Earlier in chapter 2, we see what happened to the believers who were gathered together on Pentecost and I wrote how the scene must have been absolutely incredible! Today, I am looking at Peter's testimony to the Jews who were looking at the results of the Holy Spirit's work in the believers lives and they thought they were drunk. Peter explained that what was happening had nothing to do with anything a person could do, they were witnessing a fulfillment of scripture. Please read through Peter's testimony in Acts 2:14-41.
I want to point out that Peter's audience were Jews not Gentiles. I am pointing that out because I believe understanding our audience and what they believe changes how we present the message of hope. Notice the amount of scripture that Peter uses during his testimony; this is effective because he is using prophecy with which the Jews were familiar. To show that God was at work in the believers, Peter quoted Joel 2:28-32 to point out that this was something that God said would happen. Peter's method continues with the idea that the Jews were witnessing a fulfillment of the prophecy in Joel and points out other prophecies about Christ that had already recently been fulfilled. The Jews were amazed and 3,000 were baptized and added to the church!
Please keep in mind that this was the very same Peter who denied Christ three times on the night before His crucifixion. The Holy Spirit was working in him and gave him the boldness and the understanding of how to address the people that were questioning what was happening. Peter also could relate to them because he was a Jew himself, so he knew what they were familiar with and which scriptures they would be able to relate to the best. There will be spontaneous opportunities that we were not expecting to share our testimony, and what I have found is those spontaneous moments are usually with someone that I know. This probably means that it will be someone from a similar cultural background as me. But not everyone has gone to church and is familiar with the scripture. I am not saying that using scripture is ineffective when that happens; however, I am definitely saying that when we are with someone who is familiar with the Bible but are not practicing a live and active faith walk using the Bible to help them find God can be very effective.
Know who you are talking to! It will change how you share your testimony. I will look at other examples of this thought when I get further into Acts.
Do you use scripture as a way to point someone to God?