Acts 26Signify; point out, specify. It is pleasant to proclaim the gospel to intelligent hearers, especially such as are well acquainted with the Bible. True religion does not fear, but courts investigation. It accords with the word, and is proved to be true by the providence of God. The more it is examined in the light of the Scriptures and of facts, the deeper will be the conviction that it is from God; and the more intelligent men are, the more guilty they will be, if they do not embrace it. Expert in all customs and questions--among the Jews; Agrippa was of Idumaean descent. But from the days of John Hyrcanus, the Idumaeans south of Palestine, to whom his family belonged, had adopted the Jewish religion, and were reckoned as Jews. At the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem; though born in Tarsus, Paul was early sent to Jerusalem for his education. Chapter Ac 22:3. The promise; of the Messiah. Hope to come; hope to experience the fulfilment of the promise.Hope's sake; for having believed in Christ as the Messiah, and expecting a resurrection through him to endless life. Incredible; not to be believed; absurd, or wanting evidence. I verily thought with myself; in persecuting Christ, Paul was sincere in his error; but this did not make him guiltless, for his belief had its foundation in a wrong state of heart. Had he been humble, candid, and teachable, the evidence which Jesus gave of his Messiahship would have carried full conviction to his mind.Contrary to the name; in opposition to the teachings and to the followers of Christ. Conscience is not always a safe guide. It must be enlightened by the word and Spirit of God, and accompanied with a pious heart. All should feel this, and so acknowledge God, that he may direct their paths, guide them in judgment, and teach them his way--that way of pleasantness, that path of peace. Pr 3:6; Ps 25:9. Authority; chap Ac 9:14; 22:4,5. Compelled them; that is, used violent means to induce them. It does not follow that his efforts were successful.Blaspheme; the name of Jesus, by denying him to be the Messiah.Strange cities; cities in foreign lands. Whereupon; while engaged in this persecution. Chap Ac 9:1-6. From the people; that is of the Jews.Send thee; chap Ac 22:21. Open their eyes; enlighten their minds.Darkness to light; the ignorance of heathenism to the saving knowledge of the gospel.Power of Satan; from his service to the service of God. Men naturally are ignorant of spiritual things, yield themselves the willing slaves of Satan, and walk in darkness. They need the gospel of Christ, accompanied by the enlightening and purifying influences of his Spirit, to turn them from supreme love of self and sin to supreme love of God and holiness. This gospel must be carried and preached to them, by men whom God raises up and sends forth for this purpose; and these should be aided by the prayers and contributions of all, till the gospel is preached to every creature. Mr 16:15. Damascus; chap Ac 9:19-23.Meet for repentance; such as true repentance produces. Small and great; all classes of people.None other things; except those which were foretold in the Old Testament. Isa 53:3-9; Ps 16:10; Ac 2:31; 13:35-37; Isa 9:1,2. When a man treats the truths of the Bible as realities, and speaks and acts as if he expected to see their fulfilment, those who regard these truths as fables often think and speak of him as deranged. But the more fully a person obeys the word of God, and lives as if he expected its fulfilment, the greater evidence he gives of being in his right mind; and all men who, like the prodigal son, come to their right mind, will view and treat the Bible in the same way. Believest thou the prophets? he appeals to Agrippa as a Jew, who professed to receive the scriptures of the Old Testament as the word of God. Persuadest me; by the evidence exhibited that the prophecies of the Old Testament concerning the Messiah were fulfilled in Christ. I would to God; I earnestly desire.As I am; real Christians.These bonds; the chains with which he was bound. However wickedly true Christians may be treated by others, they do not wish, so far as they are right, to render evil for evil; but in all suitable ways, to promote the highest temporal and eternal good even of their worst enemies. Set at liberty; he is an innocent man, guilty of no crime.
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