Read Acts 17 & 18

Key Verse: Acts 18:28 “For he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.”

Paul’s second missionary journey begins in Acts 15:36 and his third in 18:23. It’s difficult remembering all the towns and cities he visited. But it’s not so tough to remember that his ministry focused mainly on what is now Western Turkey and Greece. Antioch was his “gentile” home base, Jerusalem his Jewish. Nor is it difficult to remember that, although Paul ministered mainly in the gentile world, he usually went first to the synagogues to reason, refute, and debate with his own people the messianic nature if Jesus’ person and ministry.

Indeed, as the key verse says, he was vigorous about it. And, whereas he could have been vigorous in telling his personal story of conversion, he chose in most instances to emphasize and interpret the Scriptures. The subjective gave way to the objective.

We’ve all heard the old adage, “A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument”. That may be true — in terms of winning an argument. But it’s not necessarily true in terms of convincing someone to change his mind. You’ve got to sell more than the sizzle, you’ve got to sell the steak. What’s more, the buyer has got to eat the steak!

The question is, “What is the substance of my faith? Regardless of my feelings of faith, what is the content of faith? Will this Jesus of Nazareth be magnified, or merely my experience of Him?” To properly present the Gospel, we’ve got to not only know Him, we’ve got to know about Him. That kind of knowledge comes only one way — through the Scriptures.

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