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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 12: Christ's Church and the Law *
Introduction: In our study two weeks ago, the Apostle Paul taught us
in Galatians 3 that nothing has changed in the contract between God
and Abraham. This agreement, that Abraham believed and it was
credited to him as righteousness ( Genesis 15:6), is available for
every one of us because of what Jesus has done on our behalf. Is it
really true that nothing has changed? Let's dive into our study of
the Bible and look at the relationship between God's people and the
law throughout the ages!
- Adam, Eve and the Law
- Read Genesis 2:15-17. Has God created a law for humans at
- If you say, "yes," how many laws has He created? (I
consider it a "law" that I need to show up for work
so that I can fulfill my obligations to others and
get paid. Adam had a work assignment. That might be
one law. The other law had to do with not eating the
fruit from one tree.)
- Read Genesis 2:2-3. Is there another law about work that
- Read Genesis 3:1-3. How did Eve understand the fruit
eating law? (She has it right, except that she adds that
she cannot touch the fruit. That was not part of the
original recorded restriction.)
- Read Genesis 3:4-6. The law was not to eat this particular
fruit. What is the temptation before Eve? (Not to believe
God. Not to trust God.)
- How does this differ from the obligation of Abraham?
(It is precisely the same - the issue is whether we
will believe and trust God. Eve did not sufficiently
- Noah and the Law
- Read Genesis 6:11-14. Put yourself in Noah's place. What
is the challenge for you? (God makes an astonishing
statement about His plans for the future. The question is
whether you believe God.)
- Read Genesis 6:15-17. Is this only a matter of belief?
(No. This belief clearly requires action.)
- Read Genesis 6:18-22. What is the contract that Noah has
with God? What is God promising? What is Noah promising?
(Read Hebrews 11:7. The foundation of this agreement was
Noah believing that God would destroy the earth and that
God would save him and his family.)
- This account provides a very interesting context for
examining the relationship between faith and works.
Would Noah have built the ark if he had not believed
- If Noah had not built the ark, what would that say
about Noah's faith in God? (His hard work on the ark
demonstrated his faith in God.)
- Abraham and the Law
- Read Genesis 12:1-3. How is God's approach to Abraham
similar to His approach to Noah? (God has a plan of action
which involves a completely new experience.)
- In the three cases (Adam, Noah and Abraham), what is
the basic challenge? (To believe and trust God.)
- What common thread do we see in all three
cases? (Obedience to God's commands reflects
the individual's trust in God. Disobedience
reflects a lack of trust in God.)
- Read Genesis 12:4-5. What objections to obedience might
you raise if you were Abraham? (I'm too old. I've never
been there before. This seems risky.)
- Read Genesis 15:1-3 and compare Genesis 12:2. What is the
problem with the contract? (God is not holding up His end
of the deal.)
- What do you think about the way Abraham raised the
issue with God? (Abraham is direct, but he is not
charging God with a breach of the agreement.)
- Read Genesis 15:4-5. Put yourself in Abraham's place. How
would you view this promise? (God has not performed so far
with regard to the promise of children, and now God makes
the promise even bigger.)
- Would it be hard to believe God?
- If you say, "yes," why? (Because it is contrary
to what I see. It is contrary to the trend of
things. God has had an opportunity to work on
His end of the contract, but nothing has
happened so far.)
- Read Genesis 15:6. What does this teach us about the
nature of the belief at issue? Is this a casual belief?
Is this a belief that results in showing up at church only
on Christmas and Easter? (This is a belief that endures
despite evidence to the contrary. This is belief that is
not automatic. This is a belief that charts the course of
- Moses and the Law
- We pick up the story just after God spoke the Ten
Commandments to Moses. Read Exodus 20:18-20. What kind of
relationship did God initiate with His people? (Fear would
keep them from sinning.)
- Read Exodus 32:15-17 and Exodus 32:21-24. How effective a
tool is fear?
- Read Deuteronomy 7:7-11. Moses told the people that fear
was God's motivating factor to keep the people from
sinning. Does that seem correct to you based on this text?
(God's original motive was love for His people. But, we so
see a hard edge to this.)
- Read Deuteronomy 7:12-15. What is the appeal here? (Health
- Would it be fair to say that God is appealing to the
- Read Deuteronomy 7:16. What would you call this?
- Contemplate all this for a minute. We have three
motives swirling around: fear, love and greed. Does
this cause you to trust God less?
- Read 1 Corinthians 9:20-23. How would you describe
Paul's method of evangelizing? (He uses what works to
advance the Kingdom of God.)
- Is Paul taking his lead from Deuteronomy 7? (God
loves us. He is willing to use the most relevant tool
to bring us to Him. If you are one who responds to
fear, God has that in his toolkit. If you respond to
greed, God has that. If you respond to love, God uses
that. Whatever approach God takes, the question for
us is will we trust Him?)
- Jesus and the Law
- Read Matthew 22:36-40. What does Jesus say is the
foundation for the law? (Love!)
- Does Jesus suggest that this changed over time? (No.)
- I thought we decided that trusting God was the
foundation. How does that fit here? (The foundation
for God's attitude towards us is love. The
foundation for our response is trusting a God we know
loves us and has our best interest in mind. Eve
missed the part about God having her best interest in
- Read Revelation 12:13-16. What is being symbolized here?
(The conflict between Satan, Jesus and Jesus' Church.)
- Read Revelation 12:17. What is the focus of Satan's
attack, and why? (Those who lift up Jesus and obey His law
are under attack because they are the problem. If
believing in Jesus makes no difference in your life, you
are not a problem for Satan.)
- Read Revelation 14:6-7. I thought our conclusion was that
the most important part of the contract between humans and
God was that we should trust Him and obey Him. Why is
"fear," "glory" and "worship" mentioned as the "eternal
gospel?" (This is the essence of trust: our Creator God is
coming to judge the world. If you trust His love, if you
trust what He did on the cross for you, then you will
fear, glorify and worship Him!)
- Friend, we have seen a consistent theme throughout the
ages. Those who follow God believe and trust Him. That
belief and trust translates into concrete actions to
advance God's mission on earth. Is your belief in Jesus
reflected in the way you live? Why not ask the Holy Spirit
to help make that goal a reality in your life?
- Next week: Christ's Kingdom 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.