Scripture Is An Excellent Tool for Reasoning

Sharing the gospel is not only a labor of love, but it is also many times a labor of patience that requires a lengthy amount of time to convey the facts surrounding it. We see this play out in Acts 17:1-9 where Paul and Silas taught in Thessalonica. Paul took three sabbath days in a synagogue to lay everything out with the best tool he had available–the scriptures.

Acts 17:2 tells us Paul “reasoned with them out of the scriptures.” All he had at that time was the Old Testament, and it served as a powerful and convincing instrument for reasoning as he shared the history and prophecies about the Messiah. Paul then presented his audience with proof about why it was necessary for the Messiah not only to suffer for our sins but to also rise from the dead, according to the scripture. He then proceeded to give the historical proof tied to the scripture on how Jesus of Nazareth was and is the Messiah who fulfilled the prophetic scripture.

As a result of using the powerful tool of scripture, a “great multitude” of Greeks and influential women became believers (Acts 17:4). Now if Paul and Silas only had the Old Testament to lay out their reasoning, just think how much greater a tool of reasoning we have now with the scripture since we have God’s complete word with both the Old and New Testaments. Is it any wonder why Satan and his children have increased their opposition to it in the last days? Should it surprise us that they try to get us to doubt it’s validity and the solid reasoning found in its pages?

Despite God’s word bringing about change in the lives of the great multitude, another multitude rose in opposition to it. The tactics and motivation for their opposition at Thessalonica are the same tactics and motivation we see displayed today in the enemies of the gospel when they carry out opposition to the Christian message. Jews who opposed the gospel were full of envy based on fear (Acts 17:5). They didn’t like the idea of someone diminishing their self-serving influence over a large group of people. It’s the same envy Jew and Gentile pagans, atheists, and other unbelievers sometimes feel toward the gospel today.

So what were the envious unbelievers’ tactics? They rounded up “lewd fellows of the baser sort” to stir up a riot. These were men who didn’t care for reasoning or being reasonable and were open to being easily influenced by evil and nonsense. Same as today. This unruly crowd took it upon themselves to first try to silence Paul and Silas with an uproar to shout them down and then carried out unlawful physical assaults.

What they did with the uproar and physical assaults were against Roman law. Yet, while they themselves were breaking the law, they falsely accused Paul, Silas, Jason, and other believers of breaking the law by claiming Christians and their Christ were trying to overthrow the Roman government (Acts 17:7). Does this sound familiar at all to us today?

Nevertheless, for all their underhanded tactics and evil motivation, they could not stop the reasoning of the scripture. The Thessalonian church continued to thrive as is evident by Paul’s two epistles he wrote later to them. Paul and Silas also continued to share the reasoning of God’s word in other cities with the Father using his scripture to draw unbelievers to himself by the Holy Spirit for their salvation. The gospel message has continued throughout the centuries to change lives, despite the fact envious men have tried (and failed) to stop it. I praise the Lord for being a God of reasoning and for displaying his reasoning in his word so it will never stop penetrating the hearts and minds of humans everywhere.

(Featured image: Library stacks by J B found at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:House_of_the_Temple_library.jpg and used under Creative Commons 2.0 license.)

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