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Sabbath School Lessons on Christ and His Law
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 8: The Law of God and the Law of Christ *
Introduction: Are you bored? I hope not! You may be concerned that
the last few lessons seem to repeat the same concepts. If you are
bored, I apologize. On the other hand, understanding grace is
critical - and hearing about it more than once is a blessing. The
good news for the bored is that our lesson this week takes a turn to
explore what grace means for everyday life. The good news for those
who feel they could still use a little repetition about grace, is
that we are still generally on that subject. Let's dive into our
study of the Bible and learn more about the law and grace!
- Law and Love
- Read Matthew 22:34. How smart are Pharisees? (Apparently
they think they are smarter than the Sadducees. They think
it is their turn to play the game called "outsmart Jesus."
The Sadducees could not win, but the Pharisees think they
- Read Matthew 22:35-36. Is this a difficult question? If
you think so, why? (I consulted some Bible commentaries
and found that Jewish theologians could not agree on the
answer. By asking Jesus to state His opinion, the
Pharisees would create a conflict between Him and at least
some of the leading scholars - or so they hoped.)
- Read Matthew 22:37-40. Let's go back to a topic I have
repeatedly mentioned: the moral law was established by God
as a reflection of His love for humans. God knew about the
operation of the natural law, and to protect us from
unwittingly being damaged by natural law, God gave us the
moral law. Does my theory fit with what Jesus says here?
(Jesus says God's laws are all about love. If the goal of
the law is to produce love in us, it makes perfect sense
that God's motivation to give us the law was also love.)
- If reason for the law is God's love for us, and the
goal of the law is that we would love others, would
God ever have a reason to end the law?
- What advantage is there in being free from the law?
(Being free from the penalty of the law is one thing
(grace), but being free from the protection of the
law is foolishness.)
- New Law on Love
- Read John 13:33. If you were one of Jesus' disciples,
would this worry you? (You are a disciple! Why can't you
go everywhere Jesus goes? This is worrisome.)
- Read John 13:34-35. How can Jesus say this is a "new
command" when we just read in Matthew 22:39-40 that loving
our neighbor is a summary of both the law and the
statements of the prophets of old? This is a very old
- Let's re-read Matthew 22:39. Think carefully about this:
What, exactly, is the standard for conduct when we are
told to love our neighbor as our self?
- Let's consider an example. If you've been reading my
lessons for a long time, you know that I used to
regularly mow my elderly neighbor's lawn. Does that
mean that when I get older I expect someone younger
might mow my lawn? (Yes. This is the standard I've
set for myself.)
- Assume that I would never expect that someone would
mow my law. Would I be following Jesus' command if I
failed to mow the lawn of an elderly neighbor? (Jesus
seems to make us the standard for how we treat our
neighbor. If we would not expect it for ourselves,
then we need not provide it for our neighbor, right?)
- Re-read John 13:34. Jesus is telling His disciples that He
is going to His death and resurrection. Would you die for
your enemy? See Romans 5:10. Would you give up your son's
life so that someone else might live? (No! Never!)
- How is Jesus' command to His disciples "new?" (It is
absolutely new. The old standard for loving our
neighbor turned on our own standard. Jesus tells us
that the new standard is His standard - He was
willing to die for us when we were His enemies! That
is the new standard for love!)
- Law of Christ
- Read Galatians 6:1. Is this sinner one who came to church
and confessed? (This person is caught when they did not
- What kind of attitude would you expect from the
person who was caught?
- What kind of attitude should the spiritual people
have? (They should be gentle. The goal is
restoration, not condemnation.)
- I was just reading a condemnation of the way our
church handles homosexuals. The claim is that we
condemn, rather than trying to restore. Do you
- Re-read the last part of Galatians 6:1. What do you think
complicates the issue of how the church relates to
homosexuality? (This lesson reaches many cultures. I can
only speak about the United States. The complicating issue
here is that those condemning the church do not think that
homosexuality is sin.)
- How do you "gently" "restore" those who do not
admit their conduct is sinful?
- Is warning about being caught up in the sin
teaching us to keep a clear vision about the
nature of sin? (Yes. When we come close to the
sinner, our sympathy for the sinner may
transform itself into sympathy for the sin.)
- Read Galatians 6:2. Consider two questions. What does it
mean to carry the burdens of others? What is the law of
Christ? (We just learned that the "new law" of Jesus is to
love others as Jesus loved us. Thus, carrying the burden
of others is to help them with their sin problem.)
- Let's go back to homosexual behavior. How would you
carry the burden of a homosexual? (Kindness. Many
homosexuals say that they are by nature attracted to
others of the same gender. We know that our own sin
problem is stubborn and arises from our sinful
nature. Sympathy in restoration goes a long way. But,
restoration is always the goal.)
- Read Galatians 6:3. How can we think we are something when
we are nothing? ( James 2:8-11 tells us that if we break
one point of the law, we have broken all. We cannot
congratulate ourselves for being heterosexuals, for the
sin of pride means we are like other sinners.)
- Would the attitude that we are also sinners help in
our restoration efforts?
- Read Galatians 6:4-5. Why are we now told to "carry our
own load" when we were just told we should "carry each
other's burdens?" (Carrying our own load is recognizing
and taking responsibility for our own sins. If we merely
recognize the sins of others, and not our own, we can
hardly help others with their sins.)
- Why is it important not to compare ourselves with
others? (This gets back to the new law of Christ -
the standard for comparison is Jesus' love for us.)
- Read 1 Corinthians 9:19-21. Does this help us to
understand what it means to carry the burdens of others?
- Exactly what would you do if you were following
Paul's directions? Would you become a sinner to win
sinners? (This cannot be the meaning because
Galatians 6:1 teaches us to be alert to temptation
when we are carrying the burdens of others. Instead,
I think the practical application of this advice is
to avoid stressing the differences in our points of
- Reaping from Love
- Let's return to Galatians. Read Galatians 6:7-9. We have
been talking about carrying loads - not only our own but
that of others. I'm not normally excited about carrying
things around. What is the good news here? (We are
rewarded for it!)
- Is our reward eternal life? If so, carrying loads
earns our salvation? (Read Galatians 2:15-16. Paul is
not saying that our works earn salvation. Rather, he
is telling us that choosing to live by the Spirit
rather than by our sinful nature makes a huge
difference in our life. Our works do not save us, but
our decision to accept Jesus as our Savior is
naturally followed by decisions to treat those around
us with love.)
- Read Galatians 6:10. Who should be the special target of
our help? (Fellow believers.)
- Friend, grace is about more than receiving unearned
eternal life as a result of Jesus' life, death and
resurrection on our behalf. True grace produces in us a
love like Jesus showed to us. A love in which we give up
our life for others. A love which recognizes that we, too,
are terrible sinners. A love which blesses us more than if
we lived a selfish, narrow life. Will you commit today to
ask the Holy Spirit to infuse your life with love?
- Next week: Christ, the Law and the Gospel.
* 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.