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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 10: The Law of God *
Introduction: If you follow this lesson you know that I teach
salvation by grace alone. Our study this week reveals that the law,
if properly kept, requires an extraordinary standard of conduct. This
extraordinary standard makes some believe that God's law is not that
relevant in light of grace. If we can't keep the law, and keeping it
is not the key to heaven, why try? On the other hand, anyone who
contemplates the universe knows the importance of the law. Laws, like
gravity, rule everything. Not only is our universe controlled by
laws, but there are natural laws that control the circumstances of
our lives. The train wreak of nations and individuals who believe
they are outside of the law can be seen all around us. Let's plunge
into our study of the Bible and learn more!
- Jesus and the Law
- Read Matthew 5:17. How do we know that the law continues
to be of great importance? (Some who argue grace say that
Jesus did away with the law. Jesus says here that He did
not come to abolish the law.)
- What does Jesus mean when He says that He came to
"fulfill" the law and the prophets? (He came to
fulfill the prophecies that pointed to Him. He came
to fulfill the sacrificial system that pointed to
Him. He came to keep the law perfectly on our
- Read Matthew 5:18. We have two "until" phrases here. The
first is "until heaven and earth disappear" and the second
is "until everything is accomplished." Are those different
- If you answered that they were the same time, and
that time is the Second Coming of Jesus, does that
mean that in heaven there will be no law?
- Read Hebrews 8:10-12. What does this suggest about the
future of the law? (That at some point it becomes so
merged with our character that no one needs to continue to
teach the law. That suggests that the law continues to
exist in some form or another - even in heaven.)
- Read Matthew 5:19. What should teachers teach about the
law? (Teachers should not only model law-keeping, they
should teach about the importance of keeping the law.)
- Notice the very interesting statement about heaven.
Do teachers who say the law is not binding go to
- The Scope of the Law
- Read Matthew 5:21-22. We recognize "You shall not murder"
as the sixth commandment ( Exodus 20:13). Is Jesus saying
that being angry, or calling someone a "fool," is the same
- What is "Raca," and why was it some sort of civil
offense? (It means "brainless.")
- Read Matthew 23:16-17. Wait! Jesus calls some
teachers "fools." Has Jesus violated His own rule?
- Read Matthew 5:27-28. We recognize "Do not commit
adultery" as the seventh commandment ( Exodus 20:14). Is
Jesus saying that looking is the same as doing?
- What is "heart" adultery? Is that prohibited by the
- Read Matthew 5:29-30. We just read that getting angry is
the same as murder and looking lustfully is adultery of
some sort. Would plucking out an eye or cutting off a hand
cure getting angry or lusting? (No. None of this seems to
make sense. Getting angry is not the same as ending a life
and looking is not the same as committing adultery.
Removing body parts does not change our thinking.)
- Why is Jesus saying this? Would He know that this
would make no sense to us? (Remember, we are the
created ones so we need to accept the word of our
Creator! But, if something that Jesus says does not
make sense, perhaps we have misunderstood what Jesus
- If cutting off or pulling out body parts is no cure
for sin, what do you think Jesus means by those
statements? (He means that radical measures are
sometimes needed to avoid violating the law. I don't
think He is advocating these specific measures.)
- Does this "radical measures" idea help us to
understand the anger and looking statements? (That is
something to consider! If we say that we will be
careful even about looking and getting upset, that is
a radical approach.)
- Read James 1:13-15. What does James teach us about how we
enter into sin? (An evil desire arises in our mind, and
this leads to the actual sin, which then leads to death.)
- What does this teach us about Jesus' statements about
anger and lust? (The specific sin is at least
thinking about killing and committing adultery. If
you are so angry that you would kill someone if you
could, if you would have sex outside marriage if you
could, then Jesus teaches that the sin has been
committed. That makes sense to me. Why should sin
turn on opportunity?)
- Is Jesus teaching us more than that? (James
teaches us that sin is progressive. It is
birthed in our minds. Thus, it seems reasonable
to conclude that Jesus is telling us to watch
- Read Exodus 20:17. What does this say about lusting after
our neighbor's wife (or husband)? (This completes the
picture for me. The tenth commandment specifically address
the thoughts of the mind. As James says, sin begins with
- Read Mark 7:14-17. Did this statement make sense to the
disciples? (No. They wanted to know what Jesus meant. We
are dealing with a series of statements by Jesus that
require some careful consideration!)
- Read Mark 7:18-19. Is what you eat an act or an attitude?
(An act. Of course, you had to decide what to eat. But,
the point here is that what you eat goes into your
stomach, it does not enter your heart (mind).)
- Read Mark 7:20-23. Let's revisit our discussion about
anger, murder, lust and adultery. I previously wrote that
getting angry is not the same as taking a life, and
looking is not the same as committing adultery. Is what I
wrote wrong? How does Jesus compare thoughts and actions?
(The mind is the wellspring of all evil. Murder and
adultery are simply the physical expression of what is
going on in the mind. If for some reason, we are unable
to do the actual deed, we do not get a pass for just
thinking about how we would like to do it.)
- Our Response
- Read Romans 3:19-20. Can you now understand that the scope
of the law makes us speechless? Does it seem right that
the law makes us conscious of sin, but does not declare us
righteous? (That sure seems right to me in light of the
very high standard we have seen.)
- Read Romans 3:21-24. How do we become righteous? (Through
faith in Jesus. We are justified by His grace.)
- Read Romans 6:1-4. What mental attitude does grace
require? (That we died to sin. We do not want to live it
in any longer.)
- Read Romans 6:15-18. What does it mean to "offer"
ourselves to sin? Especially in light of our discussion
of sin beginning in the mind? (The mind is the
battleground. We offer ourselves to sin by deciding to
enter into sin.)
- How would we "offer" ourselves to God, to obedience?
(Read Romans 8:5-6. The goal is to set our minds on
what the "Spirit desires.")
- Friend, will you today commit to offering your self to
God? Will you plan that every morning you will say, "What
can I think and do that is consistent with the desires of
the Holy Spirit today? Spirit of God, lead my mind and my
- Next week: The Sabbath.
* 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.