Theme: Integrity Under Pressure
- Daniel 1:1-21
- Daniel 6:1-27
- Daniel 9:1-23
Objectives: (From the D6 Fusion Sunday School Lesson book)
Know: Daniel lived with consistent integrity before God and the leaders of an idolatrous nation.
Think: Have the mindset that doing what is right is more important than my comfort or pleasure.
Do: Do what is right, even if it may cost me.
Notes and questions:
B1 Introductory Questions:
C1 What is Christian culture?
D1 "What is Christian culture? It is essentially the Mass. That is not my or anyone’s opinion or theory or wish but the central fact of 2,000 years of history. Christendom, what secularists call Western Civilization, is the Mass and the paraphernalia which protect and facilitate it. All architecture, art, political and social forms, economics, the way people live and feel and think, music, literature ― all these things when they are right are ways of fostering and protecting the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. To enact a sacrifice, there must be an altar, an altar has to have a roof over it in case it rains; to reserve the Blessed Sacrament, we build a little House of Gold and over it a Tower of Ivory with a bell and a garden round it with the roses and lilies of purity, emblems of the Virgin Mary ― Rosa Mystica, Turris Davidica, Turris Eburnea, Domus Aurea, who carried His Body and His Blood in her womb, Body of her body, Blood of her blood. And around the church and garden, where we bury the faithful dead, the caretakers live, the priests and religious whose work is prayer, who keep the Mystery of Faith in its tabernacle of music and words in the Office of the Church; and around them, the faithful who gather to worship and divide the other work that must be done in order to make the perpetuation of the Sacrifice possible – to raise the food and make the clothes and build and keep the peace so that generations to come may live for Him, so that the Sacrifice goes on even until the consummation of the world." - John Senior, from "The Restoration of Christian Culture" Source
D2 German post-Christian culture:
E1 Because of the church’s past influence, Sunday is a special day in German culture, but it’s no longer because people gather for worship. It’s now merely the day to spend time with family and friends and to rest from a week’s hard work.
E2 In Germany, the body is primarily viewed as part of the animal kingdom (think naturalistic evolution). Apart from the Christian understanding that humans are made in the image of God, the body is no longer revered. The resulting prolific obscenities in advertisements, red-light-infested city districts, legalization of assisted suicide, abortion practices, and fewer couples getting married and having children, all testify to the reality that humanity has lost its grandeur as the pinnacle of God’s good creation. People have forgotten their purpose to bring God glory.
E3 I once had some friends over for a party here in Germany. As I relayed a story of my own, one of them replied, “Wait…you don’t actually believe Jesus is God, do you? The Trinity?” Then he laughed like he was watching a funny cartoon. He thought my story was ridiculous. I wasn’t offended—he’d actually never met anyone that believes what the Bible teaches. But his response was indicative of something larger in the culture here. Source
D3 One of the causes of the decline in cultural Christianity in America is the hypocrisy of Christians who talk the talk, but do not walk the walk. The shameful gap between the "orthodoxy" (sound doctrine) and "orthopraxy" (sound practice) of too many Christians has been, and is, a disgrace to the Gospel. Far too many professing Christians claim Jesus as Lord, but in reality live as if He were merely their relationship advisor, financial consultant, or lucky charm. The often staggering hypocrisy of too much of the American church often suffocates the witness and stifles evangelism and discipleship. Source
C2 Is there a difference between what the New Testament teaches for Christians and Christian culture?
C3 Does Christian culture change with time or location?
C4 Is it required for us to live a Christian culture?
C5 Are we to accept the culture of the area, state, or country?
B2 How are we to live a Christian life of integrity in our culture?
C1 Will our integrity be tested?
C2 Does God test our integrity?
C3 Do nonbelievers test our integrity?
B4 Daniel 1:1-21
D1 Introduction and setting: Daniel 1:1-2
D2 The King’s decree: Daniel 1:3-7
D3 The conflict: Daniel 1:8-21
God is my judge
Bel’s prince (Baal)
The Lord is gracious
Illumined by the sun god
Who is as God
Who is like shach, that is, Venus
The Lord is my help
The servant of Nego
C3 Why would Nebuchadnezzar change their names?
B5 Daniel 1:3-4 NKJV Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king's descendants and some of the nobles, (4) young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans.
C1 What a wonderful opportunity! Here was the finest education in the world, great housing, free food, and comforts of the world. How could something like this overthrow one’s faith?
C2 It appears that Nebuchadnezzar wanted them to leave their god, their religion, their way of life for Babylon’s. Would leaving the life that Yahweh wanted have been a temptation to the Jewish youth?
B6 Daniel 1:8 NKJV But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
C1 What does the word defile refer to?
D1 It refers to clean and unclean practices and foods as described in the Law.
D2 Leviticus 20:25 NKJV You shall therefore distinguish between clean animals and unclean, between unclean birds and clean, and you shall not make yourselves abominable by beast or by bird, or by any kind of living thing that creeps on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean.
D3 Ezekiel 5:11 NKJV 'Therefore, as I live,' says the Lord GOD, 'surely, because you have defiled My sanctuary with all your detestable things and with all your abominations, therefore I will also diminish you; My eye will not spare, nor will I have any pity.
C2 What would cause Daniel so he would not defile himself?
D1 He knew God (he was a believer). Daniel 11:32 NKJV Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.
D2 Hebrews 12:3-4 NKJV For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. (4) You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.
C3 Did Daniel’s decision pave the way for God’s later purposes for him in prophecy, etc.?
C4 How can we remain true in testing, trial, troubles, and persecution?
C5 We no longer live under Jewish laws (Acts 15:27-30 ). How can Christians defile themselves today?
C6 How do we Christians know what is defiling?
C7 Are we to follow an ordnung?
D1 The ordnung is the unwritten rules of plain people’s (conservative Amish, Mennonites, and others) life and living.
D2 It is learned in life by the young as they see their parents and others living it. Some compare it to how we learn the rules of grammar as we grow up.
D3 These rules vary by church group and settlement.
C8 What are Christians to follow?
B7 Daniel 1:12 NKJV Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink.
C1 How was Daniel’s attitude better than stubborn resistance?
C2 Since this was Daniel’s and his companion’s diet, does it mean we are to follow such a diet today?
B8 Daniel 1:17 NKJV As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
C1 The King ordered education for these youths. Who also was teaching them?
C2 What can we learn from this?
C3 How can we achieve great things for God?
D1 God gifts His people with what they need for their ministry.
D2 Some have greater, some have lesser.
D3 2 Chronicles 26:5 NKJV He sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God; and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him prosper.
D4 Philippians 2:12-13 NKJV Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; (13) for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
D5 Romans 5:3-4 NKJV And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; (4) and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
B9 Daniel 6--Daniel and the lion’s den
C1 Daniel 6:7-10 NKJV All the governors of the kingdom, the administrators and satraps, the counselors and advisors, have consulted together to establish a royal statute and to make a firm decree, that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. (8) Now, O king, establish the decree and sign the writing, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter." (9) Therefore King Darius signed the written decree. (10) Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.
D1 When Daniel knew the king’s decree, he still prayed. He knew that he probably die.
D2 What can we learn from this?
D3 What if society, our government, our boss do not appreciate our Christian life and witness?
C2 Does God always deliver from persecution?
C3 Why is Daniel delivered, but most others are not?
C4 Is Daniel more spiritual than others?
C5 We should remember that the Lord Jesus died in persecution.
B10 Daniel 9--Daniel’s prayer, Gabriel, and the prophecy of the 70 weeks
C1 Why is prayer important?
C2 Why does God sometimes not give us what we pray for?
C3 Daniel 9:23 NKJV At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision.
D1 It is written that Daniel was greatly beloved by God.
D2 Was he loved more than believers today?
D3 Name some ways that God show His love today.
B11 Name some ways we can be consistent in our Christian life?
B12 Next week:
C1 Job, the man whose integrity God tested
C2 Theme: Integrity under fire
- Job 1:13-22
- Job 2:1-10
- Job 27:1-6
- Job 31:5-8
- Job 38:1-7
- Job 42:1-6