The Holy Spirit’s Response
Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message. The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles, too. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter asked, “Can anyone object to their being baptized, now that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?” So he gave orders for them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Afterward Cornelius asked him to stay with them for several days.Acts 10:44-48
At this moment in time I am currently teaching three different sets of people or preparing to teach them in three different parts of the Bible. I tell people understanding the Bible is all about learning to discover for yourself what the Bible text is telling you. I didn’t come up with this concept myself, I learned from the best. My Greek prof would always say, “Let the text guide you as to where to put the emphasis. There are no throwaway lines in the Bible. Everything is there for a purpose. Learn to take note of what the Holy Spirit is telling you.” I was told yesterday that I was “cryptic Ian”. “Ian is always cryptic and doesn’t tell you the answers.” This morning one of my Deeper Bible protegés found an important key and so I responded to let him know he was on the right track. The thrilling thing about Bible study and Deeper Bible is when you find the answers for yourself. You will find both Ian and God respond accordingly. You gain a growing conviction that what you have found is right on. Once you get THAT feeling you want more. You can’t stop because it is so exciting. “I can do it!” You can understand the Bible when you start to pay attention to what the Bible text is telling you.
I am looking forward to starting the next series of Deeper Bible in our home church this coming week. I have made a change and brought forward something from Level 401 for them to get their teeth into. I am just experimenting with the pieces to see if I can spark that excitement in different ways. I think I am on to it with this one. I have already seen other people responding and learning to put the pieces together. It is so exciting for me to see others catch the excitement for deep Bible Study and run with it. They are never the same again. Go Arthur. I can feel your excitement from here. I am going to try my first interactive sermon this coming Sunday. I want to see if the people picked up the challenge I gave them. I will lead them as far as they have gone themselves. Do you realise that is what God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit do with you? Jesus spoke in parables so that those who had a mind, or maybe more importantly a heart, to follow up would get what He was saying.
With all that in mind, take this passage before us today and interact with the Holy Spirit over it. Remember to ask your questions of the text before you. So far I have had no questions on this portion and so I throw the ball back in your court. Look at the text Luke has written for us under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Pay attention to the emphasis He gives the text. One person told me back in Jakarta that I was like a “Bible prompt”. A cool comment. I loved it. Yes I move around giving out little pointers as to what you should look at and pay more attention to. I learned the craft from my Greek prof because that is what he would do.
- “Class, there’s gold here. Dig for it.”
- “Yes, Ian, there’s gold there. Dig for it.”
- “Yes Arthur, there’s gold there. Dig for it.”
- “Yes, Ross, there’s gold there. Dig for it.”
So now for those of you who are not in a Deeper Bible class at this point, spend some time on Acts 10:44-48 and see what leaps out at you, begging you to ponder it. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. As I have said before:
The Bible is the only book that you can read with the author present. Learn to interact with Him. Familiarise yourself with the text before you by reading it over and over and then ask your questions. Don’t go to commentaries or seek advice from others before you have paid due attention to the text of what Luke wrote for yourself.
If you study the Bible and it doesn’t lead you to wonder and awe then you haven’t studied the Bible.Rob Bell
Sometimes you have to go up really high to understand how small you really are. Or really deep.Ian Vail
Ian, you are a contagious bible-loving virus.Paulina Ongkowijaya
Ian, you are a walking Bible prompt. I wish I could have your wisdom stored on a USB.Mike
No Mike. Not on a USB, store your Bible knowledge between your ears.Ian Vail