SERIES: “The Book of Acts”

TEXT: Acts 26:15-27

MESSAGE: “Risks Worth Taking”


How are you at taking risks?

v. 27: “…do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.”

“You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you. It is easy to say you believe a rope to be strong and sound…But suppose you had to hang by that rope over a precipice. Wouldn’t you then first discover how much you really trusted it?…Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief.” — CS Lewis

“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” — Romans 8:36

“Neither death nor life . . . will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” — Romans 8:38-39

Q: How can we learn to take God-centered risks?

TEXT: Acts 26:15-27

Q: What gave Paul the confidence to take God-centered risks? 

We see three traits in today’s text. It was by having a…(1. Proper Fear 2. Immediate Obedience 3. Unflinching Hope)

  1. Proper Fear (v. 15-18)

And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, 17 delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you 18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.

Proverbs 9:10 — “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”

“Paul’s Damascus road story is ultimately a story about Jesus, not one about Paul. The apostle always took care to keep Jesus the hero of his testimony…”  — Tony Merida

      2. Immediate Obedience (v. 19-23)

“Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision20 but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance. 21 For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. 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.”

      3. Unflinching Hope (v. 24-27)

And as he was saying these things in his defense, 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.”

“…he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…” – 1 Peter 1:3

“By removing eternal risk, Christ calls his people to continual temporal risk. For the followers of Jesus the final risk is gone. “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). “Neither death nor life . . . will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). “Some of you they will put to death. . . . But not a hair of your head will perish” (Luke 21:1618). “Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live” (John 11:25). When the threat of death becomes a door to paradise the final barrier to temporal risk is broken. When a Christian says from the heart, “To live is Christ and to die is gain,” he is free to love no matter what…When God removed all risk above He loosed a thousand risks of love.” — John Piper


TAKEAWAYS: Three questions to ask yourself when weighing risk…

* Am I living more in the fear of God or the fear of man?

“The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.” — Proverbs 29:25

* How am I obeying God and trusting Him with the results?

“…God’s work must always be done in God’s way to see results that are worthy of God’s reality and greatness.” — Os Guinness

* Who can you tell about the hope that you have?

“…I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.” — Acts 26:29

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