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Bible study lesson 20

Bible study lesson 20 - Christian Living

Purpose: To explore the topic of adornment and to find out how much is too much.

Theme: We should lay aside anything that may weigh us down in our walk with the Lord.

Bible verses to read:

  • Revelation 4:4, 10
  • Ezekiel 28:13-15, 17
  • John 3:3
  • Psalms 51:5
  • Genesis 35:1-4
  • Exodus 33:1-6
  • 1 Peter 3:1-4
  • Hebrews 12:1
  • John 19:23-24

In today's society it is very fashionable to wear jewelry.  You see famous singers, movie stars, and even athletes (male and female) showing off their "bling."  We are bombarded by advertisements for jewelry in the popular media every day.  However, is it wrong to wear jewelry?  What does the Bible say?  Let's find out in today's lesson! 

 

Let's turn to Revelation 4:4, 10.

- According to these verses, what are the twenty four elders wearing in heaven?

 

  • Answer (highlight to read): Crowns

 

Is the use of jewelry inherently sinful?  No, because there will be adornment in heaven and there is no sin in heaven.  However, is the unlimited use of jewelry consistent with the character of Jesus?  How much is too much?

Let's turn to Ezekiel 28:13-15, 17.

- According to these verses, how was Lucifer made?

 

  • Answer: Perfect

 

- According to these verses, how was his heart lifted up?

 

  • Answer: By his beauty

 

Lucifer was made perfect and was adorned with all these jewels.  He fell because his heart was lifted up as a result of his beauty.  Let me say this again - this perfect being falls because of his beauty.

Are you perfect?  How far away from perfect are you?  Could your heart be lifted up because of your appearance?  You do not wear more jewelry because you think you are ugly.  You wear it because you think it makes you look more attractive.  If it was a danger for Lucifer, who was perfect, do you think it is possible for you to fall because of the same thing?

Lucifer began to ascribe for himself that which was the glory of God.

Let's turn to John 3:3.

- According to this verse, what happens first before a person can see the kingdom of heaven?

 

  • Answer: They must be born again.

 

If Jesus said that we need to be born again, there must have been something wrong with our first birth.  So, what was wrong with the first birth?

Let's turn to Psalms 51:5.

- According to this verse, how are we born the first time?

 

  • Answer: We are born in sin and iniquity.

 

We need to be born again because we were born absolutely sinful and wicked the first time.

If a being who was created perfect fell because of his beauty, could you fall because of the same thing?  Let's look at some issues in the Bible where jewelry was concerned.

Let's turn to Genesis 35:1-4.

- According to these verses, what did Jacob tell his household?

 

  • Answer: Jacob told his househould to put away their strange gods among them.

 

- According to these verses, what did Jacob's household give to him to be buried?

 

  • Answer: Jewelry and earrings

 

This is an extraordinary family, right?  (Jacob wrestled and spoke with God, for example.)  If this extraordinary family was subject to allowing jewelry to become an idol in their lives, do you think it is a possibility for this same thing to became an idol and a problem for us, too?

Idol worship we already know is wrong.  Jacob understands that his family have a lot of idols in their midst, so he wanted to make sure that they removed all these things before going before God.  Their jewelry was included in the whole act of idol worship.  

These weren't statue-laden jewelry, but rather, their jewelry had become an idol to them.  As a result, they removed it and gave it all to Jacob alongside their statues.

Let's turn to Exodus 33:1-6.

- According to these verses, why was God unable to come into the midst of His people?

 

  • Answer: They were a stiff-necked people.

 

- According to these verses, what did God command the people to do in order to remedy their pride?

  • Answer: He commanded them to put off their adornments.
Definition of stiff-necked - stubborn, proud, not knowing how to give proper respect

If you had a stiff neck, you could not bow your head.

Why would God tell the children of Israel to take off their jewelry if it did not contribute to their pride?

The reason their jewelry were referenced because the jewelry contributed to the issue that was causing God to be that close to destroying the children of Israel.  They were in danger  because of their pride.

Were the children of Israel an ordinary group of people or extraordinary group of people?

The children of Israel walked through the Red Sea, were fed with manna from heaven, drank water from the rock, heard God's actual voice speaking from Mount Horeb.  They had extraordinary experiences that we could only dream about.

Is pride a sin?

Yes.

Do you think the New Testament authors were aware of this problem, too?

Let's turn to 1 Peter 3:1-4.

- According to these verses, what does Peter counsel against?

  • Answer: He counsels against outward adornment - plaiting the hair, wearing of gold, or putting on of fine apparel.

Do you think that the Bible is clear that jewelry can lead God's people into serious danger and be a hindrance to them?

Peter understands what was said in the Old Testament, so he counsels those in the New Testament to be aware that outward adornment can lead to sin and we should be more focused on inner beauty of character.

Jewelry is not a sin, but we have learned that it can lead to sin (e.g. pride and idolatry).

Let's turn to Hebrews 12:1.

- According to this verse, what should we lay aside?

  • Answer: We should lay aside every weight and sin.

Have you seen from this study that jewelry can weight you down?  Do you believe what the Bible says you need to do with your jewelry?

Everything that weighs you down is not sinful, but the Bible says we should lay it aside.  The Bible has shown that the jewelry of His people were weighing them down, so he counsels us to lay these things aside.  We need to lay aside not only the sin, but also the things that can weigh us down.

Is it fair to say this is not just isolated to jewelry - that this could be music, food, games, entertainment, etc.?

Jewelry leads to our natural tendency to be proud.  Lay it aside.  We should be temperate in all things, humble in all things.

We as a family have decided not to wear jewelry, so that at all costs we can protect our mission.  We have taken measures to protect ourselves from the things that God has shown His people to struggle with.

Let me give you an example.  It is not wrong to run a 400-meter race with a backpack on.  However, it just isn't wise because that backpack slows you down.

Let's turn to John 19:23-24.

- According to these verses, what did the soldiers cast lots for?

  • Answer: Jesus' garments

If anyone could have worn jewelry, it was Jesus.  He is divine royalty, after all.  However, the Bible does not say that the soldiers cast lots for his jewelry.  I do not wear jewelry because Jesus did not wear jewelry.  I believe that Jesus is our example.  He was modest and simple.  He did not wear anything that was not essential. My friend, will you commit to laying aside jewelry or anything that hinders your walk with Jesus?