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 Health & Healing
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to learn why I generally do not cite Ellen G. White in the lessons.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 13: Social Support: The Tie That Binds *
Introduction: More and more people in the United States these days
are single. Most people find their entertainment in the Internet,
television or video games. Right now you are using the Internet to
study the Bible by yourself! Are we all loners? An uncle of mine,
who died many years ago, was a minister in the Salvation Army. He
used to tell me about the "old days" when the church was the social
center of the community. Is this trend away from community,
especially church community, a good or bad thing? Does it impact our
health, spiritually or otherwise? Let's dive into the Bible and find
out what it says about community!
- Helpers and Mates
- Read Genesis 2:18. Why is this true? Isn't God all the
company that Adam would ever need?
- Knowing the end of the story, was this good advice
from God? Wouldn't Adam have been saved a lot of
grief if he had answered, "Lord, you are all I ever
- Is there a lesson in this for us today? (An
imperfect marriage is generally better than no
marriage. Since we are all imperfect people,
this is a real relief!)
- Or, are these two separate issues - the
ideal for Adam and the facts that followed
from poor decisions?
- Read Genesis 2:19-20. Talk about imperfect partners!
Where were God and Adam first looking for a partner for
Adam? (The text makes it appear that Adam was checking
out all of the animals for a partner. "Elephant? No, hard
to have eye to eye contact.")
- What kind of success did Adam have? (None. An animal
was not a "suitable" partner for Adam.)
- Read Genesis 1:27. What does this suggest was the
problem? (Adam and Eve were created in the image of
God. Animals were not.)
- Is there a lesson in this for community?
(Television, Internet, video games and even
pets do not provide the ideal community that
- Is there a lesson for us in this in terms of a
spouse? (Imperfect is okay. Unsuitable is not.)
- Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-10. What practical reason do we
have for community?
- I don't need anyone to pick me up when I fall. I'll
bet you can pick yourself up when you fall. How
should we understand this text? (I think it means
more than just stumbling. It suggests that when we
"fall" in life, whenever we need help, a partner can
help us out.)
- Read Ecclesiastes 4:11. If it is summer, or you live in a
warm climate, is this what you want?
- Is this text limited to cold-weather advice? (It
seems to have a deeper meaning. The individual
energy of each person is multiplied so that the
total is more than the sum of its parts.)
- Read Ecclesiastes 4:12. Wait a minute, three strands!
Are we talking about marriage? (When we were discussing
Adam and Eve, we were talking about marriage. See,
Genesis 2:24. Ecclesiastes 4:12 is talking about a
community greater than marriage.)
- Are friends like strands of a rope - the more you
have the stronger the result? ( Ecclesiastes 4:12
refers to times of distress. "Overpowered" and
"broken" suggest a struggle. In times of distress
friends can help you through the difficulty. Going
through a problem alone is difficult.)
- What about the saying "A friend in need is a
pain in the neck?" (The original saying was "A
friend in need is a friend indeed.")
- Read Galatians 6:1-2. What kind of burden are we to help
carry? (This refers to burdens that arise from sin. This
suggests that true friends not only help us in the
unforeseen difficulties of life, but also help us when we
have made a serious mistake.)
- What practical lesson does this teach us in choosing
our friends? (You should chose friends who have a
relationship with God.)
- Read 1 Thessalonians 4:18? What is the reason why
Christian friends can give us better advice? (The
"words" referred to here are the inspired words of
God. There is a great deal of advice floating
around. Most of it is bad advice that conflicts
with the teachings of the Bible.)
- Read 1 Peter 3:8-9. Peter follows up his advice for
marriage with this advice to the spiritual community. Is
this your approach to dealing with fellow church members?
- What is at stake here? (Being blessed! This kind of
attitude, these kind of practices, lead to being
- Read 1 Peter 3:10-11. Is this advice for dealing with
fellow church members? (The text starts out with "if you
would like a good life." This is advice for living.)
- Would this advice help us with our social
relationships? (This text suggests two things.
First, that if we follow these practices our lives
will be better. Second, it suggests a health benefit
when it says "love life" and "see good days.")
- How many people do you know who have a terrible
life because they seem to be constantly seeking
to create trouble?
- Read 1 Corinthians 7:1, 1 Corinthians 7:27-28 and 1
Corinthians 7:32-35. After all of our discussion about
the benefits of marriage, how should we understand this
advice? (If you look at the entire chapter, the overall
theme is that individual circumstances can change the
advice that is it generally helpful to be married.)
- Read 1 Timothy 4:1-3. What does this teach us about
the "bottom line" in marriage? (That it is wrong to
teach individuals that they should never marry.)
- The Church
- Read Ephesians 4:11-13. Why do the members of the church
have different jobs if they are supposed to be "reach
unity?" (In 1 Corinthians 12, the Bible compares the
church to a body. The church needs people to have
different roles in order to have true unity - to make
everything work smoothly.)
- What kind of unity is the goal of the church?
( Ephesians 4:13 tells us a unity of faith. A unity
in understanding Jesus.)
- Read Ephesians 4:14. What is the danger of not being part
of a spiritual community? (You may have strange ideas.
You are open to being deceived. I can absolutely attest
to that in my religious liberty cases. In any case where
sincerity of religious belief is at issue, I have a rule
of thumb to refuse to represent those who are not part of
some local church community. This is based on my
experiences with those who are not a part of a spiritual
- Read Galatians 5:13-15. Do you want to serve? Or, do you
want to be served? (Part of the Christian community is to
serve one another. Some members of the church (just like
some friends) think that the idea of service is that they
should be served. If you are someone who serves others
more than you are served, consider the blessings you have
gotten from service.)
- Friend, have you made community a priority? If not, why
not determine to do that today? It will improve your
spiritual life and it is likely to improve your health.
- Next week: We begin a new study on Romans.
* 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.