How to Plant the Gospel – Acts 26

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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This author’s father was proud to be a farmer. On many occasions he told me, “Farmers are the most important people in the world. Without farmers, the world would starve to death.” There is some truth to his concept. Many people wouldn’t know how to plant a crop, what seeds to use, or when to plant them. Success requires proper information and skill in application. The same is true when planting the seed of the gospel in the hearts of lost souls.

There is something valuable for us to glean by carefully studying the methods used by the Apostle Paul, in different instances, when he planted the gospel seed. When defending himself before King Agrippa, he carefully gave his testimony of trusting in Christ for eternal life (Acts 26:1-23). When people won’t listen to Scripture, they will often listen to a testimonial from a “satisfied customer” of God’s grace. Paul explained that Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead (vs. 23), which is the heart of the gospel. Emphasizing Christ, that He died for our sins and triumphantly rose again, is essential because, “…there is none other name under heaven whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Those who win souls to Christ look for open doors of opportunity and immediately share the gospel when they find one. Paul used this opportunity with Agrippa, as Philip did when he found the Ethiopian Eunuch reading Scripture. When Paul was given an opportunity to speak in synagogues, he “reasoned” with the Jews out of the Scriptures (Acts 17:2; 18:4, 19; 24:25). It is always ideal to use the authority and power of God’s Word to penetrate hardened hearts and to document what the Lord says about salvation. Paul also defended his reputation before Agrippa because, in order for his witness is to have credibility before the lost, he needed to be “…blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke… among whom ye shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15). An invitation needs to be given to lost souls who need “to open their [spiritual] eyes, and to turn from darkness to light” (Acts 26:18). Ask your listener to trust in Christ when they understand the basics of salvation by grace alone.

We ought not to be discouraged when we witness and see no immediate results. Paul said, “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase” (I Corinthians 3:6). Just plant the gospel seed and leave the rest to God. Some seeds don’t germinate immediately.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."