Don’t Get Caught Up the Creek Without Your Oars

September 14, 2009 at 8:22 am | Posted in Acts, Common Expressions | 20 Comments
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The first Christian church in Thessalonica was in many ways an exemplary church. The Holy Ghost, through the Apostle Paul, commended their faith and zeal for the Gospel in I Thessalonians 1:8-9: “For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;”

The church members in Thessalonica had been converted by the method of preaching and teaching which had been taught to Paul by Christ Himself. It is outlined in Acts 17:1-3: “Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days REASONED with them out of the scriptures, OPENING and ALLEGING, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I PREACH unto you, is Christ.”

I have capitalized four words in the above passage of Scripture, and devised an acrostic (O.A.R.S.) to help remember the Biblical means for telling people about Christ Jesus.

O.pening – The Apostle Paul opened the Word of God, and it is of great importance that all our teaching about Jesus be straight from the Bible.

A.lleging – To “allege” means to take two ideas and lay them alongside each other for comparison or contrast. Paul showed his listeners that what He was claiming about Jesus matched up to what the Bible said.

R.easoning – Reasoning, in an evangelistic setting, involves a back-and-forth dialogue. Paul encouraged questions from his listeners, and he endeavored to answer them according to the Scriptures.

S.peaking – Actually, “speaking” is probably too tame a word for the “preaching” that Paul did. I just couldn’t make “preach,” “proclaim,” or “announce” fit the acrostic. But, the fact is, the Gospel is shared by the bold verbal proclamation of the truth about Christ Jesus (“…faith cometh by hearing…” Romans 10:17).

Christians often speak of “flowing in the Spirit,” but there is a danger in floating blindly downstream. A limp body carried on the current can be washed into dangerous coves, or dashed against a protruding rock. We want to flow in the River of Life, but we must remember to use our “oars” to guide us toward those who are floundering, so that the Lord might use us to rescue them.

 

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  3. […] the pattern of calling an unbeliever to repentance, which I have analyzed with the acrostic O.A.R.S. from Acts 17. He O.pened. (Daniel 4:24). He A.lleged (Daniel 4:22), as he cited the Word of God as […]

  4. […] Holy Spirit through Paul refers right away to the holy Scriptures – opening the Word of God. By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among […]

  5. […] reading?” He was reading what we refer to as Isaiah Chapter 53. The Ethiopian had already “opened” the Word of God. Phillip could get right to the alleging and reasoning and sharing. Then […]

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  8. […] more Philistines in his death than he did in his life. When Christians today talk about “flowing in the Spirit” it conjures up the image of a sort of effeminate passivity where church people are sort of […]

  9. […] Here is the pattern of Ezekiel’s witnessing. He used his O.A.R.S. […]

  10. […] Having a Fit, Making a Tough Choice, and Singing in Jail 13. The Most Important Question in Life 14. Don’t Get Caught Up the Creek Without Your Oars 15. Varied Results 16. Time Is Running Out 17. Insincerity, Inaccuracy, or Incompletion? 18. […]

  11. […] up with one of the Apostle Paul’s favorite preaching techniques. I like to use the acrostic O.A.R.S. to identify it. But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets [O.pening], […]

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  13. […] with the light of the Savior even as the darkness encroaches ever more tightly upon us? We will speak boldly and live with integrity so that we become a refuge for the heathens when they see the futility of […]

  14. […] of the chief reasons we use the Word of God in evangelism that there is power in the Word. Faith actually comes FROM hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). […]

  15. […] said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him […]

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  20. […] 1. Don’t Get Caught Up the Creek Without Your Oars (Acts 17:1-3; I Thessalonians 1:8-9) 2. Birds of a Feather (Psalm 84:3-4) 3. As Good as Dead (Genesis 20-21) 4. Getting Your Goat (Daniel 8:5-8; Zechariah 10:3; Matthew 25:31-46) 5. Don’t Beat around the Bush (Exodus 3-4) 6. Forget-Me-Nots (I Corinthians 11:24; Jeremiah 2:32) 7. Thrown to the Wolves (Ezekiel 22:27; Habakkuk 1:8; Zephaniah 3:3; Matthew 7:15, 10:16; Luke 10:3; Acts 20:29) 8. The Handwriting on the Wall (Daniel 5) 9. A Leopard Can’t Change His Spots (Jeremiah 13:23; Acts 8) 10. Kick the Bucket (Acts 26:14) 11. Stand Your Ground (II Samuel 23:11-12) 12. He Was Beside Himself (Mark 3:21; II Corinthians 5:13; Acts 26:24-25) 13. Prepare to Meet Your Maker (Amos 4-5) 14. Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket 15. Pining Away (Ezekiel 33:9-10) 16. Over a Barrel (I Kings 17) 17. Beware of Dog (Philippians 3:2) 18. Eye to Eye (Isaiah 52:7-8) 19. Made a Scapegoat (Leviticus 16:7-22; Isaiah 53:11; John 1:29, 11:25-26, 19:16; I John 2:2) 20. Get a Life (John 14:6; Romans 6:23, 8:6; Ephesians 2:1-2; Matthew 10:39; I John 5:11-13) 21. You Can’t Get Blood from a Turnip (Genesis 4:1-5) * 22. Lord Willing (James 4:13-15; II Peter 3:9) 23. Face to Face (Ezekiel 18-20) 24. Show and Tell (Deuteronomy 32:7) 25. Nothing New Under the Sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10) 26. You the Man! (II Samuel 12:1-7; Psalm 51:1-7) 27. Innocent Bystanders (Acts 22:17-21; II Timothy 1:9) 28. The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men (Ecclesiastes 8:13, 9:3-12; Genesis 2:17, 3:5-6; I Corinthians 15:26-26) 29. A Fly in the Ointment (Ecclesiastes 10:1) 30. His Heart Was in the Right Place (Ecclesiastes 10:2) 31. A Little Bird Told Me (Ecclesiastes 10:11, 20) 32. Throw Down (Jeremiah 1:4-10) 33. Hard-Headed (Proverbs 21:29; Ephesians 6:17; Psalm 119:5; Ecclesiastes 8:1) 34. Sticks and Stones (Numbers 15:30-36; I Kings 17:8-12; James 3:6-8; Proverbs 12:18, 13:2, 18:21, 25:18, 26:21) 35. Won’t Hold Water (Jeremiah 2:13) 36. Don’t Let ’em Give You the Slip (Hebrews 1:13-14, 2:1; Titus 1:9) 37. When Pigs Fly (a.k.a. Deviled Ham) (Matthew 8:28-34) 38. Flesh and Blood (Hebrews 2:14; Ephesians 6:12; I Corinthians 15:50; Galatians 1:16; Matthew 16:17; Leviticus 17:11) 39. Think Again (II Corinthians 10:7) 40. Hindsight is 20/20 (Jeremiah 29:11; Nahum 2:8; John 16:33; Luke 7:19, 9:59-62; II Timothy 4:10) 41. All Dressed up and Nowhere to Go (Ephesians 4:1, 6:10-15; Genesis 5:24) 42. Cross-Eyed (Mark 15:29-32) 43. Up to Spec (Exodus 35-38) 44. This Is Going to Hurt Me More than It’s Going to Hurt You (Hebrews 12:11, 15; Ephesians 4:30; Deuteronomy 23:13) 45. The Powers that Be (Romans 13:1) 46. Take the Good with the Bad (II Corinthians 10:5) 47. Here’s Mud in Your Eye (John 9:1-7) […]


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