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Sabbath School Lessons on Glimpses of God
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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 3: God as Redeemer *
Introduction: Imagine that you are a mugger. You get excitement from
hitting people over the head, and you profit from stealing their
money. Imagine further two alternatives. First, that the police, if
they catch you, simply ask you to apologize, and then they let you
go. Or, second, that you have a very rich uncle who, when you are
caught, makes everything right at his own expense. How would you
view your mugging habit? You would not take the problem very
seriously, right? We do not need to imagine that we are muggers,
for in fact we all are in some sense. Our sins damage others and
cost them money. Let's jump into our study of the Bible and consider
our problem and our need for a Redeemer!
- The First Mugging
- In Genesis chapter 3 we read the story of how Adam and
Eve sinned. Let's pick up the account and read Genesis
3:9-13. What kind of an attitude do Adam and Eve have
about their sin? (They blame others.)
- Read Genesis 3:14-15. What does God mean when He tells
the serpent that his head will be crushed? (God is not
just talking to a snake, He is talking to Satan. He tells
Satan that he will be defeated.)
- What does victory for God and defeat for Satan
involve? (Satan had just won the allegiance of
humans. He had just introduced sin into the world.
Sin would have to be defeated and the allegiance of
humans won back.)
- The Atonement for Mugging
- Read Leviticus 5:5-6. What was God's approach to dealing
with the sin problem? (That sin must be confessed, and an
animal killed "to make atonement for [the] sin.")
- Read Leviticus 17:11. Explain the logic of the
sacrificial system? (Sin leads to death. The result, the
penalty for sin is death. God set up a system in which
another life could pay the penalty for our sins.)
- Read John 1:29. What did John the Baptist say about
Jesus? (That He was the "Lamb of God" who would "take
away the sin of the world!")
- If you were sitting there, listening to John, what
would you conclude about the sacrificial system and
Jesus? (That the sacrificial system pointed to
Jesus. It was a type of prophecy. That just as a
lamb shed its blood to atone for sin, so Jesus would
shed His blood to atone for our sin.)
- The Result of the Mugging
- Read Luke 1:26-32. Compare what it was like for Jesus in
Heaven with what it was like for Him when He came to live
on earth as the son of Mary?
- Tell me all that Jesus gave up?
- Read Matthew 27:27-31, Acts 2:23-24, and Matthew 27:39-42. What did Jesus give up?
- Read Romans 5:6-8. What was Jesus doing when He died on
the cross(a shameful thing for a God)? (He died for our
- Would you have done what Jesus did if you were Him?
- What was Jesus' motive? (It was not that we could do
anything for Him. We were "powerless." It was not
that we had any merit. We were "sinners." It was
purely because of love.)
- Read Romans 5:9. How could God be angry with us and love
us at the same time? (God's wrath is against our sins.)
- In our last series, I suggested that we should
measure our actions by saying, "Would this please
God? Would this please my spouse?" How does God's
wrath fit into this?
- Does it make sense for God to be angry with sin? (Of
course. Sin corrupted heaven. Sin corrupted God's
Creation on earth. Sin caused Jesus a great deal of
sacrifice and suffering. God should hate sin.)
- Read Romans 5:1-2. What kind of peace is this? (God hates
sin. When we are justified by faith (that is when Jesus'
righteousness becomes our righteousness) this takes care
of the serious problem that God hates.)
- What kind of an attitude does this suggest that we should
have towards sin? What kind of an attitude towards God?
(Since sin would have gotten us killed if it were not for
Jesus, we need to take is seriously. The fact that we
avoided paying the penalty for sin does not make sin any
less important. The fact that Jesus gave up all, and died
a terrible death for us should make us eternally grateful
- The Mugger's Attitude
- Read Romans 1:16. When Paul writes that he is not ashamed
of the gospel, what does that tell you? (That there is a
reason to be ashamed. If you had a very beautiful wife or
very handsome husband, would you never say, "I am not
ashamed of how my spouse looks?" There would be no reason
for a denial.)
- What reason is there to be ashamed of the gospel?
(Notice that Paul says next, "it is the power of
God." That is our clue. Our God died. He was
crucified by the government. This seems to show a
lack of power on God's part, and this is a matter of
- How does the crucifixion show God's power? What kind
of power is this? (The power of God is love. The
power of God is self-sacrifice. God was injured so
that we might be saved. What seems to be a
demonstration of a lack of power, is in fact proof
of the power of God's love.)
- Read Romans 1:17. What is the righteousness of God that
is revealed in the gospel - a gospel that on the surface
is shameful? (What is revealed is that God overcomes sin
with love. This "righteousness" overcomes sin. It takes
us from being a sinner to a righteous person.)
- How do we obtain this righteousness? (It seems so
contrary to the methods of the world. We must accept
it by faith.)
- Read John 3:16-18. Is the essence of love self-sacrifice?
- Why did God have to be injured? (Recall that sin
causes death. We should die for our sins. The Bible
tells us that God voluntarily agreed to be
"defeated," He voluntarily agreed to die for us
because He loved us. This shows that God is
unselfish. That He preferred us over His reputation
or His comfort.)
- God's Wrath
- Read Romans 1:18-19. Is God unhappy? (He has wrath!)
- Does God have a reason to be unhappy? (Consider the
Bible texts that we just reviewed. God went to
incredible lengths to save us. He sacrificed
everything to save those who had rejected Him.)
- How do you feel when those you have loved and
cared for reject you?
- Against whom is God's wrath displayed? (Against
those who are godless and wicked.)
- What is the reason for God's wrath? (These people
suppress the truth.)
- Read Romans 1:20. Do these truth suppressors have an
excuse? (No. God's power and nature are obvious from the
creation. We can see that a God exists and we can see
that a sin problem exists.)
- Read Romans 1:21-22. In what ways can you suppress God's
truth? (Many ways, but Paul mentions two. By denying or
distorting what Jesus has done for us. By denying or
misrepresenting God's love. By not glorifying God or not
- Let's get back to the "shameful" issue. If we are
embarrassed about our God and our message, are we
wicked? (We suppress the truth by not giving glory
to God and not being thankful for what He did for us
at the cross.)
- Friend, we started out admitting we were muggers. Because
we never had to pay the price, we might not take our evil
ways seriously. The gospel story helps us to take our
evil ways seriously. It reveals to us God's great
unselfish love and our selfish ways. Will you determine
today to do what pleases God? To show your understanding
of His sacrifice and His love by turning away from those
things that caused Jesus a painful death? By giving glory
to God for what He has done for you?
- Next week: The God of Grace and Judgment.
* Copr. 2012, 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.