We Best Understand in Community

How do I know the difference between what God said and what God is saying today?

The question we are asking today is, “What does God mean by His communications?”  Psalm 91:4

We have the Spirit, the Word, and each other.  The Spirit is the One responsible for the inspiration of the Word (2 Timothy 3:16) and also the One responsible for the illumination of the Word (Psalm 119:130).

We are learning that “What God has said and what God is saying today are best understood in community.”

The Bereans, in Acts 17:10-12, practiced community Bible interpretation. Interestingly, these Berean Jews are not Christians at the time of Paul and Silas’ arrival in Berea.

For our conversation today the key word is in verse 11, “They.”

  • They received the word with all eagerness
  • They were examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
  • Many of them therefore believed.

Acts 15 is another tremendous example of developing an understanding of God’s communications in groups.

In attendance – Vs. 6 – The Apostles and Elders were gathered together to consider this matter. Peter, Barnabas, Paul, and James are mentioned by name.

22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church…

“In Acts 15:1-35, the early church faced a challenge that could have easily split it down ethnic and interpretative lines. As a solution, the apostles could have simply made an executive decision based on their own understanding of Hebraic history and culture. But they were willing to do the hard work of listening to each other and to the Spirit. We would do well to model some of our decisions more closely on this framework.”  http://leadershipconfessions.typepad.com/leadership_confessions/2011/05/work-ahead-community-hermenutics-in-action.html

“When they have come together they teach one another the divine Word and one asks the other: how do you understand this saying?”  Ambrosius Spitelmeier, around 1527 AD

This is one of the MANY values of the Life Group lifestyle; understanding God’s communications in a healthy, Spirit led, community.