College Entrance Exam Part I (Answers)

college_entranceThese are the answers to the questions posed in the “College Entrance Exam Part I” questionnaire.

1) If you had to define the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament with one name, what would that name be?

Answer: Jesus

The Name is Jesus. Everything about the Old Testament is ultimately a tension that builds and is finally resolved with the arrival of Christ and His death and Resurrection (Jn 5;39)

2) What’s the difference between understanding and believing?

Answer: When I understand something, it changes my mind. When I believe in my heart, it changes the way I live.

I can “understand” that a healthy diet is a good thing, yet never moderate my intake of excessive sugars or saturated fat. I might be able to tell you how important it is to exercise yet never go workout myself. “Understanding” means that I can comprehend what’s being discussed and I can agree that something is true. “Believing,” on the other hand, will show up in the way I live and in the choices I make (see Rom 10:9-10; Jas 2:26).

Now, that doesn’t mean that I can’t “fake it.” I can go through the motions and look authentic, but in the end that will be come evident and the results will testify to the same. That’s part of what Jesus was saying when He said that you will know a tree by its fruit (Matt 12:33). From that perspective, it can be somewhat subjective since that “fruit” may not be evident right away. However, you can get a pretty good idea by considering the actions that should inspire remorse instead is greeted with indifference (see 1 Jn 3:6). If the “lights aren’t on,” then there’s going to more concern about getting caught then there will be in disappointing one’s King (Eph 4:30; Jas 4:7-10)

3) Is it just your discipline that gets things done, or is there something else that’s driving you?

Answer: It’s the Holy Spirit that provides both the will and the strength to obey.

It’s God Who works in you to “will” and to “act. (see Phil 2:13)” On top of that, when it comes to putting aside all those things that would otherwise incline you to drive on the wrong side of the road as opposed to being able to stay in your lane, you’ve got His Spirit to give you both the awareness and the resolve to do things right (see Prov 3:5-61 Cor 10:13). So, its not just staying “strong” in the midst of being tempted, it’s about being able to avoid compromising situations altogether.

By the way: It is His Spirit in you that qualifies you as someone who is truly born again (Rom 8:9). It’s the genuine desire to obey as well as the sense of conviction that you experience when you fall short that you can interpret as proof that God’s Spirit does, in fact, live in you (Matt 7:16; 13:20-21; 1 Jn 3:6).

4) What’s the best way to win friends and influence people?

Answer: Follow Christ’s example by making them feel good about themselves.

Jesus’ Name showed up on a lot of people’s guest lists. Matthew 11:19 quotes Jesus as describing Himself as someone who’s frequently seen, “…eating and drinking.” Consider also the Wedding Feast of Cana (Jn 2), the home of a Pharisee (Lk 14) and the occasion where He dined with Zacchaeus (Lk 19).

It’s interesting to note how in many cases, the people that felt the most comfortable around Christ had the most to be ashamed of. In Matthew 9, not long after Matthew had accepted Jesus’ invitation to come join Him as one of His disciples, Christ is dining with Matthew along with a number of “sinners and tax collectors.” How is it that those whose track record was so tainted with bad decisions that they would feel at ease in the Presence of Moral Perfection (Heb 4:15)?

People are drawn to excellence (Matt 5:16; Col 3:17) and they respect strength (Matt 7:29; 8:27). In addition to all this, however, Jesus had a knack for making people feel good about themselves. Not because there weren’t things in their life that represented obvious infractions and moral shortcomings. Rather, they felt valued because Christ made them feel legitimately appreciated. And why not? Jesus created them and they were among those that He was willing to die for. You talk about a vote of confidence (Ps 139:13; Jer 1:5; Rom 5:8)!

Matthew was a Tax Collector – someone who was despised by the Jewish culture as a spiritual and cultural traitor, yet Jesus made Him one of His disciples. Mary Magdalene did not have a great reputation, yet Jesus affirmed her to the point where she was among the first who saw Him alive (Jn 20:10-18).

It’s not about flattery as much as it’s a genuine resolve to see someone the way God sees them – someone who has worth and incredible potential to do great things (Jn 14:12; Phil 2:13). See them as the “poem” that they are (Eph 2:10) ! Do that and you will find yourself and appreciated and pursued because, not only are you respected in the context of the strength and talent you possess, but more importantly because of the way you light up every room you walk into with a spirit of affirmation, optimism and enthusiasm (see also 1 Thess 5:16-18).

5) What’s the difference between success and prosperity and, if there is a difference, can you have both?

Answer: To succeed is to “win,” to prosper is to enjoy the opportunities and resources that proceed from being “winning.” And according to Scripture, you can have both by studying and obeying the Word of God.

While you can do an in depth word study on Joshua 1:8 which talks about how by meditating on the Truth of God’s Word you will be both “prosperous” and “successful,” the bottom line is that “success” is to be victorious. You might be “successful” in completing a marathon or passing a test. That’s “success.” “Prosperity,” on the other hand, is being able to use victory to build and grow in all the right ways for all the right reasons (click here for more detail about those two words which are frequently used interchangeably throughout Scripture).

To succeed and prosper are guaranteed outcomes when your focus and your fuel is God’s Word. You see it in Joshua 1:8, Proverbs 3:5-6 and Matthew 6:33. The great thing about these promises is that by keeping things between the lines, you’re able to experience the best of both worlds without having to make any compromises (Prov 10:22) and’that’s the kind of success and prosperity you want!

Theodore Roosevelt once said that a through knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education. He’s not wrong. However successful you may be in acquiring the knowledge you need in order to engage the workforce with a marketable skill, in the end, it’s not so much the money you make as much as it’s the person that you are.

What matters most is what outlasts you long after the dates on your tombstone have faded and your accomplishments are forgotten. It’s the impact you make that resonates in eternity that is your priority- and every bit of that stems from your relationship with your King.

Seize every opportunity and engage your college experience as a transformational and enjoyable time in your life! But do so in a way that incorporates the Wisdom that comes from One Who sees you both now and a decade from now and has your best interests at heart like no other. Do that and you’ll have more than a degree on your wall…

…you’ll have a life that’s worth living!

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