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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 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 12: United to Christ *
Introduction: Let's review for a moment what we have learned in the
past few weeks. Jesus came as a second Adam. Jesus succeeded where
Adam failed. Just as we were swept into sin by Adam, so we are swept
into righteousness by Jesus - if we choose. We can choose to be
incorporated into Jesus' baptism, sinless life, death and
resurrection by being baptized. Are we together so far? Last week we
began to consider what is next: living life according to our
spiritual, not human, nature. Let's continue to explore what it means
to be united to Jesus in day-to-day living. Ready? Let's plunge
into our Bibles!
- New Life
- Read Romans 6:3-4. What does Paul say we can have new? (A
- Do you like new stuff? I've got a friend who used to
say to me, "I like my toys new." That is not how I
look at life. "Open box," "refurbished," "scratch and
dent," "second" are my "brand names." For me, part of
the joy of ownership is paying less.
- What is the problem with getting used toys? (You
inherit the problems of someone else.)
- If you are reading this, you have a "used" life.
(Hopefully, you don't qualify as a "scratch and
dent.") What is the attraction of the "new life"
offered by Jesus? (Those things you regret, those
problems you created are part of the old life.)
- Is leaving the old life behind really possible?
Or, is this unrealistic talk?
- Read Romans 6:5-7. How does Paul describe our new life?
Does it completely erase the old life? (The Bible says the
"body of sin" is "done away with" and we are "no longer
... slaves to sin." The memory and the awareness of past
sins may be there, but sin, at least the dominance of sin,
- Would it be best to completely forget our past sins?
(For some people, getting burned by sin is an
important aid for future conduct!)
- Read Romans 6:8-11. When does our new life begin? Is this
future? Or, is this something we can have right now?
("Count yourselves" means to apply it now. This new life
is something we can have now.)
- New Life Living
- Read Romans 6:12-13. When I become new, when I take on my
new life in Jesus, is the sin problem, if not sin
dominance, a thing of the past? (We still have to make the
decision to "not let sin reign in us.")
- What does it mean to "offer" ourselves to God instead
of to sin? (First, we have a conscious decision to
make - and we need to be making it all the time.
That decision is to choose righteousness instead of
wickedness. Second, the word "offer" seems to mean
be available, be willing. We make the choice for
righteousness, but we let God make the decision on
how we are used.)
- Read Romans 6:14. If you just had a twinge of anxiety
about the idea of turning your life over to God for Him to
make the executive decisions, what does this text suggest?
(It suggests that our decision is to continually choose
sides. Even if we chose selfishness we are not the master
- sin is the master.)
- Can you remember (maybe short-term memory is all that
is needed) when you were addicted to sin? (If the
answer is "yes," then the reasonable conclusion is
that we have more choice when we choose
- Romans 6:14 says something very interesting. It says that
sin is not our master because we are under grace and not
law. Let's try to paraphrase this: You will no longer
have to worry about a traffic accident or a traffic injury
because we have abolished all of the traffic laws. No more
speed limits. No more pesky stopping for traffic lights or
stop signs. It's your choice on which side of the road to
drive. Would that make any sense to you? (I think "not
under law" means a couple of things. First, it means "not
under the condemnation of the law." Grace has set us free
from the condemnation of the law. Second, it means that
keeping the law is not the way we seek salvation. Grace
is our new way of salvation.)
- Read the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:17-19. What does
Jesus say about His role and the law? (If you think
I'm going to teach you to break one of the
commandments, you are not reading the text
- Read Galatians 3:10-11. In what way does Paul say
here that we are not under the law? (We are not
depending on the law to be just before God.)
- Read Ephesians 4:22-24. What new part of our new self is
mentioned here? (A new attitude.)
- Those of you who have been reading these lessons for
years know that I like to refer to "righteousness by
attitude." What do you think this "new attitude"
means? (You love God. You are grateful to God. You
want to please Him. From experience I know it is hard
to turn away from wanting to please yourself, it is
even more difficult to be honest about what pleases
God and what pleases you. But, if you decide by the
power of the Holy Spirit to develop this attitude,
you are on the right road.)
- Read Romans 6:15-18. What does this say to Christians who
argue that the law is done away with and that we can do
whatever we want because we are under grace? (It tells us
as clearly as possible that sin is not an option - even
for those under grace. The reason why we should not
(cannot) choose sin is because we will become a slave to
it. As we mentioned before, anyone who has been addicted
to sin (which is probably all of us) knows precisely what
this text is talking about.)
- Read Romans 6:19. What encouragement do you find in this
verse? (Paul confesses that we are weak. How I love to
know that other people are weak - it is not just me who is
- What does Paul imply is the cure for human weakness?
(Not to be in our "natural selves." He suggests we
look to the Holy Spirit for power (against sin)
beyond our natural self.)
- Read Romans 6:20-21. Be honest, when you were addicted to
sin, what benefit did you reap? How did it work out?
(There is no doubt that sin has its attraction. But the
outcome is a train wreck. If your sin did not result in a
train wreck, thank God for His mercy to you and consider
how it could have worked out if Satan had his way.)
- Although Paul challenges us to consider the result of
our sins here and now, he also directs our attention
to the fact that the destination of the sin train is
- Considering all of this, how dumb do we have to
be to choose sin?
- Read Romans 6:22. Where does a life united to Jesus lead
us? (Holiness and eternal life!)
- When the verse says "leads to holiness" what does
that suggest about the times when we slip and fall
into old habits? (We are on a path. If we have the
right attitude, if we ask the Holy Spirit to lead, if
we choose to be united to Jesus, we will keep moving
towards holiness. It might be three steps forward and
one step back, but we are on the move towards
- Read Romans 6:23. What is within our power to earn and
what is not within our power to earn? (We can earn death.
Eternal life is a gift.)
- Friend, are you living the new life now? Do you have an
attitude that desires to please God? Do you want to live a
Spirit-led life? Do you want to leave the dirty feeling
of your sin addiction? Will you, right now, confess your
sins to God and ask Him to help you this day to enter new
- Next week: Atonement and Universal Harmony.
* 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.