Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Reasoned, Explained, Proved, Persuaded.

And Paul went in, as was his custom, and three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead...and some of them were persuaded" ~ Acts 17: 2-4

Paul knew his audience held deeply ingrained beliefs. Entering a skeptical environment was customary for Paul. The Apostle was not naive, and was aware of the reception that often awaited. The message that Jesus lived, died, and rose again to redeem a lost world was hardly popular. Yet, undeterred, Paul patiently engaged listeners on their home-court for three Sabbaths. He reasoned, explained, and proved the necessity of Christ's sacrifice on the cross and his resurrection to atone for mankind's sin.

Were we to unpack the entire passage, we would see Paul's ability to communicate with hostile audiences. Valuable lessons can be learned. Without sugar coating the Good News, Paul modeled spiritual graciousness and maturity. The account in Acts 17 provides a crystal clear message--Overcoming objections to the Truth requires using reason, and explaining the Truth.

Today's Christ-follower live among cultures that hold deeply ingrained beliefs. Many of those beliefs are opposed to--dare I say it--the most basic Christian doctrines. Isn't there something holy and admirable about remaining conversationally engaged with those holding differing beliefs? Isn't there something spiritually courageous about navigating skeptical and hostile audiences with grace? Are those not indicators of a big step toward spiritual maturity, not a lack of it?

Rather than being bombastic, Paul chose patience,  reason, and explanation. Doing so, Paul brought his listeners to a proof they could not reasonably un-explain.

And some of them were persuaded.    








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