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Sabbath School Lessons on Rebellion and Redemption
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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 2: Crisis in Eden *
Introduction: Our study this week comes with two strikes against it.
First, when we see a familiar story our immediate reaction is to
think "I already know about this." Second, many Christians disbelieve
the creation account. They might not say, "God lied to us," but they
suggest it is figurative or an allegory. This makes no logical sense.
The creation account has far too many specific details to be
figurative. If it is an allegory, it is hardly an allegory for
evolution. It recounts that God intentionally spoke the creation into
existance, rather than suggesting chance and natural selection. It
recites complexity and completion at the beginning, rather than
suggesting the simple gradually moved to the more complex. The
creation account is very familiar, but I think it contains vital
spiritual points. Let's plunge into our Bible study and see if we can
find something new, interesting and important in it!
- Little Gods
- Read Genesis 1:26. What does God say about humans? (They
are created like God.)
- In what way are they like God? (They have God's
"image" and "likeness," and they rule over the rest
of the creation.)
- While this verse does not explain precisely
what is meant by "image" and "likeness," notice
that they are connected to the job of ruling.
What does this tell us about image and
likeness? (We rule over the rest of the
creation because we are smarter. Thus, the
logic is that we are like God in the thinking
- Read Genesis 1:27-28. Does God follow through with His
plan with regard to humans? (Yes. He not only proposes
that we should be made in His image, but He follows
through with it.)
- Notice that God specifically mentions creating "male
and female," as part of God's image. How can that be
since the Bible consistently refers to God and Jesus
as male? (Read Genesis 2:23-24. When a man and a
woman become "one flesh," they become like God in
that they are also creators of life. This is why
other "marriage" arrangements are inconsistent with
God's highest plan for us.)
- This week I was asked to help with a funeral of a man
I had never met. My only connection with the family
was that I casually knew one of his sons. At the
funeral I learned that he and his wife had 13
children, and they had at least 78 grand and great-grand children. One speaker thought a more correct
number was over 100! Here is an example of a man and
woman creating life!
- Exploiting God's Plan
- Read Genesis 3:1. Is this what God said? (Not even close.
In Genesis 2:16-17 God said they could eat from any of the
trees - except one.)
- Read Genesis 3:2-3. Why do you think Satan wanted this
response? (If this is the contest for the allegiance of
the human race, I would want to sweep away any claim that
humans misunderstood the rule. Satan has Eve restate God's
rule so that there can be no mistake about what she does.)
- Does Eve correctly state the rule? (There is no
record that God said don't touch or you will die.)
- If you want to keep humans from eating the fruit, it
is even better for them to think they cannot even
touch the fruit, right? (While this is a common view
among parents and religious youth leaders, it is
wrong. Deuteronomy 4:2 instructs us not to add to
God's commands or subtract from them. I believe that
when Eve touched the fruit and nothing happened, it
emboldened her to eat the fruit.)
- I recall in my youth I was told that I must not go
into a movie theater. Why? Because my angel would not
go in there. If I got into a life-threatening
situation, there I would be without my angel! I
stayed out of theaters. But, when they started
showing movies on television and even in the gym of
my Christian university, it unmasked the rule as
being nonsense - and it undermined the authority of
the rest of the rules given to me. Why didn't they
just teach me to avoid movies (along with books and
songs) that would influence me toward evil?
- Read Genesis 3:4-5. What does Satan claim is the best
reason for eating the fruit? (Eve would be "like God.")
- Isn't this exactly what God had in mind for Adam and
Eve, that they would be like Him?
- Why didn't Eve respond, "I'm already like God. I
don't need to disobey God to be like Him?" (Eve did
not trust God.)
- Read Genesis 3:6. Why do you think Eve distrusted God?
(Her senses told her there was nothing wrong with this
fruit. It looked good. Then she touched it and nothing bad
happened. Then she believed Satan that she would gain
- Consider this from God's point of view. What has Eve
just done? (Eve decided that God lied. God withheld
something good from her. Eve believed this talking
snake instead of her Friend and Creator!)
- How many times when it comes to sin do we disbelieve
God and trust instead on our limited ability to judge
- Consider three truths that come out of the
creation event: creation, marriage and the
Sabbath. How many people accept evolution based
on limited truth? How many people accept same-sex marriage, or serial marriage, based on
their view of fairness? How many people worship
on Sunday based on the practice of the
majority? (All three of these are original,
fundamental doctrines found in the creation
account, and all are under strong attack.)
- The Dreadful Result
- Read Genesis 3:9-12. Who does Adam blame for his decision
to disobey God? (Ultimately, he blames God. God put Eve in
the garden with him.)
- What does that teach us about the sin problem in our
lives? (We resist taking personal responsibility for
- Have you ever heard someone say with regard to
sin: "God made me that way?" "That is just the
way I've always been?" "My parents did it that
way?" Are these attempts to avoid personal
responsibility for our sins?
- Read Genesis 3:17-19. What has happened to the dominion
that God gave humans over the earth? (Their dominion has
certainly decreased. Now the earth resists their work.)
- Read Genesis 3:16. What has happened to Eve? (Once again,
the God-like authority of humans has decreased. They will
still have the power to create life, but it will now be a
- Is the penalty of the husband ruling mere nonsense?
- Is it logically connected to Eve's sin? (Yes. Eve
wanted to become more like God. Just as human
dominion over the earth is reduced, and human power
to create life is reduced, so Eve's God-like
authority is reduced.)
- Is this fair? (If you answer, "No, this is not
fair and I will resist it," isn't that the
problem with Eve's original sin - she
disbelieved God's judgment?)
- Read Genesis 3:14-15. Recall from our study last week that
Satan has been hurled down from heaven. He now has won the
allegiance of humans by getting them to sin. What does God
tell Satan will be the outcome of the controversy between
good and evil that has now come to planet earth? (Humans
will crush Satan's head.)
- What do you understand that to mean? (When Jesus came
to earth as a man, He defeated Satan. He won the war
that would end in Satan's destruction.)
- Friend, what about your life? Do you accept God's rules as
truth, and the best way to live? Or, do you rely on your
limited view of what is truth and depend on it instead?
The creation account shows the terrible result of
disbelieving God and rejecting His rules. Why not ask the
Holy Spirit, right now, to bring your attitude into accord
with God's truth?
- Next week: Global Rebellion and the Patriarchs.
* Copr. 2016, 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.