Date: January 22, 2023
Does It Agree with the Bible?
The Point: The voice of God never contradicts the Bible.
Get Into the Study
Read after discussing Question 1.
With our world moving more and more online, it’s even easier for people to pretend to be someone or something they’re not. Several people lost money recently—over $8 billion—thanks to FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Freid. Freid used a fake hedge fund to pretend to invest the money when he was really treating it as his personal bank account.
Just as we need to be careful where we invest our money, we need to be careful where we invest our time. When we do not invest our time in reading God’s Word, we are unable to discern God’s voice when He speaks. This can leave us unable to tell a good idea from a God idea. Even worse, we could be led into unbiblical beliefs, which can cause us to sin and spread false messages about God and the Gospel.
Most people know the voices of their friends and family well enough to pick them out of a crowd. How did we get to know them so well? By spending time with them and getting to know them. Similarly, we need to spend time with God so we can learn His voice well enough to hear it above all others. Even being just familiar with God’s Word can leave us open to temptation and false teaching. Instead, we should strive for intimacy with God that leads to obedience and understanding.
Get Into the Study [Option from the Adult Leader Guide, p. 99]
In advance, play a video of an interesting scam. Then ask Question #1.
Study the Bible
Share the following after reading Genesis 3:1-3.
Just as the serpent and Eve slightly distorted God’s commands about the tree, there are many today who do the same. In fact, when we do not spend enough time with God to discern His voice, we can easily make the same mistake as Eve.
This looks different across the ages. Some look like the prosperity gospel, which says if we “just have enough faith” then God will keep bad things from happening to us. For the Millennials and Gen Z, some of the most common scriptural distortions twist scripture to support new age practices, sexual immorality, or social justice mantras.
In fact, a church in England recently changed the lyrics of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” to reflect social justice mantras. Lines were changed to validate LGBT identities and claim women’s erasure in history at the hands of patriarchy. Paul warns us in 2 Timothy 4:3-4 about not enduring sound teaching, but when we do not know what Scripture says, we do not know what is sound teaching and what isn’t.
We need to know what God really says so we can stand firm in His Word and not be taken in by people distorting Scripture to suit their own purposes. When we spend time reading Scripture and God’s voice, we are better equipped to hear Him above every other voice, and we can stand firm in what God calls His followers to believe and to do.
EXTRA was written by Emily Duncan, a Southern California native currently living in West Georgia with her husband, daughter, and two dogs. She became a Christian when she was sixteen at a youth retreat. Now, she’s a self-described homemaker and semi-professional baker who dreams of eventually finishing all the projects in her workroom.
- What’s the most interesting scam you’ve heard of?
- If you could trade voices with any celebrity or public figure, who would you choose?
- Who has an unmistakable or unforgettable voice?
- What’s the difference between asking questions about the Bible and questioning the Bible?
- What can potentially motivate us to question God’s word?
- What are some specific ways our culture questions the Bible?
- In what ways have you seen people add to God’s Word in regard to rules or limits?
- What are some common “half-truths” that circulate in churches (or among believers)?
- What are some reasons why people are often tempted to change or adapt what God has said?
- How does human reasoning lead some people to contradict God’s Word?
- What motivates people to fall for Satan’s traps?
- What are some current examples in our culture that are contradictions of God’s Word?
For Those in Your Group
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
This article complements the study. Share this link with your group members.
- HomeLife – Our Prime Directive
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.