On Arguing for God
“When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.” (Acts 18:27b-28)
After Jesus returned to Heaven, His disciples spread across the then-known world, proclaiming the Gospel wherever they went. They told Jews and non-Jews alike that Jesus, the Son of God, had come to earth as a man, died for the sins of the world, resurrected, and provided a way of salvation for everyone who believed in Him. One man who joined the disciples in their work was Apollos. He was “competent in the Scriptures” (Acts 18:24) and an excellent speaker. Through his knowledge of God’s Word, he was able to strengthen fellow believers, as well as show others the truth about Jesus. He didn’t rely on his own arguments to do this, but instead let God speak for Himself through the Scriptures.
So often, we have the mentality that we have to rely on ourselves to convince people the truth of God’s Word. When we meet unbelievers, we try to show them through well-planned arguments that Jesus is indeed the Son of God and that He died for them to save them from their sins. These arguments may be perfectly sound and useful; really, there’s nothing wrong with knowing how to defend your beliefs. But the problem arises when we start depending solely on our own arguments. We start thinking that it’s up to us to teach people the truth, that someone’s entire hope of salvation rests on how we frame our next argument. But in reality, that’s not the way things work. God, through His Holy Spirit, is the One Who convinces people of their need for Him. He explains the Gospel quite simply in the Bible. Apollos spoke well, but he turned to the Scriptures to make his arguments. In the same way, we need to let God speak. He is perfectly capable of defending Himself and teaching the truth. Our job is to share the Gospel; it’s God’s job to help people understand it.