Introduction: How do you decide questions that you have about God,
about how to live your life, and about how to bring others to Jesus?
The answer should be “the Bible.” Do you know enough about the Bible
to make informed decisions? This week a controversy over one of the
stars of a television reality program taught me that those in the
media are ignorant about the Bible. The media showed a video clip of
this star standing in church and preaching about homosexuality. The
whole clip consisted only of a quotation from the book of Romans.
Instead of criticizing the star, a proper discussion should have been
about the Bible and what this Bible text meant. Let’s dive into our
Bible study and learn more about this topic!

  1. Bible Answers

    1. Read Luke 4:1-4. When it says that Jesus was “tempted,”
      what does that mean? (Satan wanted Jesus to sin. He wanted
      Jesus to disobey God.)

      1. On what did Jesus rely to fend off sin? (Jesus quoted
        Deuteronomy 8:3 of the Bible.)

        1. Is that it – only the Bible? (No! We must not
          overlook the critical fact that Jesus also
          relied on the leading of the Holy Spirit.)

      2. Notice the Scripture on which Jesus relied – it says
        we don’t live on bread alone. How is that an answer
        to Satan’s temptation?

      3. Review Luke 9:12-17. Had Jesus created bread before?
        Did He do it in part to show that He was the Messiah?

        1. If so, why was it the right thing to do in Luke
          9 and the wrong thing to do in Luke 4? (See how
          important the Holy Spirit is? This is precisely
          the kind of issue where we need to be guided,
          as was Jesus, by the wisdom of the Holy

    2. Read Matthew 12:1-2. Are the Jewish leaders asking Jesus
      to follow the Bible when it comes to guiding His
      disciples? (Yes. Keeping the Sabbath is part of the Ten

    3. Read Matthew 12:3-4. On what is Jesus relying for His
      response? (The Bible.)

      1. Explain Jesus’ Bible-based response. What is Jesus’

      2. Is He saying that sometimes it is okay to violate the
        commands of the Bible and have regular people do what
        is lawful only for priests?

        1. If so, how is that relying on the Bible?

    4. Read Matthew 12:5. Are Jesus’ disciples priests? If not,
      how is this relevant?

    5. Read Matthew 12:6-8. What is Jesus arguing? (Jesus teaches
      that we need to have a deeper understanding of the law.
      The whole point of the law is to bring attention to the
      need for Jesus, the need for a Savior, the need for mercy.
      Exceptions were made for the priests because their Sabbath
      work was to bring a knowledge of Jesus to the people. Now,
      Jesus, the High Priest of all time, the One this is all
      about, is present. Therefore, He is entitled to say how
      the law applies, and His disciples are His priests.)

      1. Is Jesus violating the rule of law? Is Jesus
        substituting the system in which the ruler makes the
        laws? (No. He is reconciling what His disciples are
        doing with the existing law. He is asking us to look
        more deeply into the law.)

      2. What is the lesson for us? That Jesus gets to bend
        the rules? (No! To properly understand the law
        requires great discernment – discernment that comes
        from above. Again, this is an argument for asking the
        Holy Spirit to help us understand the Bible.)

  2. Bible Authority

    1. Go back to Luke 4 and read Luke 4:5-8. On what does Jesus
      rely to reject temptation? (Again, Jesus relies on the
      Bible – Deuteronomy 6:13.)

      1. In the prior response to Satan, I thought Jesus’
        answer was a bit difficult to understand. Here,
        Jesus’ answer is easy to understand. Why does Satan
        accept this answer without debate?

        1. Does this show that Satan accepts the Bible as
          the final authority?

        2. What does the fact that both Jesus and Satan
          accept the Bible as the final authority teach
          us when we have questions? (Satan is evil, but
          he is a very smart guy. If both God, and the
          anti-God, accept the authority of the Bible,
          how can we reject it in favor of our own feeble
          thinking? To decide that we are wiser than the
          Bible is foolishness.)

      2. This brings us to a practical problem. What do we do
        if the person we are trying to convert or counsel is
        foolish and does not accept the Bible as the final

        1. If you cannot find an authority which you both
          accept, how can you persuade the other person
          that you are right?

    2. Read Acts 17:16-17 and Acts 17:22-23. What challenge did
      Paul face in making disciples of these idol worshipers?
      (They did not accept the Bible as authority.)

      1. What was Paul doing when he argued on the basis of
        the unknown God? Is that Bible-based authority? (This
        is a very important point. Paul was looking for a
        common ground of “authority.” If we seek to convert
        those who do not accept the Bible, we need to find
        some common ground from which we can make our Bible-based arguments. Paul thought that he would argue
        that the god unknown to them was the true God of

    3. Read Acts 17:24-25. What common ground is Paul arguing
      here? (The creation. Psalms 19:1 tells us that the heavens
      declare God’s glory. Paul quickly moves to an argument
      based on logic and the creation. Why would a God who
      created the universe need to be made by human hands – like
      these idols?)

      1. What common ground have you used in the past to reach
        those who do not accept the Bible as authoritative?
        (One common ground is mutual life experiences. When
        we are dealing with those who do not accept the
        authority of the Bible, our testimony about what God
        has done for us in dealing with the problems of life
        can be a persuasive common ground.)

  3. The Bible Only?

    1. We earlier touched on Luke 9. Read Luke 9:10-11. We see
      Jesus teaching about the Kingdom of God. No doubt He based
      His teachings on the Bible. What other means did He use?
      (He healed people. He created food to fed the crowd.)

      1. In making disciples today can we duplicate Jesus’
        methods? (We certainly can feed people at our
        evangelistic meetings and help them with practical
        difficulties that they face.)

    2. Read Luke 16:1-7. What do you think about this manager?
      (He is a cheat. He embezzles funds from his master – which
      adds credibility to the accusation that he has been
      wasting his master’s property.)

    3. Read Luke 16:8-9. Who is speaking here? (Jesus is not only
      speaking, but He is endorsing what the master said about
      his dishonest manager.)

      1. Why is Jesus complimenting a cheat and a fraud?

        1. And, what, exactly, is Jesus complimenting?
          (Jesus is complimenting the shrewdness of the
          dishonest manager.)

      2. Jesus tells us this story so that we will be
        “welcomed into eternal dwellings.” What eternal
        dwellings are these? (Heaven!)

      3. Whoa! Is Jesus saying that if we are cheats and
        frauds we will go to heaven? (No! Jesus is saying
        that we should use our brains and the tools at our
        disposal to make disciples (“gain friends”). We
        should be as shrewd as the world is in making
        disciples for God.)

        1. Is the Bible teaching us to use the smart
          marketing and promotional programs used by the
          world in making disciples?

    4. Friend, the Bible is the key to knowing God and
      understanding His will for our lives. Will you commit to
      regular reading and study of the Bible? Will you ask the
      Holy Spirit to help you understand and accept its

  4. Next week: Discipling Through Metaphor.