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Sabbath School Lessons on His Wondrous Cross - The Story of Our Redemption
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About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 40 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 2: His Glorious Purpose Foreshadowed in Types *
Introduction: Last week we studied how sin first entered the universe
and then our little world. Did God have a plan in place to meet this
challenge? Did Satan have a plan to increase his gains? Let's dive
into our study and find out!
- Barred from the Tree of Life
- Read Genesis 3:22. In the last two weeks someone sent me a
little booklet suggesting that if I ate the "original
diet" of Adam and Eve (see Genesis 1:29) that I could
greatly lengthen my life. What does Genesis 3:22 suggest
was the special dietary secret to long life? (The tree of
- I understand that Adam and Eve were barred from the
tree of life because they had sinned. But, why did
the fact that they now had the same kind of knowledge
as God had, mean that they had to die? (1. Life is a
gift from God. By sinning, humans had forfeited the
right to this gift. 2. God did not want to
perpetuate sin. 3. God had warned them of the
penalty. Genesis 2:15-17. God's warning had become
the major point of the controversy. Genesis 3:4.)
- Read Genesis 3:23-24. What does the posting of the guard
say about the new relationship between God and humans?
(God could not trust them.)
- How do you think Adam and Eve reacted to the guard?
- Let's go back and read Genesis 3:21. God banished them
from the Garden of Eden. God posted a guard at the tree of
life. What note does verse 21 give us about the
relationship between humans and God? (Eternal life was a
gift from God they had forfeited, but God continued to
give them gifts to aid them in their life.)
- What significance do you find in God making garments
of skin? (This means animals died to improve the life
of humans. God is giving Adam and Eve a perpetual
reminder that sin brings death. God is also giving
them a "type" (a symbol) of the future plan of
salvation - one life for another.)
- People who suggest that I take up the "original diet"
never suggest that I should take up the original
- The Boys
- Read Genesis 4:1-2. Which son had the more noble
profession? (Cain seemed to be doing exactly what God had
commanded. Genesis 3:17-19, 23. Abel, on the other hand,
had that "no sweat" job of watching animals.)
- Read Genesis 4:3-5. What do we learn about God's unstated
worship requirements? (The Bible does not directly state
what God told humans about worship, forgiveness of sin,
etc. However, with the background of the rest of the Old
Testament, we now know that God had instituted the
sacrificial system among humans. When you sinned, you
sacrificed an animal.)
- To what did this system of worship point? (The
sacrifice of the lamb symbolized Jesus' coming death
on our behalf. See John 1:29 and Revelation 13:8.
This is further proof of God's plan for the salvation
- What was going through Cain's mind that caused him to
be angry? What kind of "self-defense" argument would
you guess Cain had constructed in his mind? (First,
he was sweating with "earth work" - which was
precisely what God had commanded. Second, he was
bringing the results of his own work. It was a
diverse world, each one brought his own talents to
the table, each one understood God's requirements in
his own, unique way. No one had any right to judge
him. He applied God's word to his own distinct
background - which was gardening instead of
- Read Genesis 4:6-7. Considering what God said to Cain, how
would you characterize God's attitude? (God is trying to
reason with Cain. God is being sympathetic. God is
counseling Cain. At the same time, God stands firm on what
is required. God has a standard that does not vary based
on our diversity of views and talents.)
- Do you think Cain fully understood the reason for
God's specific system of worship? (I doubt that Cain
fully understood the details of the plan of
salvation. My bet is that he just thought: "I
brought the best of what I do. I do the more
appropriate work. God is being arbitrary in telling
me I must sacrifice an animal instead of
- What does God's worship requirement teach us about
the other religions of the world? (Years ago I had
someone ask me, "How do you know that Christianity,
instead of Islam, is the right religion?" That
question bothered me enough that I started studying
Islam and found that it relies upon the Old
Testament. Both Judaism and Islam accept the Cain and
Able story as true, yet both Judaism and Islam do not
"sacrifice the Lamb" in their system of worship. They
both have a "Cain problem." God's sacrificial system
shows His plan for dealing with sin. Any religious
belief that does not follow this pattern is missing
God's master plan for dealing with the entry of sin
into our world.)
- Read Genesis 4:8. Put yourself in the place of Adam and
Eve. How do you think Adam and Eve felt about this?
- Did they blame themselves for this murder?
- Should they have?
- How did we get from perfect, sinless, God-created
humans to a murderer in one generation?
- Read 1 John 3:11-13. What answer does this text give
to our murderer in one generation question? (Humans
choose sides. Those who choose evil hate those who
- Is this "hating righteousness" the essence of
Satan's plan to expand his kingdom?
- Sin has now shown its true colors. Satan, the
serpent, has shown the ultimate result of his way of
life. Since God had His plan for dealing with sin in
place, why didn't God call an end to sin right then?
Why wait 2,000 years to fulfill the plan? Why not
send Jesus right now? Isn't the error of Satan's way
and his plan for conquest now clear to all observers?
- Abraham and Isaac
- Read Genesis 22:1-2. Would Abraham's reaction to this
instruction from God be the same as ours? (I assume that
other "gods" sanctioned child-sacrifice and Abraham knew
about this practice. There are at least five references in
the Bible (see, e.g., Jeremiah 32:35) which specifically
state that child sacrifice is "detestable" to God. In our
case then, the oral word would contradict the written
word. That was not true for Abraham.)
- Read Genesis 21:12. What other contradiction did
Abraham have to sort out? (That Isaac was the
fulfilment of God's promise for many descendants.)
- Read Genesis 22:6-8. What do you think Abraham meant here?
What do you think he believed would happen?
- Given God's promise for Isaac's future, given the
love of a father who has a son late in life, was
anything more important to Abraham than his son,
- Read Genesis 22:9-13. Why did God put Abraham through
this? ( Genesis 22:1 & 12 indicate that God was testing
Abraham. I think there is a larger explanation that is
revealed in Genesis 22:8. God provided the Lamb for our
sins. This test of Abraham is intended to forcibly bring
home the point to fathers and mothers the extent of God's
love for us. It is intended to bring home the point that
while giving up our children will not cure the sin
problem, God is looking for our unselfish obedience in
response to His sacrificial love towards us.)
- The Snake
- Read Numbers 21:4-5. Since we are on the topic of parents,
do you parents hear something familiar in this text about
the exodus from Egypt? Does this have the general sound
of young children?
- Read Numbers 21:6-7. Why is this an appropriate response
to complaining? (The complainers were rejecting God's
provision for their life. On another note, it might be a
good idea to post this text in the place where your church
has fellowship dinner.)
- Read Numbers 21:8-9. The story seems to get more bizarre.
If you are dying from snake bite, why would looking at a
model of a snake be the logical cure? (I believe the
theological point for us is that we must face our sins to
be forgiven. The serpent represented sin. God wanted the
Israelites to face their sins. In the plan of salvation
which God had in place, we must face and confess our sins
as a condition to taking advantage of God's provision (the
death of His Son) for our salvation.)
- Friend, from the Creation, God had in place a plan for
your salvation. That plan was fulfilled in Jesus sinless
life and death on our behalf. Will you face your sins by
confessing them and accepting Jesus' sacrifice on your
behalf? The alternative is a life where "the plan" is to
hate those who choose Jesus.
- Next week: Jesus and the Sanctuary.
* Copr. 2005, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.