It is so cool to actually experience these supernatural things that Jesus said would happen. I mean, of course I believe that they can and do and will happen. I think I’m still blown away when they happen to me.
Scenario: A friend who knows me as a person who is always up for a good debate wanted to challenge me on my newfound faith. He was really just looking for a spirited debate of the kind we’ve engaged in many times. Readers of this Blog may know that I have been very nervous about getting into these kinds of conversations … because I’m not a theologian and I feel much too new in my faith to know how to respond to challenges from unbelievers who are good debaters.
BUT … on the occasion of my baptism (public profession of my faith…) I kind of treated it as a “coming out” party of sorts … yes, I’m “coming out” as a born-again Christian who believes in the inerrancy of the Bible … and if you ever have any questions about my faith you are always invited to ask me about it.
1 Peter 3:15 tells us to “always [be] prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” … I even studied a Bible reading plan about that. But I feel far from prepared.
Me: At the time I was really tired. I hadn’t slept well the night before (see previous Blog titled “Dream“) and I’d had a long day. I wasn’t feeling at all up for a debate about God.
But my friend says to me, “Y’know, in the Garden of Eden God lied and Satan was telling the truth. So how can you believe all the creative writing and contradictions in the Bible as if it were all true?”
So Genesis 3:4-5 does say, “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Which, as it turns out, is exactly what happened.
This is something that I have never thought about before. But honestly … I didn’t come up with the response I gave in my tired and uneducated state. I learned as much from listening to what I was saying as if I were listening to a Preacher explain it.
I heard myself explaining to my friend that death – as God means it – isn’t the same as our worldly understanding of death. Our worldly understanding of death means that our heart stops beating, we stop breathing, our brain activity stops, & our body grows cold & needs to be buried or cremated before we start decomposing. But as God means it, it means that you will not have eternal life in God’s realm. And that is indeed what happened to Adam & Eve. It is the penalty for sinning. So God was telling the truth. The penalty for sin is death, or some might say eternity in Hell, in contrast to eternal life in God’s Kingdom, and that is what happened to Adam and Eve. It was Satan, the Serpent, who lied — substituting the illusion of worldly “truth” for God’s Eternal Truth.
So here’s the mind-blowing thing. I DID NOT KNOW THAT when I said it. I was learning it myself as I listened to the words coming out of my own mouth.
That just simply had to be the Holy Spirit guiding me to speak things that I did not know yet. There is no other possible explanation.
HOW MIND-BLOWING IS THAT????