"Not one of us will get out of here alive." This quote came from today's lesson which began in a cemetery. Yes, it is true. We will all die someday. The wages of sin is death and we will all pay that price unless we live until Jesus returns. The discussion today focuses on the first five books of the New Testament. The Gospel writers and the book of Acts tells about the fulfillment of prophecy. There was a span of four hundred years between the old testament prophets and the birth of a savior in the New Testament books of history.
We have likely all heard the argument from naysayers and non-believers that the Bible contradicts itself, especially when one compares the eyewitness accouns of the Gospel writers as they described the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. However, today's facilitators did an excellent job of explaining the differences in the details of the events described by different writers of the Bible. He used the analogy of an accident occurring in an intersection with witnesses on each corner of the intersection. As a result of the unique vantage point of each witness, and as a result of each witnesses' individual interests and knowledge and experiences, and, since each author was speaking to a different audience, it is understandable that small discrepancies in the descriptions would occur. Yet the facts of the case and the important realities of the events are not disputed and never have been!
Another important concept outlined in today's discussion: "God lives in the pauses." Psalm 46:10 encourages us to "Be still and know that I am God." Our speaker today emphsizes the importance of waiting to take action, of allowing time between a stimulus event and our response. Such waiting will help us to respond in a more Godly manner.
We also saw in today's lesson the importance of being able to quote the scripture of God. Using Jesus as an example, the speaker told of the temptations that the devil laid before Jesus and how Jesus overcame those temptations by quoting scripture. However, we learned also that we must be cautious of Satan quoting scripture and using half-truths to deceive us. Satan also takes the scripture out of context. It was said in today's lesson, "Scripture taken out of context is simply pretense."
Finally, we enjoyed a short discussion on the evidence of the resurrection. First, the earliest followers of Jesus who would have been eyewitnesses to this event have steadfastly described the event and have reported their personal interactions with the risen savior. Many of these early followers actually died as a result of their refusal to refute the resurrection. Had the resurrection not been true, they would likely have been much more resistant to the idea of dying for this cause.
The introduction and discussion of the Holy Spirit concluded today's lesson. As we follow Jesus and seek to be more like Him, we will become more like Him as the Holy Spirit guides our minds and bodies.
Have a great and blessed week.