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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 11: Reformation: Thinking New Thoughts *
Introduction: "Garbage in garbage out," is what people say in the
computing world. Is that statement also true when it comes to our
minds? The entertainment world rates what is acceptable to come into
our mind based on our age. The idea being that age makes a
difference; older minds are less susceptible to bad influences. Is
that true? Frankly, I think garbage in garbage out applies at any age
because people of all ages are influenced by those around them. Ask
yourself, do you use expressions that your friends use? I have an
old friend who refers to a small detail as a "featurette." Because
of him, my wife and I refer to "featurette" from time to time. Let's
plunge into our study and find out what the Bible teaches about our
- Temple Worship
- Read Romans 12:1-2. Do you recall that two weeks ago we
learned ( 1 Corinthians 3:16)that our body is a temple in
which the Holy Spirit lives? What does Romans 12 say about
our body? (That it is a living sacrifice.)
- When I think of "sacrifice" I think of something
being burned up or given up. What kind of body
sacrifice do you think is meant here? (If I let
someone else live in my home, I would say that I had
sacrificed my home. The idea is that we give up our
body to God.)
- Notice that this is called a "spiritual act of
worship." How is this worship? (When we worship, we
give glory to God. The idea is that by devoting our
bodies to God we give glory to Him.)
- What specific part of the body is mentioned? (The
- Why is this part mentioned, and not others?
(This is the temple idea that we discussed two
weeks ago. Knowing God is to have His Holy
Spirit live in our mind.)
- What is the goal of giving our minds to God?
(Transformation. Giving God authority over our mind
renews it so that we can be transformed from worldly
- Is there an age limitation on this? (None are
- What will transformation of our minds do for us?
(That we can accurately judge God's will for us.)
- What does this suggest about not having the
Holy Spirit renew our minds? (That we cannot
tell God's will.)
- Let's test this idea that the Holy Spirit brings a change
in our mind which helps us to know God's will. When it
comes to sin, are you sometimes uncertain? Do you have
this internal debate over whether something is sinful,
only a bad idea, or something that doesn't matter?
- Have you ever been in a church meeting, or studying
the Bible, or somehow involved in something in which
the Holy Spirit is likely present in power, and you
suddenly have a firm conviction about your prior
debate over sin?
- Does that firm conviction go away when you are
back in the presence of the temptation?
- These questions reflect what happens to me. If you
have the same experience, I think we can begin to see
how important it is to offer our minds (our temple)
to God so we can have this transformation to better
know His will.
- The Offer
- That still leaves us with the question of how this offer
to sacrifice our mind works as a practical matter. At a
minimum, it seems that we regularly need to invite the
Holy Spirit to lead our thinking so that we can make good
judgments about sin. What else can it mean?
- Read 1 Corinthians 10:1. What does it mean that the people
all were "under the cloud" and "passed through the sea?"
(They all followed God's direction as to where to go, and
they all benefitted from God's protection. They were part
of a "God group.")
- Read 1 Corinthians 10:2. What does it mean to be "baptized
into Moses?" (I think it means they were devoted to Moses.
Moses led them through the sea (Exodus 14). He spoke with
God in the cloud ( Exodus 34:29). He was the link between
the people and God.)
- Read 1 Corinthians 10:3-4. How was their food and drink
"spiritual?" (It was provided by God. Manna came
supernaturally (Exodus 16), as did water out of a rock
- Read 1 Corinthians 10:5. What point is Paul making with
"nevertheless?" (These experiences with God and His people
did not bring them into harmony with God. They were not
the "offer" of the mind.)
- What application of these verses would you make to
your life? (Going along with God's people, having a
Godly leader, eating and drinking the right things,
are not the formula for pleasing God. They are not
- Read 1 Corinthians 10:6. What is the formula for pleasing
God? (Setting our hearts/minds on God and not setting them
on evil things.)
- When Paul refers to this being an "example" what does
he mean? (The lesson is for us!)
- Considering what we just read, what is and is not
important when it comes to offering our "living
sacrifice?" (You can cover yourself with externals -
the church, your actions, your diet, but that is not
what matters most to God. What matters to God is the
focus of our hearts and minds.)
- Let's drill down a bit here, because we want to be sure
that we get this right. Read 1 Corinthians 10:7. What is
the first evil on which these people set their hearts?
(Not trusting God. They created a golden calf and
attributed God's power to it.(Exodus 32).)
- Earlier we noted that "following God's direction" was
not one of the important things. How would you
distinguish that from this? (The people followed the
general direction of the cloud, as opposed to relying
on God. If you really thought that the great God of
Heaven was leading your path, why would you worship
something you made?)
- Read 1 Corinthians 10:8. How does sexual immorality fit in
the "sacrifice" list? (It doesn't seem to fit. Up to this
point, we seemed to be distinguishing between our works
and our faith.)
- Let's explore the underlying story. Read Numbers
25:1-3. What is at the heart of this sin? (Idolatry
was the root of the problem.)
- However, we cannot ignore that Paul specifically
mentions sexual sins. Are sexual sins in a special
category? (Read 1 Corinthians 6:18-20. Paul tells us
that sexual sins are in a special category because
they are an attack on the body, which is the temple
of the Holy Spirit.)
- Let's draw a finer line. Read Mark 7:20-23. How does Jesus
explain the distinction between works and faith when it
comes to offering our hearts/minds as a sacrifice to God?
(Paul and Jesus make the same point. Following the cloud,
having Moses for your leader, eating and drinking right
are all external things. Our external works matter for one
very important reason, they reflect what is going on in
- Read 1 Corinthians 10:9-10. The reference to "snakes" is
to Numbers 21 where the people "spoke against God." The
problem here is grumbling and complaining about God. Is
that attitude consistent with sacrificing our mind to God?
(Yes and no. No, because Paul warns us of this attitude.
But, complaining to God is still putting God on the throne
as the One who is in charge and can change things. I
think God considers complaining to Him superior to
idolatry - where we ignore God. If you doubt this, think
about the story of Job.)
- Practical Advice
- Let's skip down a few verses and read 1 Corinthians 10:18-20. What is the problem here? (Participating with demons.)
- We don't have demon sacrifices in my neighborhood.
Is this still relevant advice?
- Read 1 Corinthians 10:21. Can we have one foot in God's
camp and one foot in the devil's camp? (No.)
- What would it mean to "drink the cup of demons"
today? (Satan offers our minds many things so that we
can participate with him. An important part of
offering our minds to God is to avoid drinking from
the cup of Satan. I think we drink from Satan's cup
whenever we take into our minds his approach to life
- regardless of our age.)
- Friend, are you offering your mind to Jesus? Or, are you
drinking in the entertainment and philosophy of Satan?
The battle is over the mind. Ask yourself if you spend
more time drinking from the fountain of the Holy Spirit or
the fountain of sin? Why not determine today to set your
mind on what the Holy Spirit desires?
- Next week: Reformation: Healing Broken Relationships.
* 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.