“He reasoned … and tried to persuade”

Continuing our readings in the Acts of the Apostles, two particular words jumped out today. The Apostle Paul came to Corinth and “he reasoned every Sabbath and tried to persuade both Jews and Greeks” (18:4). Imagine the reasoning! Can you? What reasoning is most persuasive? We read yesterday that he was “reasoning out of the Scriptures”, which is our Old Testament.

We must seek to get the full meaning of the words that God caused to be written and preserved. The Bible is NOT a novel to be read rapidly to capture the action; we should read in such a way that we think ‘around’ what we are reading. If we do that it becomes more and more interesting and the meaning becomes clearer. We learnt today that Paul came to Ephesus and again “went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews” (verse 19).

Did you realise the Bible tells you to reason with yourself? The very first Psalm, the writer being King David, starts with “Blessed is the man (meaning all human beings) who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers: but his delight is in the law (footnote says this means instruction) of the LORD and on His law he meditates* day and night”. *The NKJV Bible margin says, meditates means “ponders by talking to himself” – that is, reasoning out in your mind the full meaning of what you have read in God’s word of his laws, precepts and revelations.

Today, more than ever before we are surrounded by scoffers, loose thinkers, talkers and doers who do not want to listen to reasoning about godly matters. Their minds are full of the present, all too often acting impulsively, they have no vision of the real meaning of life, and therefore the here and now is largely all that matters.

The more we mix with them, especially in conversation, the more we are in danger of becoming like them. The more we reason about God and read his word and mix with others who do the same, the more we will become genuine children of God – and adopted children that he can use in his service.