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Sabbath School Lessons on Families in the Family of God
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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 1: A Family of Families *
Introduction: A Christian faces all sorts of struggles. Most are
internal fights with temptation. Some are fights against the growing
evil in society. All(as we learned last quarter)are battles against
spiritual forces of evil. One struggle that crosses these lines is
the struggle for the family. It takes work to play our proper role in
our own family. The nature of the protected family in society is
currently under attack. Our lesson this quarter is all about the
family. This week we start by considering the Bible's definition of
the family. Let's jump in!
- First Family
- Read Genesis 2:18. What was God's view of a solitary life
for Adam? (It was not good.)
- Read Genesis 2:19-20. Is God joking with us? Were God and
Adam really considering all of the "living creatures"
individually to see if any of them would work as a
"suitable helper" for Adam? Can you imagine Adam saying
about a cow: "Sorry, I cannot speak 'cow.'" "If Bessie
were my helper we would have a serious communication
- Read Genesis 2:21-22. What is special about Eve? (She was
purpose made for Adam. She was not something that was
already created that would "just do" as a companion.)
- What do we learn from her creation from a rib? (There
is symbolism of equality in this. It suggests that
God's original plan was that she would be an equal
- Does the creation order suggest a first among
- Read Genesis 2:23-24. Would "one flesh" allow anything
other than equality? (Read Ephesians 5:28-29. Paul uses
the phrase "his own body" to convey the "one flesh"
concept of God about the relationship between husbands and
- Jesus and the Family
- Read Matthew 19:3-6. What conclusion about the break-up of
marriage did Jesus draw from the Genesis plan? (If a man
and a woman became one flesh in marriage, they should not
- Read Matthew 19:7-8. Was Moses off on a "toot" of his own?
Or, was this a rule given by God because of the hardness
of the hearts of the people? (I do not think it is
appropriate to say that Moses was writing without the
permission of God. The New Bible Commentary says this:
"The divorce regulations [of Moses] were a concession to
deal with sin, not an expression of the way God intended
things to be. Divorce might be necessary, but it was never
- Let's look at the text to which the Pharisees
referred: read Deuteronomy 24:1. Does anything about
this seem unfair? (The IVP Bible Background
Commentary points out that men could divorce women
unilaterally, but the same was not true for women.
"Jesus opposition to this sort of divorce is also a
defense of married women.")
- Read Matthew 19:9. What "escape clause" from marriage does
Jesus allow? ("Marital unfaithfulness." For those
concerned that only men may divorce, see Mark 10:12.)
- A friend who is going through a divorce said this to
me, "I don't know why Christians are so ready to
defend against homosexual marriage when heterosexual
marriage makes the definition of 'marriage' a joke."
Have Christians made marriage a "joke?" Have they
lost the moral right to speak against homosexual
marriage? (If only perfect people were allowed to
stand against sin, no one would oppose sin. But, the
underlying point is well-taken. Those who profess to
follow Jesus need to be as ready to protect marriage
against divorce as they are to protect it against
homosexual attack. We should not have two standards:
one for sinners "like us" and another for sinners
with different temptations.)
- Read Matthew 19:10-12. What was the reaction of the
disciples in response to Jesus' teaching that the rules of
marriage should go back to those established at Creation?
(They were stunned. It seemed an impossible standard to
- When Jesus responded by saying, "The one who can
accept this should accept it," to what was He
referring? Was he talking about the rule against
divorce or the rule that you should not marry if you
will not abide by the rules against divorce? (I do
not know the answer. It is clear Jesus is laying down
a very firm rule on marriage and divorce. The ideal
is not in doubt. On the other hand, when Jesus says
the "one who can accept should accept" may be
referring back to God's past willingness to be
flexible on divorce given the sinful nature of
humans. Since Jesus died because of the sin issue, it
is hard for me to teach that God is "flexible" on the
subject of sin.)
- Single Adults
- Look again at Matthew 19:11-12. What positive reason does
Jesus give for being unmarried?
- Read 1 Corinthians 7:1 and 1 Corinthians 7:7-8. Between
the statements of Jesus and Paul, how should an unmarried
person look at life? (Read 1 Corinthians 7:32-34. Being
single allows you the opportunity to focus on promoting
the kingdom of God.)
- Consider again Genesis 2:18. How can you explain the
apparent conflict between the teaching in Genesis ("it is
not good ... to be alone") with the teaching of Paul and
Jesus that being single is good for promoting the Kingdom
of Heaven? (Read 1 Timothy 4:1,3. The issue is whether you
forbid marriage. Marriage is supposed to be good. It is
the ideal. However, some may choose to deprive themselves
of this good in order to promote the Kingdom of God. To
make that voluntary decision is also good.)
- Are single adults a family? (If Christians, they are part
of the family of God. See 1 Timothy 5:1-2.)
- Family Fraud
- Read Romans 1:18-20. At the beginning of this lesson we
learned that God custom made Eve to be Adam's partner. Is
it logical and intellectually appropriate to argue God's
intentions regarding heterosexual versus homosexual
marriage from the way He created things? (We see a
progression of ideas in the Creation. First, God examines
all of His creation for a suitable helper. He then custom
creates Eve. He did not custom make another man, although
He certainly could have done that. Finally, and most
importantly, God instructs that man and woman will be
united as "one flesh." My children are the "one flesh"
that resulted from my marriage. The entire scheme of the
original family argues against the validity of a
- You must have heard it said, "If God intended humans
to smoke, He would have created them with a
smokestack." What do you think of the logic of that?
( Romans 1:20 seems to say that it is the large issues
about God that can be understood from the creation.)
- Is homosexual marriage a "large issue?"
- Read Romans 1:21-23. What does this suggest is the logical
progression of those who reject the authority of God?
(Their understanding is darkened. They foolishly begin to
worship things they have made rather than the Maker of
- Read Romans 1:24-25. Why would sexual impurity be part of
rejecting the authority of God?
- Read Romans 1:26-27. What does the Bible call homosexual
sex? (A perversion.)
- Consider Paul's line of argument here. We start out with
an argument about the existence of God based on His
creation. We end up with a conclusion about homosexuality.
How does that make any logical sense? (When God created
the earth, part of His creation was this template of male
and female being part of the continuing creation process.
You see this template in both humans and animals. This is
one of those "big picture," "large issues" things that
anyone with an open mind can see. As humans became
wicked, and began to worship what they had made instead of
their Maker, they also rejected their Maker's template for
the continuing creation process. Viewed in this light, the
promotion of homosexual marriage becomes a foundational
issue, like evolution and the Sabbath. Evolution is an
attack on the authority of our Creator. Rejection of the
Sabbath is an attack on our weekly memorial to creation.
( Genesis 2:3; Exodus 20:11) Homosexuality is an attack on
the master template of creation. Satan is not stupid. He
does his best to sever the lines of logic that reinforce
our allegiance to our Creator God.)
- Friend, God created the family when He created the world.
Will you do your part to promote God's original plan for
- Next week: God's Word on Family Living.
* Copr. 2006, 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.