Showing posts with label idolatry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label idolatry. Show all posts

01 August 2017

Objects of Worship

Theme: The Problem of Idolatry

  • Deuteronomy 5:7-9
  • 1 John 5:19-21
  • 1 Corinthians 10:14
  • Colossians 3:1-5

Notes and questions
B1 Objectives: (From the Fusion D6 Sunday School Lesson book)
C1 Know: God gives us all things to enjoy, but we must avoid allowing anything other than God to become an object of worship and purpose for living.
C2 Think: Be guided by the awareness that God is the only one worthy of my worship.
C3 Do: Worship God alone, avoiding any kind of idolatry.
B2 Idolatry
C1 What is idolatry?
C2 Name some popular gods. (This could be anything. It all comes down to: In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that the light of the Good News of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not dawn on them. (2 Corinthians 4:4, WEB). People believe they are god, or at least act like it, but they are slaves of sin. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. (2 Peter 2:19, ESV2011). This is where all of us live until we are convicted by the Holy Spirit and believe the Gospel.
C3 In light of the above, what laws do most people follow? (The laws of that god). What law did Adam follow? What law did Cain follow? What law did the Lord Jesus follow?
B3 Deuteronomy 5:7-9,
C1 You must not have any other gods besides me. (Deuteronomy 5:7, NET)
D1 Are there are other gods? (Yes. As above there is the god (prince) of this world. False gods, that is, what claims to be a god but is not).
D2 Are Christians atheists?
E1 Statement
F1 But aren’t we all atheists in regards to every religion and every god claim ever proposed except for one particular religion’s god claim, Christianity’s Yahweh? Aren’t we all atheists in regards to Islam’s Allah and Mohammad, Mormon claims of Joseph Smith, Hindu claims of Shiva and Ganesh, Shinto’s claims, Wicca’s claims? Source
F2 “I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” Thought to have been said by Stephen F. Roberts
E2 Answer
F1 The definition of atheism is that there are NO gods. I believe in God, therefore, I am not an atheist.
F2 See: Do Atheists Believe in Just One Less God Than Christians? This article is by J. Warner Wallace.
C2 You must not make for yourself an image of anything in heaven above, on earth below, or in the waters beneath. (Deuteronomy 5:8, NET).
D1 Give some examples of images? What can be an image?
D2 Examples, Thor, Zeus, and Kim Jong Un
C3 You must not worship or serve them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God. I punish the sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons for the sin of the fathers who reject me, (Deuteronomy 5:9, NET). If we worship anything else, what are we doing with Yahweh?
B4 1 John 5:19-21,
C1 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies [under the sway of] the wicked one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. (1 John 5:19-21, NKJV)
C2 What are the only two kingdoms in the universe? (The kingdom of the devil and the Kingdom of God).
D1 But He, knowing their thoughts, said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and a house [divided] against a house falls. “If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? Because you say I cast out demons by Beelzebub. (Luke 11:17-18, NKJV)
D2 But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. (Luke 11:20, NKJV)
C3 How do we know that Yahweh, who is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, is the one and only God?
D1 The are many sources discussing this.
D2 Basic argument
E1 A man named Jesus existed. He is referred to by enemies (Romans and Jews) and friends (the four Gospels).
E2 The Gospels are the most reasonably accurate eyewitness accounts. See here.
E3 Jesus is God.
F1 He says He is God, “I Am” for which the Jews wanted to kill Him (Exodus 3:14 with John 8:54-59).
F2 He healed instantly (Mark 1:42, etc.).
F3 He prophesied the future (Matthew 17:22-23, etc.).
F4 He controlled the weather (Mark 4:39, etc.).
F5 He cast out demons (Mark 5:1-18, etc.).
F6 He knew secret thoughts (Mark 2:8, etc.).
F7 He raised the dead (Mark 5:21-43, etc.).
F8 He died and was raised from the dead (John 20:24-29, 1 Corinthians 15:6, etc.).
F9 He had the testimony from God the Father (Luke 9:34-36, etc.)
F10 For more see here.
E4 Jesus verified that the Bible is the word of God.
F1 Called Old Testament Scriptures (Luke 24:25-27, Matthew 4:1-11) Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! “Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. (Luke 24:25-27, NKJV)
F2 Other sources here, here, and here.
C4 Keep yourselves from idols,
D1 Why would any Christian slip and have idols?
D2 The word keep is φυλάσσω phulasso. It means to keep a watch out for, be observant.
B5 1 Corinthians 10:14,
C1 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. (1 Corinthians 10:14, NKJV)
C2 Read the context. 1 Corinthians 10:11-22.
C3 What idolatry is Paul referring to?
C4 Things that are dedicated to an idol are not to be eaten.
B6 Colossians 3:1-5,
C1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ [who is] our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:1-5, NKJV)
C2 What is our main desire to be?
C3 How do we put to death our members?
D1 Clarke’s commentary has this note: Mortify, therefore, your members] νεκρωσατε.  Put them to death: the verb is used metaphorically to signify, to deprive a thing of its power, to destroy its strength.  Use no member of your body to sin against God; keep all under dominion; and never permit the beast to run away with the man.  To gratify any sensual appetite is to give it the very food and nourishment by which it lives, thrives, and is active.  However the body may suffer by excessive sensual indulgences, the appetite increases with the indulgence.  Deny yourselves, and let reason rule; and the animal will not get the ascendency over the rational man.
D2 The first four things listed of what we are to put to death deal mainly with sexual thoughts and sins.
C4 The word for coveteous is πλεονεξία pleonexia. It means a want, lust, desire, for material things especially money.
D1 Why is covetousness dangerous?
D2 Where does covetousness come from? (Mark 7:22 (out of the heart)).
D3 The Lord Jesus speaks this warning: Then one from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But He said to him, “Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?” And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” (Luke 12:13-15, NKJV)
D4 How is covetousness an idol?
D5 What type of people must we be especially careful of? But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, [and] bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. (2 Peter 2:1-3, NKJV).
E1 Can you name any false prophets?
E2 Concerning false teachers
F1 They teach heresies. What is our protection? (Know the truth, which comes from reading and studying the Bible).
F2 How do they deny the Lord that bought them?
F3 Will any follow them?
F4 The way of truth is Christianity. How will these false teachers blaspheme the way of truth?
F5 What is one of their main allurements?
B7 How can we avoid worshipping idols?
B8 If we see that we have fallen into the trap of worshipping anything except Yahweh, what are we to do?
B9 Be encouraged
C1 If I say, “My foot slips,” Your mercy, O LORD, will hold me up. (Psalms 94:18, NKJV)
C2 Hold me up, and I shall be safe, And I shall observe Your statutes continually. (Psalms 119:117, NKJV)
C3 And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift [you] as wheat. “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to [Me,] strengthen your brethren.” (Luke 22:31-32, NKJV)
C4 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present [you] faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise,[ Be] glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:24-25, NKJV)
B10 Next week:
C1 The Lure of Materialism
C2 Theme: Honoring God with Our Treasure
C3 Scriptures:
Deuteronomy 8:10-18
Colossians 3:1-5
1 John 2:15-16
Luke 12:13-34
1 Timothy 6:6-10

Matthew 6:24-33

07 January 2017

Harmful Substitutes

Theme: The Snare of Idolatry

Know: The Israelites turned from following God to worship idols and God was very angry with them.
Think: Always maintain the mindset that God is to be my only object of worship.
Do: Worship God alone. Remove from your life anything that prevents you from giving Him the worship and obedience He is due.

Scripture: Exodus 32:1-35

Notes and questions:
B1 Outline
  • Moses
    • On the mountain
    • Off the mountain
      • He breaks the tablets of God’s law
      • He breaks idol
      • He gives drink
      • He orders judgment
      • He prays for the people
B2 Setting: Mt Sinai
B3 Time
  • A mere 60 days after Passover, Moses goes up the mountain to receive the tablets written by God. This is also only ~4 days from God’s glory on Mt. Sinai.
  • A few days after Moses goes up the mountain, the people complain to Aaron about Moses and Aaron makes the golden calf.
  • After the calf is made, the people worship it and sacrifice to it.
  • What in the world is wrong with Aaron? See Exodus 24:9-11. He SAW God, yet allows and makes the golden calf? What is wrong with the people?
  • Do miracles, signs and wonders, and seeing God’s glory always convert the sinner?
B4 Exodus 32:1-6,
  • What is the people's attitude? They say, "Make gods for us."
  • Why did Aaron make the golden calf?
  • In Exodus 32:4, who is they?
  • In Exodus 32:5, why did Aaron proclaim a fast to Yahweh, while the people said, ...gods?"
  • After their sacrifices, what did the people do?
  • How does this attitude and action happen in churches today?
  • What is the responsibility of leaders?
  • What is the responsibility of the people?
B5 Exodus 32:7-10,
  • How did God know the people had sinned? What details did He give that proved He knew?
  • Why did God want to destroy His special people, Israel?
  • What does God know about you or me?
  • What are some things that will make God angry?
B6 Exodus 32:11-14,
  • Should we pray for others, interceding for them?
  • Did God really change His mind?
    • God always has conditions in mind.
    • Here, if one would plead with Him, He would change His mind.
    • The condition is usually understood, not always stated.
    • God wants repentance.
    • God would rather have mercy, than judgment. YET!
    • Romans 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    • Luke 13:3 - "I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.
    • Revelation 2:5 - `Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place--unless you repent.
    • Revelation 2:22 - `Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds.
B7 Exodus 32:15-18,
  • Is there any significance that God wrote these tablets? Does it differ from the words given to the prophets and Apostles?
  • How do you imagine Moses tone of voice when he said, “ is the sound of singing that I hear?” Was it in sorrow, anger, disappointment, hurt, etc.?
B8 Exodus 32: 19-20
  • Was Moses’ anger justified?
  • Why did He throw the tablets down?
B9 Exodus 32:21-24,
  • What is wrong with Aaron?
  • Why do humans like lying?
  • Shouldn’t we deal with reality and truth?
  • How can we better do this?
B10 Exodus 32:25-29,
  • The word for out of control means loose, that is, without control, self-control. Some older translations use the word naked, because of the idea of uncover, and it is used this way in Leviticus.
  • Did Aaron let them get out of control, or did they choose to be so against Aaron’s wishes?
  • Why would their enemies make fun of them? See Proverbs 14:34.
  • Why the command to kill? See Exodus 32:27.
  • If many were guilty, when only a few died? Most reasonable would be those who died were the instigators.
    • 32:21-29 “Never did any wise man make a more frivolous and foolish excuse than that of Aaron. We must never be drawn into sin by any thing man can say or do to us; for men can but tempt us to sin, they cannot force us. The approach of Moses turned the dancing into trembling. They were exposed to shame by their sin. The course Moses took to roll away this reproach, was, not by concealing the sin, or putting any false colour upon it, but by punishing it. The Levites were to slay the ringleaders in this wickedness; yet none were executed but those who openly stood forth. Those are marked for ruin who persist in sin: those who in the morning were shouting and dancing, before night were dying. Such sudden changes do the judgments of the Lord sometimes make with sinners that are secure and jovial in their sin.”
B11 Exodus 32: 30-35
  • Why did Moses go back up the mountain to make atonement for their sin? Did he think that maybe more would die?
  • Was he showing compassion?
  • What attitude was Moses showing in Exodus 32:32? Was he serious in his request? Compare Romans 9:3.
  • What is God’s answer to Moses in Exodus 32:33? Who is to die for their sin? What hope is there for anyone? See 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 and 1 Peter 1:18-21.
  • Note the seriousness of sin.
  • How do we avoid sin?
B12 Next week:
  • A place to meet with God
  • Theme: The glory of God’s presence.
  • Text: Exodus 40:1-38