Rhetoric & Homiletics: They “Travel” Together!

Image result for Companionship Word  Known Companions

We have sought to lay out the concept called “Topoi” in a number of articles.

It is one of the most useful classical rhetorical concepts which is often unmentioned and/or unrealized when discussing preaching helps.

Let’s add another “Topos” to your list of mind generating possibilities.

The Topos Of “Connections”: There are “companions” which typically travel together in life — like “Bacon & Eggs” / or “Peanutbutter & Jelly.

They’re cousins!
They “companion.”
You will find them palling around together.
They “associate” themselves together in God’s world.

There are thinking patterns, actions, people, attitudes, and/or activities which are typically found together in life and living.

Biblical Examples:  The Scriptures identify various “connections”. . . . .

Foolishness & Trouble
Co-signing & Regret
Laziness & Poverty
Slothfulness & Weeds
Naivety & Seduction
Alcohol & Trouble
Selfishness & Indifference
Sin & Death
Love of Money & Evil
Pride & God’s Promotion
Fools & Folly

There are exceptions, BUT ONLY BECAUSE the Lord is always gracious!

It is only by His grace that the laws which He has built into this world do not fully operate in the lives of both believers and unbelievers.

“God’s Grace” always operates in the lives of all men and women who live in His world. Therefore, there will always be exceptions to His absolute spiritual & physical laws.

Samson should have shamefully died in that Philistines workhouse and accomplished nothing worth remembering.  However, by God’s grace, he did more in his death than he accomplished in his entire life!

That ought to encourage none!

While the law of sowing and reaping has been built into God’s world, God is gracious. Therefore, there is no sure or certain crop.  Some reaping is superseded by God’s mercy and kindness!  Ask King David, Lot, Abraham, Peter, God’s people in the wilderness, John Marc . . . . . .


Two Sources Of Life’s Connections: Some “things” in life show up together because . . . .

#1) They Are Observable “Companions”: There are laws which operate in life and living.  If you pay attention, says Solomon, you will see them appear together.  Solomon, where did you learn that sloth leads to poverty?

I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;
And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.
Then I saw, and considered it well:
I looked upon it, and received instruction.
Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.

Over the years I have taught my children to pay attention to what they see “happening together” in life and living . . . .

When did it occur?
Where did it happen?
What was he/she doing?
Who was he/she with?

Two o’clock in the morning
Outside of a club
Drinking alcohol
Others of the same mindset – lifestyle

And/Or . . . .

#2) They Are Biblically Identified “Companions”: The “companions” are specifically identified in Scripture.  Scripture declares that they are cousins.

“Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse.” – Proverbs 22:5
“Bad company corrupts good morals.” – I Corinthians 15:33
Disobedience & God’s Wrath – Ephesians 5:6
He who walking with wise men and acting wisely — Proverbs 13:20
Love & Unity – Philippians 2:2
Foolish friends and suffering harm — Proverbs 13:20


√  We could flip it around and list out other traits, truths, principles, actions, characteristics which are “positive companions” . . . .

Loving God & Working Together For Good
Work & Wealth
Righteousness &
Listening & Wisdom
Humility & Promotion

OR . . . .

√  How about those which do not “companion” in life & living . . . .

Faith & Fear
Jealousy & Love
Fear & Courage
Obedience & Self-Confidence
Salvation & Works

As you work your way through a passage of Scripture and your message, think about whether there is are “companions” which explain, illustrate, clarify, describe, illuminate, or unfold the truth or principle found in that passage.

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