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Sabbath School Lessons on The Atonement and the Cross of Christ
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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 2: Cosmic Crisis: The Disruption of God's Established Order *
Introduction: Many people ask "How could sin arise out of
perfection?" Since I doubt I'll ever figure it out with my human
brain, I prefer to ask "Why did sin arise in a perfect place?" If we
figure that out, it might help us to be more alert to the sin problem
in our life. The Bible gives us some strong clues as to the main
reason why sin arose. What would you think if we learned that the
root cause of the sin problem was not considered to be a serious sin
today? Let's jump right into our study of the Bible and learn more!
- How Sin Began
- Read Isaiah 14:12-14. Who is this text speaking about? (If
you look at Isaiah 14:3-4 you will see this refers to
"taunt[s] against the King of Babylon.")
- Look again at Isaiah 14:12. Was the King of Babylon
ever in heaven? How can the verse say he was "cast
down to earth" if he lived here?
- Read Ezekiel 28:12-17. Who is this text speaking about?
(Verse 12 says "a lament concerning the King of Tyre.")
- Look again at Ezekiel 28:13. Was the King of Tyre
living in Eden with Adam and Eve?
- Look again at Ezekiel 28:14. Was the King of Tyre
once a "guardian cherub" who lived in heaven? (This
guy really gets around!)
- Did sin begin with the Kings of Babylon and Tyre? In our
study about the origin of sin, why do we care about the
Kings of Babylon and Tyre? (Two things. First, Bible
commentators customarily link these texts to Satan. Some
do it without even bothering to acknowledge the link to
these earthly kings. However, the questions we discussed
show that these verses cannot simply refer to earthly
kings. Second, it seems reasonable to conclude these texts
refer to the power behind these earthly thrones. That
power is Satan.)
- Why doesn't the Bible just plainly say "This is
Satan?" (God wants us to seek the deeper meaning in
the Bible. Peter does a similar thing when he
explains that King David's comments - which are
mostly about himself ( Psalms 16:9-11)- refer to
Jesus( Acts 2:25-32). Just as Jesus was the power
behind the throne of David, so Satan was the power
behind the throne of the Kings of Babylon and Tyre.)
- Since these texts in Isaiah and Ezekiel refer to Satan,
let's look at them more carefully. Compare Ezekiel 28:12-14 with Isaiah 14:12. What kind of position did Satan have
in heaven? ( Ezekiel 28:14 tells us he was a "guardian
cherub" "on the holy mount of God." This must have meant
he held a very high position in heaven. He worked, as it
were, in the throne room.)
- Was Satan a created being? (Yes. Ezekiel 28:13.)
- What kind of being was Satan? ( Ezekiel 28:12 tells us
he was "the model of perfection." That he was "full
of wisdom and perfect in beauty." He must have been
something special because Isaiah 14:12 calls him
"morning star, son of the dawn.")
- Compare Isaiah 14:13-14 with Ezekiel 28:15&17 to see what
we can learn about how evil began. How did evil begin in a
high-ranking perfect being, in a perfect world? (It sounds
like pride. Ezekiel tells us specifically that Satan's
beauty and wisdom caused his heart to become proud. Isaiah
tells us that Satan decided that he was entitled to be
- The Temptation of Eve
- Read Genesis 3:4-6. Next week we are going to discuss in
more detail the fall of humans. However, looking at how
sin occurred on earth might give us a clue about how it
began in heaven. What is at the bottom of the temptation
made to Eve? (Pride - specifically, wanting to become like
- Why would Satan take this approach with Eve? (This
tells me that Satan has now recognized the nature of
his sin. If he sinned because of pride, why not
appeal to the pride of these humans?)
- What does this tell you about the sin of pride?
(It seems that pride is the root source of sin.)
- Has anyone in your church ever been disciplined for
pride? Or, do you make the proud people the leaders
of your church?
- Can we even recognize the sin of pride? What are examples?
Can you think of any examples in your life?
- Have you ever said, "I know what the Bible says, but
I am too sophisticated and modern to follow that
- When I was a young man, the fight in the church over
wearing jewelry was just starting. When I became a church
elder, I recall being asked to refrain from wearing my
wedding ring to church board meetings. I complied to
avoid "offending" those who were obviously "weaker"
brothers. (See Romans 14.) Read again Ezekiel 28:13. Who
gave Satan all this "jewelry?" (It must have been God!)
- What was the affect on his life? (It added to his
- The fight in our church over jewelry is now over, and
jewelry won. Do you think the fight was much ado
over nothing? (If you wear your jewelry to show you
are better (richer) than others, then it is an
important issue - it is part of the deadly sin of
- Should we also discuss our homes, cars and clothes?
Or, is that enough "meddling" for one class?
- The Rebellion
- Read Revelation 12:7-9. We have again a reference to
being cast down to earth. What did Satan's pride lead to?
(It lead first to him converting other angels to his
rebellious, proud views. After he had enough followers, he
engaged in open battle with God.)
- What was Satan's goal? (To take over the rulership of
the universe! Isaiah 14:13-14.)
- How could a created being think that he could do
that? (He knew more than God. Ever see people like
that today? Ever examine your own life for that
- Read Job 1:8-11. What, really, is Satan's charge against
God? (People serve God for what they can get.)
- Is that a wrong motive? Before you answer, skim over
Deuteronomy 28, Malachi 3:10-12, John 14:2-3, Matthew
19:27-29. Why would God appeal to our sense of
"things" if it were wrong?
- Satan takes away all of Job's things. Let's see how Job
reacts. Read Job 1:20-22. What does the Bible suggest
would be sin for Job? (Thinking that God had done
something wrong by allowing Job's "stuff" to be taken
- Consider all of this. God appeals to us with stuff. Satan
says "They serve you for stuff." When Job loses his stuff,
heaven sees the issue as whether God did something wrong.
What does this teach us is the real test for Job? (Whether
he trusts God.)
- Choosing Sides
- We see arguments, debates and rebellion all the time. The
Bible was written from God's point of view. As they say,
"winners get to write the history books." How can we know
God was right and Satan was wrong? Is it possible that
Satan's pride was based on a genuine ability to do things
- Read Genesis 4:1-8. This is the first big event after Adam
and Eve have chosen Satan over God. How does God act
towards Cain's disobedience?
- How does Cain act towards his obedient brother, Abel?
(This showcases the difference between the two sides.
God reasons with Cain. Cain kills Abel as a result of
anger and pride. When Satan gets the upper hand,
death follows. Jesus broke that cycle by dying in our
- Read Matthew 22:37-40. What is God's own description of
the primary rule of His kingdom? (Love. Not death. Not
anger. Not pride.)
- Friend, do you see the thread of logic running through the
cosmic rebellion? Pride is trusting yourself. Proud Satan
thought he could do better than God. He did not trust God.
When Eve was told God had withheld knowledge from her, she
did not trust God. Her pride said she was entitled to be
like God. When Job lost everything, the real issue was
whether he would trust God. Pride versus trust. Works
versus faith. God's kingdom is a kingdom of love and
trust. Will you place your faith in God and trust Him
whatever happens? Will you trust Him when
the(American)stock market drops 777 points?
- Next week: The Fall Into Sin.
* Copr. 2008, 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.