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Lesson 13: The Cross and the Great Controversy *

Introduction: This is the last of our series of lessons on the "Wondrous Cross." What we have learned about our wonderful Savior! He died for our sins. We have the opportunity to be declared righteous by accepting His sacrifice. Once we become righteous, what do we do next? In our lesson last week we learned that we should be working, using the power of the Holy Spirit, towards holiness. Is holiness just a personal goal? Is our struggle to obey just about us? Or, instead of being the center of the action, are we just a small part of a greater battle? Let's jump into our final lesson and find out!

  1. The Great Controversy

    1. Read Job 1:1. What is Job's attitude towards sin? (He "shunned" evil.)

      1. What does it mean to "shun" evil? (He avoided it. He turned away from it.)

      2. Recall last week we discussed considering the direction in which each choice takes us. Does it take us closer to God or closer to sin? How does Job's policy of "shunning" evil fit this suggestion? (It seems the perfect implementation of the suggestion that we should make choices that lead us closer to God.)

    2. Read Job 1:2-3. Where had this policy of serving God gotten Job?

    3. Read Job 1:6-7. What is implied in Satan's answer that he had been "roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it?" (That he was in charge of the earth. It was his "property," his "domain.")

      1. Was this implication true?

    4. Read Revelation 12:7-9. How did Satan get to earth? (He lost the battle in heaven and got thrown out.)

      1. Does this sound like Satan is in charge? (In Matthew 4:8-10 Satan speaks as the ruler of the earth. Jesus does not dispute the point.)

    5. Read Revelation 12:10. What is the nature of Satan's work? (He accuses God's people.)

        1. Accuses them of what?

    6. Read Revelation 12:12. What does this suggest is going on in planet earth? (A struggle between good and evil. An angry Satan is working overtime.)

      1. How do you feel about Satan's "time" being "short?"

    7. Let's get back to Job. Read Job 1:8. Satan is strutting around like he owns the earth, which, apparently, he did. What would cause God to say what He did in Job 1:8? (God is telling Satan that some humans serve God, not Satan.)

    8. Read Job 1:9-11. Does Satan say, "You are right God!"

      1. How does Satan's response fit Revelation 12:10? (Satan is doing exactly what Revelation says that he does - he accuses believers.)

    9. Read Job 1:12. Is God in control of your life?

      1. Why does God permit Satan to have control over Job's possessions?

      2. The last part of verse 12 says "Satan went out." What was he going out for, milk? (The battle in Job's life has now begun.)

    10. Let's step back a moment and consider this. What do you think is going on right now when it comes to your life and the supernatural? (Read 1 Peter 5:8-9. Satan is "out" in your life.)

      1. Is Satan limited when it comes to touching your life?

  2. Weapons of Battle

    1. Let's continue to examine 1 Peter 5:8-9. What are the keys to victory, according to 1 Peter 5:9? (Faith. Being alert, self-controlled, resisting evil.)

      1. Consider this list of keys. What strikes you as interesting about it? (It is a combination of faith and works.)

      2. Why does Peter tell us that our fellow believers are going through the same experience? (While the battle is a personal one, it is not just about you. Satan is looking for anyone whom he can "devour." Gain encouragement knowing you are not alone.)

    2. Read Ephesians 6:10-11. What is the source of our ability to resist Satan? (Our strength is in God. Our armor comes from Him.)

    3. Read Ephesians 6:12. Who is our enemy? Why does Ephesians tell us that our enemy is not the people we see every day? (I have this problem with personalizing evil. I look at some governmental figure, media figure, writer, etc. as being evil. They may well be, but the battle is not against them. The battle is against Satan. We have trouble showing love towards others if we view them as the enemy.)

      1. Consider again Ephesians 6:11. What is the true source of our struggle? (Schemes of Satan.)

      2. How does it change our battle plans if we know our enemy is a plot of Satan rather than the person with whom we work?

    4. Read Ephesians 6:13-18. Study each piece of armor offered to you by God. Is all this armor in place in your life?

      1. What happens if you are missing some armor?

  3. The Outcome of the Controversy.

    1. Read John 12:31-32. What does Jesus say is the result of Him being "lifted up?" (The cross brought the time of judgment for the prince of the world.)

      1. What does Jesus mean when He says that Satan "will be driven out?" Does it mean that Satan left the planet after Jesus' resurrection? (Jesus won the earth back from Satan. The "Satan strut" that we witnessed in Job 1 is now over. Jesus is now the Prince of the Earth. But the struggle continues.)

      2. In Revelation 12 we read the sequence of Satan being hurled from heaven to earth. We read of his pursuit of Jesus ("male child" Revelation 12:13)and we read of Satan's defeat by the "blood of the Lamb." Revelation 12:11. Although he is defeated, does Revelation 12 tell us Satan is driven out of the earth? Is Satan demoralized? Is he now a toothless tiger? What is his mental attitude? (Read Revelation 12:12 & 17. The victory is won, but we have an angry Satan in our backyard! He is in battle mode.)

    2. Let's examine John 12:31 again. Is only Satan being judged? (Jesus defeated Satan at the cross. Jesus won back His position as the Prince of the Earth. We now have a choice. We can choose life. Our decision is now the subject of the judgment.)

    3. Read 1 Corinthians 15:57-58. Knowing that Jesus has won the overall victory, but that battles still rage, what kind of attitudes should we have? (Thankful, unwavering, industrious.)

    4. Friend, do you sometimes feel discouraged over the battle? Is it hard to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus' victory at the cross because of difficult things happening in your life right now? If so, hold on. Make sure your spiritual armor is in place. Reinforcements are coming! Read about it in Revelation 19:11-16. Come KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS!

  4. Next week we begin our study of the gospel of Mark.
* 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.

© 2021 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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