Apostle Paul, formerly called Saul, was once a persecutor to the Jews and Gentiles who believed in the gospel of Jesus Christ. He made havoc of the church, entering into every house and haling Christians to put them in prisons. But when Jesus Christ had blinded him (to open his eyes from darkness to light), he was soon appointed as a chosen vessel unto Him, to bear the Lord's name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.
He was now being accused by the Jews for preaching about Christianity. He appealed to the court of trial to defend for his life and the doctrine he was preaching in, whether it was a truth or a heresy. Let us see how he defended himself before King Agrippa, Porcius Festus, Bernice, the chief captains, the principal men of the city, and others who witnessed the trial.(Acts Chapter 26)
(The court hearing begins, with Paul as the accused)
KING AGRIPPA: "Thou are permitted to speak for thyself ".
Then Paul stretched forth his hand, and answered for himself.
PAUL: ""I think myself happy King Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day, before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews.
Especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently.
My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews;
Which knew me from the beginning, if they should testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.
And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers:
Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, King Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.
Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?
I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
Which things I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them.
And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.
Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,
At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.
And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue,
JESUS: "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks".
SAUL(or Paul): "Who art thou, Lord?"
JESUS: "I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee. Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee; To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me".
Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:
But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.
From these causes, the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me.
Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:
That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people and to the Gentiles"".
And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice,
FESTUS: "Paul thou are beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad"
PAUL: "I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.
For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of this thing was hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner".
PAUL(speaking unto the King): " King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest".
KING AGRIPPA: "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian".
PAUL: "I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.
And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them:
And when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, this man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds.
KING AGRIPPA(speaking unto Festus): "This man might set in liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar".
Hope we could also defend for the Lord's sake, no matter what the unbelievers say and do against us.
In his book in II Timothy 2:15, it says,"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth".