2014 GSM Bible Class Series February 11, 2014
GSM Bible Class Draws a Crowd
More than 30 people attend the Wednesday night Bible Class at GSM. The GSM Bible Class uniquely challenges believers and non-believers.
No Experience Necessary
You do not need to be an expert to be inspired by the Word of God. In fact, some would argue that a person with an advanced degree (like a Pharisee?) actually hinders the opening of heart and mind to the Word of God. Sound strange? Sadly, many sermons and Bible studies tend to distort the simple message of love and abundant grace in God’s Living Word.
The Word of God is alive. For the Bible to be anything more than a collection of stories mixed with cryptic narratives, it must be given free reign to move about the room and stir up the hearts of all those who have ears to hear.
Open the Bible as if You Have Never Read It Before
The holiness and perfection of the Bible allows us to learn something new each time that we read it. For this reason, it is imperative that the both the teacher and the class agree to open the Bible as if they have never read it before.
Many believers and non-believers have pre-conceived notions and prejudices that must be overcome for the Word of God to move in a new way in their lives. Opening the Bible as if they have never read it before accomplishes this goal for most people. It frees the hearer to listen anew, to uncover diamonds in the rough, and allows time to stop and smell the roses.
It is like stopping along an oft-travelled stretch of highway to take in the breathless beauty of a sunset. Opening the Bible as if one has never read it before which allows the Word of God to accomplish its primordial purpose:
The Spiritual rebirth of all who have eyes to see and ears to hear.
Read Slowly: Let the Word of God Resonate in the Room
Another necessity when teaching the Word of God is to read it slowly. This can be accomplished by simply reading aloud and listening to your own voice. Reading the Word of God slowly and methodically accomplishes two purposes. First, it allows everyone in the audience both to hear and to meditate on the words. Second, and more importantly, you will immediately notice that the spoken words themselves have a power which resonates throughout the room.
The Bible that we take for granted today is largely the product of Jewish oral tradition, which was passed on from father to son, mother to daughter, and teacher to student for millennia. It has only survived to be written down because men and women over the centuries took the speaking and hearing of the Words extremely seriously. The passing on of the Word of God was a life and death matter to them, as it is for us.
As one teaches, the tendency can be to give the class the scriptural reference, ask them to turn to the scripture, and then read at a pace that allows the scripture to be covered within an allotted amount of time. This tendency stems from the assumption that the class can read the scriptures at their own pace as they have the text at their disposal.
This tendency must be resisted at all costs. As the teacher, you are to return to the oral tradition. Your voice is giving voice to the Word of God. It must be read with both delight and reverence. Remember, you are not to simply read a text and then deliver a list of bullet points to be pondered later. You are passing a glass of living water around the room out of a pitcher that will NEVER run dry.
The time for the Word of God to move is in the present, and the power of the present must be harnessed.
Hearing is a deeply spiritual exercise. Listening to yourself as you read will generally ensure that you maintain the proper pace and that the Holy Spirit moves about the room, ministering to everyone as they set down their Bibles and simply listen to the living water that is the Word of the Living God.
The 2014 GSM Bible Class series will begin with a potluck every Wednesday evening at 6:15 pm in the Beaverton Office through March 12th. We encourage everyone who is able to attend. For those who are unable to attend, the sessions will be made available on You Tube.
Peace be to all of you!