In The Beginning
God & Satan
Ask the students to write down some options of what they believe is the purpose of the Bible, what the main point is that the Bible is trying to make.
After the students have come up with a few good options, ask them to choose their one, best answer as to what the main purpose or point is of the Bible.
Next have the students list out how or why they think the Bible makes that point.
Have them list the biblical stories, characters or illustrations which make them think that the point they chose above is the central lesson of the Bible.
Document what the students have discussed and decided is the main purpose of or point made by the Bible and how the events in the Bible relay that message and then go over the following with them.
† But the Lord is the only true God. He is the living God and the everlasting King! The whole earth trembles at his anger. The nations cannot stand up to his wrath. Say this to those who worship other gods: “Your so-called gods, who did not make the heavens and earth, will vanish from the earth and from under the heavens.” But the Lord made the earth by his power, and he preserves it by his wisdom. With his own understanding he stretched out the heavens. When he speaks in the thunder, the heavens roar with rain. He causes the clouds to rise over the earth. He sends the lightning with the rain and releases the wind from his storehouses. Jeremiah 10: 10 – 13
The main point the Bible is trying to make in its 1000+ pages is…..
God is Awesome and His Glory is beyond comprehension in every imaginable way! Because of this, we should turn our life over to Him and give Him our praise and worship.
The Bible illustrates all the awesome dimensions of God’s glory from the first page to the last in the following ways:
His original creation – of the massive, complex universe generally and of man and the paradise of the Garden of Eden for man specifically – shows His
o Unlimited Power and Unrestricted Energy
o Untold Knowledge
o Perfect Creativity
After man sinned and messed up His original perfection, God undertakes His long-term plan to bring His Son to earth and ultimately pay for people’s sins. Even after that plan was fulfilled with Jesus’ coming to earth and His death, burial and resurrection, God continues to wait for people to turn to Him in faith and repentance (even those who have rejected Him many times already). This demonstrates His
o Infinite Love and
o Matchless Patience
The actual act of Jesus fulfilling God’s plan by coming as a man to live among the people He created and dying for us when He did not have to, displays the Lord’s
o Perfect Grace and
o Unbelievable Forgiveness
The Bible tells us in both the Old Testament and the New Testament of “the great and terrible day of the Lord”, the coming day of God’s judgment and punishment. The Bible teaches that it is just as wrong to let wrongdoing go unpunished as it is to punish an innocent person (Proverbs 17: 15 & Proverbs 24: 24 – 25) With His punishments leading up to the final judgment (the flood in Noah’s day for example) and the promise of His coming day of ultimate judgment, God reveals to us His
o Ideal Justice
In raising Jesus from the dead, telling us that He will raise us from the grave also and His promise to recreate a new, perfect heaven and earth, God expresses His
o Ultimate control of everything and
o Infinite Redemptive Power
So a list of God’s perfect attributes would include:
Power / energy
Creativity / creative ability
God is perfect and immeasurable in each of these dimensions. God is awesome and worthy of worship and praise – that is THE main lesson of the Bible. Though we cannot understand everything about Him, we can see through the Bible, His creation and His plan of salvation that His Glory is simply beyond compare and, therefore, should be the center of our lives.
Discussion Topics & Questions
1. What to you is the most impressive thing about God? Why?
2. What is the most mysterious thing about God? Why?
3. If you could thank God for one thing right now, what would it be?
4. If you could ask God one question, what would it be?
In The Beginning
God & Satan
In the last lesson, we discussed God’s Glory and many of His awesome attributes. One thing which was not mentioned in that lesson, though, was about God’s never-ending truth.
† God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? (Numbers 23: 19 ESV)
† in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began (Titus 1: 2 ESV)
† so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. (Hebrews 6: 18 ESV)
In this lesson, we will discuss Satan. The best place to start a discussion of the devil is with Jesus’ short, telling description of Him found in the Gospel of John.
† You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8: 44 ESV)
The difference in God’s character and the devils are immediately obvious in these scriptures.
If Satan is the all-time, father of lies, what main lies should we be on the lookout for?
Satan has one BIG LIE that he has been using from the beginning and all Christians need to understand Satan’s BIG LIE so that we can set ourselves apart from it in our lives
† Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. (Genesis 3: 1 – 6 ESV)
Notice in the underlined passages that the devil told direct lies to Eve.
But the first lie was more than just a simple falsehood. It was a fib meant to get Eve questioning God in her own mind. We can imagine how Eve’s thought process went.
The devil to Eve – “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”
Eve to the devil – “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
Eve thinking to herself – “hmmmm but wait a minute why would God not let me eat from this tree, I can see it looks tasty and the devil says it even has some other benefits it will bring me. Why would God want to keep me from doing something that only seems to bring me benefit with little or no harm? I thought God had my best interest at heart. I mean, He does, doesn’t He???”
And with that, Eve was doomed!
Of course, the purpose of God capturing the story of Eve and the devil and the forbidden fruit was not so we could look down on Eve and her decision, it was so that we can understand that…
… Satan’s biggest lie is that God never really has or at least does not always have our best interest at heart!
God tells us to forgive people, not to cuss, not to get drunk or high, not to have sex before marriage, to go to church regularly (and not to eat the forbidden fruit) but our minds tell us that surely all those things cannot be best.
Maybe, we think, we care about ourselves and our true happiness and well being more than God does and so maybe, we think, we should do some things our way instead of everything God’s way.
If you’re totally honest, doesn’t it sometimes feel as though the way that God asks you to live is a little restricting, will cause you to miss out on some fun in your life?
But listen to what the Bible says about that.
† There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. (Proverbs 14: 12 ESV)
† Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered. (Proverbs 28: 26 ESV)
The wisdom spoken about here in Proverbs 28 comes from the Bible.
Of the two passages of scripture below, the first was given from God to be written down by Moses and the second was spoken by Jesus.
† “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am commanding you today for your good? (Deuteronomy 10: 12 – 13 ESV)
† The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (John 10: 10 ESV)
God tells us that the commandments and rules He gives to us are to be obeyed for our own good! And Jesus tells us that He wants us to live the way He calls us to live so that we can have the most abundant life possible!
Satan lies to us getting our minds to think over and over again that God’s rules aren’t fun and God’s rules aren’t fair.
The devil knows that if you really don’t feel that God is being fair to you, if you really don’t feel as though God cares as much about you as you do, then it will be hard for you to follow Him every single day for the rest of your life.
But God tells us just the opposite.
Once at a Wednesday night dinner at our church a mother and her young son came and sat at the table with me. The mom tasted his Mac & Cheese and told her son it was still too hot to eat. Then she got called away. After a few minutes, I told the little boy (who knew me well) that it was probably okay to eat his food because it should have cooled down enough. He said “no, mommy said it is too hot to eat, I will wait until she tells me it is okay.” That is exactly what God wants.
When our minds or our friends tell us to do something that God has told us not to do, He wants us to say “no, my Father has told me that will not be best for me so I won’t.”
Discussion Topics & Questions
1. Do you feel as though the way God asks you to live your life is always in your best interest? If you did everything the way that God wanted you to do it all the time, do you honestly believe you would end up happier and better off or do you feel as though you would be missing out on a lot?
2. What are some of the rules of Christian living that absolutely don’t seem as though they are going to give you a happier life? What things that God asks you to do or not do seem as though they are going to cramp your fun the most?
3. What are some of the hardest “rules” of God to follow? Are they the same rules that seem to cramp your fun or are they different rules?
4. Of the rules that are hard to follow every day or those that seem to take the fun out of your life that were just discussed, why do you think God asks you to live that way? What possible harm do you think could come to you from breaking those particular rules of God?
5. Do you think we can always figure out why God’s rules are best or is that something that God just wants us to have faith in?
In The Beginning
God & Satan
Do you know what historians say have caused more deaths during all the wars throughout history than anything else combined?
G. None of the above
The answer is G.
Actually, the real answer is disease.
Up until World War I (which ended in 1918), more soldiers in war died from disease than they did from the enemy’s arrows and bullets.
During World War I, the numbers killed by bombs and bullets was about equal to the number of soldiers dying from disease in the field.
Because of advances in the treatment of disease and the advancement of guns and bombs used in warfare, only in modern history do the weapons of war kill more people on the battlefield than do the germs with which they are infected on the battlefield.
With that knowledge, listen to this passage of scripture which God gave to Moses over 3,000 years ago.
† You shall have a place outside the camp, and you shall go out to it. And you shall have a trowel with your tools, and when you sit down outside, you shall dig a hole with it and turn back and cover up your excrement. Because the LORD your God walks in the midst of your camp, to deliver you and to give up your enemies before you, therefore your camp must be holy, so that he may not see anything indecent among you and turn away from you. (Deuteronomy 23: 12 – 14 ESV)
In case you didn’t catch that, these verses literally say that when the Hebrew army was out in the field fighting a war, they were to have a place outside their camp where they went to poop and that they were to take a shovel with them so they could dig a hole to poop in and then they were to cover it up. The generic reason God gave them for this was that because He was with them in their military camps, those campsites must be holy. With our modern knowledge of bacteria’s role in causing illness (E coli, for example) and our understanding of how diseases (such as dysentery and cholera) are caused, we can clearly see what a huge advantage this rule would have been to the Hebrew warriors. When the Hebrews were fighting to conquer the land God had promised them, they were not losing soldiers to disease and that would have been enough of an advantage in those days to win most every battle they fought. But with no knowledge of bacteria and disease, they could not have understood how this rule was such a tremendous benefit to their health and safety and would have had to follow the regulation based on a faith that a God who loved them would only require things which, even though they might be hard to apply and live by, could only be for their ultimate benefit.
Can you imagine, though, how difficult it must have been when the edge of camp was more than a mile away and you were tired and the enemy was lurking out on the boundary somewhere to jump through such hoops just for the poops? If you truly believe in your heart that the way God asks you to live is best, then it becomes much easier to live as a Christian.
Have two students go through the following play:
Soldier 1: “Dude, I have really got to poop. There is a little creek running the other side of where they are cooking over there, right?
Soldier 2: “If you are going to do number 2, remember you need to go outside the camp and dig a hole.”
Soldier 1: “But seriously why would you say that?”
Soldier 2: “You know why, because that is what God teaches us to do so I really think you should do it”
Soldier 1: “Well I know another guy who is not pooping in a hole and covering it up and God has not struck him dead yet – plus I am really tired”
Soldier 2: “I am sorry that you are tired and I know it seems like a difficult rule to follow but we really need to have faith that what God asks us to do is best.”
Soldier 1: “Why are you being so mean to me? And if God loves me, why would He ask me to do something that is so hard anyway? If following all God’s rules is important to you, then have at it.”
Soldier 2: “Well actually I do want what is best for you but I think God knows what is best to a much greater degree than you and I do so I always recommend following His guidance. I can’t explain why everything God asks us to do is really best for us in the long run but I believe God when He says it is.”
God says in the Old Testament books of Psalms and Isaiah that He is above us, that His ways are not our ways and that we cannot think the way that He does. Our pride works against us when the devil tells us God’s rules are unfair, our desire to be independent works against us and the pressure of other people who say we are missing out on fun works against us.
Group questions & Activities
1. Do you think if the Hebrews soldiers had understood that God was trying to keep them from getting very ill with His rules about going to the bathroom in an isolated place it would have made it easier to for them to follow those instructions?
2. Would it be easier for you to follow rules such as those God has against not cussing, not getting drunk or not have sex before marriage if He explained to you exactly why those rules are best for you, what harm those things will ultimately cause you, etc?
3. What do you think are possible reasons that God might have for teaching us not to cuss, get drunk or have sex before marriage?
4. Why do you think God doesn’t always tell us exactly why He asks us to live the way He does?
5. Pick a behavior or two that the Bible tells us we should or should not do that the students really do not understand why they are asked to follow because it only seems to limit their fun and have them write out and act out a quick play on the topic in line with what they read about the two soldiers earlier.