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Sabbath School Lessons on Beginnings and Belongings
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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 41 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: Foundations *
Introduction: This week we begin at the beginning! Not only do we
start a new quarter, but we start a new series of lessons on Genesis
- the first book of the Bible. Followers of Darwin reject the Genesis
account of the Creation. Worse, it is my impression that many
Christians take the Biblical account of Creation with more than a
little skepticism. As with many other things, if you start out on
the wrong track, you are unlikely to get to the right destination.
The Biblical account of Creation is critical to a correct belief
regarding the nature and power of God, the nature of sin and the
importance of the Sabbath. It also a mirror to determine your level
of confidence in God's Word. Let's dig into our study of whether the
Creation account should be believed!
- The Beginning
- Read Genesis 1:1. Pretend that you have never read these
words before. What does this text tell us about God?
(That He was here in the beginning. He is the Creator.)
- The Hebrew word translated "God" in the first verse,
"'Elohiym," is plural. Who (or what) do you think
this means created the heavens and the earth?
- What does Genesis 1:1 tell us about the timing of the
creation of the earth? (The heavens and the earth
were created at the same time - the beginning.)
- What do you think is meant by the "heavens?" (Read
Psalms 19:1-2. The same Hebrew word is used to
describe "heavens." Thus, the earth was made at the
same time as the visible universe.)
- Read Genesis 1:2. In what condition was the earth when it
was created? (It needed a lot of additional work. It was a
- One of the potential conflicts between those who
believe in the Creation account and
Darwinians(followers of Darwin)is the age of the
earth. What age of the earth can Christians point to
with confidence? (None. If you just look at the
account, it says that the earth and the planets were
created at the same "beginning" time. However, the
additional creation work ( Genesis 1:3 and
following)on the "formless and empty" earth could
have taken place at a much later time. A "young
earth" for the human story is possible along side
"old earth" elements.)
- Genesis 1:2 mentions "the Spirit of God." Is this a
different God? Is this the reason why we have a
plural word used to describe God? How does the Spirit
- Read John 1:1-3. This text tells us that someone was with
God "in the beginning." It also tells us that this someone
made "all things!" What is the clue we get about this
someone? (The "Word.")
- Who is "the Word?" (If you look down in this chapter
to John 1:14-15 we find that the "Word" became flesh
and dwelled with us. We also learn that John the
Baptist identified this person. Skip down to John
1:29-30 where John identifies this person as Jesus.)
- Who have we discovered is the plural God(s) who created
the earth? (Jesus ("The Word"), the Spirit of God and God
the Father. It was a joint project of the Trinity.)
- I have a Jewish friend whose most effective argument
against Jesus is the popular refrain (the "Shema") "the
Lord our God, the Lord is one." (See Deuteronomy 6:4 and
Mark 12:29) How would you "stuff" Jesus into the Shema?
- Try getting into a concert with the logic we have
just discussed! Consider the line: "Our family is
one, therefore please accept one ticket." Think that
will work? What if it is a Christian concert?
- Doesn't it defy logic to say that the plural is one?
(Actually, no. If you again look at the Hebrew word
for "our God" in Deuteronomy 6:4 we again have the
plural "Elohiym." This is no mistake in word usage.
The Shema is really saying "The Lord our Gods" is
one. It means our plural is a single entity.)
- A casual reader of the Bible would notice God the Father
as being the first to show up in the Old Testament. Jesus
comes later in the gospels, and the Holy Spirit arrives
last on the scene in Acts. Does it change your thinking
about God to realize that all three Members of the
Godhead, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were working
together in the Creation? (To deny the Creation account is
to deny the combined power of the Trinity.)
- Read Genesis 1:3. What is your reaction to the fact that
God spoke ("and God said") matters into existence?
- Contemplate this: Jesus is called ( John 1:1) "the
Word." What does this suggest was Jesus' role in
creation? (It suggests that He was the One who was
speaking the creation into existence. This is
consistent with John 1:3 which says "all things" were
made through Jesus.)
- The Beginning a Metaphor?
- We have this picture of the Trinity engaged in the work of
transforming a featureless world into the perfect world.
Darwinians argue that the evolutionary theory is the only
intelligent account for the origin of the species. Read 2
Peter 3:3-7. What problem does Peter predict? (Scoffers
and skeptics who have an evil "me first" attitude.)
- On what logic do they base their evil behavior and
their scoffing? (They do not acknowledge the
authority of God in their lives because He has not
come the second time as promised. Nothing has
changed-so why should they believe in God or His
power and authority?)
- What did the scoffers forget? (They "forgot" the
Creation. If we came about by chance and not by God,
then what authority has God over our life? Evil
behavior based on "what is best for me" (or other
standards outside of God's order) is the logical
result of "forgetting" Creation.)
- What "evidence" does Peter give for God's coming
judgment? (God's word controlled the water both in
the Creation and in the Flood. His word will bring
the fire of judgment at the Second Coming. Peter is
saying that if God's power can create and destroy the
world through water, then He can certainly destroy it
again through fire.)
- Do you agree with Peter's logic?
- If a Christian does not believe in a literal
Creation or a literal flood, does that Christian
have any reasonable basis to believe in the
Second Coming of Christ? (No, according to
Peter. To deny these is to deny the power of
- Do you remember the story in Numbers 13 & 14 of the spies
who "checked out" the promised land for Moses and the
- What attitude did the people have towards God after
they heard the spies report? (Read Numbers 13:32-14:3. They did not believe in the power of God.)
- Is this the same attitude as Peter's
"scoffers?"(Read Numbers 14:11, 21-23. God tells
us that if we do not trust Him and His power we
"treat [Him] with contempt.")
- Is it a fair conclusion that those who do not
believe the Creation account are treating God
- God would not let those who did not trust
Him, those who treated Him with contempt,
enter the promised land. Why should we
think that He will allow those who do not
trust Him enter heaven at His Second
Coming? (One difference is that those who
were doubting in Numbers had actually seen
the miracles. We did not see the Creation
or the Flood.)
- Let's look at the word of someone who did see both the
Creation and the Flood. Read Matthew 19:3-6 and Luke
17:26-27. When you listen to Jesus refer to these events,
does He make them sound like metaphors? (Jesus treats them
as literal accounts. Notice that in Luke 17:22-25 Jesus
also ties the Flood to His Second Coming.)
- Friend, the Bible is internally consistent on the Creation
account. If you accept the Bible as God's word, then you
should accept how He tells us that He created the world
and us. Next week we will continue with the actual
- Next week: "In the Beginning..."
* 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.