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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 41 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 12: The Cross and Sanctification *
Introduction: Last week we learned of an "alternative route" to
salvation. This route did not involve keeping the law, it involved
having faith in Jesus. As we more closely studied Romans chapter 3,
we found that our "bypass" route around the Law turned out to be the
only possible route. Instead of being an "alternative, bypass" route,
we learned it is the only path to righteousness. That leaves us with
the problem pointed out by Meic Pearse; this righteousness by faith
stuff leads to an immoral culture. Or, does it? Let's jump into our
lesson and find out!
- Increase in Sin
- Read Romans 5:18-19. How is Jesus the counterpoint to
Adam? (Some may say it was "unfair" that Adam and Eve
brought us sin - when we had no choice in the matter. To
those who say that, Romans teaches us that Jesus brought
us grace - when we had no choice in that either.)
- Read Romans 5:20-21. Why was the law added? (So that sin
- Why would God want sin to increase?
- Why does grace grow with the increase in sin? (I
think Romans is telling that our awareness of our
sins increased with the law. We understood, when we
considered the law, how far we were from the plan of
God. This awareness of the extent of our sins helped
us to realize the vast power of grace.)
- Read Romans 6:1. If grace increases to cover our expanding
sins, does that mean that it is okay with God for us to
sin? This goes to the heart of the argument by Meic
Pearse - if we are justified by grace, can we forget about
- Read Romans 6:2-3. Last week we discussed how Jesus died
in our place. He died instead of us. This text refines
this idea just a bit. What happened to us when Jesus died
for our sins? (When Jesus died, we died.)
- Is this automatic? Jesus died, thus symbolically we
died, and therefore we all have grace? (Romans
teaches us that the symbolic mechanism for accepting
this death is baptism. Grace is automatically
available, but not automatically applied.)
- Read Romans 6:4. When do we have this "new life?" (Romans
paints a wonderful picture here. Jesus' death on our
behalf is accepted by us when we are "buried" in the water
of baptism. This is our symbolic death to sin. Jesus'
victory over death in His resurrection symbolizes our
victory over the old life of sin. As we rise out of the
waters of baptism we enter new life (new eternal life).)
- Increase in Right Living
- Read Romans 6:5-7. What is our relationship to our old
life of sin? (Our "body of sin" was "done away with" so
that we are no longer "slaves" to sin.)
- Read Romans 6:11-13. What is our obligation after we have
been saved by grace? Will we find that sin is
automatically gone when we accept grace? (Consider the
language of Romans 6:12 "do not let sin reign in your
mortal body." This tells us that we have a choice to make.
Sin is a choice.)
- What kind of picture comes to your mind when you are
told not to let sin "reign" in your life? Will you be
completely sin-free? (We may fail in our struggle
with sin, but we cannot let it have the upper hand.)
- Last week in my class, I drew a picture of the Ten
Commandments with a little door entrance by the first and
a little exit door by the tenth - with the word
"righteousness" written just outside the exit door. Romans
3 teaches us that we cannot reach righteousness by taking
this path through the Ten Commandments. Instead, I drew a
path around the Ten Commandments, called "faith in Jesus"
which ended in the same place - righteousness. As we
stand at the point of righteousness looking up at the Ten
Commandments, what is our obligation? (Our obligation is
to try to obey them.)
- Is it likely, as we are looking up at the Ten
Commandments, that we will sometimes feel that sin has the
upper hand in our life - even after baptism? (Read Romans
7:14, 21-24. We see that Paul struggled with the problem
of doing the sinful things that he did not want to do.)
- How do we avoid, according to Romans 6:13, having sin
reign in our life? (We make choices every day. God tells
us that a key to right living is to "offer" our body to
God instead of to sin.)
- What do you think this means, as a practical
matter? What does it mean, say, on Monday of
this week, to offer yourself to God? (We have
thoughts and actions which are not, in
themselves, sin. But, each thought and action
tends to lead us towards God or towards Satan.
God tells us to pay attention to this. Move
towards ("offer yourself to") God, not Satan, if
you want to enjoy the new life in which God
reigns. If you want a practical, Biblical
illustration of this, read 2 Samuel 11:1-4. Each
time the Bible mentions some activity of King
David ask yourself, "Is this sin?" "Is this
moving towards God or moving towards sin." You
will quickly see how important it is to be sure
your "innocent" actions are moving you towards
- Read Romans 6:14-16. To what are we "slaves?" (Obedience.
The conclusion seems inescapable that in my little picture
of the Ten Commandments and the doors, we enter the "exit"
door of the Ten Commandments and "work" our way through
them. The goal is not salvation (we already have that by
the grace of Jesus). We are not "working" to be saved.
Instead, we are working to obey - to live a life that is
consistent with the new life that Jesus has given us
- Step back just a moment and consider where we are. I've
got you back keeping the Ten Commandments. Is this just
some slick way of tricking you back into salvation by
works? What is significantly different between what I am
teaching and righteousness by works? (The key difference
is yours assurance of salvation. You make choices to keep
God's law knowing that your salvation is assured because
you are saved by the gift of grace, not your own efforts.)
- Read Romans 6:14 & 18. What other help do we have in
making right choices? (By saying we are under grace, this
text implies that God helps us in our decisions. By
saying we are "set free" from sin, this suggests we have
supernatural help. Let's leave Romans 6 for just a little
bit and explore this idea.)
- Read Romans 8:6-9. What is available to us for right
living? (The Holy Spirit. We must have the Spirit of God
living in us in order to belong to Christ.)
- Read Romans 8:10-11. What do these verses suggest is the
mechanism for giving "new life" to our bodies which died
to sin? (This teaches us that just as the Spirit of God
raised Jesus from the dead, so the Spirit of God will
power our new life. When we rise in baptism to that new
life, the Holy Spirit is there to aid us to live in
obedience to God.)
- Read Romans 8:12-14. How can we have the ability to "put
to death" sin in our life? (The power of the Holy Spirit.)
- Now, let's go back to Romans 6. Read Romans 6:19. Recall
again, that we are righteous only because of our
acceptance of Jesus' life and death on our behalf. After
we have this righteousness, what is the goal of our life,
according to verse 19? (Holiness.)
- Will this be immediate? (No. This gets back to my
contention that we daily make choices that lead us
towards sin or towards God. Romans 6:19 teaches us
that when we were slaves to sin we were constantly
making choices which led to "ever-increasing
wickedness." Now that we are righteous, we are
expected to make choices that will lead to ever-increasing holiness. Imagine you, holy!)
- Read Romans 6:20-23. What is the benefit of leading a life
tending in the direction of holiness? (Eternal life.)
- Friend, the path to eternal life is before you. Jesus
gives you salvation as a free gift. It requires nothing
but your acceptance. But, after you become righteous, you
have decisions to make every day. God expects, through
your choices and the power of the Holy Spirit, to see you
making progress towards holiness. There, friend, is the
path - go forward in it.
- Next week: The Cross and the Great Controversy.
* 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.