Central church of Christ 

New Smyrna Beach, Fl 

Sunday Bible Study, 9am.    Sunday Worship, 10am & 5 pm.    Wednesday Bible Study, 7pm.

CLASS STUDY GUIDES

Walking In Godly Wisdom

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time

-Colossians 4:5 (ESV).

 

Lesson 1: GOD IS REAL! 

Read Acts 17.

 


How can we now for certain that God really exists?

Wouldn’t it be great if He would manifest His glory to everyone and proclaim, “Here I am.” Ask Christians why they believe God exists and you may receive the following:

1) I just know He does.

2) I have seen Him at work in my life.

3) He has answered my prayers

4) I just feel He does.


 




These are all good answers, but when seeking hard evidence, these answers are not quite sufficient. They are merely subjective. They relate to personal convictions and experiences, but none are based on hard and objective evidence.



In order to genuinely submit our lives to God, we must have rock solid, undeniable, objective evidence. (This is why many have so easily fallen away from their faith.) If God really does exist, and indeed created us, He must have made sure to reveal Himself to us in some way; if not in a personal manner, then at least through His creation—the world around us. It would seem logically inconsistent that God would exist and not communicate to His creation.

 

Main Views Of World Religions

Where did it all come from, how did we get here, where are we going? The answers to these questions have been sought and debated for generations. And while many ideas have been circulated, only three serious alternatives have ever been proposed:

1) We’ve always existed and will always exist.

2) We were created by a Creator.

3) We are the product of natural process solely influenced by chance and time.

These three explanations of our existence mesh perfectly with the main views of world religions: Pantheism believes we’ve always existed; Monotheistic religions such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam believe we were created by a Creator, God. And Atheism rejects the existence of any intelligent force (Creator) in the universe.


Understanding How We Really Came To Be?

We can start by eliminating the first alternative view—that we’ve always existed. Through astronomy we know as a virtually undisputed fact that the universe, our solar system and our planet have not always existed and also that our sun and earth at some point in the future will cease to exist. We can also prove that the universe is expanding, showing that there was some central point of beginning. Also through paleontology (studying early life on earth) and archaeology we know that mankind has not always existed on earth but has only been around for a relative short period of time.

 


Chance Is Not An Objective Answer

Scientist A. Cressy Morrison, wrote several books and articles showing why he, as a scientist believed in God. The following quotations are from his book Man Does Not Stand Alone.

 

“By unwavering mathematical law we can prove our universe was designed and executed by a great engineering Intelligence. Suppose you put ten pennies, marked from one to ten, into your pocket and give them a good shuffle. Now try to take them out in sequence from one to ten, putting back the coin each time and shaking them all again. Mathematically we know that your chance of first drawing number one is one in ten; of drawing one and two in succession, one to one hundred; of drawing one, two and three in succession, one in a thousand, and so on; your chance of drawing them all, from number one to number ten in succession, would reach the unbelievable figure of one chance in ten billion.

 

By the same reasoning, so many exacting conditions are necessary for life on the earth that they could not possibly exist in proper relationship by chance. The earth rotates on its axis one thousand miles an hour; if it turned at one hundred miles an hour, our days and nights would be ten times as long as now, and the hot sun would burn up our vegetation each long day while in the long night any surviving sprout would freeze.

 

Again, the sun, the source of our life, has a surface temperature of 12,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and our earth is just far enough away so that this ‘eternal fire’ warms us just enough and not too much! If the sun gave off only half of its present radiation, we would freeze and if it gave half as much more, we would roast.

 

The slant of the earth, tilted at an angle of 23 degrees, gives us our seasons; if it had not been so tilted, vapors from the ocean would move north and south, piling up for us continents of ice. If our moon was, say, only 50 thousand miles away instead of its actual distance, our tides would be so enormous that twice a day all continents would be submerged; even the mountains would soon be eroded away. If the crust of the earth had been only ten feet thicker, there would be no oxygen, without which animal life must die. Had the ocean been a few feet deeper, carbon dioxide and oxygen would have been absorbed and no vegetable life could exist. Or if our atmosphere had been much thinner, some of the meteors, now burned in space by the millions every day, would be striking all parts of the earth, setting fires everywhere.


Because of these and a host of other examples, there is not one chance in millions that life on our planet is an accident.” (A. Cressy Morrison, “Seven Reasons Why a Scientist Believes in GOD,” Reader’s Digest, Dec., 1946 and Oct., 1960. The article has been printed in book form under the same title and is a summary of the book Man Does Not Stand Alone).


 

Dr. John Cleveland Cothran, mathematician and chemist, shows that it is impossible that chaos, chance and haphazards could be the cause of our orderly universe. He concludes the inescapable conclusion that God is the cause of all things:


“Now the material realm not being able to create itself and its governing laws, the act of creation must have been performed by some non-material agent. The stupendous marvels accomplished in that act show that this agent must posses superlative intelligence, an attribute of mind. But to bring into action in the material realm, as for example, in the practice of medicine and in the field of parapsychology, the exercise of will is required, and this can be exerted only by a person. Hence our logical and inescapable conclusion is not only that creation occurred but that it was brought about according to the plan and will of a person endowed with supreme intelligence and knowledge (omniscience), and the power to bring it about and keep it running according to plan (omnipotence) always and everywhere throughout the universe (omnipresence). That is to say, we accept unhesitatingly the fact of the existence of the supreme spiritual Being, God, the Creator and director of the universe…” (“The Inescapable Conclusion,” The Evidence of God in an Expanding Universe, pg.42).


Just For Thought

Have you noticed how many people tend to think that if there’s a chance something can happen, it actually will occur? The statistical probability might be very small, and all odds are against it, yet many still are willing to wager. That’s the idea behind gambling. The odds are against us—we all know that—but we might be lucky. So many folks are willing to bet their money on it. Casinos and lotteries capitalize on this tendency of many to think that if they only try, and keep trying, they have a good chance at winning.


Evolution is an identical concept. This idea is that, even if its chances are tiny, it could happen, and if you just try enough times it will happen; that’s exactly the idea behind evolution. That’s probably why it appeals so strongly to so many.


 

Theory of Evolution: We are the product of natural process solely influenced by chance and time.

What is evolution exactly? According to the Theory of evolution, the entire universe is considered to have evolved by natural process and random selection into its present state of high organization and complexity. In this approach the universe began in a state of pure randomness. Gradually it has—by “survival of the fittest”—become more ordered and complex. The idea continues that, in order for the complex structure of the universe to have been produced by natural processes, a vast amount of time was required.


The Bible teaches, “In the beginning God created” and “In the beginning was the Word.” A simple way of explaining this basic principle is to say that a divine intelligence existed before anything else and that intelligence was responsible for the origin of life and for the existence of all living things, including human beings. No matter how much time we might allow for evolution to do the necessary creating, the evidence shows that the process would never get started, because all evolution can do is to further minor variations in organisms that are already living, without any change in their basic classification. When the Bible says, “In the beginning God created” (Gn 1:1), it is presenting us with a fact, which we need to know to understand everything else, including what we were created for and how God wants us to live. The Bible also says that God created men and women in His own image. That, too, is a fact. If it were not true, there would be no science, because no theory of evolution can demonstrate how intelligence came into existence, including the intelligence of misguided people who misuse science to try to explain creation without allowing any role to God.


“In the beginning was the Word.” The Bible says it and, properly understood, the evidence of science confirms it. Anyone who says otherwise is sowing fantasy, not fact.

 

God Has Revealed Himself: General & Special Revelation

A certain amount of information about God can be learned by observation of the material universe:

1) Psalm 19:1-6: The heavens declare God’s glory.

 

This is General Revelation, creation itself displays all the hallmarks of a

Superior, All Mighty, and Intelligent designer. In Romans 1:18-20, the apostle Paul argues that certain invisible things of God can clearly be seen by observing the things made. Man looks at the things which were created—the cosmos, universe. In it he sees purpose, order, design, intelligence. This allows man to see (perceive) invisible things: God’s power, divinity, and moral attributes (love, goodness etc.).

Power: that which brought into existence the universe and now controls it.

Divinity: supreme intelligence and will which directed and continues to direct the power.

Moral attributes: all things were created “very good” (no evil, harm, or deceit) for man’s pleasure, peace, happiness, and wellbeing. This is a direct reflection of the Creators nature and character. Man is without excuse if he does not obey and submit to God’s plan. But General Revelation offers no power to change his heart. It does not tell of Christ; it prepares the way for Him. It brings diagnosis, but offers no remedy.

 

2) Psalm 19:7-14: Describes the revelation of God in Scripture (the Law).

This and all other forms of manifestations and communications within Scripture constitute Special Revelation. More importantly, God has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ. Christ declared (“to unfold”) the Father; Jn 1:18; 14-7-9. One cannot learn the will of God for their lives apart from Special Revelation in Scripture.

 


We Know God Is Real Because:

1) There is no scientific, evolutionary explanation for the cause of the Big Bang. How could something come out of nothing? How could the universe come to exist without a cause? The sudden occurrence of a Big Bang event and the “popping into existence of space and time can be explained only as caused by a Creator who Himself is beyond and outside space and time.

 

2) The natural laws that govern the universe and our world are perfectly fine-tuned. Even minor changes in the constants of these laws and/or the natural or chemical properties of the elements critical to life would have destroyed life before it existed. How can these natural laws be so perfectly balanced and designed without a designer?

 

3) Even if a one-celled life form could have started by natural process alone, there is no mechanism for this life form to “evolve” into more complex life forms. All familiar evidences for evolution into more complex species demonstrate natural selection (variation within one species) and not genetic mutation (new DNA as a result of errors during cell duplication resulting in additional, better characteristics for the life form).

 

 


Walking In Godly Wisdom

Lesson 1 Questions

 

1) What reasons have some Christians given for believing God is real? Why are these not sufficient?

 

 

 

 

 

2) Describe the 3 Main World Views of Religion. Are they sufficient enough to give an objective explanation as to how life came to be? Explain your answer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3) Why is it that “chance” fails to be an objective explanation for our existence? What are some good solid reasons? What two things are impossible for the material realm to accomplish on its own?

 

 

 

 

 

4) How has God revealed Himself? Explain the significance of each one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5) What are some good factual reasons why the Big Bang and evolution are false and impossible.




 


Walking In Godly Wisdom

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time

-Colossians 4:5 (ESV).


Lesson 2: WHY MORALITY MATTERS 

Read Jeremiah 6.



Are we discarding our values in the name of tolerance? How can we know which values are cultural and which ones are universal?

 

Distinguishing Between Relative and Absolute Morality

According to research led by Notre Dame professor Christian Smith, we live in a world of increasing moral relativism. Behavior might be right for some people, but not for others. So, we can’t judge anyone. While we embrace empathy and acceptance for all people, many make the mistake of discarding values in the name of tolerance.

 

Every society must agree upon a set of values or morals by which they will live. The secret is to insure they’re fair and just for everyone, and that people agree upon those values. These might just be relative morals — ones that may not be true for everyone on earth — but they become the guidelines for life in that society. I believe, however, there are a handful of timeless morals that all humans must agree to live by if we have any hope to survive and thrive. In the same way there are relative truths and absolute truths, morals fit into one of these two categories. For example:

 

Relative Truth: It is proper to drive on the right hand side of the road.

(This is relative because it’s true in America, but not in Britain and other nations.)

 

Absolute Truth: If you jump off a hundred-foot cliff, you will drop a hundred feet.

(This is absolute because the law of gravity works regardless of where you live.)

 

I believe it’s essential to help others think more deeply about morality and ethics. Most of the students Dr. Smith and his colleagues interviewed had a superficial view of life and had not considered the ramifications of their morals. In short, they had not critically reflected on what the world would look like if everyone adopted their morals. This is one of the reasons our world finds itself in its current chaotic state.

 

There are thousands of perspectives on what’s right and wrong, and conflict arises when one group feels “judged” by another based on their particular view. So for many, it’s not politically correct to judge anything or anyone. Incidentally, I agree we all need a push toward empathy and to embrace a variety of people who, until now, had felt marginalized by society.

 

This doesn’t mean we throw all judgment out (see John 7:24). While the list isn’t likely long, we must maintain a universal set of values, ethics and morals among all humanity. But as the pendulum of history swung from black and white to gray, we’ve become afraid to do so. Have you noticed the drift away from any judgment or evaluation of behavior for fear it’s improper? In the name of tolerance, our ability to possess wise judgment evaporates.

 

 

Amoral leads to apathy

To live by ethics and values means you are a “moral” person. When you have no set of ethics or values, you become “amoral.” You are neither for, nor against any values (Lk 11:23). Many in our society today are amoral. They won’t judge anyone or anything. Sadly, however, this apparent progress actually leads to “apathy,” which means without pathos. “Pathos” means to feel emotion, pity or passion. When one is apathetic, they have no passion (Isa 32:9-14).

 

In our fight for tolerance and against judgment of others, we sadly become people afraid to feel strongly about anything. We’ve moved toward apathy. We have no pathos left for things we should, like faith, our country or neighbors. We become self-absorbed and fail to experience lasting marriages, families, companies or friendships. We have no firm convictions about anything outside. We would die for nothing. We merely care about ourselves.

 


The Plumb Line


Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing upon Jerusalem and Judah such disaster that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. And I will stretch over Jerusalem the measuring line of Samaria, and the plumb line of the house of Ahab, and I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down.”

-2 Kgs 21:12-13 (ESV)

 

 





“And I will make justice the line, and righteousness the plumb line; and hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and waters will overwhelm the shelter.”

-Isa 28:17 (ESV)



Do you know what a plumb line is? People used a plumb line to determine reality. It’s a long string or cable fishermen would toss into the ocean to discover how deep the water was. Builders also used it to discover if a wall was crooked. They could hold the line next to a structure and gravity would pull it straight down, enabling them to see precisely how straight the building was.

 

At the risk of oversimplifying, we need a plumb line for our morals today — an outside source that helps us evaluate our shifting morals so they aren’t merely reflections of what gives us pleasure, what others think or feel, or even what gets us where we want to go. That source is God’s word, and adherence to it. With this, history could have avoided the holocaust that Adolf Hitler led against the ethnic races he chose to exterminate, or the later ethnic cleansings in Rwanda and Serbia. For that matter, we might have avoided the corruption of Joseph Stalin or Saddam Hussein. How strange to see modern people committing such atrocities. It would have been good to have a plumb line for all to see their morals were crooked.

 

To some, it seems meaningless to bring up "old", "stale", "traditional values". Today, adults are often afraid to bring up traditional values to students because they appear “old-fashioned.” I simply propose that old doesn’t equal irrelevant. Isn’t it possible that “old” could mean timeless? Even though our world population now contains over seven billion people, could we say (for instance) that love, honesty and empathy are timeless and universal for all people?

 

Discerning the timeless vs. the cultural

Mature Christians can separate which values are cultural and which are timeless. Mature Christians are able to communicate to others which values come and go with the times and which don’t change regardless of what the norm is in popular culture

Morality Among Young People (Psa 119:9)

Dr. Smith and his team outline five patterns in their study with college students. The patterns demonstrate an evolution in the source of their morality:

 

1) Morals are determined by results or consequences.

A growing percentage of students possess very fuzzy morals, and when pressed to explain them, the morals developed purely from the results they produced. In other words, it is right to do something if it got you where you wanted to go. The end justifies the means. If you don’t get caught, it’s okay. 


It’s why 75 percent of college students cheat on tests to get the grade they want, but when caught, generally agree it was wrong. It was right for them only if they got away with it. It’s situational morality.


 

2) Morals are determined by pleasure or happiness.

Approximately 40 percent of students had developed a morality based upon how it made others feel around them. Something is judged as right or wrong if your boyfriend agreed with it, or if your BFFs felt good about it. In short, it’s right if the people around you believe it’s right at the time. This might be expressed in words like, “If it makes everyone happy, then it must be right.” Happiness is the gauge. This, too, is situational morality–just consider how much feelings fluctuate among adolescents. What’s more, there are times when standing for what’s right is hard, not pleasurable.

 

3) Morals are determined by reputation or appearance.

The majority of emerging adults professed to believe in right and wrong morals, but have no objective source with which to reference it. Instead, morality is defined by what other people would think of them if they behaved in a certain manner. How would it look if I stole something? How would it appear if I hooked up with her? It’s the Facebook Rule, where appearances and reputation govern what we do. This, quite frankly, is a slippery slope, where morality fluctuates with public opinion.

 

 

4) Morals are determined by context or environment.

Some students (34 percent) reported they do believe in specific moral truths, but realize they do so because they were raised in a particular culture that teaches right and wrong. They could not project those morals on all human beings. While I applaud their cultural sensitivity, when we view life this way, we cannot expect terrorists to do anything but continue their mass killings on other nations, nor can we judge them for it, as they developed different values than the rest of the world.

 

5) Morals are determined by affect or influence.

More than 53 percent of students say they can determine if something is moral or right if it doesn’t hurt someone else. I hear this all the time: “Yes, I had sex with her. Even though she’s engaged, but it didn’t hurt anyone.” Or, “yes, I took some petty cash from the organization, but they’re rich. They’ll never miss it.” It’s a subjective compass that allows for immorality solely based on how it affects or doesn’t affect others. Again, this is a slippery slope, where opinion dictates what’s right or wrong.

Conclusion

The truth is, as culture becomes filled with new realities–including technology, innovations and lifestyles — it becomes difficult for adolescents to distinguish between what is cultural and what is timeless. It has always been “cool” for young adults to be progressive, but today, teens and twenty-something's are failing to be able to judge anything as absolutely “right” and “wrong.” There is, in fact, a moral relativism residing in millions of them.


We must remember that God alone sets the ultimate standards of right and wrong, for all people, "I the LORD speak the truth, I declare what is right." -Isaiah 45:19. "


Walking In Godly Wisdom

Lesson 2 Questions



1) According to  research done by Dr. Smith, into what moral direction is the world headed?





2) What grave mistake do some people make in their efforts to be tolerant and empathetic towards others? Give examples.




3) What does "Amoral" mean? What are it dangers? Provide at least one Biblical Scripture which speaks against Amoralism.




4) Should all people fall under one concept of morality? If so, why and how? (see Acts 17:30-31; Titus 2:11-12).




5) Why do you think the topic of morality so important for our young people?





Walking In Godly Wisdom

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time                  -Colossians 4:5 (ESV).

 

Lesson 3: HOMOSEXUALITY               

Read Romans 1.




Homosexuality has once again made a huge push into our society. It is discussed everywhere you go; at the local diner, at work, on the radio, on television, etc.. Our country now allows for gay marriage. The media and even many in our government would have us to believe that homosexuality is not sinful. They say that it is an alternative way to be and live. And that we should be tolerant and respectful of others who choose to practice it. That we should welcome its culturalism into our thinking and our own lives. In the Bible God teaches us differently. 



The Bible teaches us that homosexuality is sin, and therefore unacceptable. That it came about as a result of mankind rebelling against God. Homosexuality was never in the mind or will of God. And he condemns it several times in Scripture (Gen 18-19; Lev 18:22; 20:13; 1 Cor 6:9; 1 Tim 1:10; 2 Pet 2:7-9; Jude 7 ). 




God created us to be pure and holy. Homosexuality is the opposite. It is crude and "contrary to nature." (Rom 1:26). Society seeks to confuse this by using every argument imaginable. Here is one of the following:

 

 

Gay People Don’t Go To Hell For Being Gay

“The title probably caught you off guard. It completely contradicts what many of us have been led to believe. I know that growing up, I always thought that the Bible said that gay people go to hell for being gay. It didn’t seem fair to me… because experiencing attraction toward the same gender myself, I knew that it wasn’t a choice.” -Matt Moore

 

Mr. Moore wants us to believe that being gay, or having "gay feelings" is not a personal choice, like being born a certain race. The Bible teaches us that Homosexuality (which is immoral) is a choice! A person can't "be gay" a person chooses to be gay! Some early Christians embraced homosexuality but later changed: 1 Cor. 6:9-20. Humans chose to be sexually immoral as a result of rebellion against God: Romans 1:18-21. Let's explore this a little further.

 

Are People Really "Born Gay"?

Can someone really be "born gay"? Is there a "gay gene"? Does biology equal destiny? What are the causes of homosexuality? How is sexual orientation developed? Clearly, the controversy over this issue is huge in our culture. While pro-gay activists and their allies want us to believe people are “born gay” and that sexual orientation is an unchangeable characteristic like race or eye color, a closer examination of the scientific evidence reveals that the “nature vs. nurture” debate over homosexuality is far from settled.

At best, the evidence for a genetic and/or biological basis to homosexual orientation is inconclusive. In fact, since the early 1990s, numerous studies attempting to establish a genetic cause for homosexuality have not proven to be valid or repeatable – two important requirements for study results to become accepted as fact in the scientific community. Because of this, the current thinking in the scientific community is that homosexuality is likely caused by a complex interaction of psychosocial, environmental and possible biological factors. And the two leading national psychiatric and psychological professional groups agree that, so far, there are no conclusive studies supporting any specific biological or genetic cause for homosexuality. 


There is no scientific or DNA test to tell us if a person is homosexual, bisexual or even heterosexual for that matter. And since nobody is “born gay,” it’s clear that sexual orientation is, at its core, a matter of how one defines oneself – not a matter of biology or genes. But what about the studies we've heard about in the media that say people are born gay? While the media’s headlines and reporting of these studies have given the impression that science is closing in on a “gay gene,” it’s important to note that each study suffers from significant problems and limitations. And what the researchers themselves have said about their own work is important. specifically, you should know that their comments have never been fully reported in the press.

 

Some examples:

1) From the 1991 Hypothalamus (Brain) Study, Simon LeVay, who  is renowned for his studies about brain structures and sexual orientation, (and self-identifies as gay) said:

 

“It’s important to stress what I didn’t find. I did not prove that homosexuality is genetic, or find a genetic cause for being gay. I didn’t show that gay men are born that way, the most common mistake people make in interpreting my work. Nor did I locate a gay center in the brain.”

 

2) From the 1993 X Chromosome Study, Dean Hamer (a gay man) is an American geneticist, author, and filmmaker. He is known for his contributions to biotechnology and AIDS prevention, and research on the genetics of human behavior, he said:

 

"…environmental factors play a role. There is not a single master gene that makes people gay…I don’t think we will ever be able to predict who will be gay.”

“What about the 2005 male and 2006 female pheromone studies from Sweden that gay activists claimed were more evidence of a biological basis to homosexuality?” (Pheromones are chemicals substances that are released by insects and animals. They can be smelled, and are known to influence animal behavior. However, their role in humans is unknown). Here, it is significant that Ivanka Savic, the lead researcher, said that the 2005 study had nothing to do with proving homosexuality to be biological. And regarding the 2006 study, she said “it is very important to make clear that the study has no implications for possible dynamics in sexual orientation.”

Not all gay people believe that sexual orientation is “fixed” and unchangeable!

While it’s true that many homosexuals and their allies believe that People are “born gay” and cannot change, there exists a surprising -- and not insignificant – minority of gays and lesbians who recognize that sexual orientation is, in fact, flexible. For example, Kate Kendell, director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, argued in the gay magazine Frontiers that sexual orientation is not fixed. And lesbian columnist and psychotherapist Jackie Black has said that sexuality is not static. Lesbian author Camille Paglia (pictured at left) argues that homosexuality is not normal and that it is an adaptation, not an inborn trait: "Homosexuality is not 'normal.' On the contrary it is a challenge to the norm...Nature exists whether academics like it or not. And in nature, procreation is the single relentless rule. That is the norm. Our sexual bodies were designed for reproduction...No one is born gay. The idea is ridiculous… homosexuality is an adaptation, not an inborn trait is the gay identity so fragile that it cannot bear the thought that some people may not wish to be gay?”



Pro-gay ally Dr. Robert Spitzer of Columbia University is now convinced that many homosexuals have successfully changed their sexual orientation. In 2001, he published results from a study of 200 gay men and lesbians who had sought “re-orientation” therapy. Spitzer found that most have been able to achieve fulfilling heterosexual relationships. While his research shows that such change often involves a long and difficult journey, it is nevertheless possible for highly motivated individuals. In 2007, a landmark study was published by Drs. Stanton Jones and Mark Yarhouse which concluded that it is possible for homosexuals to change their physical attractions and that such efforts to bring about change do not appear to be psychologically harmful.

 


There are many factors that contribute to homosexual desires and practices, here are a few:



1) Impure heart (Matt.5:8; 15:17-20)

    A) Sin has its seat in the heart.

    B) The heart is the central organ of the soul, out of which are the

         issues of life.

    C) And from this center its influence and operations spread to:

        1) the intellect.

        2) the affections.

        3) the will.

        4) the entire person, including his or her body.


2) Corrupt conscience (1 Tim.4:1-2; Titus 1:15)

    A) Doing what we know to be wrong.


3) Low-Self Esteem

    A) People feel compelled to explore sexuality with same sex.

    B) Some are socially and challenged and feel more comfortable with the same sex, and experiment 

        with the same sex.

4) Alcohol and drugs (doorways to various immoral things)

    A) Alcohol & drugs are doorways to immoral behavior including:

        1) licentiousness: “sexually unrestrained…”

        2) lasciviousness: “inclined to lustfulness…”

Therapists who treat men and women struggling with same-sex attractions say that there are several consistent factors that contribute to the emergence of homosexuality. Here are a few:

1) Sexual Abuse.

2) Gender confusion in childhood.

3) Failure to internalize one's gender.

4) Emotionally absent parent.

5) Incest.

6) Early exposure to pornography.

 


Self-Control

Mr. Moore said, "it just doesn’t seem logical to them that a loving God would condemn them for feelings they couldn’t control."

Mr. Moore is correct in assuming that God wouldn't condemn someone for something which is outside of their control (see Ezk 18). Which is exactly why God does not. He condemns us for things we can control, for things we have allowed to get out of control and for things we can control, but chose not to get a handle on. Homosexuality: whether in thought, feeling, or practice-- is within the realm of self-control (see Rom 6 & Col 3).

 



Self-control Is A Vital Aspect Of Christian Character

1) Tit 2:11-12: God’s saving grace demands it in our lives!

2) 2 Pet. 1:5-9: We are to add it to our character as a condition of being God’s!

3) Gal.5:22-23: Walking by the Spirit includes it!

4) 1 Tim.3:2: Elders (church shepherds) are required to have it!

5) Titus 2:1-8: Every Christian is required to have it—young and old!

 

The Bible Teaches Us To Have “Self-Control” Over Our:

1) Thoughts/ 1Pet.1:13; 1 Pet.4:7; Phil.4:8.

2) Feelings/ Attitudes: Prv.12:15; Rom.12:19; Eph.4:26.

3) Desires/ Passions; Lustful appetites: 1 Thes.4:3-5; 1 Cor.7:36-38.

4) Behavior/ Conduct: 1 Cor.9:26-27; 1 Tim.4:7-8; 1 Pet.2:12.

 

Those who genuinely have no control over their feelings have genuine and serious mental problems. Even they have some degree of self-control. Immoral feelings are a result of a lack of self-control, and or early exposure to immoral circumstances and situations (2 Sam.13; Gen.19). To protect our lives from sinful thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, we first protect our hearts: “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” -Prov 4:23 (ESV).


Walking In Godly Wisdom

Lesson 3 Questions

1) Where in the Bible is homosexuality condemned? List the passages of Scriptures. What do they teach?

 

 

 

 

2) What is the specific origin of homosexuality, how did it come about?

 

 

 

 

3) What are some specific things we have learned from scientific tests and studies regarding a genetic and biological basis to homosexual orientation?

 

 

 

 

4) What did Dr. Stanton Jones and Dr. Mark Yarhouse discover? How does this harmonize with Biblical teaching on the subject? Provide a Scripture to support your answer.

 

 

 

 

5) What are some factors that contribute to homosexual desires and practices? Provide Scripture to support your answers.

 

 

 

 

6) In a way….Is there some truth to Mr. Moore’s statement that gay people won’t go to hell for being gay? Explain your answer.

 


Walking In Godly Wisdom

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time

-Colossians 4:5 (ESV).

 

Lesson 4: The Sacredness Of Marriage

Read Genesis 2 & Malachi 2.


Since its inception, the United States of America has been a country whose Founding Fathers recognized the need for God in public life, and the need for Bible principles of morality to govern and structure American society. Our Founding Fathers recognized that if our country ever strayed significantly away from these foundational moral, spiritual, and ethical principles, we would be doomed as a nation. For 150 years, our society recognized the importance of what some are calling the “traditional family,” i.e., a husband and a wife who marry for life and rear their children together. Divorce was almost unheard of in this country. When it did occur, it was regarded as deviant behavior. Family disruption in the form of separation, divorce, and out-of-wedlock birth were kept to a minimum by strong religious, social, and even legal sanctions. Immediately after World War II, most American children grew up in a family with both biological parents who were married to each other.


This state of affairs held sway up through the 1940s and 1950s. In fact, disruption of the traditional American family reached a historic low in the 1950s and early 1960s. But then something happened. Beginning in about 1965, the divorce rate suddenly skyrocketed, more than doubling over the next fifteen years. By 1974, divorce passed death as the leading cause of family breakup. By 1980, only fifty percent of children could expect to spend their entire childhood with both their parents. Now half of all marriages end in divorce. Every year a million children go through divorce or separation, and almost as many more are born out of wedlock. People who remarry after divorce are more likely to break up than couples in first marriages. The same is true for couples who just live together.


Overall child well-being has declined, despite a decrease in the number of children per family, an increase in the educational level of parents, and historically high levels of public spending. Teen suicide has more than tripled. Juvenile crime has increased and become more violent. School performance has continued to decline. Some sociologists are now recognizing the incredibly harmful effect these circumstances are having on our country and the homes of America. They are beginning to realize the relationship between family structure and declining child well-being. Some are even admitting that the social arrangement that has proved most successful in ensuring the physical survival and promoting the social development of the child is the family unit of the biological mother and father.


Our society as a whole has been slow to see family disruption as a severe national problem. Why? A fundamental shift has occurred in our culture with reference to religious and moral value. Much of our society has jettisoned the Bible as the absolute standard of behavior. The Bible is no longer considered to be the authoritative regulator of daily living. Many, perhaps most, Americans no longer feel that divorce is wrong. “Irreconcilable differences” and “incompatibility” are seen as perfectly legitimate reasons for divorce—flying directly in the face of Bible teaching. Many Americans no longer feel that a couple simply living together without marriage is morally wrong. By the mid-1970s, three-fourths of Americans said that it is not morally wrong for a woman to have a child outside marriage.

We could debate the causes of this basic cultural shifting. One could readily argue that the influence of evolution and humanism in our educational system, the impact of feminism, the increased participation of women in the work force to the neglect of their children, the widespread prosperity that we enjoy as a nation (causing us to forget God and to indulge ourselves)—these and other factors have contributed to our moral decline. Hollywood, television, and the cinema have unquestionably glamorized, defended, and promoted divorce, premarital sex, unwed motherhood, abortion, and the use of alcohol, filthy language, and many other immoral behaviors.



Ironically—and tragically—the media have been working overtime to discredit the married, two-parent family by playing up instances of incest, violence, and abuse. If a family has religious inclinations, its members are depicted on programs as weirdoes and deviants. In fact, it is surely disgusting to the sensibilities of the morally upright that what was once mainstream and normal (i.e., the religious, church-going, two-parent family) is being demonized and ridiculed, while behavior that once was considered deviant, reprehensible, and immoral is paraded before society—on TV, in the news, and in the courts—as the social norm. Anyone who lifts a finger to speak against such immorality is berated as “homophobic,” “prejudiced,” “judgmental,” “mean-spirited,” and guilty of a “hate crime.”


Two illustrations of the undermining of the marriage relationship as God intended are the decisions regarding homosexuality by the United States Supreme Court and the Episcopal Church. By a 62-45 vote, the Episcopal House of Bishops elected the denomination’s first homosexual bishop on August 5, 2003. Only days earlier, the Supreme Court ruled that sodomy laws are unconstitutional—even though sodomy was treated as a criminal offense in all of the original thirteen colonies and eventually every one of the fifty states. Sadly, a generation has arisen who simply does not share the values of its parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. Sexual fidelity, lifelong marriage, and parenthood are simply no longer held up as worthwhile personal goals.

 

All of this self-centeredness has taken its greatest toll on the children. The erosion of basic moral values in exchange for pluralism, the growing tolerance of moral and ethical diversity, the shifting of emphasis to choice, freedom, and self-expression, have all inflicted great damage on marriage and the family—especially the children. The fuller body of empirical research now documents a number of startling conclusions:


1) Divorce almost always brings a decline in the standard of living for the mother and children, plus a dependence on welfare; children in single-parent homes are far more likely to propagate the same behavior.


2) Children never fully recover from divorce. Five, ten, fifteen years after a divorce, the children suffer from depression, under-achievement, and ultimately, their own troubled relationships.


3) Young adults from disrupted families are nearly twice as likely as those from intact families to receive psychological help.


4) Children in disrupted families are nearly twice as likely as those in intact families to drop out of high school. Those who remain in school show significant differences in educational attainment from those children who grow up in intact families.


5) Remarriage does not reproduce nor restore the intact family structure. The latest research confirms that stepparents cannot replace the original home.


6) For children whose parents divorced, the risk of divorce is two to three times greater than it is for children from married parent families.


These findings—and many others—underscore the importance of both a mother and a father in fostering the emotional well-being of children. But even more far-reaching effects have been documented—effects that impact society at large beyond the confines of the family. Authorities now are beginning to admit that a central cause of our most pressing social problems (i.e., poverty, crime, and school performance) is the breakup of the traditional American family.


What is even more startling is the fact that as an institution, marriage has lost much of its legal, religious, and social meaning and authority. For most of American history, marriage was one of the most important rites of passage in life. But now, marriage has lost much of its role and significance as a rite of passage. Sex is increasingly detached from the promise or expectation of marriage. Cohabitation is emerging as a significant experience for young adults. It is now replacing marriage as the first living together union. It is estimated that a quarter of unmarried women between the ages of 25 and 39 are currently living with a partner, and about half have lived at some time with an unmarried partner. Referring to this state of affairs as “the deinstitutionalization of marriage,” researchers at the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University concluded: “Taken together, the marriage indicators do not argue for optimism about a quick or widespread comeback of marriage. Persistent long-term trends suggest a steady weakening of marriage as a lasting union, a major stage in the adult life course, and as the primary institution governing childbearing and parenthood."


Make no mistake: the social science evidence clearly documents the fact that the breakdown of the traditional two-parent, biological husband-wife family is a major factor contributing to the overall moral, religious, and ethical decline of our country. The social fabric of American civilization is literally tearing apart. The social arrangement that has proved most successful in ensuring the physical survival, and promoting the social development, of the child is the family unit of the biological mother and father. America is in deep trouble.


Our society is not likely to solve these massive problems. The liberal elite has been operating with great vigor for over forty years to push our country into “value neutrality” and “political correctness.” The clear-cut restraints and distinctions between right and wrong so typical of American culture in the past have been systematically dismantled. Relativism has taken the place of objective, absolute truth. The glorification of the individual has encouraged people to determine for themselves right and wrong—rather than looking outside themselves to the Transcendent Creator of the Universe. Consequently, whatever the individual feels is right is sanctioned as right—at least for that individual. The absolute standard of moral value and human behavior—that previously governed our nation—has been successfully supplanted. Subjectivity reigns supreme, and God has been effectively severed from human culture. “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:12).


GOD’S VIEW OF THE MATTER

The fact remains that there is a God in heaven (Daniel 2:28). God has spoken to the human race through His written Word, the Bible. In that inspired communication, He has designated the structure of society. He created male and female with the intention for one man to marry one woman for life (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6). Here is the foundational building block of humanity. That is His simple will on the matter. He hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). The only way He permits divorce is if one marriage partner divorces the other marriage partner for the one reason that the marriage partner has committed fornication, i.e., illicit sexual intercourse. Upon that basis alone, God allows the innocent partner to put away that unfaithful mate and form a second marriage (Matthew 19:3-9; 1 Cor 7:27-28).


God intended for the husband and wife to produce children who, in turn, are to receive nurturing and care from their parents in a stable, loving home (Ephesians 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21). In this divinely ordained institution of the home, God intended that children receive the necessary instruction and training to prepare them to be productive, honest, God-fearing, hard-working citizens of their country. The home was designed by God to impart to each succeeding generation proper religious, moral, and social principles that would in turn make their nation strong and virtuous. The Bible is filled with references to the essential ingredients of healthy family life (see Deuteronomy 4:7-9; 6:1-9; 11:18-21; 32:46-47; Psalm 127; Proverbs 5:15-20; 6:20-35; 11:29; 12:4; 14:1; 15:25,27; 17:1,13; 31:10-31), including proper parenting skills (Proverbs 13:24; 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14; 29:15,17; Ephesians 6:1-4).


CONCLUSION

How simple! The solution to the confusion and corruption that has gripped American civilization is simple—if hearts are humbly yielded to the will of God. If we could get our families back on track according to God’s will, we could get our nation back on track. It starts with you and me. We must believe in, affirm to others, and conform ourselves to the sacredness of marriage.



Walking In Godly Wisdom

Lesson 4 Questions

1) Where did marriage originate? Describe its origins.

 

 

 

2) Why did the Lord refuse to accept the offerings from the Jews?

 

 

 

3) What did the founding fathers of America recognize as crucial to the wellbeing of society? Where in

    Scripture was this also taught?

 

 

 

 

4) What are some of the causes for the basic moral and cultural shifts in our society? How have they

    affected our spiritual relationships?

 

 

 

5) What are some of the consequences of divorce?

 

 

 

 

6) What wisdom of God is made evident in His plan for marriage and the home?

 

Walking In Godly Wisdom

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time

-Colossians 4:5 (ESV).


Lesson 5: The Dangers of Modern Reasoning

Read Romans 8:1-18.


We live in a society where there is clearly no fear of God. "O.M.G.!" has nothing to do with respect for God whatsoever. Children are growing up way too fast without any proper guidance, Christians are “conforming” more than they are transforming (Rom 12:1-3). The underlying cause of all this is Humanism (see Psalm 14). This presents a serious challenge to the Christian home!

 Humanism is any system or mode of thought or action in which human interest, values, and dignity predominate. Humanism relies on scientific inquiry, and human fulfillment in the world, and rejects God or religion as a guiding force for reason, truth, wisdom, and righteousness.

 

There seems to be a growing outcry about the negative influence of religion in American culture. Religion is held to be the force that keeps people trapped in the dark ages of superstition, their minds closed to any understanding of the realities of the world that science has unveiled. More and more, religion seems to be regarded as the polar opposite of science and reason. It is as if science is something for the mind, for research, and for intelligence, while religion is something for the emotions and for feelings. Here are a few approaches to modern reasoning that have taken root in humanistic philosophy.

 

Causality. God is the source of primary causality; in other words, He is the first cause. He is the Author of all that is, and He continues to be the primary cause of human events and of natural occurrences. However, His primary causality does not exclude secondary causes. Yes, when the rain falls, the grass gets wet, not because God makes the grass wet directly and immediately, but because the rain applies moisture to the grass. But the rain could not fall apart from the causal power of God that stands over and above every secondary causal activity. Modern man, however, is quick to say, “The grass is wet because the rain fell,” and he looks no further for a higher, ultimate cause. Twenty-first-century people seem to think we can get along just fine with secondary causes and give no thought to the primary cause (see Acts 14:1-18).

Postmodernism. Postmodernism is a relativistic system of observation and thought that denies absolutes and objectivity. Postmodernism has influenced theology, art, culture, architecture, society, film, technology, and economics. Traditional social, art, social, and cultural constructs are discarded and reinterpreted in relativistic terms. An example of postmodern thought would be the validation of homosexuality as an equally legitimate sexual expression over and against the Biblical ethic of heterosexual monogamy. In other words, previously taboo practices and beliefs are given equal validity to traditional values and norms, often to the point of displacing the latter. This equalization and displacement are not restricted to religious realms, but affect all circles of human interaction (see Isaiah 5). 


In a nutshell: Postmodernism is a radical reappraisal of modern and traditional values in culture, identity, religion etc.


Key Philosophies of Postmodernism

1) All truth is limited, approximate, and is constantly evolving.

2) Knowledge is articulated from perspectives and uncertainties.

3) Skeptical interpretations of culture, literature, philosophy, history, etc.. 


Postmodernism encourages us to
1) Become tolerant of beliefs and behaviors that are condemned in the Bible. (See Daniel Chapters 1 & 3).
2) Become conformers to the norms of society regardless of whether or not they are Biblically acceptable (see Romans 12:1-2).
3) Value personal preference above established truth.
4) Become calloused in conscience.

Consequences of Postmodernism
1) It leaves us without absolute foundations for determining absolute truths about how we should think and live wisely on earth.
2) Every culture, religion and diverse group on the planet can claim that their truths are just as valid as anyone else's.


Blame-Game. There has been a constant push among many today, especially in politics and the media to ignore personal accountability. It’s not your fault, your health is poor, it’s the fast-food industry’s fault. It’s not your fault you became pregnant while committing sexual immorality, it’s the makers of the product you used to avoid conception. It’s not your fault your lungs are bad, it’s the tobacco company’s, and so on and so on (see Ezekiel 18).


Walking In Godly Wisdom

Lesson 5 Questions

1) According to Romans 12 how and why should Christians transform? Why do you think this is this so important given the current humanistic state of our society?

 


2) What is humanism and what are its goals? Can one be for both Christianity and humanism? Why or Why not?

 

 

3) What did Paul tell the people of Lystra God didn’t do? How does this relate to Causality? Which is greater, Primary or Secondary Causality?


 

4) What is Postmodernism and why is it so dangerous?

 


5) Why do you think postmodernism is so widely embraced?

 


6) What are some things that God teaches in Ezekiel 18 about accountability?

 

Walking In Godly Wisdom

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time

-Colossians 4:5 (ESV).


Lesson 6: Abortion

Read Luke 18:15-17, Mat 18:1-6.


Since God is the Creator of human life, all human beings belong to God. As the apostle Paul would later declare before the philosophers in Athens, “In him we live and move and have our being; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring’ ” (Acts 17:28). Thus, being created by God both elevates human beings in that they are not accidents of history and humbles them because God is gracious and sovereign over them. Thus every human life—from conception to natural death—is to be received as a gift from the sovereign Creator, is to be treated with reverence and respect, and is not to be harmed without biblical justification.

 

Psalm 139 speaks powerfully to the nature of unborn human life. David exults in God’s omniscience and his omnipresence (Ps. 139:1–12). In verse 13 he celebrates God’s intricate involvement in his own fetal development: “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” The word kilyah is used to refer to the “inward parts” (lit., kidneys). In Hebrew poetry the inward parts were typically the seat of the affections, the hidden part of a person where grief may be experienced (Job 16:13), where the conscience exists (Ps. 16:7), and where deep spiritual distress can be felt (Ps. 73:21). God formed David’s deepest being. He wove him, or colorfully embroidered him, in his mother’s womb, so that he was “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:14). In verse 16 the psalmist refers to his “unformed substance” being observed by God. David suggests that God’s knowledge of him reached even to his earliest development in utero (in the uterus). No wonder the Hebrews found abortion and infanticide morally blameworthy. God’s judgment fell on those who killed the unborn. Elisha wept when he foresaw the crimes of the king of Syria, who would “kill their young men with the sword and dash in pieces their little ones and rip open their pregnant women” (2 Kings 8:12). Amos prophesied against the Ammonites because they “have ripped open pregnant women in Gilead, that they might enlarge their border” (Amos 1:13).

 

The Bible places a high value on all human life, including that of the unborn. Biblical teaching declares that life is a sacred, God-given gift (Gen. 1:26–27; 2:7; Deut. 30:15–19; Job 1:21; Ps. 8:5; 1 Cor. 15:26), especially the life of children (Ps. 127:3–5; Luke 18:15–16), and condemns those who take it away (Exod. 20:13; 2 Kings 1:13; Amos 1:13–14). The development of unborn life is controlled by God (Job 31:15; Ps. 139:13–16; Eccles. 11:5; Isa. 44:2; 46:3; 49:5; Jer. 1:5; Luke 1:15; Gal. 1:15). The personhood of the fetus is clearly taught in Exod. 21:22 where the unborn is called a “child” (yeled) rather than a “fetus” (nephel or golem). Hos. 9:11 implies that life begins at conception, while Luke 1:41, 44 recognizes the consciousness of an unborn child.

 

Since Roe v. Wade decision (1973), there have been nearly 60,000,000 abortions. Justice Byron R. White, who was one of the dissenting members of the Supreme Court’s decision asserted that the Court, “values the convenience of the pregnant mother more than the continued existence and development of the life or potential life that she carries.” Life which God loves, values, and instituted.

 

Walking In Godly Wisdom

Lessons 6 Questions

1) Why should “human life” be treated with reverence and respect? Provide Scripture to support your answer.

 

 

2) From Psalm 139 and other passages of Scripture, What important points can be gathered regarding God’s view of human life, especially the unborn?

 

 

3) Why did Elisha weep in front of Hazael?

 

 

4) What reason did Justice Byron White give for his dissenting vote of Roe v. Wade?

 


Walking In Godly Wisdom

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time

-Colossians 4:5 (ESV).


Lesson 7: Try Before You Buy?

Read Hebrews 13:4; Revelation 21:1-8.


Al and Alicia just celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary. When they met, Alicia was a brand new Christian, and Al was a non-Christian. They became intimate almost immediately and lived together for a time before getting married.


"We slept together on the second date," said Alicia. "There was no hesitation; it just seemed like what you do."

"We never articulated sex as bad because we were not married," said Al. "So it was perplexing to me why Alicia felt the way she did. There was this deep sadness in her, and she'd cry during intimate times. On my part, it took me a long time to figure out how to be in a sexual relationship that didn't involve objectification. So on the one hand, Alicia is experiencing tremendous regret, emptiness and scarring. And I have totally different expectations. I was this guy that had to learn it wasn't about having fun sex all of the time."


Alicia and Al spoke of the difficulties in their relationship, and how they eventually carried those into marriage. "It's a miracle we made it through those first years," said Alicia. "We were on a different page for so long; it took me time to work through memories and the choices I made pre-marriage.

The Effects of Cohabitation

The experience Al and Alicia had is all too common of cohabiting relationships. According to The National Marriage Project, an estimated half of all couples now cohabitate before they marry. The fact that Al and Alicia married at all, and are still together, is a testament to their vibrant faith in Christ.


Unfortunately, many couples don't fare the same. In fact, study after study shows that cohabitation is linked to poorer marital communication, lower marital satisfaction, higher levels of domestic violence and a greater chance of divorce.



Young people today are cynical concerning the validity and longevity of the marital union. Indeed, with fifty percent of all marriages ending in divorce, men and women believe it's a good idea to try out different partners.


"Couples say that they need to kick the tires a little before settling down," says Dr. Brad Wilcox, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Virginia, and director of the Marriage Matters Project. "But what they don't understand is that once you adopt a consumer mentality, you undercut marriage and open yourself up to marital breakup and unhappiness."

This assertion is backed up by plenty of research, including a 2002 report issued by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics that states, "The probability of a first marriage ending in separation or divorce within 5 years is 20 percent while the probability of a premarital cohabitation breaking up within 5 years is 49 percent. After 10 years, the probability of a first marriage ending is 33 percent, compared with 62 percent for cohabitation.”


The Importance of Commitment

One of the biggest reasons why marriage is more successful than cohabitation is commitment. With marriage you make a pledge before God, your family and friends. Everyone knows you're married; it's a public declaration. In marriage, you're more likely to make sacrifices for your mate and to strive to make the relationship work. Additionally, divorce is costly, both emotionally and financially. By its very nature, cohabitation encourages a lack of commitment and independence, and is an easy out for the partner that wants to pack a suitcase and leave.




According to Dr. Scott Stanley, a professor of Family and Marital Studies at the University of Denver, another reason to avoid cohabitation is what he calls "relationship inertia."


"People who are cohabiting might end up marrying somebody they might not otherwise have married," he says. In essence they're "sliding, not deciding."


Dr. Wilcox says that young men and women today think about marriage as the "Cadillac of relationships." "They want everything established including the perfect relationship, house and income," he says. "Thirty years ago, someone cohabitated with a future spouse and were married within six months. Now, men and women are having more relationships and becoming habituated to starting intimate relationships, breaking up and starting over. It's setting up a pattern of failure and not preparing them for a lifelong relationship."

Cohabitation and habitual cohabitation not only involves fornication (Hebrews 13:4), which violates Scripture, but it also gives your heart away to someone that God has not joined with you. Indeed, we are admonished, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life" (Proverbs 4:23).


Alicia and Al now have three young boys and a thriving relationship. "Marriage would have been a tremendous event in our life had we waited and done things the right way," said Al. "For me, that's the biggest loss."


"Getting married was like coming into this safe place suddenly," said Alicia. "As a woman, most men look at you as something to be desired. Then I got married, and I had a safe place to be still and process."

 

 

What The Bible Teaches:

 

1) The Bible teaches that sex outside of wedlock is fornication, a grievous sin. It is a form of sexual immorality.

    a) The origin of sexual sin began with the initial rebellious attitude of mankind (Gal 5:19 See also Ro 13:12-14; Col 3:5-6).

    b) It begins in the heart (Mt 15:19).

 

2) The offensiveness of sexual sin:

    a) It defiles the sinner (Mt 15:19-20 pp Mk 7:21-23 See also Ro 1:24; 1Co 6:18).

    b) It defiles society (Lev 18:24-25 See also 1Co 5:6; Rev 19:2).

    c) It offends other people (2Pe 2:7-8 See also Ge 9:22-25; 34:7; 38:24; 2Sa 13:21-22; 2Co 12:21).

    d) It offends God (2Sa 11:27 See also Jer 13:26-27; Mal 3:5).

 

3) Sexuality, intimacy, and family is for those who are married:

    a) Pr 5:18-20; 1 Co 7:2,9; Ep 5:22-33; Ep 6:1-4; Titus 2:3-5; Heb 13:4.

 

Walking In Godly Wisdom

Lesson 7 Questions

1) What were the consequences of Al & Alicia’s decision to live together? What have studies shown about cohabitation?

 

 

2)  According to The National Marriage Project, how many couples now cohabitate before they marry? According to the CDC, what’s the probability of a premarital cohabitation breaking up within 5 years? And 10 years?  How many marriages end in divorce today?

 

 

3) What’s the biggest reason why marriages are more successful than cohabitations? Elaborate.

 

 

4) What does the Bible teach about cohabitation? Cite Scripture to support your answers.