Paul says to Agrippa, “I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven.”
If Jesus is Lord, then we must do what He tells us. “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46) He told Paul to preach, so Paul preached – all over the Roman Empire.
What message did he preach?
“Repent and turn to God and demonstrate your repentance by your deeds.” (verse 20)
What does the word ‘repent’ mean? Literally, the Greek word means ‘to change your mind’: to think differently, to change direction, to adopt a different attitude towards God and towards Jesus. It does not mean just feeling sorry because I can see what a mess I’ve made of my life – although that might well be the first step towards repentance. And it doesn’t mean changing my behaviour – that’s the consequence of repentance. Deeds are the things that demonstrate our repentance, not the repentance itself!
Now that’s actually highly challenging for us. When I say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ do I really mean it? If Jesus is now my Lord, then I will do what He says. If I really have entered the Kingdom of God, the difference will show.
Here’s a thought – not a very original one, but a sobering one: if next week it became illegal in this country to be a Christian, and if I was arrested and put on trial, would there be enough evidence to convict me? Would my deeds demonstrate that I’ve turned around and put my life under the control of Jesus Christ? Do people know?