Since this is a study of attitudes, it is important that we notice some general observations concerning the subject of attitude.

When we speak of one's attitude, we are generally speaking of one's approach to life; or approach that one has to a subject or a principle that confronts him. One of the finest compliments paid to a person is that he or she has a fine attitude.

The word attitude itself is not found in the Holy Scriptures; yet there are a number of scriptures that deal with our attitude. Notice:

A. Jesus involved attitude when he spoke the beatitudes in His sermon on the mount. Every one of these statements refers to the person's attitude as subjects in His kingdom that was to be established, (Matthew 5:3-12).

B. Jesus detected the proper attitude when He told the lawyer, "Thou art not far from the kingdom of God." (Mark 12:34)

C. Paul referred to the proper attitude of citizens in the kingdom in Philippians 4:8.

D. The Bible states of men obeying the word and others refusing to be obedient, (Acts 24:25; Acts 26:28-29) Attitude was a great factor. ... those who obey have developed the right attitude for obedience!

1. How does having the proper attitude govern our actions today?

2. Can we expect our actions to be in harmony with God's will if we have the attitude He demands?

3. Does our acceptance or rejection of any truth depend upon our attitude toward it.

(2 Thessalonians. 2:10-12).

We can never experience the joys of Christ's kingdom without the proper attitude. The wrong attitude accounts for much indifference, murmuring and lack of joy exhibited by members of the church today. They haven't developed the proper attitude toward what they have professed to be; or professed to have accepted.

One cannot be "faithful unto death" nor expect to have a home in heaven without developing the proper attitude toward this world; the way we live in it, and the way we approach death. Think of the marvelous attitude of Paul ....... Acts 20:24, Phil. 1:21-23, 2 Timothy 1:12, 2 Tim. 4:7-8.

Nothing must be allowed to take precedence over our desire to know and practice the truth, which is the word of God. (John 17:17) We must place the truth before everyone and everything. Matt. 10:37-39; John 15:14; Luke 9:23-26.

1. What are we told to do in Acts 5:29 & Gal. 1:10 ?

2. What about those who do not "abide in the teaching of Christ?" (2 John. 9-11)

3. What areas of our life are the scriptures to be used in? (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:3)

4. How are we to consider ourselves as we live in this present world? (1 Pet. 2:11)

We are to think on these principles as the "godly" attitude, and apply them in every situation. As we engage in this study there will be many different ideas exchanged. You must be true to yourself and God. Listen carefully, then apply every conclusion that is backed up with God's Word; because that is what you will be judged by. (John 12:48)

What is Your Attitude Toward Sin?

For the Christian to remain faithful to God, he must have a godly attitude toward sin.

What is sin?

1. What does 1 John 3:4 tell us that sin is?

2. What does 1 John 5:17 tell us that sin is?

3. What does Romans 14:23 tell us that sin is?

4. What does James 4:17 tell us that sin is?

5. How is one led to sin? (James 1:13-15)

6. What do an individual's sins do? (Isaiah 59:1-2)

What are the characteristics of sin?

1. Hebrews 3:13 - Sin is _______________________________________________________

2. Hebrews 3:8 - Sin can _____________________________________________________

3. 2 Tim. 3:13 - Sin is _________________________________________________________

4. Hebrews 11:25 - Sin's pleasure lasts __________________________________________

5. Romans 6:23 - Sin's wages __________________________________________________

6. Philippians 3:19 - Sin's glory is ______________________________________________

What should the Christian do with his sins?

1. What is the right and a wrong way to deal with sins. (Proverbs 28:13)

2. Your sin will _________________________________( Numbers 32:23)

3. You are to___________________________________(1 John 1:8-10)

4. You are to___________________________________(Acts 8:22)

5. You are to___________________________________(Proverbs 28:13)

Can a Christian "overlook" certain sins in his life? Does God "overlook" them? If we are not careful we will judge sins as "big" sins and "little" sins.

What does James 2:10-11 say about different sins?


There have been many problems between brethren over this issue. We have seen TWO EXTREMES... Since there is not a dress code given in the scriptures, telling us specifics of our dress, some come away with an attitude that they can do anything that they want. Others go to the opposite extreme and bind a long list of prohibitions.

The Bible gives no dress code to us directly. But it does give instructions.

We need to answer the following questions....

Notice the following dress code that was adopted by the Sears stores in the Los Angeles Area. (From the late 80's)

1. For Men:

a. Men must wear dress shirts, ties, dress slacks, and dress shoes.

b. Jeans are NOT allowed.

c. Tennis shoes are not accepted.

d. Shirts with writing and cartoons are NOT approved.

e. Hair styles must be neat, trim, and clean.

2. For Women:

a. Women are required to wear dresses or skirts and blouses, and all must be conservative in style.

b. Strapless or spaghetti strap dresses and bare midriffs are not acceptable.

c. Dress shoes and hosiery are required.

d. Jeans are not allowed.

e. Shirts with writing and cartoons are NOT approved.

f. Hair styles must be neat, trim, and clean.


According to the Sears memo they said that they were doing this to "attract and retain business." They also said, "there is no substitute for good judgement in appropriate dress. Our customers deserve and expect to shop in a pleasant, professional appearing, courteous environment. Our employment relies on our ability to attract and retain the business of our customers."

How do you think this might apply to our thinking concerning modesty?

Why would a young man (or woman) dress up for a date on Saturday night and show up at church like he/she is ready to play tag football?


1. A healthy respect for God. Godly men and women consider what they wear as a reflection of their respect for God; and it is. When they get up and look in the closet they remember that they are going to represent their Savior to the world as they make their decision as to what to put on. (They have already made half of the decision when they bought their clothes.)

2. A fear for their own safety Even some ungodly or worldly women may dress in a modest way when they realize their lives could be in danger if they do not. We should teach our young girls of the real dangers that are present in the world. This teaching needs to begin from a very young age.

Many years ago a Cuban gun boat stopped an American pleasure boat. One of the Cuban officers informed the captain of the American boat that before the Cubans boarded the boat, the women needed to dress themselves in a modest fashion or else they might be harmed. They knew exactly how to dress so as not to call undue attention to their bodies by the Cubans. They knew what modesty was.

3. A consideration of others. It is an embarrassing thing for a Godly man or woman to have to see a member of the opposite sex who is not dressed modestly. I even heard of a situation where the men of one church refused to pass the elements of the Lord's supper to the congregation because they were too embarrassed by the way some of the women were dressed. I know personally of one young man who was embarrassed to lead singing because of some who were dressed (and sat) immodestly.

Some might say that the problem is with the men and women who would allow themselves to be embarrassed (or stimulated) by the way someone else dresses. But let's remember that God designed us to be this way..


1. A disrespect for God. (ungodly men and women) They may understand what the word modest means but they just couldn't care less. They don't take God under consideration when hey dress.

2. They have no consideration for others. They basically are selfish and had rather please themselves than any others (God included) and no one is going to tell them anything (especially how to dress). Not God, not husband, not others, etc.

3. Some are ignorant of God's will and what modesty is all about. They do not realize that they are dressing contrary to God's will, they don't realize they are putting their own lives in danger by that maniac who may be on the street or next door, and they don't realize they are so offensive to Godly people.

Whose Responsibility is it to Teach?

1. Who has the greatest burden of responsibility? Ephesians. 6:1-4; Col. 3:18-21.

2. What role should mothers have in teaching their daughters how to dress?

3. When should this teaching begin?

4. What about when a teenage girl or grown woman is converted to Christ who had not been taught how to dress?

5. What effect does one have on the newly converted if they dress improperly?

6. What role should fathers have in teaching modesty to their sons?

7. Who should make the final decision in the home when it comes to modesty?

8. Does a LOCAL church have a role in teaching modesty? How?


1 Timothy 2:9

1. What is the Context?

2. V. 1-7 What is the general - Emphasis?

3. V. 8 Men are to hold up "holy hands." What does this mean?

4. What is their attitude to be while praying?

5. The emphasis is on men in v8.... What is meant in v.9 by, "In Like Manner" or "Likewise" concerning the women?

6. Look up in your reference material what the following words mean:

"Modest Apparel" (proper clothing, modest [NAS])

"Shamefacedness" (modestly and discreetly [NAS])


7. What examples are given of what proper attire should/should not be?

We must ask ourselves then (both men and women):

1. Does the way I dress profess GODLINESS? Explain how.

2. Our wardrobe tells about us....Gen. 38:13-15

A. Gen. 38:13 (Tamar) .... What is "Widow's apparel"

B. Gen. 38:14-15.... What is "Harlot's apparel"


C. Mary Quant (Originator of the Mini-skirt) stated that it symbolized woman's freedom to engage in illicit sex.

D. Hot Pants - (The designer's expression) was applied to a lustful, promiscuous woman. Thus, the name is suggestive of fornication.

Paul is saying that women should dress in a manner that symbolizes GODLINESS, not WORLDLINESS.

IF we dress to "look like everyone else?" That's WORLDLINESS!

IF we dress to show our wealth? (Text) "gold, pearls, costly array" That's WORLDLINESS!

IF we dress to look "Sexy?" That's WORLDLINESS!

We should ALWAYS dress with a view to displaying godliness!

We should ALWAYS dress for God first, then to please ourself or others.

We should ALWAYS consider God's instructions EVERY TIME you get dressed and EVERY TIME you buy clothes, put on make-up, etc.

Modesty has to do with our attitude .... You can look stylish, dress according to your wealth and ability; etc......(Consider Amish - Inappropriate - purpose is to draw attention to your self) If you dress TO LOOK stylish; rich; etc. this is WORLDLINESS (Consider also....make-up; wild cutting/coloring hair, tattoos, body piercing, etc.)

How short is short? How long is long? Who's to say what is immodest & what is not? - Does this suggest that there is no right and wrong in this matter? It is true that some clothing may be on the border.... but, there is always a safe; non-borderline; way to dress.

Another passage we need to consider.... Gal. 5:16-21b

"Lasciviousness" (KJV) ("sensuality" - NAS) = Wanton; lewd; lustful; tending to produce lewd emotions.....i.e. shamelessness

1. Can a garment that cause lust... (sexy) (Consider Matt 5:28; - 2 Sam. 11:2

see also: Mark 7:20-23

2. Can a woman can claim innocence in the wearing of scanty attire!

3. What is "Sexy Clothing" designed for?

4. What does this passage say about the consequences of walking according to the flesh?

5. Does this apply to men, too? (Short cut-offs; half shirts; tight jeans)

As you recall, the word "modesty" also carries with it the idea of appropriateness for the occasion...Consider the Sears Memo. Some are opposed to mixed swimming, but go in street clothes. When you see someone in clothing that is meant for the street but now clings to the body because of it being wet, that is immodest and it is sexually alluring. Some attire might be appropriate to working in yard....not to go to the mall.

What about when we worship? It is not a fashion show, but it is not a hobo's parade either. It is a holy occasion and we should dress accordingly. We should not disregard the sanctity of the occasion.

Note: Ex. 28:42-43....

1. Was God concerned about the way the priests dressed?

2. If invited to dine with would you dress?

3. What about going to a wedding....funeral... etc.?


4. We are here to share in the Lord's Supper with the Lord - should we consider this a VERY SPECIAL EVENT?

5. We are here to worship the God of heaven.... With all his angels looking on..... should we be concerned about our dressing accordingly?

6. Should we...."Give of the Best to Your Master" as we sometime sing?

Another passage to consider - Rom. 14:4-8

We will never find complete agreement on this subject. But I know this, this is a subject where there is always a "Safe Way."

1. What should our attitude be toward those who do not agree with us on this subject?

2. What does this passage indicate that we must do if we are not sure if something is right or wrong?

However, don't "kid" yourself and somehow try to justify what is not of faith. If we want to do something bad enough; or we find ourselves unable to convince our children; or we are afraid of looking odd to our neighbors or co-workers we can seek to justify what we know in our hearts is wrong.

Another passage we need to consider... Matt. 22:36-40

1. What is it that the Lord wants from you?

2. What does John 14:23 teach us? How do we apply that to this subject?

(v. 15 "If you love Me - keep my ________________________")

While we are at it, we need to consider children - what they wear now is what they will be used to wearing as they grow up. Consider what they wear to church, too. (consider Proverbs 22:6)

MODEST APPAREL - Twenty-one reasons why Christians should not publicly wear immodest apparel. This list applies, in principle, to both men and women. Though men are more inclined to lust via visual stimuli, we would be naive to think women are unaffected.

1. The Lord tells the Christian to dress modestly (l Tim.2:9).

2. Immodesty causes the lust which Jesus condemns in Matthew 5: 27-28.

3. Immodesty leads to fornication (sexual immorality). In 2 Samuel 11:2-4 King David looked, he lusted, and this led him to commit adultery with Bathsheba.

4. It compounds the problems of the sex perverts. Because of immodest apparel, the sex-aholics, child molesters, homosexuals, lesbians and rapists are hindered very greatly in overcoming their problems.

5. It leads to sex crimes. Studies have shown that short skirts and clothing on women, are definitely a factor which leads to rape and other sex crimes. This should be a surprise only to the poorest students of human nature; and this consideration alone should be enough to cause women to dress modestly. I don't know of any studies that have been conducted with women and their response to men who are immodestly dressed. But women are becoming more vocal about such things and admit that they, too, are tempted to lust when men are improperly dressed.

6. It leads to impure thinking. Paul told Timothy to treat the younger ladies with purity (1 Timothy 5:2). How in the name of reason can a young man have pure thoughts toward young ladies who are out displaying themselves in their bikinis, short-shorts, halter tops, or mini-skirts? He'll have thoughts toward them, but they sure won't be pure. Men, women are not going to have pure thoughts about you while you display your body in tight jeans, muscle shirts, half-shirts, cut-offs with holes in all the wrong spots, etc.

7. It can send a Christian to Hell. Jesus said that if a man lusts after a woman he has committed spiritual adultery (Matthew 5:27,28); (1 Cor. 6:9,10); or, if his lust leads him to actual adultery or fornication this also can cause him to be lost (Galatians 5:19-21). The same principle applies to women, too. If they lust after a man they have committed spiritual adultery and be led to committing adultery.

8. It makes the Christian a party to the sin. When a Christian dresses in such a way as to cause someone to lust after them, they have caused that person to sin (Matthew 5:27,28); but they are also guilty, before God, since they led someone to lust.

9. It can send a Christian to Hell. If one dresses in such a way as to cause someone to sin, they may very well be lost over this.

10. It shows that the Christian is not really concerned about the welfare of others. Paul said he would not eat meat, or do anything whereby his brother would stumble (Rom. 14:21; 1 Cor. 8:13). When a person dresses in such a way as to cause another to lust after them, and to commit fornication, it is obvious that they are not really concerned about other's welfare.

11. It shows that the Christian's heart is not right before God. What Christian would dress in such a way as to attract lustful glances?

12. It leads to jealousy in the marriage. When a Christian's mate is constantly looking at the ill-clad bodies of others, this causes, jealousy; and rightly so.

13. It causes your mate to feel bad. When a person realizes that everyone else and his brother is seeing what they alone, should see, this cannot help but hurt them.

14. It's a bad example for our children. We reap what we sow. Do we really want our children running around half naked in public?

15. Jesus would not do it. He also would not want to be put in the embarrassing position of having to look at what some Christians wear. Would you want Jesus to find you wearing immodest clothing when He comes back?

16. It's a poor advertisement for the Church. When the members of the Lord's church are in public in immodest attire, does this indicate to the world that we are that "Holy Nation' of 1 Peter 2:9? Does this indicate to the world that God is truly "among us (l Cor. 14:25)?

17. It is hypocritical. How can we go to church and pray, and study the Bible and sing songs like "Purer in Heart oh God" and "Holy, Holy, Holy," and then go out in public immodestly dressed?

18. It hinders the cause of Christ. What glory does Jesus get from Christians who try to look "sexy?"

19. It's mild pornography, and it's akin to burlesque. With immodest apparel it seems that great effort is taken to expose virtually every thing. Which is worse? How can we condemn pornography on one hand, and on the other hand sanction clothing which leaves hardly anything to the imagination?

20. It bids God speed to our country's trend toward nakedness. The Bible teaches that nakedness is shameful (Revelation 3:18). Why should we add to this problem?

21. It adds to our country's problem with fornication (sexual immorality). Our nation today is steeped in fornication. It has been estimated that as high as 70 percent of American women are now involved in "affairs." The percentage of men is probably higher. When we dress in such a way as to promote lust and fornication, this only adds to the problem.

In closing let me say -

From a man's point of view, the woman is, without a doubt, the most beautiful creature in God's physical creation. Nothing on earth compares with her beauty. Because of this, men are attracted to women and women have a certain power over men. God has also designed the man to be attractive to women. This is as it should be. It therefore behooves Christians to dress and conduct ourselves in such a way as to promote purity on God's earth.



Why do we work? Believe it or not there can be several answers to this question. Children might answer, "I work to help out." around the house; or with a parent's business. Or, perhaps, "I work to earn a little spending money." When we get older and have a family of our own, we might answer, "I work to make a living and pay the bills." After we retire we might answer, "I work to keep busy."

Because of the different reasons that we might work, and because of the way we were "brought up" (Eph. 6:4), we find different attitudes toward work; from, "I love my job." to "I hate to work."

This lesson will help us to see the godly attitude that we should have toward work. Since money is usually the reason we have jobs, we will also briefly look at the proper attitude we should have toward money.


Every Christian must ask themselves, "What should my work ethics and attitudes be on the job?"

Work is a word familiar to all of us. For centuries it has conveyed the idea of honor in the thing accomplished as well as in the one who accomplished it. Though there are many facetious remarks made concerning work, its honor has not until recent years been challenged or come into disrespect. There is, however in the present, the attitude that work is no longer honorable but is a curse to man.

1. Who originated work? (Gen. 2:15).

Work has been a universal requirement placed upon man by his Creator. There was no need for a direct command to work, anymore than a direct command was necessary for man to breathe. It is an understood part of man's responsibility in the realm in which God has placed him.

2. Was work given as a curse? (Gen. 3)

In Gen. 2 man had not sinned nor in any way alienated himself from God. He was in a state of perfection and innocence. Work was not given to man as a punishment or to lower the dignity of man. Rather, man's Creator knew His creature!

He realized that for man's happiness, contentment, achievement, satisfaction, dignity, and productivity, man must work.

He is happiest when his hands and mind are occupied by labor. This fact is abundantly seen in those who think total retirement from work and responsibility is the happiest of all forms of existence. What they really find is misery and the desire to return to the "old grind." Therefore work is to be seen as for man's good and as honorable before his Maker!

It is true that following man's departure from the will of his benevolent Father his punishment included increased difficulty. Thus every man's labor will have with it "thorns and thistles" to keep

before his mind the consequences of sin. But these do not point to work itself as a curse or punishment. Work is still as honorable as it was when given by God for man, before the entrance of sin.

3. What does God teach us concerning being lazy? (Prov. 13:4).

The real blessings of life whether physical or spiritual, comes only to those who are willing to work. No substitute can possibly bring the desired end or take the place of work. We need to all be aware that the lazy do not succeed in the Lord's work any more than they succeed in the world.

4. What did Jesus Himself, as our perfect example, say in Jn. 9:4?

5. What did Paul say in l Cor. 15:58?

6. Consider who Jesus was while in the flesh, and His fleshly responsibilities. What can we know about His work ethic? (Matt. 13:55; Lk. 2:51; John 17:4).

7. When Jesus chose His twelve "ambassadors" (Luke 6:12-13; 2 Cor. 5:21) what kind of people did he choose (workers or slackers)?

8. What responsibility do we have as men according to these scriptures?

(1 Tim. 5:8; 1 Thess. 4:12)

9. What attitudes should we have toward today's welfare system?

True servants of Christ will take close notice to the instruction of the inspired apostle Paul to the Ephesian church: Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free. And, masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him. (Eph. 6:5-9)

Many in our culture consider work to be a degrading and humiliating thing beneath their dignity. Such is not the teaching of the Word of God.

1. What was Christ's attitude toward work? (John 9:4)

Some say that work in a CURSE given to us by God as the result of Adam & Eve's sin. Look at the beginning of the book of Genesis. Is this true?

2. Did man have to work before the first sin?

3. What did God make different concerning our work after Adam & Eve's sin?

God continually teaches us that labor is GOOD. Idleness is the parent of many crimes and produces much misery. It is a "truism" that "Idle hands are the devil's workshop."

There are different types of work. The work that God gives us; the work we put into a hobby; the work that we put into our houses; and the work that we do to make a living, etc. We will mainly deal with our secular work in this less. But we will be looking at our overall attitude toward work.

Read Eph. 4:28; 1 Thess. 4:11-12; 2 Thess. 3:10-14

1. God tells us that the one who used to make a dishonest living must now make an honest living by _______________.

2. Why does the Christian work?

3. What did God say would happen with those who refused to work?

A. Effect on their Christian service?______________________________

B. God's attitude toward them?__________________________________

C. The church's responsibility toward them?________________________

We can find out a lot about the attitude we should have toward our jobs as we see what God instructs concerning the slave/master relationship. When we think of slavery we have a tendency to relate to the days of slavery in this country. I believe that is not a proper parallel. In most societies the slave/master relationship was much like the employee/employer relationship. Some who were slaves owed their masters a debt that they were working off. Some were like the share croppers of today. And some were "hired hands." The parallel that we are to see is that in these cases the slave was indebted to the master because he received something.

Read Eph. 6:5-9; Col. 3:22-25; Titus 2:9-10

1. What does God teach concerning pilfering from your job (yep, even the pencils)?

2. Can we be "argumentative" with our bosses and be pleasing to God?

3. What attitude are we to have concerning "obedience" of our employers?


4. We are to work "heartily," as if _____________________________________.


5. Should we be a "boss pleaser?"

God expects us to spend our time here on the earth working. He gives us a lot of instruction concerning our attitude toward work. He not only extols the virtues of hard work in the scriptures, but he also condemns laziness.

Read Prov. 19:15; Eccl. 9:10

1. What should our attitude be toward the amount of effort we give?

2. What is the end result of laziness?

The Christian is to participate in honorable work. He is to strive to please his boss, but he is to put God first in everything. There may be times that your boss may require to violate your conscience. He may want you to lie for him; or cheat; or act immorally. But we must always remember who will ultimately judge our work habits.

Read Acts 5:27-29; Phil. 4:8-9; Matt. 5:14; 2 Cor. 6:14-17

1. How did the apostles respond when they were told to obey those who had authority over them by not preaching Jesus any longer?

2. What should our "mind set" be concerning our work? (What should be our thinking; our attitude?)

3. Why should we care about what others (co-workers/boss) think of us on the job?

We are "the light" that directs the world to Christ. We should, therefore, be careful about what our work says about us?

Some questions we need to ask ourselves regarding work:

What should you do if you find that your job is hindering you from being a faithful Christian? (consider also Matt. 6:19-20)

May our God who made us and gave us purpose in life,

at last approve our work both secular and spiritual

and say, "Well done."


A number of positive suggestions maybe made for those who are seeking God's will for employment. Each should be thoughtfully considered and application should be made in one's personal quest for the guidance of God in his Occupation.

1. Find employment which will financially support you and your family. Remember that we also have a responsibility to help others who have needs (1 Tim. 5:8; 2 Thess. 3:10; Eph. 4:28; 2 Cor. 8:1-15; Acts 20:33-35; Titus 3:14). Likewise, we are to Support the preaching of the gospel and teaching of the Word (Phil. 1:5; 4:10-19; Gal. 6:6; 1 Cor. 9:14).

2. Choose an occupation that will enable you to use the talents, ability, interest and training that the Lord has given you. (cf. Matt. 25:14-30; Acts 18:2,3). You are a "steward" of these abilities and "it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy" (l Cor. 4:2). You will find more satisfaction with a job when you are doing what you are prepared to do and enjoy doing.

3. Find employment that will not take the entirety of your time while yet meeting your financial needs. The believer's time is valuable and he should live and work in light of eternity (Eph. 5:15,16; Heb. 9:27; John 9:4). Some jobs often require long hours and overtime which leaves little time for personal growth, family, preaching, studying or fellowship. Whereas our forefathers often worked 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, we have the marvelous privilege of laboring only about 40 hours. You may be able to labor fewer yet and devote more time to "the work of the Lord" (1 Cor. 15:58; cf. 16:15; Phil. 2:30).

4. Find employment in which you are permitted to speak to your fellow employees. Such fellow workers provide an excellent mission field. One should be prepared to defend the faith at all times (l Pet. 3:15; Col. 4:5,6), and preach "in season and out of season" (2 Tim. 4:2). Preach by "life" and "lip" to your associates.

5. You may be able to find employment that affords you some "free time" while "on the clock." A few jobs allow several hours of free time which can be profitably used in Bible reading, study, and other profitable pursuits (cf. Eph. 5: 15,16; 2 Tim. 2: 15). One time in the past I had employment that allowed me to study while at work. Firemen usually have a lot of free time. You may have a job where you simply watch a machine and could read during your working hours. Most regular employment, of course, does not permit such activity. But what a waste if we do not use this valuable time is the Lord's service.

6. Try to find employment that fills a need. Though it may provide a "living" what lasting good comes from being president of Futility Tiddlywinks Company?

Several negative suggestions may also be offered to the Christian who is searching for God's will for employment. Evaluate your present position or a potential job in light of the following points.

1. Avoid employment which will involve you in a questionable relationship.

Some places of employment "require" you to contribute to "charitable organizations" that the Christian could not, for conscience sake, contribute to. Also, you might have to do business with those whom you would not do business with outside the job "for conscience sake."

2. Avoid employment that is a hazard to your health. Your body belongs to the Lord (l Cor. 6:20), and should be treated with respect (Rom. 12:1). Your body should be "nourished and cherished" with honor (cf. Eph. 5:29). Some jobs place the worker in a dangerous exposure to accidents or contribute to disease which may develop years after exposure. Breathing deadly fumes or dust, contact with toxic chemicals, exposure to radioactive materials, and similar activities may result in permanent bodily harm and should be avoided as much as possible by the disciple who regards his physical body and life as gifts from God.

3. Avoid employment that will violate your conscience. This is similar to #1 above. To engage in any job or activity while questioning its rightness, honesty, lawfulness or legitimacy, is to sin. Paul warns us, "He who DOUBTS is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin" (Rom. 14:23). Many in the world can engage in various pursuits with seemingly little qualms of conscience, since their conscience is without knowledge or even seared (cf. 1 Tim. 4:2). But the Christian, who has a sensitive conscience and a clear conscience will want to avoid all questionable occupations.

4. Avoid employment that places you in great temptation. Some jobs require one to be in a very worldly environment and one is exposed to weighty temptations. Paul warns, "Do not be deceived:'Bad company corrupts good morals'"(l Cor. 15:33; cf. 2 Cor. 6:14-18; Jas. 4:4). He also wrote, "Make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts" (Rom. 13:14). To intentionally place ourselves in a situation that would jeopardize our spirituality and walk with the Lord would be foolish (similar to Lot's decision to move to wicked Sodom, Gen. 13: 10-13; 2 Peter 2:6-9).

5. Avoid employment which will cause you to compromise your spiritual disciplines and responsibilities. For instance, if a job should require you to forsake the gathering of saints, seek a different position, make arrangements with the employer to work a different shift, or in some way ask for consideration from your boss. "Not forsaking our own assembling together" (Heb. 10:25; cf. Acts 2:42).

6. Avoid a covetous attitude when you are self-employed. Those who have their own business or profession and set their own prices may manifest a mercenary attitude. A salesman may allow greed to determine his selling policies. A tradesman (e.g., carpenter, plumber, electrician, painter, etc.) may take unfair advantage of those in need of his services. A physician or dentist may charge exorbitant rates, allowing greed to crowd out his compassion for the poor. A Christian must ask whether he can conscientiously charge high rates (e.g., $20 an hour) of the poor who may earn only minimum wage. Paul reminds us that "the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil" (l Tim. 6:10). And Solomon warns us, "He who oppresses the poor to make much for himself or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty" (Prov. 22: 16). He will be spiritually poor even if he continues to prosper financially and materially.



Gambling is a subject in which much of society, and many Christians, say that they see no harm. A few years ago LIFE Magazine said the United States is the "gamblingest nation that ever existed." Fifty million adults and many more minors are betting 30 billion dollars a year. The annual profit to bookmakers and others on the receiving end is six billion dollars, or more than the combined profits of U. S. Steel, General Motors, and 97 other largest manufacturing companies. The disturbing and appalling fact is that there is a growing number of Christians expressing that they see no harm in gambling.

There is no doubt that the scriptures teach that gambling (we are talking about things like playing Poker or Craps for money; the casinos with their gaming tables; and such like) is sin. There is no passage of scripture that simply says, "Thou shalt not gamble." So how do we know that gambling is wrong? We must look at the principles that are violated in God's Word.

What is Gambling?

The first thing we must do is to define gambling. It is defined by Webster"s Collegiate Dictionary as "to play or game for money or other stake; to hazard; to wager...." It can also be defined as "getting something from someone else without rendering services or exchange of goods by means of chance, and is essentially stealing and a form of robbery." (My own definition)

1. Is the essence of gambling "taking a chance?"

2. Is taking a chance sinful?

3. Is the essence of gambling "getting something for nothing?"

4. Is getting something for nothing a sin?

5. Is the essence of gambling "risking money to make money?"

6. Is risking money to make money a sin?

Gambling is not only a combination of the above, but it is so much more. No, gambling is not just taking a chance, getting something for nothing, or risking money to make money.---- gambling is a wager placed on a chance. The outcome of a ball game is a chance; a wager placed on that chance is a gamble. Life is uncertain, and is in that sense a chance, but chance within itself is not a gamble.

Another identifies gambling as technically a swindle: the pay-offs on bets must be less than fair. The overwhelming majority of the "players" must eventually lose their money, if the gambling enterprise is to survive and prosper. The case for legalized gambling is an argument in favor of the government raising revenues by swindling its citizens rather than by taxing them.

Does it surprise you that the word gamble is not in the Bible? That's right, and neither do the words rape, manslaughter, larceny, suicide, embezzling, bootlegging, white slavery, racketeering, occur in the Scripture, but the evils involved in all these, as in gambling, are clearly and repeatedly condemned. The word of God sets forth principles which are in direct conflict with the practice of gambling which we observe later in this lesson.

There are many service organizations that condone gambling. Even some churches engage in gambling. It is well known that gambling destructive to our society as a whole, and families in particular, and yet it is often the "good people" who promote it.

Those who respect and follow the New Testament do not gamble because to do so would violate many Biblical principles. Christians are taught to work, to exercise stewardship over what they possess, to love their neighbor, and to exert the proper influence, all of which principles are violated if an individual gambles.

We must not lose sight of the fact that whether gambling is acceptable or not in society we must turn to the word of God to see if it is right or wrong.

What does the Word of God Teach?

Gambling is wrong because it denies the integrity of work.

1. What did Paul say should be the source of our income? (Eph. 4:28)

2. Does gambling fulfill or deny this law?

3. Does gambling encourage honest labor, pay for service rendered, or does it rather rely on trying to take by trickery and skill what does not rightfully belong to the gambler?

There are three legitimate means of transferring money:

Gambling is stealing from another by mutual consent. (Eph. 4:28)

1. Does the fact that gambling has "mutual" consent change the principle of taking from one another without earning it or it being a free gift?

2. Is suicide or dueling any less MURDER?

3. Does gambling obey or disobey the teaching of our Lord in Acts 20:35? (This is the basis of our Christian life.)

Gambling encourages laziness and indolence. Men and women who set out on making gain by gambling are shunning honest labor. Many become parasites on our society and the church because their families are left hungering and in need of the essentials of life.

4. What does 2 Thess 3:10-11 teach concerning this type of behavior?

Gambling is wrong because its very nature is covetousness.

1. What is covetousness?

2. What does Eph. 5:5 teach is the outcome of a covetous person?

3. What does Col. 3:5 call covetousness ("greed" - NAS)?

Those who promote and practice gambling are doing that which is condemned by the Bible.

Read 1 Tim. 6:5-19

1. What does this passage teach concerning the desire to have riches?

2. What should we be content with having?

3. What happens to those who seek to be rich?

4. What does God tell us to do in light of these truths?

The Scriptures have much to say regarding money and its effect on the lives of individuals. Money can be a blessing when used properly in the hands of righteous individuals. The Christian should be gravely concerned with what the Word of God teaches on this subject. Why?

1. What did the inspired apostle say in 1 Tim. 6:10 concerning our LOVE for money?

2. Is money, then, evil?

3. Why do we need money? (consider 1 Tim. 5:8; 1 Cor. 16:1-2)

We see then that money is necessary to carry out the work that God has made us responsible for. Money isn't evil - our love of it is!


1. Compare 1 Cor. 10:26 & Acts 5:4 - whose money is it?

2. Is there a difference between the church's money and our money? Explain.

New Testament Christians cannot gamble because it fosters covetousness, and covetousness is forbidden.

Gambling is wrong because it places luck over providence.

Think of it. A Christian placing his fate in the hands of "luck." I'm told that the very word "luck" comes from the name Lucifer! I don't know if that is true or not. But I know who claims to be at the helm of the ship called "luck." And I know who actually has control over the Christian's needs. Read Matthew 6:24-34.

To be absorbed in material things to the end of ignoring God's providential care and concern is wrong. Individuals who look upon life as matters of luck and chance are ignoring a fundamental principle of Christianity, which is, that there is a personal God in control of the universe, to whom we owe our allegiance, and He is concerned and provides for our existence. Jesus said we are to work at being "children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matt. 5:45). Appreciation for the providence of God will not only cure the urge to gamble but will heal other anxieties as well.

Look at Matthew 6:19-21...And in Matthew 6:24-34....

1. What treasures are we to concern ourselves with?

2. Where are these treasures to be laid up?

3. Who are we to look to for the provisions of life?

4. How can we know that God will provide all of our needs?

5. What is our responsibility if we are to receive these things? I

Christians must not view life as the world views life. That which is and that which will be are not by random chance and luck. It may appear to be so in a particular incident, but given the view of the Bible all actions are ultimately under the control of an infinite God, who is personally concerned with each of us.

Gambling is wrong because it is bad stewardship.

The Bible teaches that the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof.

Psalm 24 (A Psalm of David.) The earth is the LORD'S, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it. For He has founded it upon the seas, And established it upon the rivers. Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood, And has not sworn deceitfully. He shall receive a blessing from the LORD And righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of those who seek Him, Who seek Thy face-- even Jacob. Selah. Lift up your heads, O gates, And be lifted up, O ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in! Who is the King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, The LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O gates, And lift them up, O ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in! Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah.

Psalm 50:10-17 For every beast of the forest is Mine, The cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird of the mountains, And everything that moves in the field is Mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell you; For the world is Mine, and all it contains. Shall I eat the flesh of bulls, Or drink the blood of male goats? Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, And pay your vows to the Most High; And call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor. But to the wicked God says, "What right have you to tell of My statutes, And to take My covenant in your mouth? For you hate discipline, And you cast My words behind you."

1. In Luke 12:15 what does Jesus teach us that our lives consists of?

2. Concerning the physical things of this life, then, what is our relationship to them? Are they "ours?" (Consider the above Psalms)

3. What was wrong with the man's thinking in the parable that follows Jesus' statement in Luke 12:15?

In 1 Cor. 4:2 Paul said, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy. In the parable of the talents (Matt. 25) we find that God takes it very seriously the way we handle what is entrusted to us. All that we have He has given for us to use in His service, not our own. God will hold us responsible for how these things are used. If they are used in such a way as does not bring honor to Him, we shall be condemned in the process. Christians cannot gamble with God's approval because it violates this basic principle of stewardship.

Gambling is wrong because it violates Biblical love.

Christians must love one another as they love themselves. They are to love even their enemies. The basic meaning of Christian love is to seek always the highest good for others.

Christian love, when followed, makes gambling impossible, because my success would mean pain to others.

1. Is it possible to carry out the golden rule (Matt. 7:12) while gambling?

2. Read Rom. 13:8-10. Can we fulfill this law and gamble?

3. Can we encourage gambling knowing the tremendous harm that is dealt to our society by it?

In the 1950's the late Senator Kefauver from Tennessee headed the Senate Special Committee to Investigate Organized Crime. He received valuable testimony from J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the F.B.I.; J. Howard McGrath, Attorney General of the United States; Virgil Peterson, Operating Director of the Chicago Crime Commission; and others. In a special report Senator Kefauver evaluated legalized gambling as follows:

Pages could be filled with examples heard by our Grime Committee of the old familiar story of how fine citizens and family men became paupers, embezzlers, and suicides because of the enticements of gambling tables. Studying the effect throughout the country of what happens when gambling activities are practically taken over by racketeers in a state or community, my personal opposition to legalized gambling has become firm. It is my opinion that big-time gambling is amoral--I refer particularly to the casino type of operation, which is more often crooked than not--and that legalizing it will not make it less so. Gambling produces nothing and adds nothing to the economy of society of our nation. America will be in a bad way if we ever have to resort to taxing crime and immorality for the purpose of raising revenue to operate our institutions. The fascination of gambling to many people is so strong that in my opinion, it would be complete folly to make the facilities more available than they presently are.

It is significant that gambling is considered of sufficient menace to our society to warrant the existence of an organization called Gamblers Anonymous, made up of individuals who, having gambled, realize the destructiveness of it, and are devoting their lives and time to helping others discontinue gambling.


"The telling or listening to of something hurting or uncomplimentary

about others with the wrong intent."

What is gossip? Why are so many worldly people prone to gossip? Why do Christians Gossip? Why do you gossip?

We need to understand the difference between gossip and relating needful information. Not even all Telling and listening to of something hurting or uncomplimentary about others is gossip!

1. Can we "bear one anothers burdens" (Gal. 6:2) and not be gossiping? What if I need to tell you what someone did or said to me?

2. Is going to a brother or sister to call them to repentance and even taking others with you gossip? (Matt. 18)

3. Even in the study of this lesson we will be talking about those who gossip. IS THAT GOSSIP??

4. What is the obvious factor that can change any of the above into gossip?

We need to understand that God has always HATED gossip. In Proverbs 6:16-19 God tells us several thing which He hates. What are those things mentioned in verse 19?

5. What did God warn the Jews in Lev 19:16?

6. What did Paul warn Timothy about some in the church? (1 Tim 5:13)

Read James 3:1-18.....

7. What does James tell us about the damage that our tongues can do?

Why do people gossip?

I think it is sometimes considered a form of "entertainment." People enjoy seeing and hearing about the lives of others. There are now "Gossip" shows on every network exposing the secrets of the stars. There are shows that delve into the sordid lives of the people of every community. There are "Gossip" magazines like Star, People, and the National Enquirer. The "Soap Operas" are a common form of voyeurism into the lives of others. It is now a way of life to want to "know" the "dirt" on others.

Perhaps we simply have too much time on our hands. Paul warns of such in 2 Thess. 3:11. Look at 1 Tim. 5:13.

Another reason on might gossip is to build one's own ego.... I'm not THAT bad... Look at him & take your eyes off of me.

Perhaps one gossips for the very vicious and evil motive of revenge....."They never say nice things about me...I'll get even... I'll tell about them...They always thought they were better than me....I'll expose their weaknesses..."

Maybe the most common answer to why people gossip is simply they just have to have something to say.....listen to ME!! They don't believe that people will find them interesting unless they have some big "news."

Gossip could be telling something that is good... (if our motive bad) "Did you hear, She's pregnant".....(But it is her story to tell)...."They're getting married".... (But it is up to them to break the news)...."He got that raise...." etc., etc.

WHY people gossip is not important.....the fact is GOSSIP IS SIN!

1. Read the following verses and then tell the "moral" (i.e. what's the point?)

Prov 11:13 - Prov 18:8 - Prov 20: 19 - 26:20

With one small match an entire forest is destroyed. One small innuendo and girl's reputation is ruined. One little remembrance told about a prospective Christian and a soul is lost. One gossip can destroy a congregation.


You found out...through reliable sources..that someone is committing adultery; or has committed adultery in the past, or is planning on committing adultery....WHO SHOULD YOU TELL?


Who should you talk to about it? You have no right to talk to anyone about it EXCEPT THE GUILTY PARTY - And then only to help them to come to repentance...NOT FOR THE DETAILS.


1. Never originate gossip.. .If you know something....KEEP IT TO YOURSELF!!

2. Never pass on gossip you hear from others..."I heard from sis bigmouth"...."I don't know if it's true"......"Don't quote me"....

3. Always be sure that you KNOW the facts.....ALL OF THEM.....Before you make any judgements ....Gossip has only one side....It's always slanted.


5. Rebuke the gossip.

What does God say about the Gossip?

1. What is our relationship to be with a gossip? (Prov. 20:19)

2. What king of mind does the gossip have? (Rom. 1:28-29)

3. What was Paul saying he was afraid that he might find in the Corinthians?

(2 Cor. 12:20)

4. "Women must likewise be dignified not ___________ ____________..."

(1 Tim. 3:11)

5. Gossips talk about "_______ ___ ________ ___ ___________" (1 Tim. 5:13)

6. In 2 Tim 3:1-5 look at the description of those that Paul is warning about....What does he say we are to do with such?

7. Older women are to reverent in their behavior....

not ____________ ____________(Titus 2:3)


"Abstain From All Appearance of Evil"

(1 Thessalonians 5:22 KJV) Abstain from all appearance of evil.

(1 Thessalonians 5:22 NASB) abstain from every form of evil.

(1 Thessalonians 5:22 NKJV) Abstain from every form of evil.

(1 Thessalonians 5:22 NIV) Avoid every kind of evil.

(1 Thessalonians 5:22 NRSV) abstain from every form of evil.

This passage is usually taken to mean - abstain from anything that even looks like it might be evil. This is because of the way that the 1611 KJV expresses the phrase. All other versions that I am aware of indicates that the passage is saying that we must abstain from every form or kind of evil. The original language bears this out.

However....with all of that said, it is still a valid scriptural point that we must abstain from anything that looks like evil. And, as this passage indicates, we must also abstain from every form of evil..... In this lesson, we will look at both.

Discerning Good vs. Evil - Making Responsible Decisions

As a follower of Jesus, life will continually present you with the need to make decisions regarding your activities, your relationships, and your possessions. You want to please God and have His guidance in these decisions. Therefore, you ask, "What does God want me to do?" or perhaps "Would Jesus want me to choose this alternative or the other?" or "Does the Bible speak to this particular issue?" These and similar questions come to our mind each day if we are truly living for the Lord.

The Scriptures were not written to provide a detailed blueprint mentioning every conceivable activity of the contemporary age. Computers, airplanes, telephones, satellites, television, printing presses, and modern medical technology cannot be found on the pages of your Bible. Does this mean that the Bible is outdated, obsolete, and must be relegated merely to a place of historical inquiry? No, God's Word is very relevant for us every day of our lives!

God has often expressed His will in clear, general principles that apply to every age, every culture, and every place on earth. These authoritative, guiding principles must be applied to the specific situation in which you find yourself. Rather than being an archaic volume of irrelevant information, the Scriptures are definitely applicable to your own life situation!

1. What did Jesus say in Matt. 24:35?

2. In Matt. 4:4 Jesus tells us how to LIVE LIFE. What did He say?

As you continue to grow in faith, understanding, and spiritual maturity, you will be better able to apply Scriptural principles to specific situations that you face. Because of "practice" or "constant use." You will find your "senses" [perceptions] trained.

3. Explain Heb. 5: 14.

This gets at the very heart of the problem, doesn't it! We must distinguish between the "good" and the "evil," between the right and the wrong. As we discipline ourselves "for the purpose of godliness"(l Tim. 4:7b), as we "pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace" (2 Tim. 2:22), as we consistently walk as Jesus walked (1 John 2:6), and as we set our mind on the Spirit (Rom. 8:5-6), we will be better able to choose the right and reject the wrong.

Read Phil 1:9-11.

1. What does Paul say should be working with our knowledge and discernment?

2. If our love is working with knowledge and discernment then we will be able to ___________ ____ __________ _______ _______ __________.

3. "In order to be ___________ and _____________ until the day of Christ."

4. But first we are to be filled with ____________________ which comes from __________________________.

Think of the many choices you make in your daily life:

When you are faced with a large or small decision, it is helpful to ask certain clarifying questions. The following questions are basic ones to ask yourself. Read over each one and think how the principle expressed in it has a bearing upon the particular choice that you must make.

1. In Heb. 8:10 the inspired writer quotes what God promises us. What is that covenant He makes with us and how does He do it?

2. What are we to do to receive that promise?

As you become more knowledgeable in the Scriptures and the very will of God is inscribed in your mind and upon your heart (cf. Heb. 8:10), the principles expressed in the questions will make many choices in life automatic. Your spiritual senses will be trained to "discern good and evil" (Heb. 5:14). After carefully reading the following questions, notice the next section that will provide a number of "test choices" and suggested answers. Both sections will be extremely helpful and valuable as you seek to discover the will of God for yourself!


1. Does it violate any quality or fruit that should be in my life?

We should reach for these spiritual qualities in all that we do. For example, "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control" (Gal. 5:22-23a; cf. 1 Tim. 6:11; 2 Tim. 2:22)

2. Would I be following in the steps of Jesus?

What would Jesus do if He were faced with the same choice that you must make? How would He drive a car, make a purchase, carry on His job, or use His time? "The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as [Jesus] walked" (1 John 2!6; cf. 1 Pet. 2:21; Eph. 4:21; 1 Cor. 11:1).

3. Can I ask the Lord to bless the choice?

Can you thank Him for it? "Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name, of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father" (Col. 3: 17; cf. Eph. 5:20).

4. Would it be an "encumbrance" or something that "hinders" me as I run the race of life?

"Let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Heb. 12: 1; cf. 1 Cor. 9:24-27; Phil. 3: 12-14).

5. Is it true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and of good repute?

This is an excellent test for music, books, magazines, toys, games, whether to participate in sports, or attend parties, or go to the movies. "Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things" (Phil. 4:8).

6. Would I fail to be in subjection to proper authority?

This would apply to parents, husband, employer, civil government, and other legitimate headship figures. "Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities" (Rom. 13:la, with reference to the state; cf. Col. 3:18,20,22; 1 Pet. 2:13-14, 17, 18; 3:1; Eph. 5:21-6:9). This authority is limited, however, by the absolute authority of God (Acts 5:29; 4: 19-20; John 19:11).

7. Does it edify or build up other believers--or does it tend to tear down the body of Christ?

"Not all things are profitable...not all things edify. Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor" (l Cor. 10:23-24; cf. vv. 32-33). "Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died" (Rom. 14: 15; cf. v.20; 1 Cor. 8: 11-13).

8. Is it questionable in my own mind?

If something is questionable, it is best to leave it undone. It is wrong to proceed to do that which we think may be sinful. "He who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin" (Rom. 14:23). We must always keep from violating our conscience. "Keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith" (l Tim. 1:19; cf. 1:5; 1 Pet. 3: 16; 2 Tim. 1:3; 1 Tim. 3:9).

9. Is it worldly, or "of the world'?

This is vividly described in the following words: "Do not love the world, nor the things in the world....For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life, is not of the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever" (1 John 2:15-17). Thus, desire for wrongful sexual activity, desire for material extravagance, prideful desires for position, possessions, popularity, and prominence are all of the world (cf. also James 1:27; 4:4).

10. Will it require association with bad companions?

An activity itself may be permissible, but it may require close working association with a person of questionable character. "Do not be deceived; 'Bad company corrupts good morals" (1 Cor. 15:33). "Do not be bound together with unbelievers" (2 Cor. 6:14; cf. vv. 15-17; Psa. 1:1-3; Prov. 22:24-25; 13:20; 1:15; Psa. 119:63; 101:7; Jer. 15:17; 2 Tim. 2:22).

11. Does it take away my interest in spiritual things?

Even some things that we do not suspect as being evil per se, may rob our desires for spiritual pursuits such as prayer, Bible study, sharing Christ, and gathering with believers for fellowship and worship. "The worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful" (Mark 4:19; cf. Luke 21:34; Heb. 12: 1; Col. 3: 1-2; Phil. 3: 19).

12. Does it harm or hurt others? Or does it help others?

"Love does no wrong to a neighbor" (Rom. 13:10). "Whatever you want others to do for you, do for them" (Matt. 7:12a; cf. Luke 6:31; 1 Thess. 5: 15). Consider carefully the effect of this choice upon others.

13. Does it cause me to waste the precious time that God has given to me?

Time is irreplaceable. Each of us has only 168 hours per week to use. We cannot do all that we would like, thus we must use our limited time in the best possible way. "Be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil" (Eph. 5: 15-16; cf. John 9:4; Mark 1:37-38).

14. Is it harmful or is it wholesome to the body and emotions?

God is interested in our nutrition, our physical exercise or activity, our personal hygiene, and all that would enhance or diminish health. "Present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship" (Rom. 12:1b). "Glorify God in your body" (l Cor. 6:20b; cf. 10:3 1; 1 Tim. 4:8; Eph. 5:29).

15. What kind of "fruit" does this practice, activity, or relationship bear?

We can judge a tree by examining its fruit. Does it bear fruit of righteousness and holiness, or fruit of ungodliness and decreased spiritual fervor? Does it promote morality or immorality? "Every good tree bears good fruit; but the rotten tree bears bad fruit....So then,you will know them by their fruits" (Matt. 7:17,20; cf. 12:33; Luke 6:43-44).

16. Does it involve a wise and proper use of the money the Lord has blessed me with?

Ultimately, we do not own anything. Our money belongs to the Lord and we are simply "stewards." "it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy" (1 Cor. 4:2). Will the expenditure that I am considering be wise or unwise; will it be spiritual or worldly? (Cf. Luke 16:10-11; 1 Tim. 6:6-10; Isa. 55:29).

17. Is it honorable in the sight of others?

We must not only ask if a given choice is right, in and of itself, but does it look right, is it respectable, and is it above reproach? "We have regard for what is honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men" (2 Cor. 8:21; cf. 1:12; Rom. 12: 17; Heb. 13: 18; Phil. 2: 15; 1 Pet. 2: 12, 15).

18. Does it pollute and defile my mind?

Certain items and influences tend to build up the mind, whereas others tend to

defile or corrupt the mind. This is an excellent test for music, literature, television, and education. The mind (or thoughts) of the unbeliever has been corrupted (Eph. 4: 17-19), but we are to be "renewed in the spirit of [our] mind" (Eph. 4:23-24; Prove. 4:23; Rom. 12:2; 8:6; Col. 3:1-3; Matt. 16:11-12).

19. Will it cause some weak brother or sister to stumble or do wrong?

Sometimes we must forego certain things that are intrinsically right if doing them will influence another to do the same thing that he thinks is wrong. "Take care lest this liberty of yours somehow become a stumbling block to the weak" (l Cor. 8:9; cf. vv. 11-13; 10:31-33; Rom. 14:19-21; Matt. 18:6-7).

20. Does it lead me into temptation?

Certain activities, pastimes, and places are conducive to sin. When one participates in such an activity or goes to such a place, he is placing himself in a very vulnerable position and may fall into immoral or other negative behavior. "Make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts" (Rom. 13:14b; cf. Matt. 6:13; 5:27-30; 18:8-9; 26:41)

21. What good or profit is found in it?

We may find no actual harm in a particular activity, but is there any positive good in it? We simply do not have the time and finances to engage in the neutral things that those around us participate in. "Not all things are profitable" (1 Cor. 6:12b; cf 10:23-24; Rom. 12:9).

22. Will it cause me to identify with evil or be less likely to reprove evil?

Beware of any activity or relationship that takes away from your clear stand for the Lord and the way of holiness. "Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them" (Eph. 5: 11; cf. 1 Thess. 5:22).

23. Does it contribute to lustful thoughts or sensual actions?

This is a test for all ages, but particularly for the young. Apply it to music, the media, recreation, the common things that young people of the world participate in and enjoy. "I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts, which wage war against the soul" (1 Pet. 2:11; cf. 4:2-5; 2 Tim. 2:22; Gal. 5: 19-21; 6:7-8; Matt. 5:8,28).

24. Will it seem important in the future?

How will I view it one year from now? Ten years from now? Ten thousand years from now? This is an excellent test to separate the passing desires from the things of eternal value! "LORD, make me to know my end, and what is the extent of my days, let me know how transient I am" (Psa. 39:4; cf. v. 5; 90: 12; Deut. 32:29).

25. Would I like to be doing this when the Lord Jesus returns?

This question will help to separate the insignificant from the truly important, and distinguish sin from righteousness. "Abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming" (l John 2:28; cf. Matt. 24:42-46; 25:13; Luke 21:34-36).

26. Does it involve my laying up treasures on earth - or in heaven?

Read our Lord's instructions on this and apply it to a house, an automobile, a savings account, property, and possessions. "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth....But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven...for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matt. 6:19-21; cf. Mark 10:21; Luke 12: 16-21,33-34; 1 Tim. 6:6-10, 17-19; James 5: 1-3).

27. What do mature, spiritual, and Biblically-knowledgeable saints think of it?

Ultimately, they can be wrong too, but it is wise to seek godly counsel on important decisions that face you. "Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed" (Prov. 15:22; cf. 11:14; 1 Cor. 11:1).

28. Would it constitute a barrier or hindrance to those outside of the faith whom I am seeking to influence for good?

This, of course, applies only to neutral matters. We should seek to accommodate to others to win them--but never do wrong in the process. "I have made myself a slave to all, that I might win the more....I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some" (l Cor. 9: 19b, 22b; cf. vv. 19-23; 10:32-33).

29. Would this cause or encourage another to sin?

We must never influence another to disobey the Lord by what we do, what we say, what we wear, where we go, what we sell, or in any other way. "Do not...share responsibility for the sins of others" (1 Tim. 5:22; cf. 2 John 11; Rom. 1:32; Hab. 2:15-16).

30. Is it a compromise with wrong in order to do something good?

We must never do wrong in order to do something good. A sin is never justified even if the final outcome seems to be positive and desirable. Referring to those who say. "Let us do evil that good may come," Paul declares, "Their condemnation is just" (Rom. 3:8b; cf. 6:1-2).

31. What type of verbal response will it require?

Should a positive word--or a negative word be spoken? Would it involve a dishonest, unkind, or slanderous word--or a loving, kind, and gentle word? "Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear" (Eph. 4:29; cf. vv. 15,31; Col. 3:8-9; 4:4-6; Matt. 12:34-37; Luke 17:34; Matt. 18: 15-17).

32. Does it involve association with or support of a false teacher, a false teaching, or a false religion?

There is so much in our world that is labeled "Christian" but which conflicts with Scriptural teaching and principle. Jesus said of false religionists of His day: "Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit" (Matt. 15:14; cf. vv. 13,8-9; 7:15-23; Rom. 16:17-18; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; Gal. 1:6-9; Col. 2:8; 1 Tim. 1:19; 2 Tim. 2: 16-18; 3: 1-7; 4:34; 2 Pet. 2: 1ff; 3:16-17; 2 John 9-11).

33. Does it tend to enslave me to some habit?

Both sin and that which is not sin can enslave us. Paul said, "I will not be mastered by anything" (l Cor. 6: 12). Does the activity bring me into bondage? (Cf. 2 Pet. 2:19; Rom. 6:12, 16; Prov. 5:21-23; John 8:34, 36).

34. Would I want others to imitate me?

Would you want a son or daughter, a brother or sister, or another believer to do what you are considering doing? "In all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech" (Titus 2:7-8a; cf. 1 Tim. 4: 12; 1 Cor. 11:1; Phil. 3: 17; 4:9).

35. Would I be ashamed of others knowing that I did it?

Imagine what it would be like if a brother or sister in Christ knew what you are choosing to do; if your mother or father knew; if a husband or wife knew. "What benefit [fruit] were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed?

For the outcome of those things is death"(Rom 6:21).

36. Would I do it if it were not secret?

What if those you love and respect were with you? "Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret" (Eph. 5:11-12; cf. Luke 15:13).

37. Would I want to do it knowing that Christ is with me and the Holy Spirit is in me?

This question is powerful in its effect the more we ponder it. Jesus said, "I am with you always [all the days], even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:20b). Paul asked, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?" (l Cor. 6: 19). Can we take Jesus to the place we are considering? Would the Holy Spirit be welcome in the activity we have in mind?

38. Would it violate any aspect of true love?

"Let all that you do be done in love" (l Cor. 16: 14). Read the description of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and ask whether the choice we are considering would conflict with the meaning of love. On the other hand, would the choice be expressive of this love?

39. Will it be for the glory of God?

Peter tells us that "in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory'' (1 Pet. 4:11b). We are to glorify God in our body (l Cor. 6:20) in our eating and drinking (10:31), and in everything we do each day! Would the choice we are considering bring glory to God--or would it be dishonoring to Him?

40. Does it draw me closer to God--or does it draw me away from Him?

Many things are not in the realm of neutrality, if there is such a category. We must be so sensitive spiritually that we can discern whether something will bring us near or pull us away from the Lord. "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you" (James 4:8a; cf. 2 Chron. 15:2; Psa. 73:27-28).


Let's first pose a question, problem, or issue that requires you to make a choice. Then we will search for basic principles that have some bearing upon the specific choice that must be made. Finally, we will render a decision regarding the point in question. This procedure should help to sharpen our powers of discernment (Phil. 1:9-10) and prepare you to make Scriptural, godly, and righteous choices in the future.

Our first problem involves making choices of entertainment. A believing wife is married to an unbeliever and he asks her to go to an "R" rated movie with him that contains explicit sexual scenes. What should she do?

This woman, recently brought to the Lord, ponders what to do. She does not want to offend her husband unnecessarily, and she formerly went to movies with him before coming to Christ. Yet she ponders what the Lord Jesus would want her to do. This comes to mind:

The woman is keenly aware that she is to be submissive to her husband, even though he is "disobedient to the word" himself (l Pet. 3: 1ff). Yet she also realizes that her submission is limited and secondary to her absolute subjection to the Lord (Acts 5:29).

She applies the "tests" of Philippians 4:8 to the practice of movie-going. She is aware of the fact that almost all "R" rated movies (if not every single one) is objectionable (simply noting the rating system). She cannot conceive of any passing the tests of truth, purity, honor, and others.

She thinks about 1 John 2:16 and can see that this type of movies partake of the "world" as John defines the term.

As she recalls viewing these movies in the past, she knows how empty she felt spiritually. She know that she would be embarrassed if the Lord came back and she were watching such a movie.

She concludes thinks that going to the movie with her husband would be a compromise with evil.

1. What do you think about "R" rated movies?

Our next problem involves smoking of tobacco.

John is a deeply-devoted Christian who seeks to share the good news of Christ with others. His neighbor, Stan, is considering turning from his sins to the Savior about whom John has spoken. Stan is a smoker and asks John whether tobacco use is sinful and whether he should give it up in repentance.

John believes that Stan is sincere in his request for information about smoking. He decides to share various principles of Scripture with him and thinks of the following:

Virtually everyone in America is aware of the link between smoking and lung cancer, bronchitis, heart disease, emphysema, and other debilitating disease. For example, a 30 to 35 year old man who smokes two packs a day has a life expectancy 8-9 years shorter than a non-smoker. Stan should know that it is sinful to harm his body which is a gift from God.

Another obvious problem involves the expense of smoking. It is sinful to waste the money the Lord gives, and using tobacco definitely is a waste of money! John does some paper work on the real cost of smoking during a lifetime and arrives at an amazing $547,261.00! (This includes interest on the amount one would put in the bank if he did not smoke. Note also that a two-pack-a-day smoker could save over $1,000,000.00!)

John does a bit of research and discovers that about 53,000 lives are lost each year by "non-smokers" who must breathe the smoke of tobacco users (i.e., "passive smokers") If Stan has a genuine love for his family and friends, he will choose not to subject them to this health danger.

Generally no smoker can keep his vice a secret. Stan exerts a poor example for all who see and know him. If he becomes a Christian, he will seek to be an example of purity and holiness, not of sin and evil.

John will point out to Stan that if he decides to turn to Christ Jesus, his influence on others would be nullified if he smoked. Some unbelievers are deeply "turned off'" by hypocritical persons (including smokers) who claim to be Christians but whose walk is sinful.

John thinks that Stan will admit that his smoking is an addiction. Most smokers say that they wish they never had begun when younger. Scripture points out that we are not to be mastered by anything--including slavery to tobacco and other sinful practices.

Stan has admitted that he thinks his son began to smoke because of his influence upon him. We are implicated in wrong when we encourage another to sin.

John thinks that Stan will be touched by the principle of Christlikeness. If Stan becomes a Christian, he will seek to be like Jesus. Surely the holy Jesus would not think of putting a cigarette to his sinless lips!

2. What do you think about the use of tobacco in the life of a Christian?

3. Does it make a difference if it is smokeless (snuff, etc.), pipe, cigar, or cigarette?

The next problem.....Drinking Alcohol

Bill has been a Christian for several years. He has heard all types of arguments over whether a Christian can drink. He always liked having a beer from time to time and his wife enjoyed a glass of wine with dinner before they were Christians.

He thinks about those who questioned why "social drinking" was all that bad, and those who denied that a Christian can have any alcoholic beverages at all. One thing that he realizes is that those who were stronger in the faith in other areas refused to deal with alcoholic beverages at all.

Bill is convinced by all the evidence that "drunkenness" is wrong. But is toying with the idea that maybe it wouldn't be so bad to have a drink "every once in a while."

In doing a word study Bill finds that there are several Hebrew and Greek words that are translated "wine" or "strong drink," etc. But he determines that those words can be easily understood by the context. He checks his reference material and finds:

There are several Greek terms which are translated "drunk,""drunken," and "drunkenness" in the New Testament. Along with several others. He finds W. E. Vine makes an interesting distinction in regard to methusko. He defines it as, "to make drunk, or to grow drunk (an inceptive verb, marking the process of the state expressed in methuo) to become intoxicated, Lk. 12:45; Eph. 5: 18; 1 Thess. 5:7a. He reads Robert Young, along with W. A. Haynes, defines it as, "to begin to be softened." E. W. Bullinger says methusko means, "to grow drunk (marking the beginning of methuo.

He finds that these definitions establish beyond doubt that there are degrees to drunkenness. He comes to the conclusion, then, that persons begin to be drunk when they begin to drink.

What of beer? It's alcohol content may be only 2 to 6 percent, but beer has something else--lupulin. It is an active, hypnotic type narcotic, the hop from which it comes is in the same plant family (Moracaea) as the hemp, the source of marijuana.

Bill also considered that his body is the temple of the Living God, 1 Cor. 6:19, and is body is to be presented as a living sacrifice, Romans 12:1.

Bill also considered his obligation to not be a stumbling block in the way of others. He realizes that though he may (or may not) be able to drink and not be addicted, others he might lead may have grave problems.

Bill decides that he cannot drink alcoholic beverages and be faithful to God, and meet his obligation to his family and others.

4. What do you think about "social drinking?"

5. What about "closet drinking" so the brethren or others won't be affected?

6. What about getting drunk?

7. What about attending "drinking" parties?

Our next problem has to do with taking "recreational" drugs.

Bill's son Jackie is being pressured by his friends to try some "recreational" drugs. Jackie would like to try them and is unsure whether his opinions about how bad they are is solely based upon his parent's views (ancient generation) or not. He wants to do what is right but doesn't want to restrict his behavior based upon "traditional" views.

Jackie found out that according to the controlled substance act of 1971 there are five categories of drugs. They are: stimulants, which speed up the nervous system (amphetamines, cocaine, nicotine, caffeine); depressants, which slow down the central nervous system (barbiturates, alcohol, tranquilizers); hallucinogens, which cause change in perception and consciousness (LSD, PCP, MDA, mescaline); narcotics, which lower the Perception of pain (heroin, morphine, codeine); and cannabis, which alters mood thinking and behavior (marijuana, hashish, hashish oil).

When drugs are ingested for the purpose of producing a state of euphoria or intoxication for amusement or fun this use is described as the recreational use of drugs. Any drug, legal or illegal, can be used for recreational purposes.

He did the right thing in going to his father with his questions about it. He looked at all the evidence that his father had gathered about drinking alcohol. They discussed the fact that alcohol is a LEGAL "recreational drug." All the research that Bill did on alcohol, Jackie realized applied to "recreational drugs" as well.

The fact that these drugs are illegal makes the decision even easier. Our government is ordained of God (Dan. 4:25) and is to be obeyed. Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. (Rom. 13:1-2). An exception to this would be when the laws of the land are contrary to God's will (Acts 5:29). If the drug used recreationally is a legal drug being abused or an illegal drug being used for recreational purposes then this Biblical principle is violated.

Jackie remembers the apostle Paul taught that the Christian is to, But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts. (Rom. 13:14). The recreational use of drugs is for the very purpose of "getting high" or fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. The goal of the Christian is to forsake the works of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21) and live a life which will bring honor and glory to God (Matt. 5:16). In enumerating the works of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21 Paul lists pharmakeia, which is translated witchcraft in the King James and sorcery in the American Standard (5:20). Paul's use of the word in this passage describes the use of drugs for an unlawful use, i.e. using it for that for which it was not intended. This passage obviously describes an abuse of drugs.

8. Do you think there is any way that a Christian can take "recreational drugs" and still be pleasing to God?

Our next problem has to do with choosing godly recreation:

Jean has just obeyed the gospel. She wants to make all the right decisions concerning her recreation. Too many people think that Christians cannot have fun. She knows that we can enjoy life better than anyone, but must always be careful that we don't let Satan tempt us into doing evil.

Jean goes to Betty to get her advice on how to make godly decisions about her leisure time.

Betty tells her this is a subject that is often neglected and misunderstood, even among brethren. There are various forms of recreation. We all need to be "re-created" (refreshed) from time to time. The old saying, "all work and no play makes Jack a dull fellow" has considerable worth.

Our Lord on occasions sought and engaged in a form of recreation. Jesus said to His disciples on one occasion, "Come away by yourselves to a lonely place and rest a while." (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.) (Mark 6:31) We think of Christ in His frequent visits in the village of Bethany at the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus. It afford relaxation.

Paul made statements that would suggest the innocence of recreation. He wrote: (1 Tim 4:8) for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. Paul was not saying that "bodily discipline (exercise)" is of no value. But godliness in all things is more profitable. Often Paul referred to athletic contests with a spiritual application. (2 Cor. 9:24-27, Phil. 3:13-14, Hebrews 12:1-2, 2 Timothy 4:7-8).

Betty reminds Jean that the Christian is to understand that the individual is responsible for providing his recreation and not the church of the Lord. She makes the following points:

A. The Scriptures places such responsibility on the individual.

1. Fathers are to "bring them (their children) up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)

2. Part of providing for our own that is the individual's responsibility would involve recreation. (1 Tim. 5:8).

B. The mission of the church is to preach the gospel, relieve needy saints, and edify itself. This is according to the eternal wisdom of God. (Eph. 3:10-11)

1. There is nothing in the wisdom of God about the church providing recreation for its members. Such cheapens the church and is a misuse of God's treasury.

2. Building recreation rooms and providing and supervising recreation activities at the expense of the church is a departure from the simple gospel plan as revealed in the N. T. The church might as well relieve the parents of feeding and disciplining all the young people at church expense as to take over the job of entertaining and supervising their recreation at church expense.

Jean realizes that caution must be used in choosing proper recreation. She and Betty came up with the following......Any recreation a Christian chooses.....

A. Must be decent, honorable and innocent pastime (1 Thess. 5:22, 1 Peter 2:11, 1 John 2:15-17, Romans 12:1-2).

B. Must not let it interfere with his worship and service to God. (Matthew 6:33) Godliness is far more important than bodily exercise.

C. Must not let recreation that may be decent in itself become idolatry to us. We can do this by spending more time and money at it than we do in giving to God.

(1 John 5:23)

D. The Christian should be moderate in all things. (Phil. 4:5)

9. What do you think should be considered about recreation?

When we think of our recreation time, we also need to consider the jokes we tell and listen to. God's word tells us it is OK to laugh. God wants us to be happy. (Lk. 6:2; Pr. 14:13; Psalm 126:2) In Prov. 15:13, we read that a joyful heart makes a cheerful face, And in Prov. 17:22, a joyful heart is good medicine. But He also tells us we had better be careful at whose expense that laughter comes from.

We never have the right to make fun of someone, or, in any manner, get laughter at their expense. "Love is kind,"...... love "does not brag and is not arrogant,"....... love "does not act unbecomingly;"..... love "does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;" (1 Cor. 13)

God will hold us accountable for dirty jokes, too. Eph. 5:1-4 teaches us, Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. But do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

10. What do you think of a person who uses coarse language or tells dirty jokes?

11. Can a Christian do use foul language, tell off-colored jokes, or jokes that defame someone else?

12. What should we do if someone starts to tell an inappropriate joke?

Our next problem has to do with dancing.

Meg and Mark have been seeing each other all through high school. They are about to graduate. They both want to go to the prom. Meg is a Christian and Mark has been to worship services with her a number of times. Meg is afraid that if she doesn't go to the dance with Mark, he may take someone else. She reasons....What's wrong with going? Is dancing wrong? Why couldn't I go and just not dance?

Meg asks several people at church to explain to her why they think dancing is wrong. Her Bible class teacher points out Galatians 5:19-21. In the midst of this list of works of the flesh is "lasciviousness." Meg admits that she is not sure what that word means. He encourages he to check it out in a lexicon. Here is what she found:

The Greek word underlying the English word lasciviousness in our English translations is aselgeia, which is defined by Arndt & Gingrich as: Licentiousness, debauchery, sensuality, give oneself over to debauchery,...follow the inclination to sensuality, esp. of sexual excesses, indecent conduct, licentious desires. Thayer defines it as: Unbridled lust, excess, wantonness, shamelessness, outrageousness, wanton (acts or) manners--as filthy words, indecent bodily movements, unchaste handling of males and females. Liddell & Scott give a similar listing of meanings, adding the idea of lewdness and/or vulgarity.

In Meg's study of words she finds out that the Greek word aselgeia was used among the ancient Greeks to describe activities which excited lustful thoughts, desires, or which produced lustful emotions. This is readily determined from a reading of the literature of that period. The word aselgeia is found in the writings of Plato, Demosthenes, and Plutarch. Plato speaks of one who is aselgeia as one without a sense of restraint, unrestricted by moral laws or standards of decency.

Meg has always kept their dating free from anything that would lead toward inciting lust. But is dancing among those behaviors that incites lust or lasciviousness? "Lasciviousness" (aselgeia) has to do with activities or conduct that tends to excite lustful desires and vulgar, wanton acts or manners as filthy words and including indecent bodily movements and unchaste handling of the body. When Meg thinks about some of the dances that she has seen it is easy for her to see why most dancing would be lasciviousness.

When Meg asked one of the elders he advised her to consider the following: In Romans 8 Paul discusses "the mind of the flesh" as contrasted with the "mind of the spirit." The "mind of the flesh" is that attitude or disposition out of which one seeks to bring about satisfaction of unlawful desires of the flesh. It is that attitude which produces the "works of the flesh" (Gal. 5:19-21). Paul explains that the "mind of the flesh is death." This is spiritual death. He stresses that the "mind of the flesh is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God." Paul says, "...and they that are in the flesh" (that is, those who have the mind of the flesh) "cannot please God." Anything and everything which appeals to the unlawful desires of the flesh is sin.

He then asked her, is there anything godly about dancing? Is there anything fleshly or worldly about it? What about the way others are dancing, even if you danced without acting that way?

Dancing is depicted in songs and literature as a prelude to sex. That doesn't mean that sex must follow dancing, but, no one can successfully deny that dancing is associated with sensuality. And no one can successfully deny that dancing is indecent bodily movements, unchaste handling of males and females set to music, be it modern or whatever. Therefore, one cannot continue in the practice of dancing and be pleasing to God and a part of his kingdom.

Meg remember Paul's teaching, Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. (Gal. 5:24-25).

Meg calls Mark and explains she cannot go to the prom with him. She realizes that she has gone this long in keeping herself chaste and her reputation pure, and that she would not be leading Mark closer to, but further away from God.

Meg also knew in her heart that she should not dance. She know that when one body is entwined with that of another he/she will have intentions which can be fulfilled honorably only in marriage (whether she/he meant for their partner to have those feelings or not), thus causing their partner to stumble.

13. What do you think of Meg's decision and logic?

14. Would she be obeying 2 Tim. 2:22 if she went to the prom?



The Bible deals with man's relation to God and man's relation to man which is to be governed by the Word of God. Where men are involved, offenses invariably will occur and may be expected. The Scriptures being complete as they are for man's guidance speak vividly concerning offenses and how to deal with them in the sight of God. Our soul's salvation may well depend upon knowing how to handle offenses.

Read Luke 17:1-4

1. What did Jesus teach concerning those who are "stumbling blocks?"

Stumbling blocks, those who oppose us in some way, can come in two "flavors;" those who are of the world, and those who are our brethren. How should we react to each?

A stumbling block, the Bible meaning of the phrase, (offend - KJV) does not simply mean to hurt feelings. It means to cause one to sin. We are tempted to sin when our feelings get hurt or our pride gets stepped on. When we are "stinging" from such, we are easily tempted to sin.

2. What are you to do if your brother/sister in Christ do something wrong to you?

We are to forgive, forgive, forgive, forgive!! Don't worry about the punishment of the one who hurt us. God will take of them.

3. What will God do?

4. What responsibility do we have to the one who sins against us? (Not because of us, but because of our love for them.)

Look at Matt. 18:15-35 (NOTE: In v. 15 some translations read Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee,.....and some say, And if your brother sins, (omitting the words "against thee). Notice that later Peter asks, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

5. Explain what Jesus says we must do if our brother sins against us. What course of action do we pursue?

6. What does Jesus mean that he shall be to us like a heathen & a publican?

7. Explain the parable that Jesus tells about the slave who owed so much and the fellow slave who owed so little. What is the spiritual application as we consider OUR rights when wronged.

Most of us understand the attitude that we are to have toward a brother who has harmed us. But what about the non-Christian? What are our responsibilities toward him? Should we consider that we have no obligation to forgive him? Are the above passages limited to our response to brethren while "anything goes" toward the non-Christian?

The Christian's Attitude Toward Revenge

There are circumstances that arise that cause individuals to seek revenge. The desire for revenge may be prompted by someone enduring a personal offense or by suffering misfortune at the hands of another. The world finds many avenues to seek revenge. There are people who consider revenge as sweet. What is the attitude and disposition of the Christian when circumstances arise that might cause him to consider vengeance? This is what we are interested in. We already know how the people of the world react, don't we?

1. According to Deut. 32:35, 41, 43 who does vengeance belong to?

2. Read Psalm 94. What attitude does David display concerning his enemies?

3. What does Nahum say about God's vengeance against the enemy? (Nahum 1)

"But that is under a different system," you might argue. "What does the New Testament say?" Let's look.

4. Luke 18:7-8

5. Romans 12:19

6. 2 Thess. 1:7-9

7. Hebrews 10:30

John saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God. "And they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" (Rev. 6:10)

Paul asked the question to the Romans, "But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is He? (I am speaking in human terms.) May it never be! For otherwise how will God judge the world? (Romans 3:5-6)

Vengeance involves ill will toward our enemies.

1. What did Jesus say should be the attitude that we must have toward our enemies? (Matthew 5:43-46)

2. What did Jesus say should be our attitude toward our enemies in (Matthew 5:38-42, Romans 12:17-19)

3. What principle is taught in Matthew 7:12)

4. We are to be followers of Jesus (Matthew 16:24). Did Jesus take vengeance? (2 Peter 2:22-23)



There are some Bible principles that affect our lives more than we might realize. One of these principles has to do with our associations. Who we associate with has so great an affect on our lives that we can call this influence "the power of association." The Word of God would have us to give proper concern for this power.

1. What does 1 Cor. 15:33 teach? Explain what that means.

2. What does Jesus pray in John 17:15? Are we supposed to have associations with the people the world?

The Christian must guard himself against being deceived in denying the power of association.

Association is defined as...."the act of joining, combining together, uniting in company; being or going together as companions".

All people have associates--we are not hermits or exiles from society. (John 17:15). It is fortunate that at times we may choose our associates; however, we are not always so fortunate. In business we must form associations that can consume many of our daily hours. We cannot choose who our neighbors will be. Our family and our spouse's family come "pre-packaged."

We may not avoid contact with evil associates, but we must avoid friendship with evil people. We have to place firm limitations on the character of relationships. We may not be able to pick our business associates, relatives, and neighbors, but we can choose how much time we spend with them. We can also choose how much we allow them to influence our lives.

We have to make choices every day concerning the people we will spend time with and share our lives with. Too many times Christians let their friends choose them. This is a dangerous practice!

1. Compare 1 Cor. 15:33 and Luke 15:1-7. Is this a contradiction? How do we harmonize these two passages?

2. What does James 4:4 teach us about choosing our friends?

3. According to James 4:4 what should we look for in the lives of those we are considering as friends?

4. What are some of the "truisms" of the world that recognize that "evil associations corrupt good morals?"

5. What happened to the children of Israel who associated with heathen people?

(1 Samuel 8:5, 20).

6. If evil associations can corrupt good morals, does godly association help us develop good morals.

7. What helped influence Herod to grant Herodias' request to kill John the Baptist in Matt. 14?

8. What happens if we choose the wrong friends? (Prov. 22:24-25; Deut. 13:6)

Once we have chosen good friends, HOW should we treat them?

There are many people who can MAKE friends easily. Most of us can do that because it takes only a short term commitment or a good first impression. But, to be able to sustain a long-term relationship with a friend takes work. A parallel to that, I believe, is that anyone can have a great wedding. But to have a great marriage it takes a lot of work. This is a good parallel because our mate should be our best friend (Song of Solomon 5:16); and most marriages fail because that friendship has failed.

1. How does Prov. 18:24 teach us to make friends?

2. What does Prov. 17:17 teach us about the love of a friend?

3. Read Prov. 18:24; 19:4, 6; and Job 6:27. What kind of friends were these?

4. What does Prov. 27:5-6, 9 teach us about the counsel of friends?

5. What can destroy friendships quicker than anything else? (Prov. 16:28; 17:9)

6. What spiritual qualities must we have to be a good friend?

A. Phil. 2:3; 16:18

B. Phil. 2:4; and Jesus' example -Matt. 20:28

C. Col. 3:13; Matt. 7:1-3

D. Phil 1:10; Rom. 13:13



"Time" is one of the greatest differences between this life and the one that is to follow. We some time refer to this life as "on time's side of eternity." Time will be nothing in Heaven (or Hell); but it is everything to us now. Our days are measured and limited by it. The number of days we have on this earth are limited (Job 14:1-2). We can't go into the future, and we can't go into the past. All we have to use is this moment.

1. How much time do you have to "use" in the Lord's service in a week? (Take out your hours of sleep & mandatory hours to be at secular work, etc.)

2. How can we "save" time?

3. What does God want us to understand about "time" in the following:

A. Heb. 2:13

B. Acts 24:25

C. Luke 12:16-21

D. 2 Corinthians 6:2

E. Ephesians 5:16

Problems relative to time

Satan is able to keep us off-guard if we don't realize how limited our time really is. He wins when we procrastinate. Diets start on Mondays (unless today is Monday; then we say, "next Monday); so do all other good intentions. Haven't you said that you will start visiting, stop that sin, or change some some point in the future? (Tomorrow, next week, next month, after the holidays, etc.) Consider Proverbs 27:1 and Hebrews 3:7-8.

We believe that life is always short for the other fellow. But we have plenty. But the truth that we don't want to face is that we are very limited in the number of days that we have. (Psalm 90:10)

What does David pray in Psalm 39:4 & 90:12?

He was going to be all that a mortal should be Tomorrow.

No one would be better than he Tomorrow.

Each morning he stacked up the letters he'd write Tomorrow.

It was too bad indeed he was too busy to see Bill,

but he promised to do it Tomorrow.

The greatest of workers this man would have been Tomorrow.

The world would have known him had he ever seen Tomorrow.

But the fact is he died and faded from view, and all that

was left when living was through

Was a mountain of things he intended to do Tomorrow.

How can we waste our time?

1. Procrastination - Who was the procrastinator in the following? What was the outcome?

A. Acts 24:25

B. Matthew 25:1-12

2. Reading books and watching TV for pleasure - (Consider Philippians 4:8; and 2 Timothy 3:4)

3. Worrying about the past or future - (Philippians 3:13; Romans 8:28)

4. Gossiping or listening to gossip. - (Leviticus 19:16; Proverbs 26:22)

5. Sleeping too much - (Proverbs 20:13)

Healthy attitudes that we must have concerning time

1. We must not boast of tomorrow - Prov. 27:4; James 4:13-16

2. We must use our time properly because the day is coming when we cannot work - John 9:4

3. We must learn to properly evaluate our time - Ecclesiastes. 3:1-8

A. We must have time for ______________ (Ephesians 4:28, 2 Thessalonians 3:10, &

1 Timothy 5:8).

B. We must have time for _______________. (John 4:6)

C. We must have time for _______________. (Mark 6:31-32)

D. We must have time for _______________. (Matthew 6:33)



The Scriptures make use of the word "temptation" in two ways:

1. That which tries or tests or proves a person. (Genesis 22:1; James 1:2)

2. That which induces or entices a person to sin. (James 1:12-14; Matt. 6:13)

There are several Hebrew words translated "lust" in the Old Testament (nephesh, sheriruth. raavah, chamad, ovah) and there are several Greek words translated "lust" in the New Testament (epithumia, hedone, epiporheo, orexis, porhos). These terms may be used (1) in a general neutral sense of desire, or (2) in an evil sense of inordinate desire, concupiscence, lust.

The evil sense of the terms mean all the evil lusts, passionate desire, especially sexual lust, or desire for worldly pleasures. It is tragic for a person to be controlled by sinful lusts. These lusts may be directed toward forbidden objects. It can be so violent as to move a person to lose self-control, and to engross the mind with earthly, carnal and perishable things.

The law of Moses said, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his: ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's" (Ex. 20:17). We should not "lust after evil things" as Israel lusted in the wilderness (Num. 11; Psa. 106:14; 1 Cor. 10:6). The progress of the sin of Achan is that he saw the mantle, silver and gold; then he coveted them; then he took them; and then he hid them in the earth (Josh.7:21).

Solomon warned against the evil woman, saying, "Lust not after her beauty in thy heart; Neither let her take thee with her eyelids" (Prov. 6:25).

In the New Testament Jesus said, "every one that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matt. 5:28). Jesus demands purity of mind for his disciples; he knew the ruin that awaits unchastity.

1. In the parable of the soils who are those that are sown among the thorns? (Mark 4: 18, 19).

2. What did Paul say that God gave the Gentiles up to do? Why? (Rom. 1:22ff).

3. We are to consider ourselves dead to _______ & alive to _________ (Romans 6:11)

4. "Don't let _____ reign in your mortal body that you should obey its _________"

(Romans 6:12)

5. How are we to "walk" so that we don't carry out the desires of the flesh? (Gal. 5:16).

6. What does Paul teach that we should do (in Ephesians 4:22) with reference to your former manner of life? Why??

7. What is to be renewed? What is to be put on?

God's call, "Ye shall be holy; for I am holy'" (1 Pet. 1:16).

The Christian is to have the right attitude toward the source of temptation.

1. What does James 1:13-14 teach about the source of temptation?

2. What is meant in Genesis 22:1 (KJV)? And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.

3. What is God using His power to do? (Romans 1:16).

There are actually two sources of temptation to sin. We are tempted from within when we are wanting to satisfy our own desires (James 1:14) and we are tempted without by sinful people (Prov. 1:10) who would influence us. But the one who uses these sources to get us do his work is Satan. (Matt. 4:1ff).

Remember, temptation itself is not sin. Jesus was tempted, yet He did not sin. (Matthew 4:1-11; Hebrews 2:18; 4-15-16; 1 Peter 2:21-22) We sin when we yield to temptation. (James 1:13-15).

4. What is it that causes us to be tempted?

5. What is born when lust (desire) is conceived?

6. What is the result when sin is accomplished?

7. What can we change to keep from sinning?

The three channels of temptation

John tells us that there are three avenues or channels of temptation. (1 John 2:15-17)

They are (1) the lust (desires) of the ___________________; (2) the lust (desires) of the ___________; and the ________________ of life.

1. Read Genesis 3 and show how Satan used each of these channels of temptation.

2. Read Matthew 4 and show how Satan used each of these channels of temptation.

3. Read Hebrews 4:15. Was Jesus tempted in every sin know to man; or in each of these established channels?

The Christian is to understand that there can be victory over temptation.

1. What does God provide for us so that we can always overcome temptation?

(1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Peter 2:9)

2. What is the way of escape?

A. By being prepared - (Psalm 119:11; consider Jesus' responses in Matthew 4)

B. Prayer and watchfulness - (Ephesians 5:15; Matthew 26:41)

C. Having strong purpose - (Daniel 1:12-13)

D. Flight - (1 Corinthians 10:14; 2 Timothy 2:22; Genesis 39:12).

E. Resistance - (James 4:7)

There are blessings that come with temptation, too. (When we overcome.)

A. Strength - Every temptation overcome increases our courage and fortitude.

(James. 1: 2-3)

B Exaltation - After victory, Joseph was exalted (Genesis 39:9-13; 41:37).



Like many other subjects pertaining to religion, this is a subject where there is confusion and perverted thought. Some religionists believe to submit to civil authority is to disobey God and treason before Him. Some others feel that God would have us to obey everything civil authority teaches and their authority becomes God's will toward us in all things they command. We are interested in what the Bible teaches on the subject.

1. What is the attitude we must have?

2. What does God say on the subject?

3. Who ordained civil government? (Romans 13:1)

4. How did Jesus show that He respected civil government? (Matt. 17:24-27; 22:21).

The apostles wrote of respect for Civil Authority. The most thorough thesis on the subject is written by Paul in Romans 13:1-7. In these verses we note:

Two factors are worthy of note in the background of Paul's statement to the Romans. First, the Caesars were reigning in Rome who were generally corrupt and evil; yet by inspiration, Paul wrote to be subject unto the higher powers. Second, he silences any conjecture by Christians that they were only to submit to spiritual laws; or be in subjection to no one but Christ. We must remember that part of submission to God and Christ (James 4:7) involves submitting to everything and everyone that God authorizes. In so doing we are really subjected to Christ.

What does the proper attitude toward civil government demand?

A. Submission and obedience. (Romans 13:1, Titus 3:1)

Submit yourselves to ______________________ for the Lord's sake. As unto them that are sent by him for__________________, and for the ________________. (1 Peter 2:13-14).

B. Recognize that civil authorities are God's ministers. (Romans 13:4, 6).

When we resist them, we are in conflict with God's spiritual laws. Can one defy an ordinance of God and not sin? When we submit to them, we are submitting to God's wisdom. (1 Peter 2:15).

C. Look to them for protection and fairness in keeping with rights of citizenship. (Acts 16:35-39)

Paul appealed to Caesar in Acts 22:25-29; Acts 25:11-12, 25.

D. Pray for those in authority. (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

E. Respect the office of civil authority. (Acts 23:1-5)

As much as compatible with Christ's laws, submit to ordinances of man so that foolish men

may not class Christians as anarchists or revolutionists. (1 Pet. 2:15). The gospel turns the world upside down by changing people from evil, to righteousness; not by revolutions of governments. (Acts 17:6; Acts 28:22),



How do we make proper application?

We must deal with the fact that our government no longer guarantees every citizen's right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In 1973 the U. S. Supreme Court, in an act of naked disregard for its constitutional role and the will of the people, struck down the laws of all states prohibiting the murder of innocent babies for money. By judicial declaration they declared it unconstitutional for any state or person to prevent or inhibit a woman seeking to hire a "doctor" to kill her baby.

1. Since abortion is now legal can a Christian seek to have one?

2. If you believe it is in opposition to God's will for a woman to have an abortion, can you join with others in blocking the door to abortion clinics? What can you do to oppose such?

The Supreme Court outlawed the reading of scripture and the voluntary practice of prayer in public schools; practices engaged in for two hundred years suddenly became illegal.

1. Should teachers who are Christians continue to do such? (Consider Daniel.)

2. Can a Christian be barred from praying?

Our courts legalized pornography and bears responsibility for the flood of violence against women and children that has resulted.

1. Can we take advantage of the laws that give us the freedom to view such material?

2. Can we join with others to get these laws changed by writing letters of protest?

3. Can we join with others in calling the radio stations, TV stations, and other media that produces such material?

We live in an age when doctors are taking the lives of the elderly, the defective, and the children. Our courts are allowing the good to go to jail and the wicked to go free. Our jails are overcrowded because our laws are not enforced. Drugs are not only available to our children but peer pressure expects that they use them. Despite these atrocities, Christians living in our officially pluralistic and religiously neutral society do not feel any great pressure. We turn our heads and ask why doesn't someone do something. We don't have battle scars because one does not receive battle scars when he is in full retreat!

As a whole, we didn't fight when pornography was legalized. Christians seldom seem to notice the racks of "soft-core" pornography at the local convenience store; but they are no longer shocked by it.

When killing children ceased to be a felony and was declared a constitutional right, Christians largely stood aside and watched the blood flow.

1. What should we do? or have done?

2. What do you believe would have happened if everyone who believed in honoring God's word would have refused to quit teaching it everywhere they went, including our schools & other public places?

3. What do you believe would have happened if everyone who cared about God refused to go to the stores and markets that handled any kind of pornography?

Just because we cannot seek to overthrow the government doesn't mean that we cannot do all that we can with the bounds of the law to change it. Christians have voices that need to be heard. What are you doing to let the government know how you feel?


Paul writes in Romans 13:4, for it (the government) is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil.

When Paul uses the term "bear the sword," he is referring to capital punishment. One of the functions of the government is to carry out capital punishment. God has always provided this type of punishment for certain offenses.

When you consider law itself, we must remember that where there is legitimate law, there is a penalty for its violation. The penalty must be in some way equal to the crime to off set its occurrence.

Read Genesis 9:6; Exodus 21:12; Deuteronomy 17:6-7

1. Who is responsible for the shedding of blood of the murderer?

2. The covenant we are under has changed, but have the moral principles of God changed?

What about the PAYING OF TAXES?

Certainly we have shown that Christians are to obey the civil laws. Just based upon that testimony one would understand that he must pay taxes.

1. What did Jesus teach us concerning the payment of taxes in Matthew 22:17-21?

2. If you pay taxes, but you cheat....are you in obedience to God or rebellion?


Romans 13:1-3 Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same;

We must obey all the civil laws or we are sinning. The ONLY exception is when man's law opposes God's instructions in our lives. (Acts 5:28-29) Therefore:


Matthew 25:31ff, But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.' Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.' Then they themselves also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?' Then He will answer them, saying, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

In the judgement scene that Jesus depicts for us we see that we will be judged upon HOW we took care of one another. This will not be the only criteria. But it is clear that this is an important issue to consider. Our soul could be in jeopardy because we did not have the proper concern for our brothers' and sisters' needs.

Read James 1:22-27

1. Is this instructions for the church or for the individual? How can you tell?

2. What does James say that we should do besides learn and understand the Word of God?

3. What does he compare to a man seeing himself in a mirror an then puts out of his mind what needs he recognized there?

4. How is that "delusion?"

5. What is a forgetful hearer contrasted with?

6. What are the elements of pure & undefiled religion?

7. James says we are to "visit" the orphans & widows.

A. Is this passage limited to "orphans & widows?" Why/Why not??

B. Jesus mentioned those who "visited Him." (Matthew 25) What does it mean to "visit?"

What does it mean to "Visit"

The Greek word that is translate "to visit" comes from 2 base words that means (1) to "inspect." and (2) "to go to see, relieve:--look out for, to visit."

1. With this proper understanding of the word, can we simply go and make a social call on someone who is in need and fulfill the demands of this passage?

2. Look at James 2:15-22. What kind of faith do you have if you see a brother or sister in need of food and you go to them and engage in social, friendly conversation but don't help them?

3. What kind of faith do you have if you see a sick or frail brother or sister who needs to have their lawn mowed and you go to them and engage in social, friendly conversation but don't help them?

4. What kind of faith do you have if you see a brother or sister who needs their house repaired and you go to them and engage in social, friendly conversation but don't help them?

5. What kind of faith do you have if you see a brother or sister who is sick and unable to do their housework (dishes, cleaning, etc.) and you go to them and engage in social, friendly conversation but don't help them?

The list can go on, obviously. Let's not forget that we have not "visited" our brethren who are in need if we do not see to that need. Let's also remember what our Lord said about who we are really ministering to (Matt. 25).

Read 1 Thess. 5:11, 14.

1. What does Paul tell us we are to do to help build each other up?

2. How do you encourage a runner who is in danger of falling out of the race?

3. How do you encourage someone who is caught up in some sin to give it up?

Paul said we are to encourage one another. But what does that mean? How can we encourage one another?

Titus 2:7...... Be an _____________________________________

1 Thess. 5:14, 1 Cor. 13:4, James 5:8-10.......Be _________________________

Hebrews 10:23-25....Always ____________________________________

1 Thess. 4:18; 1 Tim 4:6.....Comfort & build up with _______________________

Phil. 4:4-8 ......Our attitude & outlook on life should be ____________________________

Romans 12:13 teaches that we are to "practice hospitality" How do we do this?

Look up the word "hospitality" in a dictionary. What does the word mean?

1. In 1 Tim. 5:10 the widow who is counted worthy to be put on the roles is one who showed hospitality to strangers. What did she do?

2. What does Hebrews 13:2 warn us about?

3. As we practice hospitality what is to be our attitude? (1 Pet. 4:9)

4. What should we do when we have visitors from other areas? How might we "practice hospitality" today?

One area that is hard for us today is in Accepting and Giving Compliments

1. Why do you think it is hard to receive a compliment?

2. How should we respond when we receive a compliment?

3. Is there an improper way to receive a compliment?

4. What should be the foundation that launches every compliment that is given?

(Acts 2:46; 1 Cor. 5:8; 2 Cor. 1:12; Phil. 1:10)



One of the problems that we have today is in dealing with the non-Christian. They are all around us. We work with them, do business with them, and are neighbors to them. But they don't understand us, and we don't usually understand them. So what do we do? How do we deal with them?

Generally we recognize how important it is to use wisdom in dealing with those outside the faith. If we use good judgement, we will open the doors that lead them to Christ. If we use poor judgement, we can forever close those doors. (See Colossians 4:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:12)

Some Basic Principles:

It is obvious that we must treat those outside the body of Christ differently. What are some of those ways they are to be treated differently?

1. When it comes to sin, how are we to react to the non-Christian? (consider 1 Cor. 5)

2. Why is it important to remember what YOU once were?

3. How would we apply Matthew 7:12?

4. What does Galatians 6:10 teach us?

How to Conduct Conversations with non-Christians

1. What should ALWAYS be in the front most part of your mind when in conversations with non-Christians? (Luke 15:4-7)

2. Read Colossians 4:5-6.

A. How should you conduct yourselves with outsiders? What does that mean?

B. What are we to make the most of? How can we do that?

C. What is said of our speech with these outsiders? Give some examples.

3. What should we do when we disagree with the non-Christian about what the Bible teaches?

A. Should we give consideration to what he says? Why? (1 John 4:1)

B. What should we be ready to do? (1 Peter 3:15)

4. Must we try to "get it all said" while we have "this" opportunity? (1 Cor. 3:6)

5. What do you do when the one you are trying to teach shows no interest?

(Consider Mark 6:11)

6. HOW are we to "speak the truth?" (Ephesians 4:15)



We are all interested in seeing this congregation grow. But what do we really mean by that. Do we want to see the church grow numerically? Sure we do! Each number equals a soul. But if we are only concerned about numbers we have lost sight of what church growth is really all about.

If we do what the religions all around us are doing, we could have higher numbers, but we would not be pleasing to God. Many of our own brethren have caved into the demand for growth in numbers. Some preachers think that they need to "produce" higher numbers. And some churches think that their preacher should "produce" higher numbers. Isn't that the way success is measured in the secular world?

We need to be more concerned with SPIRITUAL GROWTH. If the church is growing spiritually, that still equates into numbers; numbers of souls that are saved who would have fallen along the wayside; numbers of souls who are more pleasing to the Lord; numbers of souls who are growing to maturity, etc.

We are always thrilled to see our numbers increase. But this increase can also bring new challenges and problems.

Let's look at church growth. Not as man would have it, but.....

"A Growth Which Is From God" (Colossians 2:19)

First we need to emphasize that we are talking about the local church and its growth. We want to learn what to do to make it grow.

A congregation, or local church, is a plurality of Christians banded together by common motives (goals) and a pooling of resources, to do collectively what the members of that local church agree God wants them to do together.

1. Within the local church we are to engage in what is called "fellowship" (cf. Acts 2:42). What is this?

The Greek "koinonia," from which "fellowship" is derived, is found a number of times in the New Testament. It means (1) Contribution; (2) Communion; (3) Joint Participation; (4) Communication. Therefore, it means a sharing in common; mutual interests; mutual activity; a partnership with each other in the blessings of the gospel.

Fellowship consists of (1) Action; (2) Common Action; (3) A Common Goal. Fellowship is seen when Christians act together with common motives, or goals, to serve Christ in what they can do together. When one is in fellowship with other Christians in a local church, he is on the same local team - he is a co-worker with those other Christians.

Our primary concern in this lesson will be with some things that are necessary in any local congregation to bring about "A growth which is from God".

Spiritual Leadership (1 Cor. 16:14-16)

What Is Leadership? Leadership is influence. It is the ability of one person to influence

others. Men can lead others only to the extent that they can influence them.

1. Who should we look to for leadership? Are we just talking about the elders, deacons, preacher, and teachers?

Leadership is the capacity and will to rally men and women to a common purpose, and the character which inspires confidence. A leader is one who knows the road, who can keep ahead and can pull others after them. A leader is a person who has the ability to get people to do what they don't want to do- and like it!

It has been said, there are three kinds of people in the world: The moveable, the immovable, and those who move them. True leadership is achieved not by reducing men to one's service, but in giving oneself in selfless service to them. He aims to put more into life than he takes out of it.

(Consider 1 Thess.5:12,13; Heb.13:17; 1 Tim.3:1)

Are YOU one of the leaders of this church?

Every congregation is but the lengthened shadow of its leaders. Show me a local church which is dynamic and growing, and I'll show you a leadership which is also growing. Show me a congregation has been merely "keeping house" for the Lord, and I'll show you a leadership which is stagnant and lifeless.

2. What did Jesus say about those churches who were just "keeping house?" (Rev.3:14-19).

"A growth which is from God" requires leaders with imagination. It is possible for leaders to be lifeless and ineffective in their work if they do not bring to their task a vast storehouse of creativity and imagination.

Someone has defined "rut" as a grave with the ends knocked out. Where leaders are dead, churches are dead and dying, and one sure sign of death is finding ourselves in a rut.

We have godly elders who are doing their best to bring about "a growth which is from God."

Are you leading others in the right direction as you follow them? Or are you leading others astray as you rebel against them?

What can we do to cause growth?

1. Will my being absent from the assembling of the church encourage or discourage the church? (Heb. 10:23-25)?

2. Can I be a positive influence on the church if I am not there?

3. What effect does the conduct of members have on those who visit?

4. Can you grow properly if you are not being fed properly? (consider 1 Corinthians 3:2; Hebrews 5:12-13; 1 Peter 2:2)

It is obvious that we must be at all the assemblies to be properly fed so that the church might grow "spiritually." We must also be at every assembly to greet and encourage the visitors, as well as the members.

5. When it comes to the work of the church in evangelism, who is responsible for doing that work?

A. Mark 16:15-16

B. Mark 4:1-20

C. Hebrews 5:12

6. What tools do we have available in teaching the gospel today?

Why did the first century church grow so rapidly?

The apostolic church succeeded in all the work and worship authorized by the Lord. It succeeded in giving glory to God and in bringing salvation to man through the Lord Jesus Christ. Why did the early church succeed?

1. It was successful in teaching its members. (Matt. 28:20; Acts 2:42)

2. It was successful in making preachers and teachers out of its members. (Acts 8:4)

3. It was successful in evangelizing the lost. (Acts 13:2-3)

Note: The Gospel had been preached to every creature under heaven. (Col.. 1:23)

4. It was successful in making an impression upon the world. (Acts 2:47 ; 4:13)

5. It was successful in keeping the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. (Matthew 5:9;

Acts 4:32; Ephesians 4:3)

6. It was successful in worshipping God acceptably. (Acts 2:42 ; 20:7 ; Matthew 15:9;

John 4:24)

7. It was successful in caring keeping the church clean. (Acts 5:1-11 ; 8:18-24 ;

2 Thessalonians 3:6)

8. It was successful in meeting and overcoming all opposition . (Acts 4:19-20 ;5:29 , 41-42 .