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Persuade the Sceptic

Scripture

Our verse for today comes from John 10:38, ” But if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in Him. “

Background

Most of us don’t remember how or when we came to have a certain opinion on a particular subject. We cannot recall going from not believing something to be true to being convinced of its certainty. We most likely don’t remember the process of forming our opinions on topics of politics, race, society, or family. We are where we are, and we can’t remember a time when we didn’t think like we think. But that doesn’t stop us from attempting to convince another to see things our way. But how successful are we? Or how often do we change our tune when someone else presents their case? See, it just doesn’t happen that often. Even the pros, who know the methods of persuasion and strategize their message to convince, rarely turn the skeptic into a follower. They say there are three modes of appeal that can be induced to reach an audience: the ethical appeal (ethos), the logical appeal (logos), and the emotional appeal (pathos). And you’ve experienced these repeatedly, even if unknowingly. The ethos relies on the credentials of the speaker. The listener needs to be able to trust the speaker and consider him credible. The logos appeal presents a sound argument and connects it to the current situation with verifiable facts. And the pathos appeal attempts to reach the emotion of the listener. Stories, visuals, and personal anecdotes invoke a response and create a connection between speaker and hearer.

Application

You hear each of these methods in public speeches, office meetings, and Sunday sermons.
But the critical, underlying component is the intent. Jesus had spoken much, yet too many had not believed. His character was flawless, yet they accused Him of moral failure. So He wanted the nonbelievers to take account of His deeds. He said and was and did everything to convince them of one thing, that He was the Christ, the One they needed for salvation and eternity. And He didn’t stop until He was dead, even though so few were convinced.

Charge

As we seek Him today, use all the resources at your disposal to persuade the skeptic of Jesus, and then leave it in His hands to convince.


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AuthorRich Holt | BCWorldview.org

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