And according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.” And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with a large number of the God-fearing Greeks and a number of the leading women. Acts 17:2-4
Reasoned and persuaded…. two words used multiple times, especially in Acts 17-19 (NASB), describing Paul’s method in converting souls on his missionary journeys. I find it interesting that even among all the miracles that the Holy Spirit had given Paul to perform to confirm his message, he still had to reason and persuade the listeners that Jesus was the Christ in which the scriptures had foretold would bring salvation to all men. This message brought many responses; some were persuaded while others went as far as to become violet against Paul. Above all though, it was up to the listener’s own will to accept or reject this message of hope. Each individual was responsible for examining what they heard and determining whether they would open their heart to believe.
Paul’s zeal in reasoning to persuade any and every person is a testimony of Jesus’ proclamation to go preach the gospel to every creature. Let us be inspired to have the same vigor to explain and give evidence as to persuade all that Jesus is the Christ, since every person has the choice to join in the way that was predestined by God for salvation through the suffering and resurrection of His Son.
My sovereign Creator, You loved Your creation so much that You predetermined a plan to bring about our redemption. I see the workings of this plan throughout scripture. I am amazed by how You brought it all to pass because understanding Your providence in fulfilling Your will is beyond my comprehension. What I do understand is Your desire that through this plan all men be saved and so I use my best abilities of love with Your divine word and observations of creation to reason and persuade all those who will listen. You have provided the way with a message of peace through Christ and I prayerfully strive to become a more effective messenger for persuading those I reason with to heed the gospel. Let me be blessed in the fruit of these efforts knowing that anything that is accomplished by Your message is not of my own credit but in praise of the mercy and grace You set forth from the beginning. In Jesus, who suffered and was risen, the Christ, Amen.
Truth in love,