S (Scripture): Acts 17:1Paul and Silas journeyed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, then came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 As was Paul’s custom, he entered the synagogue and for three Sabbaths interacted with them on the basis of the scriptures. 3 Through his interpretation of the scriptures, he demonstrated that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. He declared, “This Jesus whom I proclaim to you is the Christ.”
O (Observation): Paul and Silas (now released from prison) travel to Thessalonica, and there Paul begins to teach the Jews about the continuation of God’s work in the person of Jesus. How? By taking the Scriptures and interpreting them through the lens of Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection.
Jesus is the fulfillment of the covenants made in the Scriptures, if you read the promises as being fulfilled by Jesus the Christ.
These steps are what is necessary to plant a church…for Paul. Make sure they have the scriptures and how to see them through the lens and purpose of Christ.
A (Application): What is your lens? How do you frame the world around you? Are you caught up in living for yourself alone? The framework in which we live determines the outcomes of our actions.
Paul’s framework was against Jesus, before he was visited by Jesus. Paul looked at the same scriptures and had come to one conclusion (as Saul), and another conclusion (as Paul). The framework (what Saul was taught) brought one set of conclusions. The new framework sent him in a different direction.
We do well to share the Gospel like Paul. Meet people where they are in their framework. Don’t make them jump over to yours, first. Chat without condemnation. Get an understanding of where they are coming from. THEN, show how your framework influences your thoughts and decisions. You are not giving up your framework by talking to someone different.
If the other person sees the Gospel in what you say, you have done a good deed and it has born fruit. Will their framework be changed? Will their hearts and minds be changed? Perhaps. But know this, the work of changing someone’s heart and mind is done by God. We simply carry the message. Kind of like Paul and Silas.
P (Prayer): Lord, give us the words to say. Receive those who believe. Amen.