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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 11: The Apostles and the Law *
Introduction: Many years ago, I met a young man who had recently been
saved. He wanted to talk with me about theology, and he was adamant
that the Ten Commandments had been abolished. He was saved by faith
alone and had no obligation to obey any of the law. While I agreed
with him about salvation by faith alone, I pressed him about his
obligation not to kill anyone. Was that no longer relevant? He would
not bend. A few years later I met him again and recalled our
conversation. "Do you still believe that you have no obligation to
keep the law," I asked? With more study, he had changed his mind. He
agreed that the law was important. Let's plunge into the topic of
what the Bible says through the apostles about keeping the law!
- Read Jude 1:1 and Galatians 1:19. Is Jude a modest man?
(Yes! Instead of writing, "I'm the brother of our Lord
Jesus," he writes, "I'm the brother of the brother of
- Read Jude 1:2-3. What motivates Jude's letter? (His motive
is to "contend for the faith.")
- Read Jude 1:4. What theory is Jude contending against?
What is the specific point in contention? (That grace is a
license for immorality.)
- Is this still an issue for the church?
- Why is immorality a denial of Jesus? I can see why
you could say this theory is a denial of the law, but
why a denial of Jesus? (One reason is that Jesus died
over the law. If God was willing to consign the law
to the trash dump of history, He would have declared
the law was dead. Jesus could have avoided living
with us, suffering persecution from us and dying at
our hands. Another reason is that Jesus is our Lord
and the law is His gift of love to humans. To deny
His law is to deny Him.)
- Read Jude 1:5. How is the Exodus account relevant to this
argument? (Jesus delivered His people from the slavery of
Egypt. They did not merit this. Jesus delivers us from
the bondage of the law. We do not merit that. But those
who did not believe, those who disobeyed the order to
enter into the promised land, died in the wilderness. It
is a lesson for us.)
- Read Jude 1:6. Why is the situation of the fallen angels
relevant to us? (Even in heaven God expects obedience from
- Are we in a lot of trouble? If we are saved by grace
here, will we ultimately lose out in heaven because
we will need to obey there?
- Have you heard the question, "Are you safe to
save?" What do you think this means?
- Are the assumptions underlying this question
accurate? (It depends. If the question means
that we have to become sin-free in preparation
for living in heaven, it is not based on good
theology. We were born into sin ( Psalms 51:5).
Our hearts are deceitful ( Jeremiah 17:9). Even
the righteous find they do things they do not
want to do. Romans 7:18-19)
- Read Hebrews 3:7-9. Who is being tested? (Here is another
reference to the Exodus. God says the people were testing
- Read Hebrews 3:10-11. How would you characterize the
people? Why is God angry with them? (God says that He
showed them that He was trustworthy. Yet, the people did
not trust Him. They did not even try to understand God.)
- Let's go back to our "safe to save" statement. What
do you think makes us safe to save in God's eyes?
(Trusting God! Notice that God does not say, "I gave
these people the Ten Commandments and they failed."
He says, "I showed them my power, love and provision
- and they still did not trust Me." The foundational
part of obedience is trusting God.)
- Read Jude 1:7-8. A common theme in the Bible is that Sodom
and Gomorrah are the poster children for what happens to
the wicked. The specific sins mentioned are "sexual
immorality and perversion." Why would Jude mention
specific types of sin if the true issue is trusting God?
(God did not give us His law because He is mean. He gave
it because He loves us. If we trust God, we understand
this and we know that obedience is the best thing.)
- Read 1 Peter 2:1-3. What does Peter tell us about the law?
(He says that we should "rid" ourselves of these sins.)
- How do we "rid" ourselves of sin? How is this
consistent with grace? (Read 2 Corinthians 5:17-20.
Part of grace is making us new people. We represent
God, and therefore how we live is important. This
suggests that righteous living, unlike salvation, is
a team effort.)
- Read 1 Peter 2:4-5. What is God's goal for us? (To be
"living stones," who are part of the "holy priesthood"
which constitutes God's "spiritual house.")
- Notice this starts "As you come to Him." What does
that mean? (As we come into the presence of God
through the Bible, prayer and worship we become more
- What do you think are the "spiritual sacrifices" that
we offer to God? (Read Romans 12:1-2 and Hebrews
13:15-16. Spiritual sacrifices are not simply
praising and trusting God, but they involve our minds
and our deeds. Renewing our minds, doing good works,
are sacrifices to God.)
- Would you truly call this a "sacrifice?" (In
God's economy, giving up ourselves ends up with
a greater blessing being given to us.)
- Read 1 Peter 2:9. We previously read that we are living
stones in a spiritual house. That is an interesting word
picture, but what is the point of the living stone,
spiritual house, royal priesthood? (You are special. You
are different than the world. You are a representative of
God. That gives you the opportunity to declare the praises
of God to those who do not know Him.)
- Read 1 Peter 2:11. What is wrong with allowing sinful
desires to live in our mind? (It wars against our soul.)
- Read 1 Peter 2:12. How can pagans accuse us of doing
wrong? They are pagans! (I see this all the time. Pagans
today believe that every choice is equally valid, and no
one has the right to say that his way is superior. Thus,
Christians who assert that God's way is not only superior,
but the only way, are bigots and haters.)
- What is the antidote to these false charges of wrong-doing? (The way that we live!)
- Consider your life. Is the way you live helping or
hurting the charge that you are a bigot and hater?
- Read John 15:9-10. What is Jesus saying - that if we fail
to obey Him He will no longer love us? (No. Do you want to
know how to remain in the center of God's love? Keep His
commandments. Jesus is saying that He gave us His
commandments to show us how to best live. He gave His
commandments to keep us to keep us from being harmed.)
- Read John 15:11. What is the level of joy in your life? If
you are a quart low, Jesus says that obeying His commands
will make your joy "complete!")
- Read John 15:12-13. How will giving up our life for others
give us complete joy? This sounds like complete sacrifice!
(Imagine a world in which everyone had your best interests
in mind. Imagine a world where no one wanted to harm you,
steal from you, or cheat you. Treating others fairly gives
us joy. Showing others mercy gives us joy. Being treated
fairly and being shown mercy makes us grateful.)
- Have you made the transition from thinking that the law is
a pain, to thinking that it is for your own benefit? Read
1 John 2:3. If we have not made the transition, what is
the problem? (We don't know God. We need to study His word
more. We need to experiment with doing His will.)
- Read 1 John 2:4-6. Why is obeying the law so important?
(It reflects our knowledge of God. If we just grit our
teeth and try to obey, it will not work. But, if we have
the firm conviction that the law is for our benefit, that
it puts us at the center of God's love, that it creates a
better world for those around us, that it honors God, then
we don't have to grit our teeth.)
- Friend, if you have not understood the benefit of
obedience, will you start exploring it today? Will you
decide to know God better and experience the joy of living
in the middle of His love?
- Next week: Christ's Church and the Law.
* 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.