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God's Standard for the Church and Our Life

On-Line Correspondence Course # 1: Exploring the Reasons and Remedies for Religious Division.

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Please use your Bible to look up the following verses and answer the related questions. You can click on the verses to visit an off-site resource that provides the scripture. Questions without verses should be based on your opinion and common understanding.

Introductory Reflection

  1. What does the word "Christian" mean?
  2. Do you consider yourself a Christian?

    Answer this question for yourself.

  3. What do you believe should be the standard for a Christian's life and the activities of a local church?
  4. Why do you think so many Christians have different morals and beliefs?
  5. Why do you think so many local churches and denominations have different practices and doctrines?

Sources of Division and Departure from God's Standard

  1. Does God approve of religious division? (I Corinthians 1:10-13; John 17:20-23)
    YES  NO 
  2. How did some determine right and wrong during the time of the Old Testament Judges? (Judges 17:6)
  3. What standard did some people use according to the prophet Isaiah? (Isaiah 65:2)
  4. According to Jesus, what faulty basis did the Pharisees use for transgressing God's command? (Matthew 15:1-3)

Man's Conscience as His Guide?

  1. Are man's conscience and thoughts a suitable standard? (Jeremiah 10:23; Proverbs 14:12; Proverbs 16:25)
    YES  NO 
  2. For example, how did the apostle Paul treat Christians before his conversion? (Acts 26:9-11)
  3. And, did Paul's past sins violate his conscience at the time of commission? (Acts 23:1)
    YES  NO 
  4. Why did Paul's conscience not warn him while he committed such horrendous sins? (I Timothy 1:13-16)
  5. Therefore, should any man's conscience, even someone else's sincere conscience be our guide?
    YES  NO 

Church Traditions as our Pattern?

  1. Do most churches have traditions?
    YES  NO 
  2. Is it wrong to have traditions?
    YES  NO 
  3. When does it become wrong for churches to have traditions? (Matthew 15:1-9)
  4. Should church traditions be our supreme standard?
    YES  NO 

The Opinions of Parents?

  1. Whose teaching was the source of Paul's ignorant, but sinful persecution of the church? (Galatians 1:13-14)
  2. Whose teachings should come first, our parents' or Jesus'? (Luke 14:26-33)
    Parents  Jesus 
  3. Why? (I Peter 1:18-19)
  4. Should our parents' opinion be our ultimate criterion?
    YES  NO 

Follow the Religious Majority?

  1. Out of the entire world, how many people were saved from the flood during Noah's day? (I Peter 3:20)
  2. Will the majority of people ultimately be saved? (Matthew 7:13-14)
    YES  NO 
  3. Therefore, should the majority of people be trusted to guide us to heaven?
    YES  NO 

God's Standard

  1. What was the solution during Jeremiah's time when people were following their own way? (Jeremiah 6:16)
  2. By what standard will we be judged in the last day? (John 12:48)
  3. Therefore, what standard should we use today (John 6:68; I Peter 4:11)

The Bible is God's Word and Standard for Today

  1. How does God speak to us today? (Hebrews 1:1-2)
  2. How much of the truth was to be revealed to Jesus' apostles and prophets? (John 14:26; 16:13)
  3. How much truth was actually revealed? (I Corinthians 2:16; II Peter 1:2-3; Jude 1:3)
  4. Today, how can we access their knowledge? (Ephesians 3:3-5; II Timothy 3:16-17)
  5. What is our standard today and how do we use it? (II Timothy 2:15; James 1:22-25)
  6. What penalty is associated with wandering away from the standard? (Matthew 7:21-27; Galatians 1:6-9)


  1. What do you think about the overall length of this lesson?
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  2. What do you think about the overall challenge of this lesson?
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  3. Do you have additional questions or comments?

  4. Your feedback is greatly appreciated, because it helps us restructure the format of the lessons to help benefit future students.

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Unless otherwise noted, all quotations are from the New King James Version, copyright © 1994 by Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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