Summary: I would like to thank Pastor Jerry Shirley for sharing this series on Acts. It has been a blessing as well as a great help. I have used these for our church, as I spend my days caring for my dying father.
Upside Down is Right Side Up, pt. 2 Acts 17:1-6
Last week we saw the first thing necessary for turning our world right-side up. We must be as willing as Paul to live a life that demonstrates our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, both in our dedication to gathering for worship and how we live outside the walls of this church.
Today I want to share with you the remaining two necessary components for turning our world right-side up.
2. We must be willing and able to explain the Scriptures. Look at verses 2-3.
Everywhere Paul went he had the Savior in his heart and if the Bible, as we have it today had been written, he would have one in his hand. Paul didn’t use his abilities as some hotshot salesman or his personality to win people. He used the truth of the Word of God and he allowed that truth to stand on its own. You see, there’s power in the Word, and that’s what he used. He used the power of the Word of God to convince others to accept Jesus as the true Messiah.
Paul did 3 things as he witnessed to the people around him.
A. He “Reasoned” with them.
Notice in verse 2 the Bible tells us that Paul “Reasoned with them.” In the Greek, the word is Dialegomai which means to have a dialogue with another.
In other words Paul didn’t just stand up and preach but he spent a great deal of time answering questions. I don’t like teaching if I have to do all the talking...
And each one of us should be able to, not only, discuss but answer people’s questions from the Word.
Why is this so important? Because they have questions and they don’t want to hear our patent answer of “Because the Bible says so and you just need to believe it!”
The truth is that we should have the answers, as well as the desire to share our answers! If you’ve been saved for some time, there’s no excuse.
[1 Peter 3:15] and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
I’ll say it in plain English… Always be ready to tell everyone who asks you why you believe as you do. BUT be gentle as you speak and show respect.
Because I don’t want to go to hell is not the answer for why you believe.
By operating on the principles found in 1Peter 3, Paul is convincing these Jews that the Jesus he speaks of IS their long-awaited Messiah.
If someone asked to you; “Why did He die on a cross, if He was our Messiah?”
What would you say? What [OT] passage could you use to point to Jesus?
Maybe Paul used [Isaiah 53:5-7] which is a good place to start.
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.”
Maybe Paul would have laid this passage next to the events that led to the crucifixion of Jesus and explained what all that meant as well as answer questions that came up.
Or maybe he used Psalm 22, verses 7-8 or verse 14, 16 or even 18
7 All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
8 “He trusts in the Lord,” they say, “let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”
14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me.
16. Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet.
18 They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.
After sharing these verses we could point them to the beating, the humiliation and the crucifixion of Jesus, as we explained these verses.
That’s what Paul did, according to verse 3 and in verse 4 we see the results. Look with me there.
That’s why Sunday morning and Sunday evening Bible Studies are so important and why I encourage you to take notes. I encourage you to take notes in the morning service, as well. When you do, you can go back over your notes, study on your own, so that you might model.