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Sabbath School Lessons on Fruit of the Spirit
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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 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 4: The Fruit of the Spirit is Peace *
Introduction: Galatians 5:22 tells us that another fruit of the Holy
Spirit is peace. Is your life peaceful? Are you at peace with your
spouse? At peace with your children? At peace with your boss? At
peace with your health? How valuable is peace to you? What would
you pay for it? What do you think it would take to bring peace into
your life? Let's jump into our study of the Bible and discover what
it teaches us about obtaining peace!
- Peace With God
- Read Romans 5:1-2. Are some people at war with God? Why
would you rather not be at war with God? (I recall a
couple of comedians, now dead, who would openly challenge
God as part of their comedy routine. It made me shudder -
what foolish and dangerous behavior.)
- These two clowns I'm thinking of were deliberately
challenging God. Have all of us challenged God in
some way? (Read Romans 5:9-11. Because of our sinful
nature and our personal sins, we were enemies of the
perfect and sinless God. By faith in Jesus'
sacrifice on our behalf, we can have peace with
- Read Ephesians 2:13-18. You might want to read the entire
chapter to get the full meaning of this, but what do you
think is meant by those (verse 17) who were far away and
those who were near? (Those near were God's special
people (the Jews who were seeking to obey) and those who
were far away were the Gentiles who did not even know
- Does it matter whether we are near or far from God,
are we still "enemies?" (Whether we are near or far
from God based on our own works, we are still in a
state of war against God. Keeping the commandments
cannot make us good enough for a holy God. Only
Jesus can bring peace.)
- What does it mean (verse 18) to now have "access to
the Father by one Spirit?" (It means that Jesus has
not only reconciled us to God, it means that the
Holy Spirit opens a line of communication for us
- Do you remember misbehaving as a child and being told by
your mother that when your father came home he would
administer your punishment? How did it feel to wait in
dread of the time your father came home?
- Can you imagine a world in which we are waiting for
God to punish us for our sins? (This is one way in
which we can be at peace - knowing that God is not
coming to punish us.)
- Peace in Life
- When I was a little older, I had to worry about the
Soviets launching nuclear missiles and blowing us all up.
(If you are a reader in the former Soviet Union, you
probably worried about American missiles.) If you can
relate to this, how much of a worry was that for you?
- Would that worry be comparable to the kind of worry
we would have if Jesus had not died for our sins?
(Our world would be much worse if Jesus had not won
the battle over sin, but some may be saying "My
final fate is not something that creates a day-to-day worry.")
- Let's read Romans 5:3-5. Does suffering cause worry for
you? If you tend to dismiss long-term problems, what
about daily issues that cause you to suffer?
- Let's re-read Romans 5:2-5. What does this say is
the cure for day to day problems? (We have hope in
the "glory of God." Not only can we have the
assurance that we will not be punished for our
forgiven sins, but we have assurance that God will
welcome us into His love and glory. This hope give
- Peace and Pride
- Read Matthew 11:28. To whom is Jesus speaking? (If you
review the entire chapter, Jesus is teaching and
preaching to regular people in Galilee.)
- What kinds of burdens and weariness is Jesus
speaking about? (These would be the burdens and work
of the everyday person. The problems faced by the
"average guy," such as the spouse, children, job or
- Read Matthew 11:29-30. If I already feel weary and
burdened, how is it going to help to have someone else
place yet another burden on me - a yoke? (The burden
already exists. The yoke is a way to move the burden with
the help of someone else. Jesus is offering to share our
- What does Matthew 11:30 suggest will be the result
of sharing our burdens with Jesus? (Things will get
a lot easier.)
- Let's explore how this happens. Is Jesus just
offering to lift part of our load? Or, is there more
to it? (Notice Matthew 11:29 tells us that part of
sharing the load with Jesus is learning from Him.)
- Why does Jesus tell us that He is gentle and humble
in heart? What has that to do with His ability to
pull part of our load?
- How much of your burden in life comes from
trying to impress others?
- How would your life be different if your
only goal was to promote the Kingdom of
- How much of your burden in life comes from
being tough with others?
- How would your life be different if you
decided to be gentle with others?
- Jesus suggests that humility and gentleness bring
peace to our life. Does that seem right to you?
- I once heard a pastor tell a story about how he
kept his car windows up on a hot day just so it
would look to other drivers like he had air
conditioning. I had to admit that I had done
that myself on at least a couple of occasions
when I was driving a nice car with broken air
conditioning. What kind of silly pride wants to
impress people we do not even know? Are there
examples like that in your life?
- Peace with Difficult People
- Read Romans 12:14-16. Should I quit my day job? I'm a
professional fighter (lawyer) who teaches others (law
students) to become professional fighters.
- Many number of years ago I noticed a Christian
attorney who closed his e-mails with the word
"blessings." I thought about that and decided that
I would follow his example. Since I've started this,
I've noticed that new opposing counsel seem more
friendly. Does that make up for threatening to sue
- Can you live in harmony and still enforce what is
right? (All of my cases involve the defense of
religious or political freedom. I do my best to
"live in harmony" with the opposing attorney while
we are using the process authorized by the state for
- Read Romans 12:17-19. Do these instructions apply in a
marriage? Do they apply in dealings with our children?
- How do you balance enforcing what is right and
living in peace? Should you balance them? (As a
teacher, I would have "peace" with students if I had
low standards for their performance. But, low
standards would harm their success in the future. We
have to do both: try our best to live at peace while
doing what is right.)
- Why does Romans 12:17 say "what is right in the
eyes of everybody?" Is doing right a matter of
taking a vote or having a consensus? (This is
practical advice. If you think something is
proper, and everyone else in your church
disagrees, then that is a warning flag that
something is wrong with your judgment.)
- I have heard Christians say that if you are obedient
to God, you will have trouble with the world. Is
that true? (These texts tell us the goal is harmony
and peace. My general impression is that people at
war with the world are also at war with fellow
- Why not revenge? Don't the "bad guys" deserve to get
punished? (God says that is not our job assignment.
He will punish the evil.)
- Friend, the Bible gives us a path to peace. Will you
determine by the power of the Holy Spirit to take it
- Next week: The Fruit of the Spirit is Patience.
* Copr. 2010, 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.