Big Idea: Where there is freedom without reverence, awe and respect for God, there will be presumption. God has and will discipline believers up to and including death to chasten the community of Faith. God’s aim is to love through discipline and to create a community that reflects His character.
I. Lying to God – To whom do we lie?
A. Understanding the dynamics of temptation
We really do have three enemies: the World, the Flesh and the Devil.
B. Lying to God and the Holy Spirit (vs. 3-4)
II. Why is the punishment so harsh?
A. Understanding this incident
B. Our standards or God’s?
C. Discipline and extreme discipline that leads to death (Romans 1:18-31, I Corinthians 5)
D. What’s the worst thing?
III. Biblical Balance – Is God safe or scary?
A. Run to God. He is safe.
B. Approach God in reverence, awe and respect.
C. Open your heart to God’s love as comfort and as discipline. Rest in this Biblical balance.
1) As you look back over your spiritual journey, what area seems to be the biggest area of temptation: the World, the Flesh or the Devil? How easy is it to distinguish where temptation comes from? What role does environment play in spiritual growth?
2) Can the Devil make people do things? How powerful a role in sin does Satan’s temptation play? Does God make people do things against their will? What role does deception play in this? Is being tricked the same thing as being forced?
3) In what area of life has the truth set you free? Can you share about an experience of the truth setting you free?
4) Are all lies against God? How would the world define a “white lie”? What makes a white lie a white lie?
5) How do we hold on to the timeless truth of God’s standards in a culture with ever-moving boundary lines? How should you handle it if or when God’s standard seems unreasonable in light of current cultural realities?
6) How should we handle it when it appears to us that God is overreacting to a minor issue? How do we know we have an appropriate understanding of the size of an issue?
7) Is discipline really loving? Why or why not?
Why would God use death as a form of discipline? What is God’s endgame when it comes to discipline?
8) How can we understand both running to God for safety and fearing Him? Does fearing God mean we surrender themes like crying out to our Abba Father?
Which theme resonates with you the most: approaching God with fear, awe and reverence, or running to God your daddy, for He is your refuge? Do you approach carefully, falling on your face, or do you run to someone you know and love because you know He is safe?
How do you reconcile the tension between these biblical themes?