Last week you may remember that I talked about a Bible study that I was going to hold with "T", a recent visitor to my church. Well that took place last Thursday as planned and although we had a few interruptions, it was a great Bible study! And it all started with the above question...What is grace?
Right as the study was about to begin she posed this question to me. REALLY! (and that's not said sarcastically) See, Bro. Geist just started preaching a series on Grace at church on Wednesday nights and last Wednesday was the first study on it titled Grappling with Grace. Basically he spent the evening defining grace and what it means to the spiritual life of a Christian. Without rehashing his entire lesson the definition of grace can be summed up as unmerited favor and devine influence on a heart (click here to see Webster's full definition). But her question was not something I was expecting and so it was nice to have the previous evenings notes in my Bible cover, which we did.
Then, she wanted to know about her Bible and what was in it. Well, the way it started was she was reading the first paragraph of the e-Life study we were working on and this was the first sentence "Although the whole Bible is the Word of God — all 66 Books — the Gospel according to John and the Epistle to the Romans were given specifically to show how you could receive eternal life." Well "T" read the line about 66 books and wanted to know more about them and so I naturally just did what I know to do and explained that the 66 books combined both the Old and New Testaments. Which led to her next question, What is the difference between the two testaments? WOW, it made me think about how much I take for granted. Of course though it was a great question! And so I broke it down even more, by explaining that the Old Testament talked about everything before the Birth of Christ and that the New Testament included everything about His birth, life and the reason why he came into the world to die for mans sins.
Now the other part that was refreshing/surprising was that these are usually questions that people ask when they want to tear the Bible apart, but this was not "T". She was really asking because she didn't know any of these things. But that's fine because after all that's why I was there.
So we continued and arrived at the portion of the study that talks about the 10 commandments. "T". Again another good question arose. She wondered how it was that God didn't judge sin like we do, you know BIG sins and little sins? Well, when we got to James 2:10 that verse was covered in full "For whosoever shall keep thewhole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." And then I was able to explain to her by this is the fact that a lie that someone tells is just as bad is God's eyes as someone that is in jail for murder. That seemed to be all that she needed, or wanted, to know. If the Bible said it and she had a scripture to back it up then that seemed to be enough of an answer for her to accept. And really that about sums up about how the rest of the evening went with the rest of her questions, God said it and that settled it ofr her.
The 10 Commantments also left "T" thinking though about how fall she's fallen short of them and in "T's" own words "How much she has to work on." The hope is of course that she can see that faith in Jesus is the solution for her sin problem, not works, as the lessons progress. Our next on is this Tursday night. She already texted me this evening letting me know she was looking forward to it, and so am I. I hope she has some more questions.
Now for a little nugget on how small this world is..."T" and I actually used to live in the same apartment complex a year ago, back before we both moved to OH. I'm tellin' you, only God can script this stuff! I can't wait to see what's next.