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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 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 8: Keys to Family Unity *
Introduction: I'm reading an interesting book that presents a new
theory on how our brain functions. The book suggests that our brain
handles the input for sight, touch, sound, and smell in much the same
way. Most scientists (including the writer of my book)seem unable to
grasp the obvious - that this points to a Master Designer with a
master design. Master designs are also found in the spiritual world.
If God's creation is a series of repeating patterns, why should we be
surprised that God uses overarching patterns or theories of life
(laws)to guide our day to day life. Let's charge into our study of
the Bible and explore these laws!
- One In Jesus' Love
- Read Ephesians 2:11-13. What has Jesus done for the
- How did He do it?
- Read Ephesians 2:14-16. What was the dividing wall that
separated Gentiles from Jews and humans from God? (The
- How do you explain that the great law of God could
separate Jews from Gentiles and humans from God? (The
Jews used the law as a basis for considering that
they were superior to all other humans. The law
separated humans from God because the law showed our
sinful nature before a perfect God.)
- How did Jesus "fix" these problems? (By
fulfilling the requirements of the law for
everyone who accepts Jesus as their Savior.
Jesus both made us perfect in the sight of God
and eliminated the basis for pride among those
who "obeyed" the law.)
- Let's analyze this for just a minute, just as if we were
scientists. What overall theory of life (law of life) has
Jesus put in place? (Jesus has shown us that reliance on
Him gives us the gift of acceptability. We are sufficient
if we rely on Him. Personal pride goes out the window
because what Jesus has given us is more than any of us
could "earn" by keeping the law.)
- We started out saying that God has "theories of life,"
which we call "laws" which apply to different aspects of
our life. Wasn't the law which separated Jews from
Gentiles a "theory of life?"
- Did one law replace another law?
- Let's look at a couple of texts. Read Matthew 5:21-22
and Matthew 5:27-28. What is Jesus teaching here
about the Ten Commandments? (They reflect deeper
- Read Matthew 22:37-40. What does this teach us about
the Ten Commandments? (It summarizes the deeper
- What do you say now: Did Jesus replace the Ten
Commandments with a new theory of life? A new law?
(I think the correct answer is that the Ten
Commandments were simply ten applications of the
fundamental theories of life. They were not
themselves fundamental theories of life.)
- One In The Church
- Now let's apply fundamental theories to the church. How
appropriate are feelings of superiority or inferiority?
(People should be respected for the role that God has
given them in the church, but the idea of inferior and
superior members is alien to the "fundamental theory" that
reliance on Jesus alone makes us all sufficient.)
- When I was young, my parents pointed out to me in
this small church that we visited all of the
"professionals" sat on one side of the church and all
of the "laborers" sat on the other. Did the members
of this church understand the fundamental theory that
reliance on Jesus makes us all sufficient?
- Read 1 John 3:16-18. What theory of life do we find here?
(We started out saying that reliance on Jesus makes us all
sufficient in God's eyes and in each other's eyes. We
became sufficient because Jesus died for us. The idea that
we owe an obligation of love to others because Jesus loved
us is another overarching theory of life.)
- How does John say this fundamental theory of life should
apply in the church? (Since Jesus loved us enough to die
for us, we should love each other in the church with
deeds, not just words.)
- One In The World
- Let's take our theories of life outside the church. Does
this same rule (that our worth comes from Jesus) apply to
society in general? Does it apply even to people who do
not believe in Jesus? (A candid book, The Bell Curve,
revealed that a person's income and "professional" status
are generally a predictor of intelligence. Thus, certain
levels of intelligence are necessary for certain jobs. We
often "rank" people in the world according to their money
and position. What person chooses their own intelligence?
Relative intelligence is a gift from God, it is not the
result of personal choice. Thus pride should, once again,
go out the window.)
- If intelligence is not based on a choice, and thus
not a basis to "rank," on what basis should we rank
people? (Loving others is a choice. The extent of our
ability to love is not something determined at birth.
If we want to rank people we should rank them
according to their love for others.)
- Read Hebrews 13:5-6. We discussed how our reliance on
Jesus levels the playing field when it comes to salvation,
pride and status. What other benefit comes to us from
following the theory of life of reliance on Jesus? (Jesus
will be with us in the practical challenges of life. We
can rely on Him and put away our worries.)
- Why does Hebrews speak of "love of money" and being
"content?" What has that to do with relying on
Jesus? (Humans rely on their wealth to protect them
from the world. The Bible says, "The wealth of the
rich is their fortified city." Proverbs 10:15. Jesus
says that He is better than wealth for protection
against the problems of the world.)
- Have you found this to be true in your life?
- Read Philippians 2:3-4. Is this a new fundamental theory
of life? Or, is it simply a reflection of one of the
fundamental theories that we have already discussed? (It
reflects the fundamental theory of loving others as much
as we love ourselves. It reflects the fundamental theory
of reliance on Jesus for both our self-worth and for
solving problems in our life.)
- How can we ever get ahead in the workplace with this
kind of attitude? (Read Philippians 2:6-9. This
teaches us that true success in life comes from the
actions of God in our life.)
- One In The Family
- Let's apply these theories of life to our family. Parents
are entitled to respect. But, are they entitled to believe
that they are superior to their children?
- I've seen situations in which the father was jealous
about the success of his son. What fundamental
theories of life does that violate? (It hardly seems
to show self-sacrificing love. It does not recognize
that value comes from reliance on Jesus.)
- What about jealously over the success of a sibling?
(If we love our children, if we love our brothers and
sisters, we want them to succeed. If we realize that
we are all sufficient in Jesus, then there is no need
for competition in the family. If we are content in
Jesus, then competition fades away.)
- Does this theory of life apply between husband and wife?
(Yes, this gets back to one of my favorite texts in the
Bible: Ephesians 5:28, "He who loves his wife loves
- Friend, making Jesus the center of our life, recognizing
the theory of life that reliance on Jesus makes us
sufficient and provides protection against the problems of
life, alters our perception of others and the world. Will
you try to apply the fundamental theories of life to your
- Next week: Homes of Peace and Healing.
* 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.