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Sabbath School Lessons on Holy Spirit
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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 10: Life Through the Holy Spirit *
Introduction: Have you ever seen a beautiful creation? Maybe it is a
car. Maybe a work of art made of glass. Maybe it is jewelry. Maybe
it is a flower. If it is really beautiful, you look at it from every
direction to appreciate every aspect of it. It just feels good to
take in all of the beauty! I feel that way about our series of
studies about the Holy Spirit. We have looked at the gifts of the
Holy Spirit. We have looked at the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Last
week we studied how the Holy Spirit leads in our life - with an
emphasis on His physical direction. This week our study moves to how
the Holy Spirit leads us spiritually. Let's dive into the Bible for
a closer inspection!
- First Truth: No Condemnation
- Read Romans 8:1-2. If you have repented of your sins and
accepted Jesus as your Savior, what is your status before
God? (You are saved. You are not condemned.)
- Why, according to Romans 8:2, is this true? (The law
of the Spirit of Life set us free from death.)
- What is the "Law of the Spirit of Life?"
- Let's read on to help us understand the "Law of the Spirit
of Life." Read Romans 8: 3-4. Based on these additional
verses, what do you understand to be the "Law of the
Spirit of Life?" (The New Bible Commentary explains: "This
deliverance has been accomplished by the triune God: the
Father sending the Son as a sin offering for us, on the
basis of which the Spirit liberates us from the power of
sin and death and secures complete fulfilment of the law
on our behalf." The Law of the Spirit of Life is that the
Holy Spirit is able to free us from the power of sin.)
- How, exactly, do you see the Holy Spirit freeing us from
the power of sin and death? (If you look at Romans 8:1-4
you see that Paul begins this explanation with Jesus.
From this we can conclude that the very first work ("first
truth")of the Holy Spirit is to convict us that Jesus is
God who took on human form and died and was raised on our
- How does this first truth free us from death? (Jesus
kept the law on our behalf. He suffered the penalty
for our failure to keep the law. See 2 Corinthians
- If this is true, what would you look for first in
determining if a teaching comes from the Holy Spirit
or another spirit? (Whether it makes Jesus the focus
of our salvation. If a teaching deviates from the
idea that Jesus was fully God and fully man, then it
does not come from the Holy Spirit. If a teaching
suggests that we can earn salvation, then it does not
come from the Holy Spirit.)
- Second Truth: Live According to the Spirit
- Once we are firm on the first truth, that Jesus alone is
the source of our salvation, what do you think is the next
goal of the Holy Spirit for us? Or, does it end with the
conviction of Jesus' sacrifice on our behalf?
- When Romans 8:4 talks about us living according to the
Spirit and not living according to "the sinful nature,"
what does it mean? (Read Romans 8:5-7. It means that the
Holy Spirit has a role in teaching us about how to live.
His first work is to bring us to Christ and His second
work is to transform our lives.)
- Is this just a fancy way of taking us back to the old
situation: that we need to keep the Ten Commandments
to live? (The Ten Commandments are not some idiot
ideas that God now regrets. Instead, the idiot idea
has been that we do not need God. We are so smart, so
educated, so refined, so cultured, so determined that
we can read and understand the ideals of God and put
them into place in our life. We are far too dumb,
weak, confused, unrefined and uncultured for that. It
is only by the power of God (the Holy Spirit) that we
can live a life pleasing to Him.)
- What does this say about human logic? (If you
read these lessons regularly, you know that much
of my approach is just logic. We read the Bible
to see what it is that God has said. Then we
ask, "What, logically, does that mean?" But,
friend, logic is no substitute for the leading
of the Holy Spirit. Logic is simply the power of
the human. The Holy Spirit opens to us the mind
- In the end, must we ( Romans 8:7) "submit to
God's law?" (The whole flow of Romans 8:5-7 is
that we live in conformity with God's law
because this is the way the Holy Spirit acts in
our lives if our mind is set on the Holy
- Romans 8:6 promises us that the mind led by the
Spirit is at peace and is enjoying life. Why
would we not want to live that way? (We would
not want to live that way if we cannot. Romans
8:5-7 also describes a group of people whose
minds are dominated by sinful impulses. This
group cannot submit to God's law in their
present mind set. It is just impossible for
- What hope is there for humans whose minds
are controlled by their sinful nature?
(Read Romans 8:9-11. They can choose to
repent, accept Jesus and live a Spirit-led
- Read Romans 8:12-14. If we end up having to live in accord
with the Ten Commandments, what has changed from the time
before Jesus died on our behalf? (We are not obeying the
Ten Commandments because they save us. Instead, because of
the leading of the Holy Spirit in our life we want to
please God and we are led and strengthened in our desire
to live a life pleasing to Him.)
- The Spirit-Led Battle
- If you are like me, you are reading these texts and
thinking, "I have evil impulses all the time. If people
who want to do evil 'cannot please God' ( Romans 8:8), then
I'm toast. I went through the steps of repenting and
believing in Jesus and I still have evil impulses." Would
you hate to have an actual measurement of your thoughts to
see if evil thoughts dominate over good thoughts?
- Let's go back in Romans and read something that may
encourage you. Read Romans 7:14-24. Does this sound like
Paul was writing about you?
- Read Revelation 3:17. What church is being described?
(Laodicea - the church of the end time. Thus, Paul says
that his evil impulses make him feel wretched, and
Revelation tells us that the members of the church in the
last days are wretched. So, if some of this strikes a
responsive cord in our mind, we should not be surprised.)
- What would you say is the difference between the
attitude of the Laodiceans and Paul? (Paul knew he
had a problem that made him feel wretched. The
Laodiceans did not.)
- Read Romans 7:25. What hope do we have? (The righteous
life of Jesus. The sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf.)
- Look at the last line of Romans 7:25. Is this a
conflict that continues with Christians who have the
Holy Spirit living in them? (I think so. The Bible
Knowledge Commentary says, "While awaiting freedom
from the presence of sin [meaning when we are taken
to heaven], believers still face conflicts between
their regenerated minds (or new natures or
capacities) and their sin natures or capacities.")
- How do we handle this conflict? (Read Romans 8:12-14
again. We cannot "handle" the conflict. What we can do and
what we must do is make the decision to live a Spirit-led
life. Our evil nature will be present. We are going to
want to do evil. But, "by the Spirit [we are able to] put
to death the misdeeds of the body.")
- Read Romans 8:15-17. Do we suffer in this struggle to
choose what is right? (I think that is what Paul means.
Look again at Romans 8:6. When we choose to be led by the
Holy Spirit, we are given peace. But, we still find this
struggle going on between our sinful and our Spirit-led
- Friend, you have two goals. First, will you stop trying to
obey the law on your own? Second, will you, by God's
grace, stop obeying your sinful nature? Will you today
repent, accept Jesus as your Savior and ask the Holy
Spirit to lead in your thoughts and actions?
- Next week: The Restorer.
* 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.