“[T]he natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)
UNLESS you’re talking to an unsaved soul about salvation (i.e., sin, its consequences, and deliverance brought about by faith in Christ), in most cases it is a frustrating waste of time discussing other unrelated Biblical doctrine. How so? Because the Bible explicitly says that it’s only natural for people ‘void of the Holy Spirit’ to perceive these things as foolishness.
HOWEVER, as it pertains to salvation, the Holy Spirit will come along side a person to give them understanding as per their sinful condition and NEED for a Savior.
I SUSPECT that there is somebody, somewhere who came to Christ Jesus after being won over in a debate about Creation or Jonah or Noah, but they’re a unique exception to the rule and I could probably argue that someone else planted and nurtured ‘salvation’ seeds before you came on the scene.
FOR THIS REASON, focus on the Gospel and the message of Salvation through Christ alone. And if your listener wants to debate these other issues, tell them the truth – hand them your Bible and let them read aloud 1 Corinthians 2:14. Then explain to them that no mathematician ever started with trigonometry or calculus, but with basic arithmetic.
The ROMANS ROAD is an excellent Biblical method to explain salvation to a person. As your listener reads each short Bible passage, the Holy Spirit is there to bear light and give understanding. Oh that’s not to say that they might reject or deny the truth, but they will (at least briefly) understand these words as the truth before dismissing them. From this point forward, this seed you plant will either blossom in redemptive glory or grow to haunt them the rest of their lives.
HERE is the Romans Road. Simply highlight the passages in your Bible and get in the habit of having easy access to it all of the time. There’s really not much to memorize – God has done all the work for you! Number the passages and move from one to the next, letting them read the verses. Go through the text asking pointed questions. For example when they read Romans 3:23…
For all have sinned , and come short of the glory of God,”
Ask them, “What does the word all mean,” or “What does it mean to fall short?” Don’t forget to mention the Law and how God uses it to show us our sin and need for salvation. With the Holy Spirit present, there’s a great possibility (especially if you got them reading from the Bible), that the conversation will miraculously flow in the direction the Lord desires.
REMEMBER, stay on point. Salvation is the critical issue we want to discuss, everything else will likely just be a distraction. Get in the habit of reeling your audience in, preventing them from taking the discussion down a rabbit trail. In most cases, these are nothing more than premeditated diversions that the listener employees to control the conversation and avoid looking at their own sin. Be a polite listener yourself, but remind them these are weighty issues (recall the math illustration) and one does not commence to undertake them on a collegiate level.
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