Bible Study


Scripture Reading: Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. —Luke 4:8

Definition: Idolatry is defined as the “worship of idols, images, or anything which is not God; the worship of false gods. Excessive attachment, or veneration for anything; respect or love which borders on adoration” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).

Summary: Adoration and worship of anything other than God Himself is idolatry—whether an idol, invented god, religions of man, or something of this world which governs affections, time, energy, and money.

I. There is One God

A. Mark 12:28-29 The Lord our God is one Lord.

B. Isaiah 44:6 Beside me there is no God.

C. 1 Timothy 2:5 One God and one mediator.

D. Revelation 4:10-11 The Lord is worthy of worship.

II. Idolatry Condemned

A. Exodus 20:3-5 Have no other gods, make no graven image. The Lord is jealous.

B. Deuteronomy 4:15-19 Do not worship idols, the sun, moon, or stars.

C. Leviticus 26:1 Make no idols.

D. Deuteronomy 7:3-4 Do not marry idolators.

III. Worship God Alone

A. Luke 4:7-8 Worship only the Lord.

B. Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters.

IV. True God vs. Idols

A. Act 17:22-31 God is Creator, not created.

B. Deuteronomy 4:28 The work of men’s hands.

V. Old Testament Idolatry

A. Golden Calf: Representation of Yahweh and/or Egyptian object of worship (Exodus 32:1-4).

B. Nebuchadnezzar’s Golden Image (Daniel 3:1-5).

C. Dagon: God of the Philistines; human head and body of a fish (1 Samuel 5:1-5).

D. Merodach (Marduk, Bel): Babylonian lord of the gods of heaven and earth (Jeremiah 50:2).

E. Baal: Supreme god of the Canaanites—sun god, storm god, fertility god (1 Kings 18:21-40).

F. Ashtoreth: Zidonians’ goddess of fertility and maternity.

G. Chemosh: National god of the Moabites; human sacrifice.

H. Milcom: Ammonites’ god of divination (1 Kings 11:33).

I. Molech: Fire god, child sacrifice (Leviticus 18:21).

VI. God of This World

A. 2 Corinthians 4:4 God of this world blinds minds.

B. Ephesians 2:2 Prince of the power of the air.

C. Ephesians 6:10-13 Powers and rulers of darkness.

VII. Worship of False Religion & Tradition

A. Revelation 14:8-10 The beast and his image.

B. Mark 7:6-9 Exalting the tradition of men.

VIII. Worship of Men

A. Acts 12:21-23 Herod venerated as a god.

B. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 The man of sin.

C. Acts 14:12-15 Paul and Barnabas refuse honor.

D. Revelation 19:10 Do not worship the messenger.

E. John 7:16-18 Self-promotion contrary to Christ.

F. 2 Corinthians 4:5 Preach not yourselves.

IX. New Testament Idolatry

A. Colossians 3:5 Covetousness is idolatry.

B. Philippians 3:19 Their god is their belly.

C. Romans 16:18 Serving self rather than Jesus.

X. Worship of Things of this World

A. 1 John 2:15-16 Love not the things in the world.

B. Romans 1:23-27 The creation; homosexuality.

C. 1 Timothy 6:10-11 Love of money.

D. 2 Timothy 2:3-4 Affairs of this life.

XI. Judgment Against Idolatry

A. Galatians 5:19-21 Idolaters will not inherit the kingdom of God.



No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. —Matthew 6:24