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Sabbath School Lessons on Discipleship
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 1: Discipleship and Scripture *
Introduction: How do you decide questions that you have about God,
about how to live your life, and about how to bring others to Jesus?
The answer should be "the Bible." Do you know enough about the Bible
to make informed decisions? This week a controversy over one of the
stars of a television reality program taught me that those in the
media are ignorant about the Bible. The media showed a video clip of
this star standing in church and preaching about homosexuality. The
whole clip consisted only of a quotation from the book of Romans.
Instead of criticizing the star, a proper discussion should have been
about the Bible and what this Bible text meant. Let's dive into our
Bible study and learn more about this topic!
- Bible Answers
- Read Luke 4:1-4. When it says that Jesus was "tempted,"
what does that mean? (Satan wanted Jesus to sin. He wanted
Jesus to disobey God.)
- On what did Jesus rely to fend off sin? (Jesus quoted
Deuteronomy 8:3 of the Bible.)
- Is that it - only the Bible? (No! We must not
overlook the critical fact that Jesus also
relied on the leading of the Holy Spirit.)
- Notice the Scripture on which Jesus relied - it says
we don't live on bread alone. How is that an answer
to Satan's temptation?
- Review Luke 9:12-17. Had Jesus created bread before?
Did He do it in part to show that He was the Messiah?
- If so, why was it the right thing to do in Luke
9 and the wrong thing to do in Luke 4? (See how
important the Holy Spirit is? This is precisely
the kind of issue where we need to be guided,
as was Jesus, by the wisdom of the Holy
- Read Matthew 12:1-2. Are the Jewish leaders asking Jesus
to follow the Bible when it comes to guiding His
disciples? (Yes. Keeping the Sabbath is part of the Ten
- Read Matthew 12:3-4. On what is Jesus relying for His
response? (The Bible.)
- Explain Jesus' Bible-based response. What is Jesus'
- Is He saying that sometimes it is okay to violate the
commands of the Bible and have regular people do what
is lawful only for priests?
- If so, how is that relying on the Bible?
- Read Matthew 12:5. Are Jesus' disciples priests? If not,
how is this relevant?
- Read Matthew 12:6-8. What is Jesus arguing? (Jesus teaches
that we need to have a deeper understanding of the law.
The whole point of the law is to bring attention to the
need for Jesus, the need for a Savior, the need for mercy.
Exceptions were made for the priests because their Sabbath
work was to bring a knowledge of Jesus to the people. Now,
Jesus, the High Priest of all time, the One this is all
about, is present. Therefore, He is entitled to say how
the law applies, and His disciples are His priests.)
- Is Jesus violating the rule of law? Is Jesus
substituting the system in which the ruler makes the
laws? (No. He is reconciling what His disciples are
doing with the existing law. He is asking us to look
more deeply into the law.)
- What is the lesson for us? That Jesus gets to bend
the rules? (No! To properly understand the law
requires great discernment - discernment that comes
from above. Again, this is an argument for asking the
Holy Spirit to help us understand the Bible.)
- Bible Authority
- Go back to Luke 4 and read Luke 4:5-8. On what does Jesus
rely to reject temptation? (Again, Jesus relies on the
Bible - Deuteronomy 6:13.)
- In the prior response to Satan, I thought Jesus'
answer was a bit difficult to understand. Here,
Jesus' answer is easy to understand. Why does Satan
accept this answer without debate?
- Does this show that Satan accepts the Bible as
the final authority?
- What does the fact that both Jesus and Satan
accept the Bible as the final authority teach
us when we have questions? (Satan is evil, but
he is a very smart guy. If both God, and the
anti-God, accept the authority of the Bible,
how can we reject it in favor of our own feeble
thinking? To decide that we are wiser than the
Bible is foolishness.)
- This brings us to a practical problem. What do we do
if the person we are trying to convert or counsel is
foolish and does not accept the Bible as the final
- If you cannot find an authority which you both
accept, how can you persuade the other person
that you are right?
- Read Acts 17:16-17 and Acts 17:22-23. What challenge did
Paul face in making disciples of these idol worshipers?
(They did not accept the Bible as authority.)
- What was Paul doing when he argued on the basis of
the unknown God? Is that Bible-based authority? (This
is a very important point. Paul was looking for a
common ground of "authority." If we seek to convert
those who do not accept the Bible, we need to find
some common ground from which we can make our Bible-based arguments. Paul thought that he would argue
that the god unknown to them was the true God of
- Read Acts 17:24-25. What common ground is Paul arguing
here? (The creation. Psalms 19:1 tells us that the heavens
declare God's glory. Paul quickly moves to an argument
based on logic and the creation. Why would a God who
created the universe need to be made by human hands - like
- What common ground have you used in the past to reach
those who do not accept the Bible as authoritative?
(One common ground is mutual life experiences. When
we are dealing with those who do not accept the
authority of the Bible, our testimony about what God
has done for us in dealing with the problems of life
can be a persuasive common ground.)
- The Bible Only?
- We earlier touched on Luke 9. Read Luke 9:10-11. We see
Jesus teaching about the Kingdom of God. No doubt He based
His teachings on the Bible. What other means did He use?
(He healed people. He created food to fed the crowd.)
- In making disciples today can we duplicate Jesus'
methods? (We certainly can feed people at our
evangelistic meetings and help them with practical
difficulties that they face.)
- Read Luke 16:1-7. What do you think about this manager?
(He is a cheat. He embezzles funds from his master - which
adds credibility to the accusation that he has been
wasting his master's property.)
- Read Luke 16:8-9. Who is speaking here? (Jesus is not only
speaking, but He is endorsing what the master said about
his dishonest manager.)
- Why is Jesus complimenting a cheat and a fraud?
- And, what, exactly, is Jesus complimenting?
(Jesus is complimenting the shrewdness of the
- Jesus tells us this story so that we will be
"welcomed into eternal dwellings." What eternal
dwellings are these? (Heaven!)
- Whoa! Is Jesus saying that if we are cheats and
frauds we will go to heaven? (No! Jesus is saying
that we should use our brains and the tools at our
disposal to make disciples ("gain friends"). We
should be as shrewd as the world is in making
disciples for God.)
- Is the Bible teaching us to use the smart
marketing and promotional programs used by the
world in making disciples?
- Friend, the Bible is the key to knowing God and
understanding His will for our lives. Will you commit to
regular reading and study of the Bible? Will you ask the
Holy Spirit to help you understand and accept its
- Next week: Discipling Through Metaphor.
* Copr. 2014, 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.