June 12, 2007
As for the other questions:
No. One cannot gain righteousness by following the 10 Commandments. Righteousness is by grace alone. If one does attempt to be righteous by following the 10 commandments one is focusing on words and deeds and not God (and therefore is automatically breaking the first Commandment).
And finally...I say that if one focuses, instead, upon Loving God and Loving one's neighbor, one will automatically find one's self coming into alignment with the 10 Commandments (and then some). I believe that God's will supersedes God's Law. The latter is an outcome of the former. God's Will has been in place from the beginning of time.
June 07, 2007
(Just to give you something to ponder for a bit, here are some questions directly out of the original study.)
Who can sum up verses 6-15 in one sentence?
Who can sum up verses 15-21 in one sentence?
Can a person become righteous by following the 10 Commandments?
If one attempts to follow the 10 Commandments, on what is one focusing?
If one focuses on the two Great commandments, will one break any of the 10 Commandments?
Have fun and, as always, be Blessed and a blessing.
May 02, 2007
What were the sins of Adam and Eve?
What were Cain’s sins? (Can you do it in two sentences or less?)
Is it fair to say that these sins amount to Not Loving God and Not Loving one's neighbor?
Adam and Eve did not love God with all of their mind body, soul and spirit. Cain also did not love his neighbor as himself.
April 26, 2007
What kind of relationship did Cain have with God?2.) According to the story, who is responsible for our sins?
Student: "Cain was not dedicated to God's service, he didn't give him the best, he just gave him what fell on the ground. When God spoke to Cain he didn't respond. He did not communicate with Him. As with some of us today, God speaks and we don't listen, yet when we get in trouble we think that God has did us wrong."
Teacher: "On the contrary, I think that Cain had a very close relationship with God. He knew God personally. He talked with God and God talked with him. The last thing he wanted was to be banished from God. He even made an offering to God without any promptings. I only wish that I had such a close relationship with God as Cain did. What went wrong?"
I don't know if Cain did not "heed" the warning. He certainly did not take it to heart. It seems that he followed his own heart instead of God's.
Two more questions concerning Cain: the first one is obvious, but needs to be asked. How does Cain treat his brother Abel?
And the second one is, from a literary standpoint, who does Cain represent in this story?
What was Cain's real "sin" that caused this further separation from God? That is, if Adam was banished from the Garden for being self -centered and not placing God first, what MORE did Cain do in order to be banished from God's presence?
Could it be so simple as to say that murder is wrong because it does not show love to one's neighbor? When we murder, we once again give in to ourselves (become our own god) thus usurping God's place in our lives?
This is a surprisingly difficult lesson isn't it? I think we hit on the essential issue, though. It's not the shedding of blood that is the issue as much as "hate." Even the Commandment does not really say "You will not kill." It is” You will not murder." Hatred, I think turns killing into murder. HATRED, as "joe"reminded us, IS MURDER. Cain hated his brother and he feared God. For this, I think, he was expelled from God's side, though he still maintained God's protection. Cain is us Christians in a very real way. We are saved and therefore we have God's protection. But what keeps us from truly getting close to God? We hate our neighbors and we fear God. WE are Cain.
April 23, 2007
Why were Adam and Eve placed in the Garden?
What was their relationship with God like?
What would be like to have a transparent relationship with God?
"And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." (1 Timothy 2:14)
Who did Adam listen to, then? Did he listen and follow Eve, or God?
I had a thought come to me the other morning as I was contemplating this discussion: One way of interpreting this gaining of knowledge of good and evil is to call it the beginning of wisdom. I suggest that the "sin" of the garden is not disobedience, but wisdom. Upon eating of the fruit, the first humans became fearful of God and strived to cover their nakedness and hid. Proverbs 1:1, I believe says that "Fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” What do you think?
Did the serpent lie?
So, the serpent did lie. What was the direct effect? That is, explain what happened next. We already mentioned spiritual death. And then what?
Fear. Fear which led humankind to separate itself from God. We created the separateness, not God. We turned away from Him. I think this is a crucial point that must be understood in the contest of all of Scripture.