While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.
Over the life of my ministry people have tried to engage me in conversations about religion. It is interesting all the arguments that you can get into. In defense of the gospel you can end up going down some very long winding roads. There are times that I have come away from conversations deeply frustrated, feeling as though the words that I had spoken had made little or no impact at all. I often wonder why we have moments like that. In my idealism I have always hoped that the power of God’s word would transform and change the listener.
Paul knew that arguments based on intellect and reason alone did not change hearts. In his writings he alludes to this by saying, “Not by enticing words of men’s wisdom, but in power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit.” There is something great about the Holy Spirit’s ability to bring conviction and change in those who hear. It is not by mere intellect alone or a brilliant presentation in terms of argument that changes an individual’s thinking. It is important for us to be clear that the Holy Spirit’s presence and power is essential for change and transformation in the individual’s life.
As your pastor I want to encourage you in your witness for Jesus Christ. Take every opportunity to make Christ known through your witness. Humbly remember that nothing you do will produce anything except through the power and witness of the Holy Spirit. As never before people need to know about the love and the life of Jesus. I encourage you to make Him known.