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Sabbath School Lessons on The Spiritual Life - Experiencing Jesus Christ as Lord
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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 37 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: Lord of Our Service *
Introduction: Does God call us to serve Him in all that we do? What
kind of attitude does God desire for us to have in our work? What is
it, specifically, that we are supposed to do? Does every church
member have some role in the church? Let's explore what the Bible
teaches about service!
- The Blessing in Washing
- Read John 13:1-3. Tell me what Jesus knew at this time?
- If you knew that you had come from heaven and were
returning to heaven, what kind of attitude would you
- What kind of attitude would you have towards
humans? (I would know I was the ultimate
royalty. I was visiting an inferior race
(species?). It was time to rejoin celestial
beings as their leader.)
- Read John 13:4-5. Verse 4 starts out with "so." How can
washing the feet of others (the lowest job) logically
result from the conclusion that Jesus is the Great God of
Heaven and He is returning home? (In our way of thinking,
it makes no sense at all. There is no logical connection.)
- Read John 13:6-8. Was Peter right to protest? (Of course.
From the point of view of the world, Jesus should not be
washing Peter's feet.)
- Read John 13:8-9. Why would Peter go from "no," to wash
all of me? (It suddenly dawned on Peter that this was not
about cleaning his feet. It was about partnership with
Jesus. In that case, Peter wanted to get as washed as
possible. He wanted to be a full partner with Jesus.)
- Read John 13:12-15. What is the point of Jesus' washing
the disciples' feet? Was it about washing feet? Was it
about partnership?(Jesus affirms His status as Lord and
Teacher, but He tells them He is setting an example of
service for them.)
- Read John 13:16-17. What logical reason does Jesus give
for Christians (and Christian leaders) having this type of
attitude in service? (You may be a leader, you may be
important, but you are no better than Jesus. Since He was
willing to do this, we should be willing to do it. In
addition, Jesus says that there is a blessing in
performing acts of humility.)
- Leadership Service
- Read Mark 10:35-37. What was the attitude of James and
John before Jesus washed their feet? (They wanted the
- Read Mark 10:41. What attitude did the rest of the
disciples have before Jesus washed their feet? (They had
the same attitude - they all wanted to be given the most
- Read Mark 10:42-45. When Jesus explained His foot washing,
He said "You are no better than I am, so you should be
willing to do this too." That is not much of a logical
explanation of the reason for having this attitude. What
logical explanation does Jesus give here? (It much the
same as His prior explanation. Jesus says that He came
here to serve. We should have that same attitude.
However, Jesus makes very clear that the order of things
in the "world" should not apply in the church.)
- What logic do you find in what Jesus commands about
our attitude towards church leadership?
- If you see a leader who has an attitude of service,
how does it affect you? (Many years ago, I was
standing in the office bathroom with my boss. Some
slob had left a paper towel on the floor. My attitude
was that I would never throw a paper towel on the
floor, but I would not be picking up after the slobs
who did. Besides, we paid people to clean up the
bathroom. My boss stooped down, picked up the paper,
and put it in the trash can. His example so impressed
me, that ever since I have done the same thing.)
- Read Mark 2:15-16. What answer would you give to the
Pharisees, based on what we have been reading so far? (If
we have a "superior" attitude when we are trying to reach
others for Christ, we will have little success. I think
this shows us the true logic behind Jesus "servant-leader"
model. A superior, "I'm in charge" attitude, is not
effective for leading others to the kingdom or for leading
others to greater truth.)
- Read Mark 2:17. Were the Pharisees righteous? If not, why
did Jesus say this? (Let's read three texts. Romans 3:10,
Romans 3:20 and Matthew 23:27-28. If you have the attitude
that you are righteous, Jesus will not appeal to you. You
have no need of Him. When Jesus said that He came to help
the sick, I think He meant He came for those who feel
their need of His salvation. The servant attitude, is not
simply an attitude for leadership in the church, it is an
attitude that all of us need for our own salvation.)
- Balance in Service
- Read Luke 10:38-40. Which of these two women best
represent your approach to service?
- Was Martha right to complain? Isn't it true that some
leaders in the church are overworked, while other
members are sitting around not doing their fair
- Read Luke 10:41-42. Why does Jesus let Mary sit around?
(Jesus is telling us that "doing" in the church should not
cause us to neglect our relationship with Jesus. The
relationship is more important.)
- Methods of Service
- Read 1 Corinthians 12:27. How many members of the church
have a part to play in the work? ("Each one" of us has a
- Read 1 Corinthians 12:7. How many of us can have gifts
from the Holy Spirit to help us serve the church? (Again,
"each one" is given a gift "for the common good.")
- Read 1 Corinthians 12:8-10. As you look over these gifts,
do you find yours?
- Read 1 Corinthians 12:28. As you look over this list of
jobs in the church, which one of these jobs is yours?
- Read 1 Corinthians 12:11 and 1 Corinthians 12:29-30. Why
does Paul give this caution? (We are not to expect that we
will have all of these gifts. We are not to be jealous if
we lack a gift someone else has. Our goal is to discover
the gifts God has given to us and put them to work.)
- Read 1 Corinthians 12:31. Is this a license to be jealous
of the gifts of others?
- If not, what is Paul saying? Are the gifts fluid? Is
it possible to be given new gifts with time? (It must
be possible to have new gifts, or Paul would not have
- Friend, God has given you a gift and a role to play in the
church. Are you using what has been given to you to serve
others? Is your attitude about being a leader in the
church right? Or, do you desire to be a leader just for
your own glory? Will you determine today to use your gifts
to serve others?
- Next week: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
* 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.