07 August 2017

The Lure of Materialism

Theme: Honoring God with Our Treasure

  • 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

Notes and questions:
B1 Objectives: (from the D6 Fusion Sunday School lesson book)
C1 Know: We are to worship and honor God before investing in our own pleasure and comfort.
C2 Think: Seeking God first is more important to me than material possessions.
C3 Do: Seek God and His kingdom first and avoid getting caught up in the desire for material possessions.
B2 What is the highest priority in life?
B3 Remember Balaam? Money was more important to him than God.
C1 Numbers 22-25. Balaam was to prophesy God’s word to Balak. God blessed Israel. Balak wanted Israel cursed. Balaam finally gave advice to have the Moabite women become prostitutes to the Israeli men. Many in Israel died and Balaam, because he gave evil advice (Numbers 31:16), was killed (Numbers 31:8 and Joshua 13:22).
C2  Forsaking the right way, they went astray, having followed the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of wrongdoing; but he was rebuked for his own disobedience. A mute donkey spoke with a man’s voice and stopped the madness of the prophet. (II Peter 2:15-16 [WEB])
C3 Woe to them! For they went in the way of Cain, and ran riotously in the error of Balaam for hire, and perished in Korah’s rebellion. (Jude 1:11 [WEB])
C4 But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to throw a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. (Revelation of John 2:14 [WEB]
B4 Some things about money and things.
C1 Good things
D1 Giving
E1 Be ready to give:  Tell those who have the riches of this world not to be arrogant and not to place their confidence in anything as uncertain as riches. Instead, they should place their confidence in God who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. Tell them to do good, to do a lot of good things, to be generous, and to share. (I Timothy 6:17-18 [GodsWord]
E2  For neither was there among them any who lacked, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet, and distribution was made to each, according as anyone had need. Joses, who by the apostles was also called Barnabas (which is, being interpreted, Son of Encouragement), a Levite, a man of Cyprus by race, having a field, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet. (Acts 4:34-37 [WEB]
D2 Helping
E1 Helping to support pastors, missionaries, and other gospel workers:  Nevertheless, it was kind of you to share my troubles. You Philippians also know that in the early days, when I left the province of Macedonia to spread the Good News, you were the only church to share your money with me. You gave me what I needed, and you received what I gave you. (Philippians 4:14-15 [GodsWord])
E2 The poor with their needs: For it has been the good pleasure of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are at Jerusalem. (Romans 15:26 [WEB]
C2 Bad things Riches...
D1 Cannot pay God off:  Those who trust in their wealth, and boast in the multitude of their riches— none of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give God a ransom for him. For the redemption of their life is costly, no payment is ever enough, (Psalms 49:6-8 [WEB]
D2 Can make a person do more evil: “Behold, this is the man who didn’t make God his strength, but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.” (Psalms 52:7 [WEB])
D3 Brings a temptation to trust in riches rather than God: Don’t trust in oppression. Don’t become vain in robbery. If riches increase, don’t set your heart on them. (Psalms 62:10 [WEB])
D4 Develops an attitude that since one is rich, there is no need for God: Behold, these are the wicked. Being always at ease, they increase in riches. (Psalms 73:12 [WEB])
D5 Don’t deliver on the day of wrath: Riches don’t profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. (Proverbs 11:4 [WEB])
D6 Are more important than honor: A gracious woman obtains honor, but violent men obtain riches. (Proverbs 11:16 [WEB])
D7 Are more important than a good name (reputation): A good name is more desirable than great riches, and loving favor is better than silver and gold. (Proverbs 22:1 [WEB])
D8 Causes people to make hasty decisions (get rich quick): A stingy man hurries after riches, and doesn't know that poverty waits for him. (Proverbs 28:22 [WEB]
D9 Hinder one from becoming a Christian: Jesus looked around, and said to his disciples, “How difficult it is for those who have riches to enter into the Kingdom of God!” (Mark 10:23 [WEB])
D10 Cause a person to neglect their love for God: That which fell among the thorns, these are those who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. (Luke 8:14 [WEB]
D11 Cannot buy the Gift of God: But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! (Acts 8:20 [WEB]
B5 Deuteronomy 8:10-18,
C1 Deuteronomy 8:10: When God blesses us with what we need and perhaps more, what are we to do?
C2 What happens sometimes when we have more than what we need? (We forget God and His ways). How do we prevent that?
C3 When is it right and good for us to look back on our life and reflect on God’s goodness and times of deliverance? Can you share a time this happened to you?
B6 Colossians 3:1-5,
C1 Colossians 3:1, what are the things above that we are to seek? (God’s ways, for that is where Messiah sits).
C2 In Colossians 3:2, the word for set is φρονέω phroneo. It means to have as our main interest, our highest priority. Does this mean that all we think about is singing songs and playing harps in heaven? (No, for we are servants of the Most High and need to promote, live, teach His ways, especially the Gospel).
C3 What are we to put to death? How do we do this?
B7 1 John 2:15-16,
C1 What does the word world refer to? (See John 15:19, Romans 12:2, and Ephesians 2:2).
C2 What are 3 identifiers of the world? (The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life). Give an example of each.
B8 Luke 12:13-34,
C1 In Luke 12:16-19, what did this rich man not understand? How can we avoid his foolishness? Why do many people miss what is really important?
C2 Why does Jesus encourage them not to be anxious? (He knows anxiety is hard on our health, and He emphasizes what is really important. We should be wanting to be rich spiritually). How do we become rich spiritually?
C3 What is the key teaching in Luke 12:34?
B9 1 Timothy 6:6-10,
C1 Another translation: A godly life brings huge profits to people who are content with what they have. (I Timothy 6:6 [GodsWord]). What kind of profits is the Apostle referring to?
C2 How does earthly riches compare to heavenly riches?
C3 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away[ from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:10, NASB). Is the love of money the only root of evil? (The Greek does not have THE root of all evil, but A root of all evil).
B10 Matthew 6:24-33,
C1 What is the reason that we cannot serve 2 masters?
C2 Which master should we serve?
C3 How do we do that? (Consider, But first, be concerned about his kingdom and what has his approval. Then all these things will be provided for you. (Matthew 6:33 [GodsWord])
C4 How do we not worry?
B11 Next week:
C1 Where Does the Time Go?
C2 Theme: Honoring God with Our Time
C3 Scriptures:

  • 1 Peter 4:8-11
  • Ephesians 5:15-17
  • Ephesians 6:5-8

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