“’Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the LORD” – Isaiah 1:18a


God has given human beings a brain and the capacity to reason through problems intelligently. God uses reason to reach our hearts with the gospel. While it is possible for someone to know about Jesus but not know Jesus, it is more likely that when the Spirit reasons with us He opens the door to our hearts where salvation takes place.

There are numerous places in the Bible where the Lord either calls us to reason with Him or that He reasons with us. One such place is found in Isaiah where it states:

  • Isaiah 1:18 – “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.”

The Old Testament word “reason” is translated from the Hebrew term YAKACH (Strong’s # 3198 – yaw-kahh’) meaning, “to be right (i.e. correct); . . . to argue; . . .to decide, justify or convict . . . appoint, argue, chasten, convince, correct (-ion), daysman, dispute, judge, maintain, plead, reason (together), rebuke, reprove (-r), surely, in any wise.”  [1] The idea here is not so much that God is calling a person into a reasonable discussion, as it is a call from God to listen to Him because when He is heard; His truth and revelation are so great that there really is no need or room for discussion.

This article focuses on God’s preparation of those who already know Him so that they can reason with others about the gospel. But if you don’t know Him yet, don’t run off too quickly. This teaching also considers those who have been directed by the LORD to take this article in. For those who have yet to trust Jesus as their Savior, consider something very important. Notice from Isaiah 1:18 that the LORD says, “Come now.” The LORD offers us a time to reason with Him, but the time He offers is “now.” God reaches down and offers us an opportunity to converse with Him. He says, “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2; Isaiah 49:2). God doesn’t promise a future opportunity to reason with Him beyond the one He is offering right now. It’s not an accident you’ve stumbled upon this article, it’s a Divine appointment, a God-incident. Walk away now, brush off this opportunity to dialogue with God now, slap away His hand now, and there may not be another opportunity. Soberly consider this my friend. “Come now.” The gospel or good news of God in Christ will be included at the end of this teaching.

Jesus used reasoning (in particular reasoning from the Scriptures) in His ministry. In Mark it records an incident where some Sadducees and a scribe pose some questions to Jesus to stump and discredit Him. Jesus reasoned with them from the Scriptures and rebuked them for not knowing the Scriptures. He said to them, “Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God” (Mark 12:24). Notice how Jesus connects knowing the Scriptures with knowing the power of God. More on this later.

Jesus reasoned from the Scriptures when questioned (Mark 12:24,28).  Jesus knew the Scriptures and responded from the Scriptures to those who questioned Him. That should be our practice too. We are called to follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:21; 1 John 2:6). Therefore, we should rely on the Spirit to help us reason with others like Jesus did. That is exactly what we will see in Acts 17, the Holy Spirit preparing and empowering the disciples to reason with people from the Scriptures.

The Spirit Acts by Preparing Us to Reason with Others

When we look at the birthing of the early church, we see the apostles use the tactic of reasoning from the scriptures with those they met on their missionary journeys:

Acts 17:1 – “Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews.

Amphipolis was thirty-three miles from Philippi.  Apollonia was another thirty miles from Amphipolis.  And another thirty-seven miles beyond that was another major city known as Thessalonica.  Given the one hundred miles traveled by the apostles, it is safe to assume that it took a number of days to cover this distance. This travel time must have given the travelers much time to pray, meditate on God’s word and be inspired and moved upon by the Spirit as to how they should reason from the Scriptures about the gospel.  The Spirit gives us preparation time to edify us and equip us to reason from the Scriptures.

When the apostle Paul was teaching about the spiritual armor the Christian wears he said:

  • Ephesians 6:15 – “and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;”

The word “preparation” here (HETOIMASIA – Strong’s # 2091 – het-oy-mas-ee´-ah; from HETOIMADZO – Strong’s # 2090) means, “preparation; readiness.” [2] Vines adds, “It also has the meaning of firm footing (foundation).” [3] The believer is to have a firm footing and foundation in the gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:9-11). We “shod” or put on such preparation in the gospel through careful, prayerful study of God’s word in the Spirit. As Paul and the missionary troop traveled, they likely were prayerfully putting on the gospel preparation, being readied by the Spirit to reason from the Scriptures the basis and truth of the gospel.

In 18th century England the Lord raised up a man by the name of John Wesley to minister in a way that was somewhat unorthodox for his day. John Wesley was moved by the Spirit to preach and teach the Biblically prescribed faith-oriented way of salvation. Because of this he was barred from the churches of his day. The Lord used this barring from churches to move him to an itinerant ministry which opened ministry and led him to the fields ripe for harvest. Because of this Wesley found himself spending much time on horseback traveling long distances from one place to another to preach the word. John Wesley rode over 250,000 miles on horseback. He preached 42,000 sermons and wrote over 200 books. Wesley was able to accomplish all of this because he was a very disciplined man and methodical in redeeming the time. An example of this was that he actually had his horse saddle constructed in a way that he could take certain books with him on his journeys so that he could study and prepare his messages and write articles and books along the way. In doing this he was probably following in the footsteps of the apostle Paul who no doubt had a desire to redeem the time and use it efficiently for edification and preparation as he went from place to place preaching the word of Christ. Today we have IPads, IPhones, and laptops to help us take our libraries with us. Let’s follow their example.

Prepared in the Word of God

The most important part of preparing to be used by the Spirit to reason with others about the Lord is spending time alone with the Lord in prayerful study of His word. We are exhorted to study God’s word diligently so that we are ready when opportunities open up to us to reason about God’s revelation in His word. Paul exhorted Timothy:

  • 2 Timothy 2:15 – “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

There are two words we need to take note of from this verse regarding the preparation in the word of God. The first is “diligent.” The word “diligent” is translated from the Greek term SPOUDADZO (Strong’s # 4704 – spoo-dad´-zo) which means, “to use speed, i.e. to make effort, be prompt or earnest . . . do (give) diligence, be diligent (forward), endeavor, labour, study.” [4] Preparation in the word of God involves effort, earnest, diligent, labor and study in God’s word. Reading God’s word is good, but study of it is even better and study is necessary for any disciple who desires to be used effectively by the Spirit in a ministry of reasoning (or in any form of ministry for that matter).

The second word to note in 2 Timothy 2:15 is “worker.” The word “worker” is translated from the Greek term ERGATES (Strong’s # 2040 – er-gat´-ace) which refers to “a toiler; . . . a teacher . . . laborer, worker (-men).” ERGATES is derived from the Greek term ERGON/ ERGO (Strong’s # 2041 – er´-gon – which means, “to work; toil (as an effort or occupation); . . . an act..  deed, doing, labour, work.” [5]  A worker is someone who takes action, who labors and toils over something. Instead of thinking about and only saying we are going to study God’s word, we need to take action and get to work studying God’s word. That is the sense of this word, we need to labor and work in God’s word.

Diligent labor in the word of God is the means by which the Spirit brings us to a place where we are “approved” (DOKIMOS – Strong’s # 1384 – dok´-ee-mos; . . . acceptable . . . Approved, tried [6]) and “not . . . ashamed” (ANEPAICHUNTOS – Strong’s # 422 – an-ep-ah´-ee-skhoon-tos; . . . not ashamed, . . . needeth not to be ashamed”[7]) before God. When we handle God’s holy word we need to do so as though we have a precious jewel in our hands. God’s word is a precious document containing the truths of eternity, the heart of God and His holy word toward us. He entrusts His word to us to pass on to others and that is an awesome privilege and responsibility. That is not something we approach in our own strength but in the strength of the Holy Spirit who authored the inspired word of God. An unknown author has described the Bible in the following way:

The Bible is like a magnificent palace constructed of precious oriental stone, comprising 66 stately chambers. Each one of these chambers is different from the others, and is perfect in its individual beauty, while together they form an edifice incomparably majestic, glorious, and sublime.

In the Book of Genesis we enter the grand Vestibule where we’re immediately introduced to the records of the mighty work of God in creation. This Vestibule gives access to the Law Courts, passing through which we come to the Picture Gallery of the historical books. Here we find hung upon the walls scenes of battles, heroic deeds and portraits of valiant men of God. Beyond the Picture Gallery we find the Philosophers Chamber – the Book of Job – passing through which we enter the Music Room – the Book of Psalms – and here we linger, thrilled by the grandest harmonies that ever fell on human ears.

Then we come to the Business Office – the Book of Proverbs – in the very center of which stands the motto, “Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” Leaving the Business Office, we pass into the Research Department – the Book of Ecclesiastes – and thence into the Conservatory – the Song of Solomon – where greet us the fragrant aromas of choicest flowers, fruits, and the sweet singing of birds. We then reach the Observatory where the Prophets with their powerful telescopes are looking for the appearance of the “Bright and Morning Star,” prior to the dawning of the “Sun of Righteousness.”

Crossing the courtyard, we come to the Audience Chamber of the King – the Gospels – where we find four life-like portraits of the King Himself, revealing the perfections of His infinite beauty. Next we enter the Workroom of the Holy Spirit – the Acts of the Apostles – and beyond that the Correspondence Room – the Epistles – where we see Paul and Peter, James, John, and Jude busy at their tables under the direction of the Spirit of Truth.

Finally we enter the Throne Room – the Book of Revelation – where we are enrapt by the mighty volume of adoration and praise which is ever addressed to the enthroned King, and which fills the vast Chamber; while in the adjacent Galleries and Judgment Hall there are portrayed solemn scenes of judgment and wondrous scenes of glory associated with the coming and manifestation of the Son of God as King of Kings and Lord or Lords. – Author Unknown

Peter when he was inspired to write his first epistle said the following:

  • 1 Peter 4:11 – “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

When we are used by the Spirit to reason with others, we do so from the scriptures and in using the Scriptures we are speaking from the wealth and treasure of God’s word. If we speak for God we should be diligent and right in representing Him and His word. We would never want to claim something God did not claim or speak a falsehood on behalf of God that would discredit Him and bring shame to us. No, if we are going to speak on behalf of God as His disciples we should take it seriously, very seriously and properly represent Him according to what He has revealed to us from His word (“oracles” – Greek LOGION – Strong’s # 3051 – log´-ee-on . . . an utterance . . . of God . . .  oracle”[8]).

We need to study God’s word. There is a subtle error many make in the study of God’s word and that is that often people study about God’s word and neglect the study of Gods’ word itself. When we study the word of God the Spirit helps us to come to know Jesus (2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 10:7). There are many people, even smart ones, even seminary professors, who know a lot about Jesus but do not know Jesus. While we do not know God’s word like we know Jesus (because God’s word is not a person), we can make a similar mistake when we read a lot of books about the Bible, a lot of commentaries about what the Bible says and means, and do a lot of work about the Bible and never even get into the Bible itself. There are Bible Colleges and Seminaries where students can go and rarely even open up the Bible. If you feel called to Bible College and Seminary and you aren’t studying the word of God itself right now, what makes you think that going away to a Seminary or Bible College is going to change your bad habit of not studying the word itself? Bible College and Seminary can be useful, but Peter, James and John never went to seminary, they only (!) spent time alone with Jesus. Ask yourself this question, “When you read a book and a portion of Scripture is quoted and written out in the book you are reading, do you read the verses or simply look at the reference and skip over it assuming you already know the word?” If you skip over the verses you are skimming over the word of God where the power is. Perhaps the Lord wants to impress upon you some knew perspective or truth you weren’t previously ready for. We need to study the word itself.

A Holy Habit of Reasoning from the Scriptures

Acts 17:2 – “Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures,”

Verse two states, “Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures” (17:2). It was Paul’s “custom” to go into the synagogues and “reason” with the Jews “from the Scriptures.” We will look at all three of these aspects of the ministry but first we need to recognize that what Paul did here was his “custom.” The word “custom” is translated form the Greek term, ETHO, (Strong’s # 1486 – eth´-o) which refers to a practice, “habit or conventionality,” be custom (manner, wont).”   [9] The Holy Spirit led Paul into the practice or holy habit of reasoning with the lost from the Scriptures about their need for salvation.  Paul’s practice was to begin such reasoning with those in the synagogues.

Here we have something to emulate and follow in the life of the apostle Paul and the others in his missionary troop. Like Paul, we should be led by the Spirit to have a holy habit of reasoning with people from the Scriptures about salvation. It should be our ambition to have the Spirit equip us in His word to prepare us to reason with the lost about Jesus and the gracious salvation offered in Him.

The Spirit Works Through A Reasoning Ministry

What does it mean to “reason” with someone? The word “reasoned” in Acts 17:2 and 17 is translated from the Greek term DIALEGOMAI (Strong’s # 1256 – dee-al-eg´-om-ahee;) meaning, “to say thoroughly, i.e. discuss (in argument or exhortation); dispute, preach (unto), reason (with), speak.”  [10] In Acts there are a number of other instances when the apostles are said to have reasoned with people in this way:

  • Acts 17:2,17 – “Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, . . . 17 Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there.”
  • Acts 18:4, 19 – “And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks. . .. 19 And he came to Ephesus, and left them there; but he himself entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews.”
  • Acts 24:25 – “Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.” 
  • Acts 26:25 – “But he said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason.”

To reason with them from the scriptures means Paul laid out before them a reasonable roadmap of proof-texts showing some very specific things. We should be open to the Spirit to use us to explain and discuss thoroughly Gods’ truths with others and even dispute against falsehoods when the opportunity presents itself. Below are a number of verses that exhort us to reason in the Spirit with others. Let’s look at a few of these passages.

In the short letter of Jude it states:

  • Jude 3 – “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”

Again we see the reference to diligence on behalf of Jude and an exhortation to be earnest in contending for “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” “Contend” literally means to “struggle” for something (EPIGONIDZOMAI – Strong’s # 1864 ep-ag-o-nid´-zom-ahee; . . . to struggle for . . .  earnestly contend for”[11]). What is it that we are called to struggle or contend for? It is the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” Now stop and think about this for a moment. Jude’s letter was written in the first century A.D. (68 A.D.) and he is calling his readers to contend for “the faith,” which is a general statement referring to the Christian body of belief. But the important part is to note that this body of belief we are to contend for, “was once for all delivered to the saints”! That means that “the faith” we should contend for is the faith that was once and for all time given in that first century, not a “faith” that includes God’s word and human addendums or traditions! God’s word is what we should contend for, and we shouldn’t add to it or subtract from it. Stick to God’s word, His inspired and authoritative inerrant 66 books of the Bible, nothing more, nothing less. That is the only reasonable thing to do.

The apostle Peter instructed:

  • 1 Peter 3:15 – “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;”

Here we are told to “sanctify” or set apart as special, to focus on and depend on God as Master and Lord, Ruler of our hearts and always be ready to give a response for the “reason” for the hope we have in Christ. Our relationship with Jesus is to be current in part so that we can always be ready to give a reasonable response to those who ask us about the reasons we are so hopeful in life.

Paul wrote in his last letter to Timothy:

  • 2 Timothy 1:13-14 – “Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.14 That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.”

Paul exhorts Pastor Timothy to “hold fast” or “don’t let go of” the “pattern of sound words which you have heard from me.” The grammatical form of the phrase “hold fast” conveys the thought of a vital ongoing and necessary practice (Present/Active/Imperative of ECHO – Strong’s 2192). The “pattern” (HUPOTUPOSIS – Strong’s # 5296 – hoop-ot-oop´-o-sis . . . “ typification under (after), . . . a sketch . . . for imitation . . . form, pattern”[12]) of “sound” (HUGIAINO –Strong’s # 5198 – hoog-ee-ah´-ee-no; . . . “to have sound health, . . . be well (in body); . . . to be uncorrupt . . . true in doctrine . . . be in health, . . .”[13]”) “ words”  (LOGOS – Strong’s # 3056) means that Paul is exhorting Timothy to stick to the healthy doctrinal teachings Paul has given to him. Paul warns Timothy later in this letter that Timothy needs to be ready because a time will come when people won’t want to listen to sound doctrine but will look for teachings that only tickle their fancy and condone their fleshly lusts. Paul wrote Timothy:

  • 2 Timothy 4:1-5 – “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”

The Spirit wants to use you to reason with others, but that reasoning must be rooted in, guided by and based on the Scriptures.

The Spirit Works by Reasoning From the Scriptures

When we refer to a ministry of reasoning, we are not referring to philosophical reasoning based on human premises, assumptions or presumptions, we are referring to Spirit led Scripture based reasoning.  You do not have to take a course in philosophy to reason in the Spirit from the Scriptures.

In Acts 17:2 it specifies says that Paul, “reasoned with them from the Scriptures.” The Spirit, through disciples, uses the Scriptures to present a rational presentation of the gospel. This is what Paul meant when he spoke about “rightly dividing the word of truth,” when he wrote to Timothy in his second epistle to him. We mentioned this above but the verse bears repeating:

  • 2 Timothy 2:15 – “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

It is the scriptures that give us the basis of our reasonable ministry. The Scriptures are foundational to what we know about God and the reasonable conclusions God enables us by His Holy Spirit to make about Him. Believers must be disciples and disciples need to use God’s word to present the gospel reasonably.

But wait a minute pastor, isn’t it reasonable to assume that there are a lot of people who reject the Scriptures as the word of God? Yes, I believe that is safe to assume. But here is a key thing to understand, it really doesn’t matter. What? Yes. It is a good thing to be able to reasonably demonstrate the reliability and authority of the Scriptures. There is a great deal of evidence to support the reliability of the Bible and its authority. Archeology, manuscript evidence, prophetic fulfillment, and the continuity of the Scriptures are all things the student of the Bible should be familiar with. But when I say, “it really doesn’t matter,” what I mean is, if God’s word is God’s word, it is going to have its effect. Even if someone rejects God’s word, they have been brought to a point of decision by the word of God. And those who straddle the fence, indecision is decision. The Bible is God’s fulcrum to determine one’s eternal life. We wouldn’t know about Jesus and the good news of the gospel of grace if it weren’t for the word of God, the Bible.

The Bible is powerful and living (Hebrews 4:12). It isn’t living in the sense that it is ever-changing, quite the opposite. The Bible is living because it is God’s instrument to produce powerful life change.  The Bible isn’t powerful, inspired, authoritative, inerrant because a body of people or any one person says it is. The Bible is powerful, inspired, authoritative, inerrant because God says its so. The canon of inspired Scripture isn’t canonical because a body of human authorities says what it is. That would be to elevate such a body to greater authority than the Bible. No. The canon of Scripture is what it is because it is inspired by God. The Church and any ecclesiastical authority gets their authority form God and His word, not the other way around. We all bow before the authority of Scripture. That is true for all Christians, all the Church, and it is true whether or not you believe it. You may reject God and His word in this life, but if you do, you will discover its truth, reality, and consequences, in the next life.

It is God who has set the parameters and demonstrated the power and reliability of His word throughout history. The Bible stands out transcendently in comparison to all other religious works. The Bible is unique. The Bible is holy. You can rely on God’s word in your reasoned arguments. And reasonable person who gives a fair and objective consideration to God’s word and what it is, will come to these conclusions. Many a skeptic has been converted to Christ through the word of God. No religious writing has impacted the world like the Bible. I encourage you to look into this.

That the Bible is our tool of presenting the gospel reasonably is clearly seen in the following verses:

  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17 – “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
  • 2 Peter 1:19-21 – “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

Those who stand saved from sin before God do so because the Spirit has in some way reasoned with us from the Scriptures. We should present ourselves to God to be used by Him to reason with the lost through us (2 Corinthians 5:14-21).

The Spirit is the Agent of Reason

When we seek out to be used by the Spirit in a reasoning ministry, we need to understand a very important aspect of such a ministry; we are only tools in the hands of the Holy Spirit who is the Agent of reasoning. This view and understanding are critical because it keeps us from putting pressure on ourselves in the reasoning situation and it keeps us from depending on our own wits in reasoning with others. Truly those who rely on themselves to reason with others will discover rather quickly that they are nothing more than nitwits.

Jesus told the disciples that the Holy Spirit was the One who would lead them into all truth, in effect, that it was the Spirit who would reason with them from the Scriptures:

  • John 14:26 – “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”
  • John 15:26 – “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.”

Paul was inspired to write to the Corinthians that it is the Spirit who reveals God’s truth to us:

  • 1 Corinthians 2:9-14 – “But as it is written: 1 “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

Explanations can be difficult and unless we rely on the Spirit to explain the word clearly to others, we’ll be frustrated and futile in our attempts and ultimately fail.

That explanations are difficult and can at times leave the wrong impression is illustrated by the following story:

A woman’s red station wagon was crushed by an elephant at a circus. The owners of the animal apologized, explaining that the animal, for some reason, simply liked to sit on red cars. In spite of the damage, the woman’s car was still drivable. But on the way to the garage she was stopped short by an accident involving two other cars just ahead of her. When the ambulance arrived a few minutes later the attendants took one look at her car, then ran over to assist her. “Oh, I wasn’t involved in this accident,” she explained. “An elephant sat on my car.” The ambulance attendants quickly bundled her off to the hospital for possible shock and head injuries, despite the lady’s vehement protests. [14]

Another story went something like this:

In Florida, small black flies that swarm in the spring and fall can be a nuisance to motorists. We were about to head north and were grateful for a friend’s suggestion that we spread a coating of petroleum jelly on the front of the car to make it easier to flush the bugs off with water. I felt a little foolish but I did it. In a small town in Georgia, we pulled into a service station and asked the attendant to check the oil. He tried to lift the hood, but his hands kept slipping. “What ya got on your car, mister?” he called out. “Vaseline,” I said. Before I could explain further, he responded, “Whatza matter? Ya got a tight garage?”   [15]

Now these stories are a bit comical, but there is nothing comical about trying to explain the truth of God in your own ability. We need the Holy Spirit to empower us if we are ever to ministry God’s truth and word effectively. Let’s seek the Lord for His edification in the Scriptures. Let’s seek His empowerment by the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Lord, would You make us what we need to be, to do what You call us to do, for Your glory, until You return. Amen.

As promised in my introduction, below is the gospel laid out plainly with scripture references as the basis. If you don’t yet have a personal saving relationship with Jesus, God bless you for coming this far. I pray you are a genuine seeker of God and His truth. If you’ve yet to trust Jesus as Savior or remain in need of a spiritual birth, I invite you to consider the reasonable good news that your sins can be forgiven, and you can have an eternal destiny of eternal life and not eternal death. God lead you and save you my friend.

God’s Reasonable Way of Salvation from Sin

Realize eternal life is not a matter of religion, but involves personally knowing God –

    • John 17:3 – “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

Realize sin separates people from Holy God –

    •  Psalm 66:18 – “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear”
    • Isaiah 59:2 – “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you”
    • Habakkuk 1:13 – “You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness”


Realize you are a sinner –

    • Exodus 20:1-17 – Examine and assess yourself by the Ten Commandments
    • 2 Corinthians 13:5 – “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?”
    • Romans 3:10 – “As it is written: ‘There is none righteous, no, not one”
    • Romans 3:23 – “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
    • James 2:10 – “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” (also Gal. 3:10)


Realize there is a penalty for sin –

    • Matthew 25:46 – “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
    • Romans 2:8–9but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; . . .”
    • Romans 6:23a – “For the wages of sin is death,”
    • Galatians 6:7-8 – Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.

Realize you are lost and need to be saved from your sins –

    • Luke 9:25 – For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?
    • Luke 13:3 – I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
    • Luke 18:11 –11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.
    • Luke 19:10 – 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
    • John 3:18–20 – 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
    • John 8:24 – 24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

Realize Jesus paid the penalty for you –

    • 2 Corinthians 5:21 – “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
    • 1 Peter 1:18–19 – 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
    • 1 Peter 3:18 – 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,

Realize your salvation is a free gift from God –

    • Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
    • Ephesians 2:8–9 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
    • Titus 3:5not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,

Realize God did this because He loves you –

    • John 3:1616 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
    • Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
    • 1 John 4:9–10In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Realize salvation requires a repentant-heart-faith decision from you to receive it – To “repent” means to confess to God and forsake your sin. To “believe” or have “faith” unto salvation means Forsaking All (others or other means of salvation) I Trust Him.

    • Acts 3:19-20 – “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you.”
    • Acts 16:31 – “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”
    • John 1:12 – “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”

Realize salvation is a matter of the heart –

    • Acts 8:36–38 – Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” 37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” 38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.
    • Romans 10:10 – “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Realize now is the time to call on God to be saved from your sins –

    • Romans 10:13 – For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
    • 2 Corinthians 6:2 – “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”


If you believe the above Gospel and are willing to trust in Jesus with all your heart as Savior, if you want the forgiveness of sins and eternal life God in this Gospel freely offers to you, with all your heart, pray this prayer:

“Dear God, I have sinned and disobeyed Your Laws.  I admit I deserve eternal punishment. But I repent; I confess my sins to You and forsake them. I ask that You please forgive me, not because of any good works I have done, but because I believe Jesus paid the just penalty for my sins by dying for me on the cross. I believe He rose from the dead. I believe that with all my heart. I receive it by faith, as a gift of Your grace. Help me to live for You.  Please Holy Spirit fill me, give me spiritual life, eternal life. Please help me to know you Father, Son Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit. Help me grow in a relationship with You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Now, begin praying and reading your Bible daily, regularly. Find a church that believes in and teaches the Bible as the word of God. Find a church where the Gospel is preached, and people believe in being born again. Find such a church and become a part of your new eternal family. And tell someone else about what God has done for you. Don’t go by feelings, live by faith in Jesus. He is faithful. He will help you. Remember this:

2 Corinthians 5:1717 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

1 Corinthians 10:1313 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

2 Timothy 2:1515 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 3:16–1716 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

 Acts 2:4242 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.



[1]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[2]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[3]Vine, W. E., Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, (Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell) 1981.

[4]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[5]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[6]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[7]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[8]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[9]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[10]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[11]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[12]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[13]James Strong, New Strong’s dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[14] Bits & Pieces, October 1991.

[15] W.R. Krusell, in Reader’s Digest.

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