What is this?
These Sabbath School lesson outlines aid Sabbath School teachers & members in their weekly study
& preparation for Sabbath School classes.
Join the Discussion
Use the form at the bottom of the page to share with other readers your thoughts about this lesson.
Sabbath School Lessons on Fruit of the Spirit
Read the Quarterly Online
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 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.
What about Ellen White?
to learn why I generally do not cite Ellen G. White in the lessons.
Looking for old Sabbath School lessons?
Sabbath School lesson study outlines from previous quarters are saved in the Sabbath School lesson archive
Got questions or comments?
Go to our contact form
and drop us a note.
SabbathSchoolLessons.com operates like grace: it is free, but not without cost.
We're counting on your ongoing financial support to help us continue providing these
lessons to Sabbath School teachers and members around the world. You may cancel your monthly contribution at any time.
Get these Sabbath School lessons by e-mail! Subscribe to the Bible Study of the Week mailing list:
Subscribe in a reader
Lesson 12: The Fruit of the Spirit is Truth *
Introduction: Toby Keith sings a song containing this line, "I wish
I didn't know now what I didn't know then." Is that your view of
life? Something unpleasant has happened and you wish you had never
heard about it? Or, is knowing the truth always better? The Bible
presents an amazingly truthful account of its Old Testament heroes.
This suggests that it is always better to know. On the other hand,
Paul seems to suggest that being completely open is not always the
best approach. In my life, truth comes in two packages. One is truth
about God, salvation and the operation of the universe. The other
is truth about my life and the truth about the lives of others. I'm
sure I want to know the truth about God. As to the truth about me
.... Let's jump right in and explore what the Bible has to teach us
- Truth About God
- Read John 14:1-4. How important to you is the truth of
Jesus' statement? (Nothing is more important. The Bible
says in 1 Corinthians 15:19: "If only for this life we
have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all
- What relationship does truth have to trust? Jesus
calls on us to trust Him before He makes this
important statement. (We don't know whether to
believe people if we cannot trust them.)
- Read John 14:5-7. How does Jesus answer Thomas's
question? (Jesus says that He is the way.)
- Let's explore Jesus' statement a bit more. What does
Jesus mean when He says He is "the way, the truth
and the life?"
- What "way" is under discussion? (The way to
heaven. The route to eternal life.)
- What "truth" is Jesus speaking about? (The
whole thread of the conversation is truth about
- How is Jesus the "life?" (Eternal life comes
from knowing and accepting God. We come to the
Father through Jesus.)
- I've read the teachings of the Dali Lama, I've read
large sections of the Koran. It seems to me that
Buddhist teachings about how to live your life are
very close to what Jesus taught us in the Sermon on
the Mount. Islam, amazingly, accepts large sections
of the Old Testament as truth. Judaism accepts the
truth of the entire Old Testament and Jesus was
Jewish! Because of these similarities, I've
contemplated before whether all of these major world
religions are just another approach to the truth of
God. What does Jesus say about this? (No. "No one
comes to the Father except through Me.")
- Do you understand the logic behind Jesus'
claim? Or, is this something that is beyond
reason, and must be accepted by faith, if
accepted at all?(I'm not a expert in world
religions, but what I know about them is that
they are all based on human works. Obedience
gets you to heaven or the next level. Romans 3
tells us what I observe to be the truth - we
are all evil. Only Christianity teaches that
God obeyed on our behalf, God died on our
behalf for sin, and God overcame sin and death
on our behalf. We cannot work our way to
heaven. It is only God. Surely, "no one comes
to the Father except through [Jesus]!")
- In John 16, Jesus again gets into a discussion with His
disciples about the fact that He is going to heaven. Read
John 16:12. What does this suggest about God telling us
the truth? (He does not always tell us the entire story.)
- Are you hearing strains of Tobey Keith? Is it honest
not to tell the entire story?
- Does it make a difference that God is making
this judgment instead of you?
- We now have two thousand years of hindsight. Do
you agree with Jesus that the entire story
would have been too much for the disciples to
- The Holy Spirit and Truth
- Read John 16:13-15. What is the role of the Holy Spirit
in helping us to understand truth? (He guides us.)
- What does the illustration of a guide suggest about
our role? (Read Jeremiah 29:13. Explorers seek out
guides. The reference to a guide suggests that we
need to seek out the truth. God tells us to seek Him
"with all [our] heart.")
- Read John 16:7-11. Part of the Holy Spirit's work with
the truth is to "convict the world of guilt ...
righteousness and judgment." When you think about
learning the truth, is it just about hearing the correct
information? (Part of truth is knowing the facts. A more
important part of truth is understanding the facts and
taking them seriously. People know that smoking is not
good for you. People know that being overweight is not
good for you. The real issue is whether you take the
- What role does the Holy Spirit have in helping us to
take truth seriously?(Only the Holy Spirit can bring
- What role does the Holy Spirit play in our efforts
to bring the gospel truth to others? (Again, it is
the Spirit's role to bring conviction of truth.)
- We just got through discussing the "partial truth" issue.
What does John 16:13 tell us about God and the entire
truth? (The Holy Spirit will lead us into "all truth.")
- If you knew that the entire truth would be revealed
to you, but that for your benefit God timed the
entire revelation, would that be satisfactory?
- Should we take that approach with others? Tell them
the entire truth - but not at once?
- Our Truth
- Read 1 Corinthians 9:19. What is Paul's attitude about
converting others? (That he gives up his own rights to
bring others to Jesus.)
- Read 1 Corinthians 9:20-22. What do you think about
Paul's methods and the truth?
- Is this a "give them part of the truth at a time"
- Does this text give us enough information to
make an informed judgment on Paul's methods?
- Read Romans 14:13-18. Is there absolute truth when it
comes to diet? (Apparently not. Paul says that he has one
view, but if someone else has a different view, they are
bound by that view.)
- When Paul instructs us in Romans 14:15 "Do not by
your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ
died," what is he suggesting?
- Is he suggesting that it is okay to eat
whatever is in dispute, but just not in front
of the "brother?"
- Does that mean you are misleading your
brother about what you think is all right
- Read Romans 14:22-23. What does this suggest about
truth? (We are accountable to God. We do not need to be
completely transparent with fellow believers if we think
it would harm them.)
- Is this an authorization to be a hypocrite?
- Is this an authorization to hide sin from fellow
believers? (Read Romans 14:1. The topic is
"disputable matters." Lying to hide true sin is
simply adding sin to sin. But there is a category of
disputable matters, in which an action can be sin
for one person and not sin for the other. In that
narrow area, truth turns on consideration for the
welfare of others.)
- When you lie, who are you looking out for?
(Lies are generally to protect ourselves. Paul
is not suggesting lies, he is just suggesting
keeping our mouth shut on certain disputable
- Friend, how are you and truth? Will you commit today to
seek the truth of God with all of your heart? Will you
commit to partner with the Holy Spirit to both learn more
truth and share it with others? Will you commit to being
sensitive about how your view of the truth impacts fellow
- Next week: The Fruit of the Spirit: The Essence of Christian
* 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.