Jackson: Alright greetings from the Oʻahu Church of Christ. My name is Jackson Cheng, and I want to thank you for joining me in this podcast series: Refined by Fire, which looks at the Apostle Peter and the journey of his faith. Some of the goals in trying to put this podcast series together that I was thinking about was 1) to help us to look at Peter's spiritual journey and hopefully it inspires us to grow in our faith a little bit. Another goal that I felt we need is 2) to look at character studies as a tool for our own personal Bible study. So, hopefully at the end of the podcast series, you can feel like, “Man, I could do the same thing that we did with Peter on other characters like Paul or Jesus or Phillip, or even some of the Old Testament characters”, because I think God puts different people in our lives or in the Bible to help us to connect with Him and to bring His message to us.
You know, a third goal that I had for this podcast series and even future podcasts for churches - you know there are a lot of podcasts out there. There’s a lot of excellent podcasts that are out there. So what’s going to distinguish the podcast that we do from those that are out there? And one of the things that would be good was to help the church to get to know each other more, right? To connect with each other, so with different guests that I'll be bringing on to the podcast, you get to learn a little bit more about them. So, joining me today is a great friend of mine, Art Owada. He has served as president of the church's Board of Directors for a while. Both he and I just finished serving on the board but he is also serving on the Ministry Advisory Group or the MAG, which is the leadership team of the church, as well as a House Church Leader and he also leads an ʻohana group in town.
So, Art, welcome, thank you for being here. I thought you know maybe you could tell us a little bit about yourself. I know that you've been baptized and have been in the church for a long time, probably the longest in the church here, but yeah maybe you can tell us a little bit about yourself.
Art: Thanks, Jackson; well first of all, let me say, it’s great to be part of your podcast. I appreciate you doing it and all the work you're putting into it. I think it's going to be a very encouraging series, and a chance to really dig into the scriptures more, too. So, let me just start off by saying that. But yes, I've been a disciple for quite a while, had the privilege to be around the days of Peter, James, and John.
Art: Actually, not quite that long. Actually, I became a disciple in my junior year of college, at the University of Colorado, and believe it or not, I was actually against the church and disagreed with some of the things on conversion, until I really studied it out. I had a lot of debates with people and did a lot of reading and not only in the scripture, but with other sources. But anyway it's been 40 amazing years, a lot of ups and downs, but one thing I do know that God is faithful, and I know it's all because of God's grace, so it's been an amazing time.
Jackson: Amen, that's awesome. Yeah, I should have had you on the last podcast, because that was when we talked about Peter's conversion, so you must have been right there.
Art: *Laughs* I remember it well.
Jackson: Yeah. Let’s jump into the theme scripture for the series which is 1 Peter 1:3-9. It says: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
And this is a great scripture, I think very fitting for our times. That you know in life we may have to suffer different trials and go through different momentary troubles, but if we persevere, our faith will grow in ultimately, that faith will give us hope of one day receiving salvation of our souls. I really like that scripture in terms of you know all the different things have been going on with us today with the pandemic and the effects of the pandemic. I know here in Hawaii just the unemployment rate and you know a lot of financial difficulties that people have to go through, but even nation-wide with the racial tension and different things are going on, I think we can see that life will have its trials.
So just as a recap, as we said you know last time we looked at how Peter became one of Jesus’ first disciples and how he had to overcome sinfulness in his life to be able to see Jesus clearly. Today we're going to be looking at overcoming doubt. Doubt is what resides in our minds, and you know a lot of times it comes from fears, right? And there are different things that we face in life that will cause us to doubt. So, what do you think about having doubts in your faith, Art?