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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 13: The Word of God Endures *
Introduction: Almost everything seems to change during our very short
lifetime. How many things do we use every day that are thousands of
years old? How many things that old have any relevance to life today?
I can only think of one: the Bible. Just the fact that the Bible
continues to be a relevant, popular guide to living teaches us
something about its Godly origins. Unfortunately, some disagree.
Right now, there are at least two books on a best-seller list which
attack belief in God. Hitchens's book, "God is Not Great," is # 3 and
Dawkins's book, "The God Delusion," is # 26 on the New York Times
list of best sellers. Let's dive in and spend some time considering
why God's word endures despite its detractors!
- God's Word: A Proven Track Record
- Read Psalms 119:105. Have you ever used a map that was no
longer accurate? What did you do with that map?
- The Psalmist tells us that God's word is a roadmap
for life. Do you agree?
- What would happen if most people found the Bible
gave out bad advice for living? (They would
reject it. The law has a term, "self-authenticating," and that term applies here. The
Bible is its own witness as to its reliability
and dependability. This is an important reason
why it continues to be popular.)
- Do you know people who reject the Bible as a reliable
guide to living? If so, is there a common trait among
them? (These are generally people who want to have a
lifestyle which the Bible does not approve. Not too
many people attack the general principles of the
Bible as being false. Instead, it is a particular
rule or two that they challenge because it does not
fit with their desires.)
- Read Psalms 33:11. How does God stay relevant through the
generations? (God has a master plan and a purpose for
humans that does not change "through all generations." It
must be a fabulous plan to continue to be relevant!)
- What are these plans for us? (Read Jeremiah 29:11.
God desires to give us hope, prosperity and a
- Is there evidence for this? (A better life is
another reason why God's word proves itself over
and over again. Even today God's plan works to
make our lives better. More than that, God's
plan gives us a way out of eternal death - now
that is something to give us hope!)
- God's Word: A Revolutionary Approach to Leadership
- Read Numbers 21:4-5. What did God's people think about His
word at this time? (None of the charges were true - except
maybe they did not like the food.)
- Knowing what you do about the Exodus, what do you
think about the complaints of the people against
- Read Numbers 21:6-7. God's response to rebellion was to
send punishment and hardship. What does this say about
- Read Numbers 21:8-9. What is the logic of making an image
of a snake and giving the people life if they looked? (I
think the key is facing your sins. The snake is the
historic symbol of sin. Acknowledging your sin is the
first step to life.)
- Read John 3:14-15. Why would Jesus compare Himself to the
snake in the desert? (Jesus took our sins. He became sin
for us. If we "look" at our crucified Lord, that gives us
- How does the approach of our God differ from that of
other gods and other rulers? (God's approach is
remarkably different. He gave up His life for us!
Most leaders take from their followers. They use and
abuse those below them. Not our God.)
- Is there a different leadership style in God's
approach in Numbers (sending the snakes) and in John
(accepting our punishment for sin)? (No. This is a
very important difference between our God and other
gods and rulers: our God abides by the rule of law.
He does not make up the rules to be whatever He wants
at the moment. The people in the desert were punished
for their sin of rebellion - until they turned from
it. Jesus did not just wave a wand and forget about
the rebellion of sin. Instead, Jesus fulfilled the
law by paying the penalty on our behalf.)
- What does God's leadership "style" have to do with
the enduring relevance and popularity of His word?
(It is like nothing else on earth.)
- We all know Godly men and women who are servant
leaders who do not abuse those "below" them. In my
experience, these are Christians. Imagine what the
world would be like if there were no example of a God
who led by giving up His life?
- Read Hebrews 2:14-15. How does Jesus destroy death by His
death? (Satan is our death-dealing enemy. When Jesus died
in our place, He took away the power of Satan to demand
our death for our sins. What a concept! Jesus wins by
giving up His life. He lets Satan torture and kill Him to
give us life eternal.)
- Read Romans 4:18-25. How many times do you see others take
credit for work they did not do? To whom did Jesus give
credit for His perfect life? (He gave the credit to those
who believe in Him.)
- What does the resurrection of Jesus do for us? (It
justifies us. It takes away our sins when we ask for
- How common is it for leaders to give credit to others
that is really due to them?
- Read Matthew 28:18-20. At some point we train people in
business to be self-sufficient. That is how you make money
from their work. Is that how Jesus' leadership works? (He
says that He is with us forever.)
- Read Micah 6:8. How does God want us to react to His
leadership style? (This is a summary of God's approach:
justice (the rule of law), mercy (God's love), and a
humble walk (God's sacrifice on our behalf and His servant
- Our lesson is about God's word enduring. What has God's
leadership approach got to do with that topic? (This is a
leader you want to follow! This is a leader you can follow
your entire life and your children after you. This is a
leader who will stay with you. This is a leader who loves
and cares for you - while also loving the rule of law.)
- God's Word: Hope for the Future
- Read Matthew 24:30-31. Who is coming to take us to heaven?
(Jesus is coming. But, note that the angels "gather" the
righteous to take them to heaven.)
- How important is this promise of reward to the
enduring nature of the word of God?
- Read Matthew 24:36-39. Jesus talks about things we can
know about and those we cannot know about. What can we
know? (That Jesus is coming again to take us to heaven
- What do we not know? (When this will happen.)
- Is there anything wrong with the things the people
are described as doing in Matthew 24:38? (No. They
are just caught up in the things of this world. God
calls us to be aware of the things of God.)
- Read Matthew 24:42-44. Why does Jesus compare His Second
Coming to a visit by a thief? Why would Jesus use the
illustration of a visit by someone who comes to take our
stuff? (There is the idea of the thief making an
unexpected visit. But, more fundamentally, we have a lot
to gain or lose in the Second Coming. We need to be on
alert so that Satan does not "break into" our lives and
steal our eternal life. We need to "endure" with God's
word for the rest of our life - so we will be ready for
His Second Coming.)
- What does this comparison of the Christian's reward
to a thief coming have to do with the enduring nature
of God's word? (God's word is not something that you
just read once, and then move on to other things in
life. God tells us that being in His word, and paying
attention to our continuing relationship with Him, is
an ongoing concern of the highest order. If you
accept that, teaching it to your children becomes
- Friend, God's word has survived over thousands of years.
Will you make it an important part of your life?
- Next week: We begin a new series called "For Better or Worse:
Lessons From Old Testament Couples." We will explore the
marriages of couples in the Old Testament to see what we can
learn to improve our own marriages.
* 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.