I loved the wording of one of our questions today. It asked, how we could respond graciously to people who had wrong beliefs about God.
I liked it because it really hit at the core of our lesson this whole week. Is it about me or about God. Boasting is just another way of saying, “look at me.” Faith is just another way of saying, “look at Jesus.”
GRACE, by definition, is the act of someone of authority and power willingly stepping down to a lower level to provide help to someone else with no recompense. An acronym that has been used to describe this definition of grace is God’s Righteousness At Christ’s Expense.
Given that definition, I cannot, on my own, be respond graciously to people who have wrong beliefs. Those people and I are both human, we are both sinners, we are both intelligent, we both have core beliefs and we both lack the power and control to our present life on our own much less what happens to us after death. But, God does.
What this tells me is that the only way I can graciously respond is be immediately and continually praying to God to intervene. If I take pride in my ability to argue, I will fail. If It take pride in my example, I will fail. If I take pride in my superior intellect, I will fail. If I do anything to elevate myself in the response, I put the other person down. That is not gracious.
But if I immediately and continually call on God’s intervention and power, I tap into the power that created everything. If I call on the King, He responds by graciously sending the Holy Spirit to soften hearts, open minds, and to provide and guide the words that are being spoken.
We should interpret “graciously” to be the same as immediately calling God to the conversation, not as our backup, but to take the lead.
Non-Jews, largely pagan worshipers. They were not “the people of God” like the Jews.
There are many different gods that are worshiped today – god of money, god of self, “the universe”, pagans and idols
There are also others who claim there is one God, but many paths to Him – i.e., can accept God but reject Jesus (which makes no sense since He is God.)
To ask them to think and respond deeper. How is that possible? In other words, how can a religion who believes Jesus is God be compatible with another religion who rejects Jesus as God? They cannot both be right. That defies logic.