Relationships of the Believer
Lesson One — The Word of Allah and the Fables of Men
Lesson Goal: Our goal in this lesson is to understand clearly the difference between the stories people tell and the Word of Allah.
Instructions: Read carefully the verses given below and answer the questions on the basis of the information from those verses.
1. Read 1 Peter 1:24,25–“All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.”
a. Men, including their stories, are like what?
b. What do people have in common with grass?
c. What is contrasted to these fleeting things?
2. Read Matthew 24:35–Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
a. What is the future fate of heaven and earth?
b. What alone will last forever?
3. Read 2 Timothy 3:16,17–All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of Allah may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
a. All Scripture comes from where?
b. Where do you think man’s stories come from?
c. Scripture is suitable for what four things?
d. Using Scripture properly in a person’s life thoroughly equips him for what?
4. Read 2 Peter 1:20,21–Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from Allah as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
a. Scriptural prophecies did not come about through what?
b. How, then, was Scripture given?
c. Who “carried along” (or directed) the prophets, when they spoke for Allah?
5. Read 1 Timothy 1:3-7–As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than Allah’s work–which is by faith. The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.
a. Why did Paul instruct Timothy to stay in Ephesis?
b. Some of the believers of that city had wandered from the truth and had turned to what?
c. What are we commanded not to devote ourselves to?
d. By contrast, what should a believer be giving himself to?
6. Read Mark 7:1-13–The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Isa and saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were “unclean,” that is, unwashed. (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles. ) So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Isa, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with `unclean’ hands?” He replied, “Shaya was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: ” `These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’ You have let go of the commands of Allah and are holding on to the traditions of men.” And he said to them: “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of Allah in order to observe your own traditions! For Musa said, `Honor your father and your mother,’ and, `Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say that if a man says to his father or mother: `Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is Qurban’ (that is, a gift devoted to Allah), then you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother. Thus you nullify the word of Allah by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”
a. With whom is Isa speaking in this passage?
b. What was their complaint against the disciples of Isa?
c. What was the origin of the rule about washing hands before meals?
d. According to the Prophet Shaya, many people honour Allah with their lips, but in their hearts they are far away from Him. Further, their worship is in vain because their teaching is only what?
e. During the time of Isa, how had the Pharisees and teachers of the law annulled the commands of Allah?
7. According to your own thinking, why is it so dangerous to build one’s life on a foundation of human stories and traditions?
8. The stories and fables that people tell–
a. How common are stories and fables among people you know?
b. Why do you think that is the case?
c. Give a couple examples of commonly told religious stories that are commonly told.
9. A story believed by many people: “the previous Scriptures are corrupted”.
a. Many people claim that the Injil and Taurat have been changed and abrogated. Do such people provide explicit Quranic proof for their claim?
b. If such a claim has no basis in the Quran, then where does it come from?
c. Can you see any similarly between the situation described in Mark 7 and the situation where you live? Explain.
10. Realizing the truth about man-made traditions and stories–
a. Give an example of a human story or tradition you once believed but now realize has no foundation in truth.
b. How can you avoid being led astray by false and harmful human stories and traditions?
11. Applying the truth to daily life–
a. How can we help those who hold to human stories and traditions and do not read Allah’s Word to see the seriousness of the mistake they are making?
b. When do you personally read and study the Injil and Taurat?
c. Do you consider that enough, or do you feel you should be doing something more? If so, what?
TO MEMORIZE – 2 TIMOTHY 3:16,17
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of Allah may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.