This is Mokame–the second of the two ladies who have been attending our Bible Study.
Friday we reached the end of our story. After reviewing previous lessons, I read Romans 3:10-20 to remind them all of our sin problem and the inability of obedience to the law (or other behavior) to make us right. Then we read through the details of Jesus’ arrest, trial and crucifixion. Every time I looked up from my Pidgin Bible I was surprised, but happy, to see the guys on the edge of their seats and, as I read about Jesus’ beating and crucifixion specifically, tears in their eyes.
After finishing the story, I connected the dots between our guilt and Jesus’ sacrifice and read the following passages while talking through the ideas they present:
- Isaiah 53:2-12
- Romans 3:21-25
- Colossians 2:13-14
- Ephesians 2:1-5, 8-9
When I finished, there were a variety of responses. Unfortunately, because of time, I wasn’t able to get a good handle on what everyone was thinking so I plan to use Monday as a discussion time. For now though, I’ll tell you what I observed. James was smiling from ear to ear. Wanpis, Mokame and Balux sat quietly as if contemplating it all. Alex nodded his head repeatedly like he was understanding and agreeing. The one guy who did talk was Benjamin. His question was, “What do we do to demonstrate to God that we believe Jesus took our punishment?” I told him over and over that there is nothing to do because Jesus has already accomplished what we need. I told him that God doesn’t need a demonstration because he can judge our hearts and minds. I told him that requiring some action would negate the power of Jesus’ sacrifice because it would allow us to trust in our own action instead of Jesus. I think he understood this, but I also think that he, and others, were struggling to reconcile the reality of God’s free gift with the legalistic, man-centered teaching they have been hearing most of their lives. So please pray this weekend that they will continue to consider what they heard. And pray that I will be able to answer their questions and spur them toward faith on Monday.