Can You Recommend Your Religion?
Introduction: Acts 26:27-29
1. Paul has been arrested. He has appealed to Caesar (Acts 25:9-11). Festus, the governor, does not know what to accuse him of, so he wants King Agrippi (who was visiting him at the time) to listen to Paul and advise him on what to write (Acts 25:26-27).
2. Acts chapter 26 is Paul’s defense before Agrippa. It is during this time that Paul said: “I wish all of you were AS I AM” (Acts 26:29).
3. In other words, I wish all of you were like me…except I don’t wish you were a prisoner.
4. Paul was recommending his religion to Agrippi and to all who heard him.
5. James 1:27 speaks of “pure religion” and that is what Paul was recommending.
6. But can you recommend YOUR religion in light of:
I. The BIBLE
1. Paul’s religion was based on what Moses and the prophets taught about Jesus (Acts 26:22-23).
2. He wanted King Agrippa to “believe the prophets” and what they said about Jesus and salvation (Acts 26:27).
3. Jesus appeared to Paul to teach him about “forgiveness” and the “inheritance” in heaven that God provides (Acts 26:18).
4. Can you recommend your religion in light of the Bible? Is it based on what the Bible says about salvation in Christ?
5. Is it by trusting in Christ and baptism into a relationship with Him (Galatians 3:26-27)?
6. Is your religion based on your “personal relationship with Jesus” or on “works of law”…rules, regulations, restrictions and requirements? (Phil. 3:3-11; Rom. 3:20).
II. Your BEHAVIOR
1. Can your recommend your religion in light of your behavior?
2. Paul wanted people to follow him because he followed Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1).
3. Jesus left us an example to follow (1 Peter 2:21).
4. Paul told the Philippians to do what they had seen him do (Phil. 4:9).
5. Our lives are to “adorn the doctrine.” We are to make Christianity attractive (Titus 2:10).
6. Richard O’Conner spoke about the change Christianity makes in our lives when he spoke to us at Ohatchee not long ago.
7. We are to lights to world (Matthew 5:16)
8. In Titus 1:16, Paul speaks of some who profess to know God but do not practice following God.
9. But we need to be able to recommend our religion in light of our behavior.
III. The BENEFITS
1. Finally, can you recommend your religion in light of its benefits?
2. We not only need a religion to uphold, but one that upholds us!
3. We have all spiritual blessings in Christ (Eph. 1:3). Among these are: salvation (2 Tim. 2:10); help from the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:26); all things working for our ultimate good (Rom. 8:28); and the hope of heaven (Rom. 8:24; Heb. 6:19-20).
4. Paul knew Jesus would support him when he needed it (Philippians 4:13).
5. He knew that he was being “renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).
6. When “life tumbles in” does your religion help you “climb back out?”
When you are at the end of your rope does your religion help you “tie a knot and hang on?” When you are flat on your back does your religion help you see that everything is “looking up?” When you are left barefooted does your religion help you see that you are “back on your feet?” When you fail or fall, does your religion help you realize that failure is not fatal or final?
7. Can you recommend your religion in light of the benefits?
Conclusion: If you and I were before Agrippi could we say, “I wish you and all who hear me were SUCH AS I AM?” Has Christ made a difference in me? Can I recommend my religion in light of the Bible? Do I believe in the Christ of the Bible? Can I recommend my religion because Christ has made a difference in me? And, finally, can I recommend my religion because of the great blessings and benefits I have in Christ?
Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).