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Sabbath School Lessons on Teachings of Jesus
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 4: Salvation *
Introduction: You undoubtedly have opinions on many things. I know I
do. On some issues I think my opinion is important because I know a
lot about the subject. On other issues I know very little and want to
learn more from those who are knowledgeable on the subject. On many
issues, what I think doesn't really matter. On a few issues, my
opinion can change things. What is the most important issue on which
we can have an opinion? I think it is the question of eternal life.
Who is most informed on that subject? Jesus! What He did changed the
course of human history. Let's jump into our study of the Bible and
learn more about Jesus' opinion on salvation!
- Salvation's Source
- Read John 8:12. "Light of life." What a great phrase!
What do you think it means?
- What is the advantage of light normally? (You can see
what to do. I think the "light of life" means that
Jesus shares with us what to do. Following Jesus
gives us the secret to a better life.)
- Read John 8:13. What kind of objection is this? (This is a
- What logical point are the Pharisees making? (A
person is motivated to slant the truth to favor
himself. In an American court, that would be grounds
to argue bias, but it does not invalidate the
- Read John 8:14. What is Jesus' argument about the validity
of His testimony? (He says that he has first-hand
information about who He is. The Pharisees know nothing
about the subject. Jesus has the most informed opinion.)
- Read John 8:15-18. What other reason does Jesus argue for
the validity of His testimony? (He has two witnesses, His
Father and Himself.)
- Read Deuteronomy 17:6 and Deuteronomy 19:15. This is
the legal rule cited by the Pharisees. What problem
do you see with applying this rule to the testimony
of Jesus? (This is a witness rule for convicting
criminals, particularly where death is the penalty.)
- What does this say about the view of the
Pharisees about Jesus' teachings? (Either they
are misstating the legal rule, or they
understand that Jesus is teaching about very
important matters - matters of life and death.)
- Read John 8:21-24. What is Jesus teaching about? (He is
teaching about life and death matters.)
- What is at the heart of our salvation? (Believing
that Jesus is God. Believing that Jesus is divine.
Believing that Jesus can take away our sins.)
- Read John 8:25-26. Do you think "Who are you?" is a
- Read John 8:27-30. What does this say about the state of
mind of the listeners? (They did not clearly understand
what Jesus was telling them.)
- How will Jesus being crucified ("lifted up") help
them to understand His divine nature? Doesn't that
confuse the issue? (Truth will dawn on them as they
see His crucifixion and remember what He said. More
important, this gets to the heart of salvation. The
sacrificial lamb in the sanctuary service represented
Jesus. It is Jesus' life, death and resurrection
that, as Jesus clearly stated ( John 8:24), is the
only way to eternal life.)
- Read John 8:31-33. Have you ever been in a debate and the
person on the other side is seriously deluded? (Abraham's
descendants were taken captive by the Babylonians, and
they are now subject to the rule of the Romans.)
- What kind of slavery ("truth will set you free") do
you think Jesus means?
- Read John 8:34-36. Jesus makes clear here that He is
talking about the slavery of sin. But, He goes on to talk
about slaves, sons and being permanent members of the
family. This raises several questions:
- What family is He talking about?
- What does sin have to do with being a son in this
- Why does sin control how long you are a member of
- Read Romans 6:23. What does sin bring? (Death. The slave
to sin will not be a part of the family of God. The slave
set free from the penalty of sin becomes a permanent
member of the family of God.)
- When do we secure a permanent place in the family of
God? (When we accept the light of truth: Jesus is the
only way for us to be saved and enter into eternal
- Read John 8:37-38. What claim is Jesus making? (That He
has been in the presence of God the Father. This is a
clear claim to be the Messiah.)
- Who is the father of those who want to kill those who
disagree with them theologically? (Satan.)
- Read John 8:39-41. Do these religious leaders know about
Jesus? (Yes. Notice the insult, "we are not illegitimate
children." They are talking about Jesus' human birth. I
suppose they did not appreciate Jesus' statement that they
were the children of Satan.)
- Read John 8:42-47. Do you think Jesus is clear in what He
is saying? Do you understand it? (Jesus unambiguously says
God the Father sent Me to share the truth of salvation
- Have you been in a debate with a pagan who seems to
be unable to think clearly, who cannot understand the
most basic truth?
- Read John 8:48-51 and John 8:58-59. What is Jesus' claim?
(Read Exodus 3:14. Jesus is unambiguously saying that He
is God - and the listeners understood exactly what He was
saying because they were going to stone Him for saying it.
Jesus tells us that if we keep His word, the word that He
is the God who died for us, we "will never see death.")
- Salvation's Motive
- Nicodemus, an important religious leader, and Jesus are
having a conversation. Let's listen in by reading John
3:13-15. Why would Jesus compare himself to Moses' snake?
- Let's consider this history. Read Numbers 21:4-5. What do
you think about the people's complaints?
- Read Numbers 21:6-9. What was the key to surviving snake
bite? (Looking at the snake.)
- What is the logic of this? (I think it represented
the people looking at their sin and its
- How is this like Jesus being raised on the cross?
(When we consider the agony of Jesus' crucifixion, we
look upon our sin and its consequences. It is a
- Read John 3:16. Why would God the Father and Jesus the Son
go through such a horrific thing for us? (He loved us!)
- Read John 3:17. I feel terribly condemned and guilty when
I consider what my sin did to Jesus. Is that how Jesus
wants me to react? (The point is not simply to make us
feel badly. The point is that Jesus' death saves me from
my sin. Just like looking at the serpent in the
wilderness saved the people from certain death from
poisoning, so Jesus saves us from the certain death of
- Read John 3:18. What is the key to salvation? (Belief in
Jesus. Consider how many times we have read that same
statement in the various Bible texts we have studied in
- Read John 3:19-21. Recall that we started this study with
a discussion of light ( John 8:12)? Why would anyone reject
Jesus' offer of eternal life? Why would anyone bitten by
the snake not look at it? (We don't want to leave our sin.
We don't want to live a transparent life.)
- Friend, Jesus is the only way to eternal life. It is a
free gift. Will you ask the Holy Spirit to help you to
want to live in the light, face the sinfulness of your
life, and accept Jesus' free gift of salvation?
- Next week: How to Be Saved.
* 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.