Ephesians 3:1 KJV
For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
There is a popular radio talk show host who frequently refers to his audience as "you people". I have always gotten the impression that it is a derogatory and demeaning phrase; at least in the sense that he uses it.
Paul used a similar phrase in the word, "you Gentiles". He was in prison and it was for the Gentiles. He wanted them to sense the personal responsibility, the weight of effect of taking the Gospel outside of Israel and to them.
· It had cost him politically
· It had cost him in his career
· It had cost him his reputation
· It had cost him his own blood kinship
In obeying the Lord to take the gospel to the Gentiles, Paul had distanced himself (though not of his choosing but theirs) from the Jews, including those Jews who had accepted Christ as Saviour. Though they knew what he preached was true, his preaching it placed a burr under their beast's saddle. Paul made Christianity uncomfortable for them.
· His outreach into the Gentile populace had exposed him to great danger and
· His stand had placed him in the middle of a controversy between the unbelieving Jews and the Gentiles at Jerusalem.
This controversy would lead eventually to his execution.
But notice that Paul's intent was not accusative. Paul was not angry at the Gentiles. Being confrontational was not the same as being hateful or mean spirited. It was direct, intended toward conviction and the sort of personal responsibility that leads to action.
This, I would say, is the correct use of preaching:
· Confrontational and