The time and place we are living in has a big effect on how we understand the bible. We can’t help seeing things through the eyes of our culture, history, and experience. A person who has never been out of Toledo Washington might define a large crowd as something different than someone from Toledo Ohio.
Because culture and experience affect us so much we are easily deceived and robbed of the freedom God has for us.
We easily allow ideas and techniques to get bundled together with the essential truths of the gospel. These cultural opinions and techniques begin to be treated as equal to scripture and we end up bound, deceived and judgmental. this happens without us realizing it. Paul saw this in His time.
2Co 11:1-4 I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness; but indeed, you are bearing with me. For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.
STEPS TO PREPARE
PRAY FOR THE SERVICES AND FOR YOURSELF
AND ME AND THE OTHER TEACHERS.
PRAYERFULLY READ THE SCRIPTURES
AND CONSIDER THE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS.
MAKE PLANS TO ATTEND A PREACHING SERVICE AND A SMALL GROUP.
INVITE SOMEONE TO COME WITH YOU.
PREPARING FOR SUNDAY: SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS
- What is the difference between a scriptural truth and a religious practice? Please give an example.
- How can a helpful religious tradition turn into a legalistic basis to judge one another?
- What is legalism?
Rom 13:8-10 Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law.
: “in essentials, unity; in doubtful matters, liberty; in all things, charity.”
- What does this mean?
- Why do we want others to give us a handbook on how to live daily rather than depending on the Holy Spirit’s direction?
- Describe how human opinions can be treated as clear scriptural commands with only indirect proof texts.
- How can man-made traditions make people selfish and mean?
Mar 7:5-13 The Pharisees and the scribes *asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?” And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘These PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. ‘BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’ “Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition. “For Moses said, ‘HONOR YOUR FATHER AND YOUR MOTHER’; and, ‘HE WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER, IS TO BE PUT TO DEATH’; but you say, ‘If a man says to his father or his mother, whatever I have that would help you is Corban (that is to say, given to God),’ you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother; thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down, and you do many things such as that.”
- When should traditions be rejected?
Mar 3:1-6 He entered again into a synagogue, and a man was there whose hand was withered. They were watching Him to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath so that they might accuse Him.He *said to the man with the withered hand, “Get up and come forward!” And He *said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to kill?” But they kept silent. After looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, He *said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately began conspiring with the Herodians against Him, as to how they might destroy Him.
- How can we avoid letting bundle creating formulas replace the freedom of intimacy with Christ?
2Co 11:3-4 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.
- How can we avoid misguided zeal?
Rom 10:2 For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.