Teen Bible Study Online
Part II: Knowledge is Power
There are things satan doesn't want you to know.
For instance, he doesn't want you to know about God's forgiveness.
I discussed forgiveness, in Part I of this three part series. I pointed out that forgiveness is the first step in your journey with God.
It's such a simple concept, with powerful results. satan is smart to want to hide that from you.
The next part in my series on experiencing the power of God deals with knowledge. Knowledge of God, knowledge of satan, and knowledge of the world around you.
Did you know, as a Christian, you are in the middle of a battle for your soul and the souls of others?
Even if you aren't a Christian, you're still in the battle. The difference is, satan is beating you right now.
"Part II: Teen Bible Study Online: Read Ephesians 6:10-18"
Reading these verses, you can see God's word tells you that you are at war. In order to come out victorious, you need to be prepared for the battle.
To help in preparing you, I have included concepts extracted from the book, The Art of War by SunTzu. Sun Tzu was a Chinese general back around the 6th century BC.
I would highly recommend reading the book, in light of this study. There are many more bits of knowledge that are applicable to the spiritual war Christians fight on a daily basis.
Ready? Here we go...
SunTzu Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
"Part II: Teen Bible Study Online: Read Revelation 20:9-10, Zechariah 3:1, Mark 8:33, Luke 22:31-32, 2 Corinthians 2:10-11; 11:13-15; 12:7-10, 1 Thessalonians 2:17-18, Job 1:7"
The first step in defeating your enemy is to know your enemy. satan (no caps on purpose - satan doesn't deserve the respect) is the real enemy of this world. The sooner you realize this, the quicker you'll understand and recognize his attacks.
As God's word says, satan is a deceiver, liar, tempter, and accuser. He is an angel that fell from grace because of his pride. He wants God's job. He want's to kill God's children. He'll do anything he can to draw you away from God's power.
Ever have these thoughts?
You need something to fight back with. In part one of this Bible study, Jesus used God's word to fight satan. Keeping that in mind, try these:
- "I'm not worthy to do that, I don't deserve it..." (deceiver)
- "I can't take this guilt anymore, I want to die" (accuser)
- "Oh, what harm would it do...I'm not hurting anybody" (tempter)
- "God can't love me, my sin is too great, he won't forgive me" (liar)
***What Jesus is saying here, is to deal with sin seriously. I don't believe he is actually promoting self-mutliation. You can't just say "I'm a sinner", and then continue in sin. Take sin seriously. Do whatever you need to do to stop sin in your life; because ultimately, you will be held accountable for your actions. Don't let satan deceive/tempt you.
- "I'm not worthy to do that, I don't deserve it..." - Psalm 103
- "I can't take this guilt anymore, I want to die" - Psalm 32
- "Oh, what harm would it do...I'm not hurting anybody" - Matthew 5:29-30***
- "God can't love me, my sin is too great, he can't forgive me" - Romans 7:21-25; Romans 8; John 3:16
You also need to know yourself. What are your weaknesses? What are your strengths? What are you easily tempted with? Do you have a guilty conscience over small things?
Meditate on these questions. Ask God to show you your weaknesses and strengths. Once you know yourself better, you'll recognize satan's attack, and be ready for him with the armour of God!
"Part II: Teen Bible Study Online: Read Matthew 9:4;Luke 16:15;Acts 1:24;Acts 15:8;Romans 8:27"
To put it plainly, God knows you and he knows satan.
If you are saved, be glad that God is on your side. You don't need to fear 100 battles, because your all-knowing God is with you all the way.
Your part in the battle is to believe in Him and his abilities.
SunTzu: We shall be unable to turn natural advantage to account unless we make use of local guides.
"Part II: Teen Bible Study Online: Read Read Matthew 26:36-46"
Everybody needs help from time to time. Even Jesus needed God to help him through the tough stretches.
What Sun Tzu is saying is that, to win a battle in a foreign country, the soldier must rely on guides to learn the lay of the land. It makes perfect sense, really.
How much smarter would it be to advance against an army, if you knew the layout of the land before hand? Not only would your attack be more efficient, but you could plan an escape if things went wrong.
Likewise, as a Christian youth, to ensure victory in the battle, you need someone that is guided by the Holy Spirit to guide you in your journey.
I'm not saying you need to find the nearest pastor, because pastors don't always seem to be guided by the Holy spirit. However, I'm not criticizing all pastors either. If you know of a good one, let him (or her) guide you.
I've got someone that works near me, goes to my church, FULL to the brim with the Holy Spirit, but is grounded in real life. I meet him for lunch once in a while. We chat, I bounce some thoughts off him, get his input, and I go back to work.
An awesome relationship. A valuable relationship. God is correct when he says that wisdom is worth more than all the gold and silver in the world. My friend really adds value to my relationship with God because he knows more of the "lay of God's land".
Pray to God to provide you with a spirit-led friend or mentor. When the right person comes along, you'll know. Trust me...
SunTzu: We are not fit to lead an army on the march unless we are familiar with the face of the country; its mountains and forests, its pitfalls and precipices, its marshes and swamps.
One of the benefits of having a spirit-led mentor, is that he/she can prepare you for the various mountains, forests, pitfalls, precipices, marshes, and swamps you'll have to deal with going through life.
Growing up, although my father and I had a pretty good relationship, it wasn't until recently that he really started to open up and say, "I felt that way when I was your age" or "I dealt with that issue this way".
His advice has been valuable in that, 1) It let me know I'm not the only one going through it, and 2) Since he has been through it, he can offer his understanding and solution to the problem.
I'm not exactly sure where Dad is in his journey with God, but he has certainly been there for me in a lot of areas of my life; and he continues to be.
Regardless of where he is in relation to God, I have asked God for a discerning heart over the years. He has blessed me with one so I can weed out "God" advice from "Not God" advice. The point being, individuals that are not spirit-led can still offer good life advice, too.
Sometimes, all you need is to know somebody close to you has dealt with an issue, and can offer a shoulder to cry on. To be safe, I would highly recommend taking all advice to God in prayer so the Holy Spirit can teach you to sort through the "wisdom" you receive.
Speaking of which, using God's word to sort through problems and advice is a good way to ensure you are right with God. If I could offer one piece of advice (free of charge! ;-), one simple thing: accept the authority of God's word.
satan is bringing countless lies and charges against Christians that are not true, or only half true.
On a grand scale, for example, the arguments of creation vs evolution, or, young earth vs old earth come to mind as probably the most prominent and important lie in the world today.
Nowhere in the Bible could you extrapolate, with any sort of confidence, that the earth is millions of years old, and that we came from slime in an ocean. It just isn't true.
There is plenty of evidence out there to support a young earth.
It's okay to believe in a young earth. You won't be considered crazy. At least, not by me. ;-)
If you take God at his word, you'd have to come to the conclusion that the earth is a few thousand years old, and we were created by God, for God.
That is the authority of God's word. In all cases, if what is being presented doesn't fit into God's word, then be very skeptical.
Speaking of which, that is why it is so important to know God's word.
In Sun Tzu's description of the "face of the country", God's word is considered part of "the country" in your spiritual battle. The more knowledge you have of God's word, the more powerful you'll be.
SunTzu: On the field of battle, the spoken word does not carry far enough: hence the institution of gongs and drums. Nor can ordinary objects be seen clearly enough: hence the institution of banners and flags.
"Part II: Teen Bible Study Online: Read Genesis 9:12-16, Joshua 4:1-8, Luke 14:26-27, Matthew 27:32-33, Galatians 5:10-12;Luke 22:7-23, Luke 22:7-23"
God uses "gongs and drums". You need to look no further than the story of Noah to see God using the rainbow to remind him (and us) of the great flood, and the fact he will never do it again.
You can also see Joshua and his Israelites used twelve stones to commemorate the crossing of the Jordan; which is another reminder of God's influence on his children.
Jesus uses, what we now call "communion" (in Luke 22), as a symbol for us to remember his sacrfice.
As Christians, we use objects in our worship, too: crosses, bibles, hymns, clothing, communion articles, and so on.
There is nothing wrong using with these things, as long as they don't become more important than God himself.
Used properly, they serve as a great reminder that we are God's children; reminding us that we have an obligation to God and to each other.
I wear a cross on my necklace which serves to remind me of God throughout my busy day; and it also introduces that part of my life to the people I meet.
"Part II: Teen Bible Study Online:Read Luke 4"
Not even Jesus was spared from satan's relentless attacks.
We are told that Jesus was tempted for forty days. How did he respond to satan's temptations?
Through quoting God's word.
You See? Jesus relied on God's word to defend himself against satan. To put it another way, God's word is powerful enough to repel satan.
I think that's amazing.
Even though satan knows he can't defeat God himself, he still tries to defeat God's children, namely, you and I.
Notice how the temptation of Jesus ended? satan left, only to wait for another opportune time to come back and attack Jesus.
satan is persistent. He'll never give up trying to tear you away from God. You need to stay in God's word, and in God's grace for protection against satan's attacks.
To sum up this bible study online, we covered:
I pray you have found this Bible study online helpful.
- Who satan is and what he does (know your enemy).
- Why you should know yourself, and how to be prepared for satan's attacks. (know yourself)
- Why you need help from friends to defeat satan. (guides in a foreign land)
- Symbols and religious objects, if used properly, can serve to remind us of God's power and strength. (drums and gongs to carry into the battle field)
- God's word is the ultimate authority. It is not out-dated, and is still very relevant to today's society.
- Jesus even used God's word to defeat satan.
Father, bless the reader of this study. Make them strong mentally, physically, and spiritually. I pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.