This is a study that made me rethink a lot of beliefs I held tightly but did not own...things I believed because I was told they were true, rather than because I studied them myself. I had to slaughter a lot of my 'sacred cows', and tear down many high places as I went through this study the first time. Because my memory is intact concerning my own experience with the study is the reason we will move slowly through this. It just takes time to digest it all.
Before we begin, I want to encourage everyone to do your homework! What...there's homework? Well, not officially, but in order to own beliefs, one really needs to study for themselves. So get out your Bibles, pens and notebooks, and let's do the Berean thing.
"And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." Acts 17 : 10-11
So often it is a temptation to skim over Scriptures that are familiar to us, because, well, we've read the same ones a thousand times over. I want to encourage you to really meditate on the Scriptures in the study. Use your concordance to look up the words in the original Hebrew or Greek, make notes, and allow yourself some time for what you're studying to sink in. Ask Father, through His Holy Spirit, to confirm what you are reading...He will.
Here are a couple of quotes to notice as you go through this lesson:
Keep this in mind: Religion in itself would not exist if people weren't mislead into believing their distinct religious ritual and creed made them acceptable to God. And note:
Religion can exist without any relationship with God.
And regarding the two charts at the end of the lesson, Mike and Sue urge:
It's vital that you examine and judge your own faith practices. In the next few pages, we contrast different aspects of the Hebraic, relational way of interacting with God and each other, and Hellenistic, religious forms. Prayerfully go through the comparison to discern if you have been told the whole truth during your faith pilgrimage.
And one more:
One of the main difficulties in any discussion about "faith" is to admit that you might be wrong.
Throughout the study, I'll be sharing several areas where Mr. Visionary and I realized that we were indeed, dead wrong, once we compared "what we believed" to the Scriptures.
Here's the link for Lesson Two. Remember to come back and post your thoughts after going through it. We all will.