Alicia Ostermeyer: Discussion Questions

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Alicia Ostermeyer: Discussion Questions

Post by Alicia.O. on Thu Sep 27, 2018 3:36 am

1.If you had to pick two stories (narratives specifically, not just passages) from the Bible that best illustrate what God is like, which would you choose? Select one story from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament, then explain your choices.

The Old Testament story I would use is the story of Hosea and Gomer because it's a beautiful foreshadowing of how Jesus is going to love His bride. In this story God asks Hosea to marry Gomer, a prostitute. While Gomer marries Hosea she is extremely unfaithful to him, yet, he continues to faithfully and lovingly fight to make Gomer his. This illustration shows parallels of how God faithfully pursues an unfaithful mankind. Reading this story it is easy to think that Hosea is crazy for putting himself through this hurt that Gomer (a prostitue) is going to inflict on him. But wow, that is the way God crazily loves us as we rebelliously choose to make something other than our Mighty God our god. It makes me think of  Ephesians 5:25-27 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”

The New Testament story I would use is Jesus walking on the water. In this story Jesus calls Peter to come and walk out to Him on the water. This reminds us of how following Jesus requires steps of faith, which is given by the Spirit, to obey His calling. As Peter begins to walk on the water, he becomes distracted from Jesus and starts focusing on the stormy wind and waves around him. At this moment, he begins to sink. So often Christ-followers fix their eyes on things that aren't Jesus and trade trusting in what God has called us to do for fear instead. But what Jesus does next is great because He catches Peter as he is sinking. Although Peter had already seen a miracle of God through Jesus (walking on water) and a miracle of God through himself, he still lost faith. No matter how many times we may trade faith for fear, God is always reaching out His hand to remind us He is worthy to not be doubted.

What do you think of Augustine's statement that, "whoever denies the Trinity is in danger of losing his salvation; whoever tries to understand the Trinity is  in danger of losing his mind"?

In short, I strongly agree with Augustine's statement. I have seen people in lack of their understanding of the Trinity adopt a 'Jesus only' theology or a separation of the fact that Jesus is fully human and fully God and instead saying he's just human. All these opinions are made due to the lack of security or understanding on has in the Trinity. Romans 10:9 says that in order for salvation we must "declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead". So how then does questioning the Trinity put you in danger of losing salvation? Bird tell how these three persons (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) in their oneness are permeating and pervading each other's being. Bird goes on to say, "One cannot believe in the Father without believing in the Son and the Spirit. On cannot cleave to the Son without cleaving to the Spirit and the Father. One cannot receive the Spirit without also receiving the Father and the Son." (Pg.119) Taking what Bird said and applying it to Romans 10:9 we then see that salvation is coated in accepting the Trinity. I think most all people agree that God is a supernatural being (supernatural meaning a force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature), so then we shouldn't be surprised that the Trinity is so abstract and supernatural that it goes beyond our understanding.
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Re: Alicia Ostermeyer: Discussion Questions

Post by hstrelow on Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:49 pm

Alicia, I LOVE the story of Gomer and Hosea and completely agree with how it describes God's character as our faithful lover. Here we see God both as wrathful, but also full of compassion and grace. This story shows clearly His communicable attributes of faithfulness, love, and death to self. These are attributes that Paul calls us to carry in the likeness of Christ in our earthly marriages! So God not only carries these attributes Himself, but He also calls us and equips us to carry those in our lives. This is a part of the new creation, and a beautiful redemptive story.
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