READ: Acts 26
THINK: The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote a book on persuasive speaking called Art of Rhetoric. He described the three different forms of convincing others of the merits of your belief: ethos, pathos, and logos. Each one of these aspects of persuasion were on display in Paul’s passionate speech to Agrippa in Acts 26, and each one of them is valuable to us as we go out into the world and attempt to bring the truth and the hope of the gospel message to those living in darkness.
Ethos means character. It is the ethical example we set by the way that we live our lives. If we lack this critical aspect of Christlikeness then our witness and our gospel presentation will fall apart before it even begins. A big part of the reason Paul had the credibility to talk about Jesus to anyone, especially someone as powerful as Agrippa, was the integrity with which he lived his life. Our lives should point people to Jesus even before our words do.
Pathos means feeling. It is the passion with which we live and speak. If we don’t actually care about people – their hurt and their pain and their brokenness and their lostness – and desperately want them to encounter Jesus then our words will fall flat. Agrippa was moved by Paul because the emotion and enthusiasm with which he spoke. Step one is being passionate about Jesus. Step two is making sure other people know it when we tell them about him. How can we do this? Pretty simply, we can tell them about what Jesus means to us personally. We can tell them about the impact that the love and forgiveness of Jesus has on us as we move through every day.
Logos means reason or logic. When we live a holy life (ethos) we will stand out. People will want to know why and we have a chance to tell them what Jesus means to us (pathos). And then they’ll want to know why. And we can tell them the reasons (logos). The Bible tells in that we should always be ready to give reasons for why we believe what we do (1 Peter 4:15). And there are plenty of them!
Every one of us is called to be lights in the darkness and share Jesus with those around us. And, when we stop to think about all that God has done for us, how can we not? As we do, we should think about the ethos, pathos, and logos of our lives. Our character, our passion for our own story, and our reasons for believing are all important in helping others come to a saving knowledge of Jesus.
PRAY: Pray for an opportunity to share Jesus with someone today! Then…do it. 🙂
Love love love this! For how I spread Jesus’ truth, for how I work, for how I care for my husband! Such helpful language!