Don’t Get Caught Up the Creek Without Your Oars

September 14, 2009 at 8:22 am | Posted in Acts, Common Expressions | 22 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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