Our 19th session focused mainly on one article entitled, “Why did Jesus Have to Die?” But before we discussed this topic, some clarifications were made and additional information were shared about the previous session’s topic on the Arian controversy.
Christ died so that we might live. Part of his ministry was that he was “born to die” and at first, his disciples could not understand and accept that fact. But after his resurrection and ascension they did. He became sin so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21). “He became something he was not, so that we might become something we were not.”
The “seven images of salvation” mentioned at the end of the article was helpful in broadening our understanding of what salvation is all about. It showed that in Scripture, salvation is described in many ways through metaphors, analogies and other ways of illustrating what it is all about.
Questions and comments were generated and a lively discussion ensued that evening. It was fun.
Last Friday, July 14 we resumed our regular Discover the Word discipleship class with some newcomers after a break of one week. As with previous sessions, our time together was fun and although we only intended to spend about an hour and a half regularly but we usually go overtime because everyone seems to enjoy sharing their thoughts and we’re all having fun learning together as one church family in the Lord.
If you really think about it, Jesus’ instruction is simple. He told us to love God and to love our neighbors. He told us to love our enemies. Paul explains what this godly love is all about in his letter to the Corinthians Christians (1 Corinthians 13). He also explained to the Galatian Christians what fruit is produced by those who are led and guided by the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). We can learn lessons from these passages of Scripture.
This means that God has a standard for what is right and what is wrong. He has determined it. We are not the authority. God has determined what is good manners and what is bad manners — godly conduct and evil conduct.
One can be right and yet be totally wrong. One can be absolutely right in his principles and doctrines and yet be totally wrong in attitude by showing his obnoxious, flawed and repulsive character.
To some extent, the apostle Paul was once like that. He was zealous and dedicated to what he truly believed was right. He really believed Christians were heretics. He thought he was serving God by killing, persecuting and putting Christians in jail. He falsely accused them of spreading wrong doctrines worthy of death. This can happen to anyone of us too. We can develop so much hatred against certain persons because we believe they are heretics and hated of God and therefore we think we have the right to ridicule them, speak evil of them and character-assassinate them.
Without realizing it, our thoughts, words and actions are obvious to others but we usually don’t see it ourselves. They can see just how flawed and bad our character is. But we’re blinded by our “own righteousness” thinking that God is on our side.
Yes, we can be wrong even though we may be right when we hate, despise and speak evil of others and accuse them of wrongdoing.
Lord open our eyes and change our hearts and minds, in Jesus name, Amen.