A Personal Testimony of Salvation
As we continue the 24 Day Challenge – Renewing Your Mind and Conscience, we now see Paul in a new setting . -standing before the 5th King of the Herodian Empire giving A Personal Testimony of Salvation.
The saga which had resulted in him spending two years in prison because of lies told about him, now sees him giving his testimony to King Agrippa II and his sister, Bernice. Agrippa now ruled areas outside of Judea and was a client of Rome. Little is known about Bernice but she was a Jewish client queen of the Roman Empire during the second half of the 1st century. Berenice was a member of the Herodian Dynasty that ruled the Roman province of Judaea between 39 BC and 92 AD. She spent part of her adult life with her brother, Agrippa. Here we find the two of them holding court with Paul.
King Agrippa and Bernice
Paul had actually appealed to be heard by Caesar himself because, as a Roman citizen, he held that right. However, King Agrippa asked to hear Paul’s case. Paul then proceeded to recite his entire testimony to the King and his sister. He begins with killing Christians and ends with his current situation – a personal testimony of salvation. He and the King then engage each other. Paul had apparently also given recited his testimony to Felix, the Governor, and his wife after they asked to speak with him privately. The Bible indicates that they fell under great conviction but did nothing to help Paul and so he ends up standing before the King.
Apparently, without fear, Paul lays out the salvation message to King Agrippa and Bernice! Then the King says, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” Paul’s reply is more astounding than the King’s questions. Paul says, “Short time or long—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.”
Standing firmly and faithfully in the face of death!
I’m not sure I would be quite that brave! Paul is truly an unusual person. Please read Chapters 22-26 of Acts to see the full picture of what Paul did and said. It is an incredible story of standing firmly and faithfully in the face of death! This is what was being demanded – his death. Not just a couple of years in prison – probably death on a cross. Yet, Paul does not back down or compromise in any way. He just writes letters to other Christians and preaches to the guards.
He could have compromised and gone free at any time. Instead, here is his statement again. “So, I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.” Paul clearly understands the role of his conscience in all that he does. He says he strives always. Strive is a strong word. He didn’t say ‘I try’ or ‘I hope,’ The definition of strive is – make great efforts to achieve or obtain something; struggle or fight vigorously.
We Need to Understand the Co-Existence of the Two – Mind and Conscience
This means that Paul placed a very high importance on the role of his conscience and spoke of it openly and often. Do we place that much importance on our conscience? Probably not because, as I spoke about before, how often do we even hear about our conscience? Probably not often. Yes, we hear about our mind and thoughts but our conscience is connected to those. It is the guard at the door of our heart. It is the map keeper – guiding us in the right path and warning us when we wander. This is why we are not just talking about renewing our mind. That is also vitally important but we need to understand the co-existence of the two – mind and conscience.
We know many of the Scriptures on the mind but here are a few just to remind us of the process and hope we have for our mind and thoughts:
Scriptures on the Mind
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 NIV
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 NIV
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3 NIV
Take Every Thought Captive
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.” Philippians 10:3-6 NIV
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV
We Are Meant to be Renewed
There are many more but I hope that you see how everything is connected, works together, and compliments each other as the Holy Spirit guides and teaches us. We are meant to have a renewed mind, pure conscience, and a life marked by an internal peace. While we will struggle, fight, learn, fail, grow and be imperfect, our only perfection is in Christ. We are not meant to be robots. Instead, we are meant to be humans but humans who are striving to maintain a clear conscience before God and man!We are meant to be humans but humans who are striving to maintain a clear conscience before God and man! Click To Tweet
While we may not all do quite as well as Paul, we will do well. Like Paul, we each have a personal testimony of salvation we can share when the opportunity presents itself. It may not be given to a King, but each person we share our life with is equally important in God’s eyes and probably much easier on us!
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**We use verses from different Bible translations.
To see more information about the copyright for each one, please visit our Scripture Citations.
Links to Blogs you may have missed:
Day 1 – 24 Day Challenge – Renewing Your Mind and Conscience
Day 2 – Living By the Golden Rule
Day 3 – Being Falsely Accused