he left them with a promise:  that one day he will return as judge of all to finish his work of restoration.  Every knee will bow to him and every tongue will acknowledge that Jesus is Creator, Redeemer, and Lord.  But until that climactic day arrives, the members of his church are taken up into the Spirit’s work of making known in their lives, deeds, and words that good news of what God has done for the world in Jesus.”  ~Michael Goheen, A Light to the Nations

    Sermons:

    The Resurrection on Trial by Chas Morris; Acts 26:2-30

    Persuading the King by Timothy J. Keller; Acts 26:15-27

    God’s Good News Concerning His Son by John Piper; Romans 1:1-4

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