We are launching into an 8 week adventure known as the Community Bible Experience. Our small groups and sermon series will align around this resource. It’s an exercise Covenant churches are doing across the country. We will be reading through the entire New Testament in a version of the Bible that has removed all the study aids that were added long after the books were written, such as chapters and verses. We will be reading Paul’s letters, for example, in a format that feels much more like a letter, and less like a textbook for a class.
We decided that we would look at the authors of these books we will be reading, and get a window into their lives.
And here’s what’s interesting: every single one of them had something in their life or an aspect of their character that led them to be less than adequate to the task. That their qualification for being a contributing author to the most influential book in the history of the planet came not from their innate adequacy, but from God’s empowerment.
And my prayer is that if we don’t learn anything else in these 8 weeks, we will learn that we ARE qualified, because it is GOD HIMSELF who makes us so.
January 8: “A Gentile”
Our first author, Luke, was not a Jew but a Gentile. This alone might have caused him to be eliminated from being included in the writings of the New Testament. However, we end up reading much of Luke’s writing in the New Testament – almost 1/3 of it was written by this “unqualified” Gentile. He also was not an eyewitness to Jesus. He was a relative late comer. However, because of his faith, God used him in mighty ways.
January 15: “The Killer”
1 Corinthians 15:9-11
The Bible’s authors were far from perfect – and Paul was no exception. Even though he was well-educated, intelligent, and had the ability to straddle both the Roman and Jewish worlds, he was a murderer. But God, in His infinite grace, turned Paul around and made this unQualified man into one of the most influential people in history.