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Sabbath School Lessons on Reformation and Revival
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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.
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Lesson 3: The Word: The Foundation of Revival *
Introduction: Our study is about the Bible being the "foundation" of
revival. That seems a bit odd at first glance. If the lesson claimed
that the Bible was the foundation for reformation, that would make
perfect sense. Who reads the Bible to become converted? It seems
that you hear the gospel, give your heart to God, and then read the
Bible to better understand. Well, maybe not. Consider how our series
started. We learned that we are living during the "lukewarm" age of
the church. Those already in the church have heard the gospel. Thus,
if we want to revive those (like us) who are already in the church,
we need something more than the initial excitement of being
converted. Let's plunge into our study of the Bible to discover its
role in revival!
- Word For Life
- Read Hebrews 4:1-2. We have two groups of people who have
heard the same gospel message. What makes the difference
between the two? (One group accepted it by faith and the
other did not.)
- What is the practical result of accepting the gospel
by faith? (Those with faith enter into God's rest and
the others do not.)
- What is this rest?
- Read Hebrews 4:3-5. How does the Sabbath help us
understand what it means to enter into God's rest?
- What rest does the Sabbath reflect? (God's finished
work of creation.)
- What rest does accepting the gospel by faith reflect?
(God's finished work of salvation for those who
- There exists a group of Christians who think the
Sabbath is no longer important because we have
entered the era of righteousness by faith.
Considering these verses, what is your opinion on
this issue ? (The logical conclusion is the precise
opposite. Just as the Sabbath has always stood as a
memorial to creation, it now also stands as a
memorial to righteousness by faith. God created a
time of rest for us to reflect upon His power and
authority as Creator and His love and kindness as our
- Read Hebrews 4:6-7. What gets in the way of entering into
the Sabbath rest? (Disobedience. Disobedience that flows
from a hardened heart.)
- Read Hebrews 4:8-11. How does Joshua fit into this
discussion? (Joshua led God's people into the "rest" of
the promised land - Canaan. Our true promise land is not
Canaan, it is heaven and the earth made new.)
- What do we recall about disobedience and entering
into Canaan? (Numbers chapters 13 & 14 record the
refusal of the people to enter into Canaan.)
- How is this failure like the failure to accept Jesus'
righteousness by faith? (In both cases God promised
to do the heavy lifting. He does what we cannot do.
All we have to do is enter into that rest by
believing and trusting God.)
- Read Hebrews 4:12. Suddenly we are talking about God's
word. Has the topic changed? If not, how does this follow
the logic of what we have just been reading? (The topic
has not changed. The problem is disobedience. What the
Bible records as the people's failure of faith at the
border of Canaan, convicts us of our failure of faith when
it comes to trusting God to provide our salvation.)
- Why is "penetrates" "soul and spirit" a good
description of the impact of studying the Bible? (It
pierces our pride by convicting us of our sins. It
makes clear God's will.)
- Have you experienced the Bible judging your "thoughts
and attitudes?" (I have! Bible study cuts through to
the truth about your life.)
- What does the counsel against hardening our hearts
and the sword-like nature of the Bible suggest about
the attitude with which we should approach Bible
study? (We should consider it a tool to change us,
not a weapon to inflict change on others.)
- Read Hebrews 4:13. Why is it so important to be students
of the Bible? (We cannot enter the promised land without
faith in God. Bible study helps to give us that faith.
Equally important is understanding our sinful nature. The
Bible makes that plain to us. The Bible helps us to
understand what God so easily sees about us.)
- Consider the role of the Bible in your Christian walk.
What reveals God's will to you? What provides the stories
of faith and failure of faith? What gives us insight into
the love and patience of God? (The Bible is central to
knowing and trusting God.)
- Word for Light
- Read John 5:39-40. Do you agree that diligent Bible study
aids us in possessing eternal life?
- Jesus says that these diligent Bible students do not
have eternal life. What is the problem? (They do not
accept what the Bible says.)
- Why would someone turn to the Bible for truth
and then not accept it?
- Read Psalms 119:105. What does this text suggest about the
reasons why a person would not accept the truth of the
Bible? (The Bible shows us where to go and what to do.
But, it is only a light. It does not make the decision for
us about where to walk.)
- Let's go back to Hebrews 4:2 and re-read it. They heard
the message. We read the message in the Bible. The Bible
lights the way to go. We just discussed that we have to
decide to follow the path illuminated by the Bible. What
does it mean to have faith in this context? (To believe
that what the Bible says is superior to our own opinion of
things. Recall that I just asked why would someone turn to
the Bible and then not accept it? The answer is that we
think we judge the Bible as opposed to the Bible judging
- Read 1 Peter 1:24-25. What logical argument is there for
judging our opinions by the Bible, rather than judging the
Bible by our opinions? (Human life is fleeting. While we
may think that we are smart and capable, God and His word
are forever. God is the inventor of life. Why would we
consider our opinions to be superior?)
- Word for Change
- Read 1 Peter 1:13-16. We previously "lived in ignorance."
What changed that? (The Bible.)
- Read 1 Peter 1:17-21. On what is our faith and hope now
based? (On the life and death of Jesus on our behalf.)
- Read 1 Peter 1:22-23. What is the truth? (The one we just
read - that Jesus redeemed us from death.)
- Notice the very odd progression of things. Verse 22
says that obedience "purified" us and then gave us
the emotion of love. That is not the normal human
experience - that obeying makes us love. Normally,
love makes us obey. How do you explain what is being
said in 1 Peter 1:22? (The "obedience" is accepting
that Jesus is God and that He died to save us. This
is the problem discussed in John 5:39-40, the people
who studied the Bible diligently did not accept
Jesus. This is the problem in Hebrews 4, that the
people did not believe in the power of God to save
them. Accepting and obeying the truth of Jesus' offer
of salvation gives us an attitude of love.)
- Read 1 John 2:1-3. How can John accept righteousness by
faith and write, "we have come to know Him if we obey His
- Read Romans 7:7-9. Paul says that when the law came
sin "sprang to life and I died." That hardly seems a
warm endorsement of the law!
- Read 1 John 2:4-6. What does it mean that "God's love is
truly made complete" in those who obey God's commandments?
(You can only think John's comments about the law are
wrong if you believe that the law is our enemy and not our
friend. While it is true that the law would be the reason
for our death if not for grace, the law reflects God's
love for us and our love for each other ( Matthew 22:37-40). We reflect God's love when we obey God's law.)
- How can we understand God's commands so that God's love
will be "truly made complete" in us? (This is the central
role of the Bible. To reveal the nature of God and to
reveal His will for our lives. This shows us where change
is needed. This shows us how God wants us to demonstrate
- Friend, how much time do you spend with your Bible each
week? How much time do you spend with television? Why not
determine today to give God as least equal time? It will
change your life!
- Next week: Witness and Service: The Fruit of Revival.
* 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.