“Hold Fast Our Confidence”!

Adult Bible Study Fall Quarter 1997

1. Transparency 4/1 “BACK TO THE FUTURE: PHARAOH'S IMPIOUS INTERROGATION” (Exodus 5:2). The amazing language of the Egyptian Monarch expresses the prevailing attitude of our society -- “WHO is God?” Pharaoh's profane paganism is much too common in our day. Believers are constantly battered with such cynicism. This attitude has a way of undermining our confidence. Notice the similarities between Moses and modern believers:

 a. Met by ignorance. Pharaoh knew nothing about God; or, if
he did know something, he saw God as being inferior to himself! Such an attitude is present in our day. Many are willfully ignorant of God. This ignorance is boastfully expressed by a rejection of God's morality, the perverse use of God's Holy Name, and the inhumane treatment of others. The sequel of Pharaoh's history should warn modern minds -- there is great reason to tremble before the Almighty God!
 b. Met by deep profanity. Pharaoh had a very loose concept
of Deity. The Monarch regarded himself as more important than God and he wished all to have the same regard for him.  He became insolent, opposed the authority of God, refused the commands of the Almighty. Such attitudes are prevalent in our day. Many have a similar regard for God -- they regard Him with contempt; imagine they are free from His dominion; and, zealously scorn His followers.
 c. Met by unwarranted pride. Pharaoh speaks as though he
was the supreme Monarch and no one rivaled his grandeur or could defeat his power.  This pride led him to an arrogant defiance of Jehovah God and exposed him to imminent peril. This man is a type of many in our day, whose pride brings them into open hostility with God's will and renders them antagonistic to His servants.

2. This lesson develops our understanding regarding the confusion
that besets our nation. Not only is confusion rampant because modern minds have been infected by the world's philosophy and the Bible has been rejected as our authority in life, but the very concept of an all-powerful, sovereign God to whom we are accountable has been rejected.  “This confusion and disorientation on a national and cultural level is showing itself in the church in the form of doctrinal change due to relaxed convictions that God is real” (Miller, 423). When one combines the factors discussed in our first three lessons, it is easy to understand why the concept of an omnipotent Sovereign would be rejected by modern minds. Brainstorm ideas on the prevailing concept society has about God. It will quickly be observed that the modern mind conceives of God more like a doting “Grandfather” than a responsible “Father.” Why is God thus viewed? Transparency 4/2 “How Does The Modern World View God?”

3. Transparency 4/3 “Confidence In God Brings Calm!” Because
modern man has rejected the biblical sovereignty of Jehovah God, he finds chaos in life. Those who KNOW the biblical sovereignty of God possess a confidence that results in a wonderful calm:

 a. Paul in the Roman prison (2 Ti 1:12-14).

 b. Elijah when outnumbered by false prophets (1 Ki 18:21ff).

 c. Jonathan and his armor bearer (1 Sa 13:6ff).

 d. David as he faced Goliath (1 Sa 17:34ff).

 e. Job as he contemplated human suffering (Job 42:2).

 f. Believers surrounded with tribulations (Ro 8).

 g. There are numerous statements that instill unshakable confidence in the care, existence, and reign of the Almighty God (cf. Gn 18:14; Mt 19:26; 1 Sa 2:6-10; Ps 46).

4. Transparency 4/4 “Confidence In God Shaken!” Even though a
great calm is possible, it does not exist. Why? The contributing factors of lessons 1-3 are evidenced by the following manifestations of irreligious attitudes toward God.  When believers are bombarded with these, their bold confidence, in the power of an Almighty God, begins to weaken. Some eventually give up any confidence in God. They do not return to the world, but they no longer enjoy the blessed assurance that is theirs by faith in Christ. Consequently they live a miserable existence! What factors erode confidence in God’s power?
 a. Surrounded by those who PROFANE God!
1) Cf. Ex 20:7; Lv 18:21; 19:12; 20:3; 21:6; 22:2,32; Dt 5:11; Ps  139:20; Pr 30:9; Is 59:5; Ro 2:24; Rv 16:9; Mt 26:74.

2) “Profane” -- Refers to that which is permitted to be trodden; to become common; unhallowed. Thus God is treated in such a casual manner that all distinction of Him as “holy” is erased. Man views God in such a way that He is “trivialized” and comes to be viewed in an insignificant manner. 

  3) How has/does modern society “trivialize” God and thus erase all concepts of the Divine holiness from . . . 

   a) Our society? What behaviors will be tolerated/encouraged? How will restraints be encouraged? 

   b) The church? What attitudes toward religious issues will be seen? What behaviors will become visible? How will restraints/discipline be taught? How is this trivialization explained by Titus 1:16?

  4) What can be done to correct this “profane” attitude?
 b. Surrounded by those who DISHONOR God. 
1) Cf. Ex 20:7; Dt 5:11; 28:58; Ps 111:9; Micah 4:5; 1 Ti 6:1.

2) The irreverence of modern society has lessened the respect of man for God. 

a) Irreverence from those in the world. When Christians are surrounded by those whose talk and behavior dishonors God, they become timid and their confidence vanishes! 

   b) Irreverence from those in the church. One expects the worldling to act dishonorable toward God. Witnessing their blasphemy is often discouraging to believers (cf Jere 12:1ff). However, an even greater discouragement comes when God is dishonored by one claiming to be His disciple!

  1) Cf. 2 Ti 1:15; 2:16-19; 4:10; Tit 1:10; Hb 12:15; etc.

  2) What are some ways that modern believers bring dishonor upon God? Explain why their action is a dishonor to God. How do these actions impact the confidence of other Christians?

 c. Surrounded by those who PRESUMPTUOUSLY SIN against God.
  1) Ps 73:1-16; Neh 9:28-31; Pr 1:24-27; 29:1; Eccl 8:11; Mt 24:48-51.

  2) There is a flagrant act of sin identified as “sinning with a high hand.”  (Cf. Num 15:30). In sporting events the greatest penalties are given to those committing “flagrant fouls” -- the contestants are treated harshly because they KNOW better. The impact of the flagrant act is telling upon all others. Such is certainly true in spiritual matters -- the believers’ confidence is shaken when fellow brethren flagrantly refuse God (cf. Philip 3:18-19; Hb 10:21-27; 3 Jn 9; etc.). 

 d. Surrounded by those who DENY GOD.

  1) Ro 1:18-31

  2) When Christians constantly hear the existence of God questioned they are tempted to lose heart. Many feel unprepared to respond to these antagonists and this lack of confidence in their beliefs leads to a practice of “timid Christianity” (a.k.a. “Silence”). The appropriate response for Christians -- 1 Pt 3:15; 2 Ti 1:7-8; 1 Co 15:58).

  3) Another way by which one can deny God -- failing to live according to God’s directions (cf Tit 1:16). Many know that God’s existence cannot be denied but they do deny His sovereignty. They thus opt to live a life of “practical atheism.” They offer lip service but fail to offer heart service (cf. Mt 15:7-9).

   a) How is this lip service rationalized?

   b) How can a Christian live in a “practical denial” of God’s sovereignty?

5. Whenever the believer is surrounded by these four factors, his/
her confidence begins to weaken. If left surrounded by these four fiendish factors, the believer eventually gives in to Satan and live a life of compromised faith filled with bitter regret and cynicism. Ultimately all religious devotion is mechanical and one loses all sensitivity to God, becoming as spiritually dull as they were prior to their conversion (cf Ep 4:19). In a practical analysis, those who lose confidence in God’s sovereign power see these four consequences: Transparency 4/5 “Awful Consequences!”
 a. Their Faith is ruined. Having lost confidence in God, to whom,   or what, are they to turn? If they cannot believe in God, they   are left to believe in themselves.

 b. Their Devotion is compromised. The Christian who does not
look to God as the Almighty Sovereign, will certainly feel no compulsion to serve God in self-surrender. There will be a degree of faith demonstrated, but not the full surrender that the universal Sovereign deserves. This compromised devotion will impact fellow brethren in a negative way.

 c. Their Holiness is blemished. If God is not the universal Sovereign and there are other objects equal to, or even greater than He, why should Christians discipline themselves to keep unspotted from the world? Why should Christians live in ways that draw the ire and ridicule of others?

 d. Their Example is worthless. If the believer loses confidence in
God’s sovereign reign, then pluralism is the only option. Why should s/he live the lifestyle required by God when other “religious” ways offer a more convenient and relaxed lifestyle?

 e. In response to this impending calamity, believers can respond
so that confidence in God is restored. What should believers do so they will not lose confidence in God and fall into calamity? TRANSPARENCY 4/6 “What Should We Do?”

  1) RENEW our Faith in God! Study and KNOW that God exists;
learn to answer all who ask questions; establish your beliefs upon a sound system that can be explained! (2 Ti 2:15). Remember that the proper philosophy begins with logic and reason that “explains” beliefs. Those who attempt to base beliefs upon “feelings” (the second level) will fail.

  2) REVIVE our devotion to God’s will! Daily life is hard and often discouraging. Those who strive to obey God but face repeated setbacks in life, often lessen their devotion. Believers must fuel the spirit of devoted service when confronted with the world’s discouragements (cf. Ac 4:13-20; 5:27-42).

  3) RESTORE steadfastness in our resolve to follow God! When
our confidence in God’s Sovereignty is certain, our steadfastness to His will can be seen. The world’s tribulations strive to undermine this confident trust, but nothing on earth can displace Jehovah God’s plan (cf 1 Co 15:58).

  4) REVERE God’s sovereignty in all of life. We must realize that
God is indeed the Ruler of this world (including “my” life’s choices). I therefore have no option except that I will submit to His will and obey it from my heart. This may require me to make some difficult choices. However if God is indeed the universal Sovereign I really have no choice in the matter! (Cf. Da 4:34-37).

6. TRANSPARENCY 4/7 “Pertinent Questions Regarding My Confi- dence In God” Once one realizes the awesome sovereignty of  God there will be an awakening to these questions:
 a. Why was I timid about God’s vindication of His saints? Why did
I fear that God’s disciples would be overwhelmed by the world? (Cf. Rv 6:9-11; Ro 8:37-39). The believer should possess a strong confidence because of God’s character!

 b. What aspects of God’s character offer the greatest foundation to my confidence? List some of the traits of the Almighty God that offer assurance. (Cf. Dt 32).

 c. Why have I not realized that God’s character should have an   impact upon these aspects of daily living . . .

  1) . . . Regarding the practice of sin? Can I continue practicing   sin?

  2) . . . Regarding my obedience to His commands? Can I not   obey God and be “excused”?

  3) . . . Regarding my eternal security? Can I trust in the Almighty God to save my soul or must I do it myself?

 d. Have I sought to introduce this majestic God to the world? Do
I succumb to the temptation to present a “cultural God,” a “manageable Deity” instead of the Awesome Sovereign of the Scriptures? What “kind of God” have I really communicated to my friends?

 e. Do I now realize that only a firm confidence in God will offer   me joy in life? Am I willing to allow this confidence in the   Almighty God impact my life in regard to . . .

  1) Personal holiness and conviction of the Truth (Jn 7:17).

  2) Family training and priorities (Dt 6:4-6).

  3) Rendering righteous judgment instead of timid silence (Jn  7:24).

  4) An example and influence for God that tells others I have denied Self and am willing to follow God fully (Lk 9:23-26).

7. TRANSPARENCY 4/8 “Confidence In God” Christians must develop an unshakable confidence in the Almighty God. Without this the believer will give up and go back into the world’s turmoil (cf. Hb 6:9-19). This blessed confidence is anchored in our convictions that God . . .

 a. DOES exist -- He IS real and does care for mankind! (Ac 17:24-28)

 b. FOLLOWS righteousness and all He does is governed by the   right standard! (Ps 48:10; 97:2).

 c. EXPECTS man to follow righteousness and will inspect to see   if man is obeying His will! (Num 14:24).

 d. RESTORES the erring and fully forgives all repented sins! (Ps   103:8-13).

 e. Note: When Christians are confident in these summary matters, they will find the joyful comfort that only the Almighty God can offer. Let no one be led into doubt but let all find a blessed assurance!

Transparences underneath

Back To The Future!
Pharaoh’s Impious Interrogation!
Exodus 5:2




Transparency 4/1

How does the modern world view God?

Transparency 4/2

Confidence In God Brings Calm!

Paul (2 Ti 1:12ff)

Elijah (1 Ki 18:21ff)

Jonathan (1 Sa 13:6ff)

David (1 Sa 17:34ff)

Job (Job 42:2)

Believers (Ro 8)

Transparency 4/3

Confidence In God Shaken!

Confidence in God is shaken when Christians are surrounded by . . .

Profane People!

Dishonoring People!

Presumptuous Sin!


Transparency 4/4

Awful Consequences!

FAITH is ruined!

DEVOTION is compromised!

HOLINESS is blemished!

EXAMPLE is worthless!

Transparency 4/5

What Shall We Do?





Transparency 4/6

Pertinent Questions Regarding My Confidence In God~~

WHY Timidity?

WHAT Foundation?

WHY Failure?

HAVE I succumbed?

Do I realize joy?

Transparency 4/7

Confidence In God!
Blessed confidence is anchored in convictions that God . . .

Ac 17:24-28

Ps 48:10; 97:2

Nu 14:24

RESTORES! (Ps 103:8-13)

Transparency 4/8

Copyright 1999 by John L. Kachelman Jr. may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.

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