And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe. – 1 Thessalonians 2:13
Recently, I’ve been reading and learning a lot about a number of philosophies and worldviews that attempt to answer some of the questions of human conflict and life. There isn’t space to describe it here, but inside each of these theories is a seed of doubt. In essence, you are told “you can’t trust what you read and what you believe is just the result of a particular worldview developed by the world’s oppressors.”
How do you know who and what to trust? We live in a world of doubt much like the people of Thessalonica. Paul was thankful for the believers there who received the “word of God” not as the “word of men”.
As followers of Christ we are dependent on the Truth revealed through Scripture.
So what did Paul preach? How did he persuade people during his travels?
We see a picture of Paul’s strategy in Acts 17:2-4.
“And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ. And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women.”
Paul’s custom was to use Scripture as the basis for his attempts to persuade others concerning the identity of Christ and those who received Christ accepted Paul’s preaching as “what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.”
How effective are we in knowing and sharing God’s truth today? What can we do today to strengthen our position?