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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 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 8: Revelation of Hope *
Introduction: Hope. It helps you get up in the morning, right? In our
sinful world, the Bible gives us hope. It gives us hope of a better
world and a better life. Is there more to hope than that? Is there a
"hope" element for life right now, right here? Let's jump into our
lesson and find out more!
- Hope in History
- Read Romans 15:1-3. What obligation do the strong have
towards the weak?
- Can you give me an example of this?
- Read Romans 15:4. Who is the strongest "person" you know?
- What hope do these texts give us about our
weaknesses? (When we are strong we are to help others
because of the example of Jesus. But, more
fundamentally, this teaches us God's attitude of
being strong for us. He believes the strong should
"bear with" the failings of the weak, and that is His
attitude towards us! That gives us hope in our
- On what can we base this conclusion - on just
what Paul has written here? (Paul directs us to
the Bible. Over and over again we see the heroes
of the Bible show weaknesses. God works with
them through those weaknesses. That gives us
- Hope in Forgiveness
- Read 1 John 1:8-10. How many are without sin? (None!)
- How does sin make you feel? (Sin has stages. At first
we enjoy it. (Why would we sin if we did not like
it?) Later, we see the harm it does, we realize that
it displeases God, and guilt sets in. Most likely sin
does not end up the way we thought it would and we
end up feeling rotten.)
- Will God forgive us from our sins? (This text says He
- Is it hard to accept that we are forgiven? (It
makes me so grateful. And, yes, if the sin is
serious enough, it is hard sometimes to truly
- The text says God is "faithful and just" to forgive
us. What is "just" about God's forgiveness? It seems
very "unjust" that Jesus suffered and died for my
sins instead of me! (This word "just" connotes God's
righteousness. God is faithful to His nature of
helping us - the weak - by dying for our sins.)
- What is God's goal for us? (To "purify" us from our
- Is that also your goal? (We have hope in the
fact of forgiveness and the prospect of living a
more holy life.)
- Hope in the Gift of Wisdom
- Read Proverbs 24:13-14. Thought I would also include the
verse that says sweetness is good for you! What is like
honey for the soul? (Wisdom.)
- Why is wisdom so good for us? (It gives us hope. It
makes life sweeter.)
- Is the converse true, that if you have no hope you
are not wise?
- Read Proverbs 24:15-16. Why do you think the text mentions
the righteous man falls "seven times?" (Seven is the
perfect number. It seems to me this is a perfect calamity
- a complete disaster.)
- Why does the righteous man rise again? (I think this
is a continuation of the discussion about hope. A
righteous man rises after a perfect calamity because
he has hope. A wise man believes in God and trusts
in Him. That gives him the ability to move forward
after disaster. He is not alone.)
- Hope in Trouble
- Read Psalms 33:16-17. Does this sound right to you? This
seems just the opposite of what we observe.
- Read Psalms 33:18-22. What is God's point? (The horse
was the cutting edge military weapon. Warriors on
these huge beasts (which moved with great speed and
had big teeth)were a frightening sight to troops who
had not seen them before. God tells us that vast
armies and the most advanced weapons are no match for
those whose hope is in God.)
- Is God's message of hope only about giving us
eternal life? (Look again at Psalms 33:19. It
tells us that God keeps us alive in famine.)
- Look again at Psalms 33:18. Do you want God
watching over you?
- What is the basis for our hope? (God's
- Read Psalms 37:25-26. Have you seen the children of
righteous people begging for bread?
- Are these two verses connected? Or, does God have a
separate message for us in each verse? (God seems to
say that those who are righteous are generous and
lend freely. A person who is generous to others will
never be short of food.)
- Why are the children of the righteous mentioned?
(It could be that wealth is passed on. Or, that
people remember the generosity of the parents
and are willing to help their children.)
- Recall we just learned that God watches over us
with His "unfailing love." The generosity of the
righteous parents reflects that love to others.
- Read Matthew 6:19-21. This is a text which is commonly
read, but I'm not sure it is commonly understood. We are
told to make our financial deposits in heaven's bank. I
don't see those on any corner. How, precisely, would you
make such a deposit? (This text is consistent with Psalms
37:26. Righteous people are generous and lend freely.
These are deposits in heaven's bank.)
- Do you seek out ways to make deposits in heaven's
- Read Matthew 6:24. Is Jesus still talking about making
deposits in heaven's bank? If so, what additional message
is Jesus' giving us? (If you are devoted to increasing
your wealth, that is inconsistent with an attitude of
- Read Matthew 6:25-27. Why do these verses start out with
"therefore?" (They follow the statements about money that
Jesus previously made.)
- Is Jesus saying "Don't worry, laying down and
sleeping some more is fine?" (No. Jesus is saying
that putting the Kingdom of Heaven first, making
deposits in the heavenly bank, will allow you to make
heavenly bank "withdrawals" here.)
- Read Matthew 6:33. Does this text make "money" sense
to you now?
- What has this to do with hope? (You deposit your
money in your heavenly account because of your hope
and trust in God's financial system.)
- Hope Eternal
- Read 1 Corinthians 15:50. Will our assets here transfer to
heaven? (Humans and their stuff do not transfer to
- Read 1 Corinthians 15:51-55. How do we transfer to heaven?
- Read 1 Corinthians 15:57-58. Who gives us the victory?
- What are we doing in the meantime?
- Do you see the "deposit in the heavenly bank" theme
repeated here? (Being fully devoted to the work of
the Lord is not a wasted effort. God gives us the
victory, but He expects us to be helping in the
- Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13. What does Paul want to give us?
- Read 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18. On what do we base our hope
of eternal life? (The words and resurrection of Jesus!)
- Friend, God's word gives us hope. He gives us hope in our
daily spiritual life. He gives us hope in our daily
physical life. He gives us hope for life eternal. Will you
join those who live in hope?
- Next week: The Bible and Health.
* Copr. 2007, 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.