Reasoning and Explaining

Reasoning and Explaining

Reasoning and Explaining

More than ever we need to understand, appreciate, and imitate the approach of Paul from Acts 17 in leading others to salvation in Christ.

In the Jewish synagogue of Thessalonica we are told that the apostle, “reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining, and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead…” (Acts 17:2-3).  In Athens we see Paul reasoning in both the synagogue and the market place (vs. 17) and then at the Areopagus masterfully explaining to the pagan Greeks the nature of the one, true God by illustrating with things they understood and even quoting one of the their poets.

 

          There is a place for declaration, even a confrontational rebuke. There is also a time for a decision to be made and actions to be taken. However, so much of our work in the gospel is to be about reasoning with people and explaining God’s truth to them. We do not live in a culture that is biblically literate. Many have no comprehension of the true character of Jesus Christ. Some even doubt the existence of God. So, we have our work cut out for us. That work starts with explaining to people the elementary facts of the faith. We have to understand where they are and reason with them to move them to the gospel. This is exactly the situation Paul was facing and how he dealt with it.

 

          When you just tell someone their moral behavior is wrong or their religious practices are based upon false teaching it paints them in a corner where they either fight or flee. Discussions that lead to studies where God can be known, His word understood, and the convincing truth of the gospel established will bring people out of their error and place them on the path of salvation.

 

          Reasoning and explaining shows wisdom. It takes into account how people think. We have to be astute in understanding where people are, what spiritual knowledge they need, and what questions they have. Then we can serve them with the gospel.

Reasoning and explaining also shows love. If we care about people we should want to help them and what helps most people is teaching. Confrontation without explanation sends a message of judgment without love. As those who wear Christ’s name and who follow the apostolic example, reasoning and explaining must be our hallmark.