Introduction: Do you remember hearing stories of Christian
heroes who were told to deny Christ or die? Have you put
yourself in the story? It would be terrible to be killed.
But what a nice, clear, choice – right? No debate about the
correct thing to do. Just the question of whether you have
the commitment. While I recall tough choices I’ve made where
the alternatives were clear, most of life comes at me in
colors of gray. The question is whether something is really
wrong? Is it sin? What we need is more light. What we need
is the willingness to step into the light. That is our study
this week. Let’s dive into our exploration of the Bible!

I. The Way

A. Read John 14:1-4. Do you see any conflict between
what Jesus says in verses three and four? (In
verse three Jesus tells the disciples that He
“will take you to Myself.” But in verse four Jesus
tells them that they “know the way.”)

B. Read John 14:5. As a long-time teacher I know that
the student who seems to ask “the dumb question”
is simply showing courage. Many other students
have the same question. Do you know the way to

C. Read John 14:6. Put yourself in Thomas’s place.
Would that answer your question? (Thomas is asking
directions. He is asking about geography. Jesus
is answering in terms of theology!)

D. Now that we know we are not talking about walking
directions, read John 14:7-10. What does Jesus
want His disciples to understand? (The nature of
God. Jesus tells them something absolutely
astonishing: what they know about Jesus teaches
them about the nature of God the Father.)

1. Is any other understanding about the nature of
God the Father correct? (Read again John 14:6.
This is the only way to understand God.)

E. Read John 14:11-13. Jesus now turns to the matter
of works. Recall we started out looking for
walking directions to heaven. Are these walking

1. Which of Jesus’ works would you like to

2. Which of Jesus’ works should you be doing?

3. What was Jesus’ greatest work? (Living for us,
dying for us, and rising victorious over sin.)

II. The Works

A. Read Deuteronomy 4:2. Is there a serious problem
with telling others that they must perform some
work that God does not require? (Yes. It is just
as prohibited as telling others that they need not
do things God requires.)

1. We regularly discuss the central truth of
righteousness by faith alone. We are not going
to revisit those texts. How does this truth
fit the instruction to refrain from telling
others to do things that are not required?
(The baseline for our discussion of works is
the truth that they do not save us. Rather,
they reflect the life of one who is saved.)

B. Read Proverbs 23:23. What do you think it means to
“sell” the truth? (Literally, it means do not give
up truth for money. Don’t compromise to increase
your wealth.)

1. Can you put Deuteronomy 4:2 together with
Proverbs 23:23 to reach an overall conclusion?
(“Buy” truth. Study to understand God’s will.
Then do not add what you think would be a fine
idea. If you do have fine ideas, label them as
such and not as God’s requirements.)

C. Read Acts 20:27-28. What level of concern should
we have about the condition of our life and those
around us in the church? (If Jesus died for us,
then we need to take to take this seriously.)

1. To whom does this instruction apply? (Not to
self-appointed critics in the church. Rather,
it applies to those who have been selected by
the Holy Spirit to be “overseers.”)

D. Read Acts 20:29-30. What important work do we find
here? (To refute those who are not teaching the

III. The Truth

A. Read Proverbs 16:25. Are all evil-doers bad
people? (This tells us that well-intentioned
people can be deadly wrong.)

B. Read Isaiah 53:6. Are we included in those evil-
doers? (Yes. We have turned to our “own way.” The
great news is that Jesus died for our “own way”

C. Read Exodus 20:3-5. In the law we refer to the
“elements of a prima facie case.” These elements
are what you must prove to win your case. What are
the elements of idol worship? (1. You made
something. 2. That you “bow down” to or

1. Do you think the thing you made needs to be a
“likeness” of anything else? (The commandment
specifies that it is a likeness.)

2. Could that be a book, an article, or anything
that is reflected in the printed page? (That
is included in “likeness.”)

3. Based on this discussion, could modern
cultures be involved in idol worship by
promoting ideas that are not based on the

D. Read John 17:14-17. What are the two clashing
viewpoints that we need to identify? (The “world,”
which hates us, and the “truth” found in the
“word.” This truth sanctifies us!)

1. Can you identify these two clashing viewpoints
in your life today? Can you name names? (The
Bible is the word. The world is the pagan
viewpoint of life.)

E. Read Ephesians 6:10-13. Who is our true enemy?
(Satan and his allies.)

F. Read Luke 9:49-50. Who are not our enemies?
(Fellow Christians who might not see things
exactly as we do, but who are not against us.)

1. How does Jesus view those who are trying to
advance the gospel in a way that is “not
against” us? (Jesus says that they are “for
us.” Notice how Jesus turns grey into black
and white.)

G. While I was writing this lesson an important
thought leader in the United States called me to
inquire why the main religious liberty journal of
my church was repeatedly attacking “Christian
Nationalists” or “White Christian Nationalists.”
He is not a church member. I told him that little
has changed except the terminology. Decades ago
that same journal was attacking the “Religious
Right.” A few years ago that term was retired in
favor of “Christian Nationalists.” Now race has
become part of the attack. From where do you think
these ideas originate? (These are attacks on
fellow Christians and they originate with the
pagan world and its thought leader.)

1. Can you think of a single reason why a
Christian would become allied with pagans to
attack fellow Christians?

2. If the truth of the Bible is in opposition to
the “truth” of the world, what does that
suggest about this attack?

3. Do you know any Bible texts that tell us to
attack fellow Christians because they are
Christians? (The Bible condemns many things,
but being a follower of Jesus is not one of
them. If a Christian is not following the
truth of the Bible, then the wrong deeds, the
wrong ideas, and not the decision to follow
Christ should be the focus of the criticism.)

IV. The Mind

A. Read Romans 1:21-23. What is the problem with the
minds of these people who believe that God exists
but do not honor Him?(Their thinking becomes

B. Read 2 Corinthians 4:4-6. What is the problem with
the people who do not believe in God? (Satan has
blinded their minds.)

1. What should we conclude about these two types
of people – those who believe, but not honor,
and those who do not believe? (Honoring God by
turning to the Bible for light is the key to
clear thinking. If we do not use the Bible as
the basis for making all decisions on what is
right and what is wrong, we will be deceived.)

C. Friend, we end up in the same place we started –
Jesus gives us the one and only path to eternal
life. All the other voices on earth are only
noise. Will you decide today to make the Bible,
and only the Bible, your standard for judgment?

V. Next week: Standing for the Truth.

Copr. 2024, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are
from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard
Version ), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing
ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All
rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within
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but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this
link: Pray for the guidance of the
Holy Spirit as you study.