06.4 John – Step not Leap

Christianity is not a “leap of faith”.  We are not called to thrust ourselves blindly into the unknown, hoping against hope to be caught.  We don’t fall into it, but are lifted up by it.  The message as demonstrated by the Samaritans was that all are welcome to come and that faith in Jesus is a walk, a journey.  When we repent, we simply recognize we do not have the strength or ability to save ourselves.

Without Jesus, we are alone in the ocean of sin.  While there are thousands of people in the same ocean, none of them can save us.  Being “better” than others, simply means we are drowning more slowly.  The only hope for salvation comes from above.

Once we are saved, our walk begins.  In faith, we stand on the solid ground of the gospels, but we are still soaked through in our sinful body and world.  But if we walk with Jesus every day, if we pray, if we study scriptures, if we worship and sing, we grow stronger and holier.  Like a patient who has been bed-ridden, our muscles atrophy and our tendons contract.  But, by walking and working, we grow in strength.  It can be challenging and, at times, painful, but it is the path to spiritual wellness and holiness.

My Answers:

7.
1. They heard the testimony of another (the samaritan woman)
2. They learned the word of God
3. They received true and complete faith (we know this man is the Savior of the world)

Kids and people at work

8.
They took the time to stay with and learn from Jesus.  They believed that Jesus was the Messiah, the savior of the world as promised by God and the prophets

9.
a.
Philip went to Samaria following persecution after Jesus’ ascension and the martyrdom of Stephen.  Many were saved, healed and baptized, both men and women

b.
It often comes through difficult times or persecution.  People when oppressed are more interested in hearing the good news.  People challenged by health, death, hardship, fear, turn to the one solid anchor – Jesus.

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