Prepared to Persuade – Acts 13:13-44

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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We have a good friend who was used of the Lord to lead another friend of ours to salvation. This Bible teacher comically describes that process by using fishing as an analogy. He says, “She was a tough one. I kept baiting the hook for her soul with a simple explanation of the gospel. She would take a nibble, and then repeatedly spit it out. But I just kept giving the gospel from different angles. Once the Lord hooked her, she was hooked for good and gloriously saved.”

After leading Sergius Paulus to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, “Paul and his company” traveled to Antioch in Pisidia. While attending the synagogue, they were given an opportunity by the leaders to say “any word of exhortation for the people” (Acts 13:15). And Paul was ready. He calmly and carefully reviewed with them the overall history of Israel. He told them that God “chose our fathers” to be His “exalted…people” (vs. 17), brought them out of Egypt and through the wilderness wanderings. He gave them judges to lead the nation and Saul as their first king. Then, from David, according to God’s promise, was “raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus” (vs. 23). Paul also explained that their revered John the Baptist proclaimed that he was not the promised Messiah of Israel, which further identified the Lord Jesus as their Redeemer King. The explanation continued that, just as the leaders of Israel had historically not heeded the prophets, Paul’s audience was responsible for wickedly demanding the unjustified death of the Lord Jesus. The good news was that the promise of a resurrection to everlasting life had been fulfilled when God raised Christ from the dead. If they would but “believe…(on the Savior ye could be) justified from all things, from which they could not be justified by the law of Moses” (vs. 39). Paul warned his hearers not to reject this message of salvation or they would “perish.” To those who did respond in faith, Paul and Barnabas “persuaded them to continue in the grace of God” (vs. 43).

In Paul’s presentation of the gospel, we see what appears to be a planned, prepared, practiced, polished, and progressive presentation of the gospel that was given so skillfully it was persuasive. We should follow this pattern. Even if we use references written in our Bible to assist us, we need to be prepared to give a planned, practiced, and persuasive presentation of the gospel that will lead others to saving faith. Have you prepared?

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."