These studies do not tell you what the Bible says. The scriptures given direct you to specific topics. The questions are intended to help you focus on the study. No answers are given. You have to read and search the scriptures for the answers. We encourage you to use Bible helps such as concordances and commentaries. However, scholars and theologians often disagree on interpretation and application. The best study help comes from God. Pray. Allow yourself to be honest with your reactions, but don't jump to conclusions. It takes time to read and meditate on all the Bible says on various topics. Feel free to ask questions in your prayers. You will be amazed to discover that God does answer the sincere seeker. You will also be surprised that the Bible may not say what you might think it does on many subjects. Keep a notebook. A loose leaf one would make it possible to add thoughts and additional information as you learn more about different subjects. Welcome to an exciting search.

Print out version.  (This is 6 pages long, without the introduction and with space for answering questions.)


Bible Study Guide: 

Keep Yourselves From Idols

By Scarlett Stough

To prepare for this Bible study, please read the Women in Christ commentary, Sapphira and Acts 4:23-37; Acts 5:1-16

Part I Sapphira's Example

1. Acts 4:23-30 What did this early Christian church ask God to do?

2. Acts 4:31-35; 5:12, 16, 20-21 What was the effect of being filled with the Holy Spirit?

3. Acts 4:32-37 What attitude did these early believers in Jesus being the long awaited Messiah have toward their economic resources?

4. Acts 5:1-2 Do you think Ananias and Sapphira hoped to gain by their conspiracy? If so, how?

5. Acts 5:3-4; John 8:42-47; I John 3:7-10 What attitude did the Apostle Peter discern in Ananias and Sapphira? What do you think their attitude was toward God? What does their attitude tell you about the genuineness of their faith?

6. Acts 5:5-6, 10 How seriously did God deal with their insincerity? How do you feel about God's response to Ananias and Sapphira?

7. Acts 5:7-9; Ezekiel 18:4-5; 20 Did Sapphira have a responsibility to trust and obey God apart from her husband? Do you have a responsibility to trust and obey God apart from strong societal influences? Does something you idolize prevent you from complete trust and obedience toward God?

8. Acts 5:11-14 What effect did the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira have on believers and the public? How should you respond to these events?

Part II Filled with Greed

1. Colossians 3:5-10 List the attitudes and behaviors that provoke the wrath of God. Name the three sins listed in this passage that brought the death penalty upon Ananias and Sapphira. Are any of these a problem for you?

2. Luke 11:39-52 What warning does Jesus give to religious people who “are full of greed and wickedness?”

3. Luke 12:13-21 What is the end result of living a life of greed (covetousness and idolatry)?

4. Romans 1:28-32 What did Paul think those who are “filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity” deserve to receive? Can you think of reasons why as you consider conditions in the world today?

5. II Peter 2:1-3, 12-15 What judgment did the Apostle Peter say that those who “are experts in greed” can expect?

6. Colossians 3:5 Why is greed (or covetousness) not good according to God's standard? (See also: Exodus 20:1-3, 17; Deuteronomy 5:6-7, 21)

Part III Be Filled With The Spirit

1. I Thessalonians 2:4-6; I Peter 5:1-4 What motivation is God looking for in those who follow him?

2. I Peter 1:6-9 How is our faith proved genuine?

3. Philippians 1:9-11 Name four qualities Paul prayed would increase in “all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi.” Who is the source of these qualities? Compare to Acts 5:3. Who influenced Ananias and Sapphira to plan the deception that led to their deaths?

4. I Peter 5:8-9; James 4:6-10; Ephesians 4:22-5:5, 18; 6:10-18; I John 3:7-8; Galatians 5:22-23 How can we avoid falling for the devil's schemes? Describe how faith, an aspect of the fruit of the Holy Spirit, can shield us from the devil “filling our hearts” as he filled Sapphira's?

5. I John 5:18-21 Who cannot be harmed by the evil one? Why? How do you think verse 21 ties in with verses 18-20? In what way did Ananias and Sapphira fail to do this?

6. Acts 4:24-31; Ephesians 6:18-20; Matthew 6:13; Luke 11:13; James 5:13-20; II Chronicles 7:14 What is the single most effective activity Christians can do to resist evil in themselves and society? Are you participating in this activity?