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Acts 17

It was Paul’s custom in each city to go the synagogue and begin preaching and reasoning with the Jews there.  He did this in Thessalonica, where many were convicted and converted.  In Berea, many of the Jews believed after studying the Scriptures for themselves and becoming convinced that what Paul said was true. And yet again in Athens, Paul preached in the synagogue.  What I learned from this chapter, is that Paul spoke to people in the language they would understand.  He went to the synagogues to reason with the Jews. He used the Old Testament prophecies, that they knew, to explain how Jesus was the Messiah and that they should believe in Him. Then he went to the marketplaces and the Areopagus to preach the gospel, using their understanding of gods and idol worship to explain to them who the real God was and how they should seek Him.

When I speak to people, what language am I using? To children, do I teach difficult concepts without simple explanations? To those with little religious background, do I use Christian words like “sin, hope, Savior” without defining them?  To those without good English-speaking skills, do I speak quickly with a lot of Americanisms or slowly and clearly so they understand? Paul, through the Holy Spirit, reached so many people by preaching to their hearts, to their minds, using words and concepts that they could relate to and comprehend.


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