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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 12: Creation and the Gospel *
Introduction: My dear Jewish friend dismisses Jesus as "that
itinerant teacher." He does not believe that 2,000 years ago God
became man and authoritatively dealt with the sin problem. What is
God's answer to these kinds of charges? How many times have you sat
in your home and thought that it was created out of nearby trees by a
terrible wind storm? How about five million years of storms? What if
you threw in a few earthquakes? No one thinks their fine home came
about by accident. God essentially says "I created you and the earth,
and so you can believe that I am able to become a human and defeat
sin." Let's plunge into our Bible study and learn more about the link
between the Creation and our salvation!
- Sin Soup
- Read Genesis 2:15-17. Have you ever seen a highway sign
that states the fine if you are caught speeding? What is
the "posted" penalty for eating from the tree of the
knowledge of good and evil? ("You will surely die.")
- Read Genesis 3:8-11. What is the answer to God's question?
(If you read the earlier verses in Genesis 3, you will see
that they have both eaten fruit from the forbidden tree.)
- Why do you think that the humans are hiding? Is it
because they are naked? Or, it is because they
remember the penalty for eating from the forbidden
- Read Genesis 3:12. The normal explanation that I hear for
Adam eating the forbidden fruit is that he did not want to
lose Eve. If you believe what Adam just said, what is the
logical response to it? Should Eve be put to death?
- Read Genesis 3:13. What do you think about the woman's
response? (At least she is not blaming Adam. Killing the
serpent is not something that would cause her pain.)
- Read Genesis 3:14. Does God believe Eve? (Yes. God knew
exactly what had happened.)
- Why is the penalty something other than death?
- Read Genesis 3:15. Is this penalty death? (Yes. Crushing
the head would cause death.)
- Read Genesis 3:16. Is this penalty death? (No, at least
- Read Genesis 3:17-19. Is this penalty death? (Yes and no.
Like Eve and the serpent, there is an immediate penalty of
something other than death, and then ultimately death. We
"return to the ground.")
- We looked at the "posted" penalty for disobedience, and we
looked at the actual penalty. What does this teach us
about God? (He tells the truth about judgment. But, He
- Read 1 Corinthians 15:21. Who is the man through whom
death came? (Adam.)
- Why doesn't the text say "Eve?"
- Read 1 Corinthians 15:22-23. How are Adam and Jesus
linked? (Adam gave us death. Jesus gives us life.)
- When does Jesus give us life? ("When He comes.")
- To understand this link, do we have to believe in the
Creation? Does the fact that we believe in an Adam
help us to believe in Christ Jesus?
- Read Romans 5:12-14. How has Adam changed our lives? (He
brought death. Even if we never violated a specific
commandment, we would still face death. However, we have
all independently sinned, therefore we have all earned the
- Read Romans 5:6-9. How did Jesus give us life? (Recall the
penalty for sin is death. Jesus paid the penalty for us.)
- What other penalty did we avoid? (The wrath of God.)
- Read Romans 5:10-11. How did Jesus save us from God's
wrath? (Jesus' death reconciled us to God the Father.)
- Look again at Romans 5:8. How can God both love us
and have wrath towards us? (Sin. God hates sin. He
does not hate us. Our sin made us His enemies.)
- Let's just step back a moment and think about
this. Is there any situation in which our God
is neutral about sin?
- If the answer is no, can we ever be
neutral about sin? (Even though we are
saved by grace, we still should strive for
- Read John 1:1-5 and John 1:14. Who is the Creator of the
- Why should John first mention Jesus' work as the
Creator in his account about Jesus becoming a human?
(We can believe the "incredible" story about the
incarnation because we have tangible proof of the
"incredible" story about how everything around us
came into being.)
- Read Romans 5:18-19. Who came back to settle the sin
problem and pay the death penalty for us? (Jesus. He
not only created us, but He "re-created" us when He
redeemed us from the death penalty. These are
parallel tasks. They are parallel in credibility, and
they are parallel in purpose.)
- New Heart
- Read Genesis 3:4-6. What is Eve seeking by her own
efforts? (To become like God.)
- Read Galatians 3:1-5. Paul asks a series of questions of
the Galatians. What is the correct answer? (The Holy
Spirit, and the power of the Holy Spirit, come by belief
and not by obedience to the law.)
- What does this say about Eve's efforts? (She should
have believed God, and not tried to become like God
through her own efforts - efforts which were directly
prohibited by God.)
- When we try to obey the Ten Commandments, are we like
Eve? (There is one significant difference, God told
us to keep the Ten Commandments, and He told Eve not
to eat from the forbidden tree.)
- Read Galatians 3:10-14. Does this alter our conclusion
that God told us to keep the Ten Commandments? (No. Notice
the difference between "rely[ing]" and "observing." We
have to get this distinction right. Nothing that we do
justifies us before God. Nothing. If you rely on your
obedience to be justified, you are under a curse because
we are all sinners. Faith in what Jesus has done for us
is the only way to salvation. At the same time, God hates
sin. We need to pursue holiness - knowing that it has
nothing to do with our salvation. It has to do with loving
God and loving ourselves.)
- Read Ezekiel 36:26-27. Recall that Paul asked the
Galatians how they came into possession of the Holy Spirit
- by faith or by works? What role does the Holy Spirit
play in our pursuit of holiness? (The Holy Spirit living
in us moves us from having hearts of stone, to hearts of
- Read Psalms 51:10-12. For what should we pray? (The Holy
Spirit! This is the complete picture. We are saved by
grace alone, we cannot earn salvation by our works. But,
even when it comes to living a life in accord with God's
will, we still are incompetent. It is the free gift of the
Holy Spirit that gives us a new heart, gives us a willing
- Read Galatians 5:16-18 and 1 Corinthians 3:16. What is our
goal for the Holy Spirit? (To live within us! To guide
our every decision. God with us!)
- Friend, God created us, God redeemed us, and God gives us
His Holy Spirit to live within us. All of these are
undeserved gifts. You, like Eve, can try to work out some
sort of deal on your own, but you are destined to fail.
Like Adam and Eve, you will be under a curse. Why not,
right now, choose the other course? Why not claim the
life, death and resurrection of Jesus on your behalf? Why
not ask God to send the Holy Spirit to live within your
- Creation, Again.
* Copr. 2013, 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.