With fear and trembling
by Phil Martin
I had the honor to study the Bible with four girls in the last two weeks. I met three of them through a University Facebook page where students ask for language exchange partners. I wasn’t expecting to exchange their Chinese for my Spanish!
Beatriz, a Spanish major, was the first person I asked if she would study the Bible with me and she was brave enough to accept. The second time we met for bible study, Beatriz brought her friend Alisa. Even after Beatriz left, Alisa wanted to finish the study and agreed to meet with me regularly to study the Bible. Jane was the second girl who agreed to have a “religious exchange”, as she called it. I asked her questions about Buddhism and she asked me questions about Christianity. Although Jane was hesitant and reminded me that she had her religion, she respectfully listened and asked questions about the Bible. And then there is Fay, a girl who was curious when she saw foreigners roaming around her neighborhood. When she heard that we were looking around the city to find a place to start a church she expressed that she wanted to come. And two months later, she was sitting down at our first church service. I had my first bible study at my house with Fay. She had never opened a Bible before and I had the privilege to teach her how to use it and teach her what the Bible says.
Studying the bible with these girls has given me a fear of handling the Word of God correctly and the importance of it. Reading verses like 2 Peter 3:16 and being aware not to twist, add, or take away from the Scripture makes me tremble. I hope that I am explaining principles and verses correctly, I hope I answer their questions clearly, and I hope that words and meanings aren’t getting lost in translation. This is a sobering realization which leads me with a Christ centered desire to study and contextualize the Bible.
For this new year I ask for you to join Phil and I in prayer as we all strive to rightly handle the the Word of God and teach others to put their faith in our Savior Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:1-5
And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom.For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
Happy New Year from the Martins