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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 11: The Christian Life *
Introduction: Are you loving the law more? Last week we learned that
the law is not our enemy, but rather God's instruction manual for a
better life. We decided that only if we seek unbridled self-benefit
is the law our opponent. If that is true, then why does Paul indicate
that the law is a problem for us? Is it because we all seek unbridled
self-interest? We need to learn more! This week we plunge more deeply
into the idea that we need to re-educate our thinking to understand
that the law is both our friend and our benefactor. We need to become
lobbyists for the law! If that sounds strange, let's dive into God's
word and see what He has to say about the law!
- Law of Benefit
- Read Deuteronomy 28:1-6. What does obedience do for our
life? (It rains blessings down on us. If you want to learn
the full extent of the blessings, read Deuteronomy 28:7-14.)
- Read Deuteronomy 28:15-20. What does disobedience of the
law do for us? (It creates endless trouble. If you want to
learn the full extent of the curses, read Deuteronomy
- Read Malachi 3:8-12. What happens if we pay tithe?
(Blessings flood over us so that we do not have enough
room to store them.)
- Read Ephesians 5:28. What happens if we are loving towards
our spouse? (You get blessed with a spouse who loves you
back. Loving your spouse is like loving yourself.)
- Read Revelation 21:10-11 and Revelation 21:18-21. What
kind of place is the New Jerusalem? (We've never seen such
a rich place. It is swimming in gold and precious jewels.)
- Why does God make such lavish promises to us? Is He trying
to bribe us? Or, is wealth and prosperity the natural
outworking of His law? (All of the above? We cannot deny
that God has a consistent theme that obedience to the law
pays big dividends.)
- What happened to the gospel theme of self-denial?
How do we explain that Jesus told the young ruler to
sell all (Luke 18)?(What if we said that self-denial
(obedience) brings great blessings? The ultimate
result of denying self is just the opposite of self-denial?)
- Breach of Contract
- Read Job 9:32-35 and Job 13:17-23. For what is Job asking?
(A fair trial against God. Job has a case, he has an
argument, and he needs to find a judge who is over God so
he can get justice.)
- What kind of legal claim will Job be making against
God? (Breach of contract. Job knows about God's law
of benefits. If you obey, you prosper. That is the
deal. The deal is not being properly applied in Job's
case, and he wants to sue God.)
- Read Job 1:8-11. What does Satan want? (He is against the
law! He objects to the "obey and prosper" deal. Imagine
that - Satan being against the law!)
- Read Revelation 12:12-13 and Revelation 12:17. Who is
Satan targeting? (Those who believe that Jesus is God and
Savior, and who also obey God's law.)
- Does Job's story teach us why Satan has targeted the
commandment keepers and what He has in mind for them?
(He wants to peel them away from allegiance to God.
Job shows us that one way Satan does this is by
disrupting the law of benefit.)
- Think about this a minute. If you were Satan, would your
only strategy be to break the link between obedience to
the law and great blessings? (No. I would try to give the
illusion that disobedience to the law gives great
- Do we see this today?
- Does Satan have a valid point in the Job conflict?
That God is bribing Job? (No. Satan does not like the
system, because it is giving him fits. God's law is
intended to bless and protect His people. How is
Satan going to peel away God's followers if they
think (know) that following God brings great
blessings and protection against evil?)
- Read Job 1:12. How can you explain this? Why doesn't God
just say to Satan, "You know the law, it is operating
properly here. Go play in the street!"
- This is very important, friend. Why did God create a
law that always gives benefits to those who obey?
(Because God loves us. Love stands behind the
benefits. Just as love stands behind our gifts to
- The question is, do our children get confused
and think the presents are an end in
themselves? That is Satan's challenge here:
does Job realize that you give him things
because you love Him? Or, does Job just love
- What does this teach us about the way that the law of
benefits operates? (Like gravity, it is the law. If
we obey we are blessed. Satan seeks to disrupt this
law, and he does it with God's consent, because God
wants us to understand the bigger picture of His love
- Big Picture Thinking
- Let's go back to basics. We are saved by grace alone, not
by any of our own works. How should we view the law? As
the enemy? As something irrelevant? (No! The law is our
best friend because obedience to it carries great
- Is this how you really feel?
- Go back to Revelation 12:17. Is Satan the only one
fighting on his side? (Fallen angels and fallen
humans have the same goal - that they seek to break
the link between obedience and blessings. They seek
to portray disobedience as the road to blessings.)
- If we are attracted more to disobedience than
to obedience, what does that mean? (It means we
do not have a proper view of the law. It means
that Satan and his crew have converted us to
their way of thinking. It means the natural
heart is raising its ugly head.)
- Let's test what we have been discussing. If you currently
have a major problem in your life, what is the cause of
the problem? If you have a past that gives you pain, what
is the source of the pain? (Our study says it should
logically flow from some combination of three reasons:
- You disobeyed God, you broke the law of benefits;
- Someone else disobeyed God, and thus disrupted the
law of benefits for you; or,
- Satan supernaturally (like Job) disrupted the law of
benefits in your life.)
- Read Romans 7:10-13. How does the wonderful law of
benefits cause death? (The law has both a spiritual
component and a natural component. Sin (a failure to keep
the law) brings death. I cannot obey the law, so I deserve
death. That is why we need grace. That is the spiritual
component. On the other hand, the law is "holy, righteous
and good," and if we want to be benefitted and blessed, we
will do our best to obey the law.)
- How did we get to the point that the wonderful law of
benefits would, without Jesus, kill me? (Look again
at Romans 7:11. The entry of sin is the reason.)
- Friend, has this lesson convinced you that in light of
grace, the law is your friend? In the battle between good
and evil, it is incredibly important to understand the
benefit of the law. Those who are saved understand this
positive connection with the law. Will you commit today to
be a lobbyist for the truth that the law blesses us, sin
does not carry benefits?
- Next week: Last things: Jesus and the Saved.
* 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.