What is this?
These Sabbath School lesson outlines aid Sabbath School teachers & members in their weekly study
& preparation for Sabbath School classes.
Join the Discussion
Use the form at the bottom of the page to share with other readers your thoughts about this lesson.
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.
What about Ellen White?
to learn why I generally do not cite Ellen G. White in the lessons.
Looking for old Sabbath School lessons?
Sabbath School lesson study outlines from previous quarters are saved in the Sabbath School lesson archive
Got questions or comments?
Go to our contact form
and drop us a note.
SabbathSchoolLessons.com operates like grace: it is free, but not without cost.
We're counting on your ongoing financial support to help us continue providing these
lessons to Sabbath School teachers and members around the world. You may cancel your monthly contribution at any time.
Get these Sabbath School lessons by e-mail! Subscribe to the Bible Study of the Week mailing list:
Subscribe in a reader
Lesson 10: Discipling the Nations *
Introduction: How would you describe the primary focus of your
church? Is it focused inward or outward? How about you - are you
primarily focused on yourself or on others? This week we study a
huge shift in God's work on earth. Instead of being focused on the
Jewish nation, the focus turns outward to the entire world. Let's
plunge into our study of the Bible and see what we can learn about
our personal focus and that of our church!
- Read Deuteronomy 23:1-3. What three kinds of people were
not allowed to "join the church" of God's people?
(Eunuchs, those of illegitimate birth, and those whose
ancestors had been unhelpful to God's people.)
- Read Isaiah 56:1-2. What is "close at hand?" (God's
salvation. His righteousness (Jesus) will soon be
- Read Isaiah 56:3. What have the foreigners and the eunuchs
done that is unexpected? (Bound themselves to the Lord.)
- What does that mean? (They have decided to follow the
- Read Isaiah 56:4-5. Previously, eunuchs could not be a
part of the church. What has changed? (They have a place
within the temple. They have a "memorial and name better
than sons and daughters.")
- What kind of a memorial could a eunuch have that
would be better than "sons and daughters?" (Recall
that the eunuch said ( Isaiah 56:3) that he was a "dry
tree?" He could not reproduce. When he becomes part
of the "church" he produces followers of God - and
thus he is more "fertile" than having sons and
- Read Isaiah 56:6-7. Who else is accepted into fellowship
as part of God's people? (The foreigners who were
- Look again at Isaiah 56:7. Who will be welcome in
God's house? (All nations.")
- What is significant about the reference to "burnt
offerings and sacrifices" and "prayer" for these
foreigners? (Not only can they converse with God, but
they will be able to have their sins forgiven through
the sanctuary service.)
- Notice that God lays some conditions on accepting those
who were not previously acceptable. Re-read Isaiah 56:6.
What is required? (They agree to serve, love and worship
God. They keep the Sabbath and God's covenant.)
- Sounds like righteousness by works! Is it? (Grace is
available to all, but it is not accepted by strangers
who don't care. Those who were previously excluded
want to have a relationship with God. The Sabbath
acknowledges God as Creator and Redeemer. The
covenant represents what God represents in the world
- people who love God and their neighbor. Thus, these
people worship, love and serve God.)
- As you consider this prophesy as a whole, how would you
summarize this good news? (First, I suspect that most of
those reading this are not Jewish. So, this is very good
news for us. These texts mean that the gospel is available
to all who seek it.)
- I recently heard a sermon in which the theme was that it
was more important to love than to be right. I had two
reactions as I sat there and listened: first, that I could
learn something from this sermon; second, I thought this
sermon is mostly wrong. Are love and having standards
inconsistent? (That is the interesting thing going on in
these verses in Isaiah. God says the old exclusionary
standards are gone, but the formerly excluded need to have
a commitment to obedience.)
- Short Change
- Read Luke 19:1-3. Wealthy people were respected in those
days. Why is Zacchaeus climbing trees instead of standing
in front where he can see and be seen? (The people hated
him because he was the chief tax collector for the
- Read Luke 19:5-6. Is this an example of what was
prophesied in Isaiah 56? (Yes. Those previously not
welcomed are now welcome.)
- Read Luke 19:7. How did the people react to the idea of
accepting Zacchaeus? (Not well.)
- Read Luke 19:8. Why did the people think Zacchaeus was a
sinner? (No doubt they thought that he was cheating them
in collecting taxes.)
- How does Zacchaeus fit the prophecy of Isaiah so
well? (Zacchaeus understands perfectly the concern
about his behavior. He immediately pledges to rectify
- What is the lesson for us today? (The doors of God's
fellowship are open to everyone - including sinners,
but joining the fellowship means, as illustrated by
Zacchaeus, a commitment to obedience. Love means
- Bringing Change
- After Jesus rose from the dead, He visited His disciples.
Let's read Acts 1:4-5 to learn more about one of these
visits. For what were the disciples to wait? (They were to
wait in Jerusalem for the gift of the baptism of the Holy
- Read Acts 1:6. What different gift did the disciples have
in mind? How did remaining in Jerusalem fit their plan?
(They thought that Jesus was going to proclaim that He was
King of Israel and throw off the Roman yoke. Power would
be centered in Jerusalem. They would be at the center of
- Read Acts 1:7-8. It turns out the plan for them is much
different. Notice that the center is still Jerusalem, but
where does the work end? (They were to witness to the ends
of the earth.)
- Explain why Jerusalem is the center for this? (Notice
how this reflects what we are studying. God had a
plan to share the gospel with the world, and His plan
started with the Jews.)
- I have a close Jewish friend who told me that
Christians "hijacked" his religion. How much truth
is there in that? (Christianity certainly grew out of
Judaism. But, Isaiah teaches us that God's people
abandoned His plan to reach out to the world.)
- Look at Acts 1:6 again. What was the focus of the
disciples? (They were looking inward. They would have
personal political power. Their nation would rule the
- We know that Jesus' immediate plan was much
different. How much of an issue is this for your
church? Is your church primarily focused on restoring
itself, or is it focused on witnessing to all of the
- The Power For Change
- If your honest answer to the prior question is, "Yes, we
primarily have an inward focus," how difficult do you
think it would be to change? Where would you start?
- Read Acts 2:1. How much time do you think passed between
Acts 1:6 and this event? (Read Acts 1:5 - it was at most a
- Read Acts 2:2-4. What do you think was the purpose of
speaking in other tongues? (Read Acts 2:5-6. They had been
instructed by Jesus to begin in Jerusalem and then spread
the gospel to all of the earth. This was a huge step in
- If you think that your church (and you) are primarily
focused inward instead of outward, what does this story
teach us? (The change can come very quickly.)
- What is essential to a quick change? (The outpouring
of the Holy Spirit! Acts 1:4 calls the Holy Spirit a
"gift." That means God's sovereign will is involved.
Acts 1:14 shows that God's people were in constant
prayer for this gift. Joel 2:28-29 suggests that the
intensity of the "pour" is also part of God's
- Friend, will you consider the focus of your life and the
focus of your church? If you need to be refocused, why
not, right now, pray for the Holy Spirit to come in power
into your life and into your church?
- Next week: Discipling Spiritual Leaders.
* 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.