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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 10: Paul and the Rebellion *
Introduction: How important is the church? I hear claims that being
in nature is as good, if not better, than being in church. There is a
real blessing in nature, but it is a different blessing than
regularly attending church. We learn this week that we are all in sin
together, and we need to be together in the battle against sin. Let's
plunge into our study of the Bible and learn more!
- The Sin Solution
- Read Romans 5:12. Who is this "one man?" (Adam, as we will
see when we read on.)
- Did you choose to sin? (Yes: "All have sinned."
However, this suggests something more - that our sin
decision automatically gave us death because of the
prior decision of Adam.)
- Read Romans 5:13-14. What does it mean that "sin is not
taken into account when there is no law?" (The rest of the
text says that we died before the law was given, even
those who "did not sin by breaking a command." Thus, this
cannot mean that the penalty for sin was not taken into
account. Instead, it must mean that sin was not labeled as
such. Adam and Eve were given a specific command, and they
violated it. Before the Ten Commandments were handed down,
people died even though they did not have a specific
command to break.)
- What is the practical lesson for us? (The Ten
Commandments serve the purpose of identifying sin.
They do not change the fact that we are sinners.)
- Read Romans 5:15-17. On a very simple level we can see
that "the gift is not like the trespass" in that one
plunged us into sin and death and the other "brought
justification" from sin. What does the additional detail
mean about "judgment followed one sin," but "the gift
followed many trespasses." (We are victims of Adam's sin.
His sin harmed us. But, we had already personally chosen
to sin when Jesus fixed our sin problem by bringing us
- Read Romans 5:18-19. This seems to say that our
righteousness is automatic through Jesus. Is that correct?
(I think this should be understood to say that the
availability of justification is automatic. Paul's
argument is about how sin and grace mirror each other, and
Paul noted that we personally sinned.)
- Read Romans 6:1-4. What does this add to the evidence
about whether we need to choose grace? (It tells us that
in baptism we enter into Jesus' death and His resurrection
from the dead. We enter into new life. "We too may live a
- What do these verses teach us about community? (We
are all in this together. We were in sin together and
we are in grace together. Let's look at the practical
side of that next.)
- The Church Solution
- Read 1 Corinthians 3:10. What "foundation" is Paul
building? (Read 1 Corinthians 3:5-9 for the explanation.
Paul is talking about the "building" composed of Jesus'
- Read 1 Corinthians 3:10-15. What does this tell those who
work to improve the church? (That we should "be careful"
about how we build and we should be careful to use the
- Whenever I read this text I immediately think about
teaching, and the need for me to strive to be a "gold
standard" teacher. But, this is too narrow a view.
Those who work with the children in church are
builders, those who are involved in the praise
service are builders, those who visit the sick are
builders, those who attend to the physical
requirements of the church are builders. The question
is this, if you are a builder, are you always
striving for "gold standard work?" Are you striving
- Let's look at this from a different angle. Let's say
a teacher is building with "silver" or a lesser
material. Does that mean we should oppose them? (We
need to be restrained in our criticism of those who
might not have things exactly right (in our view). We
need to continue to promote gold standard work
because we don't want any to "burn," but we need to
recognize that there are many other builders, even if
their work is not gold-standard.)
- Read 1 Corinthians 3:16. What is God's temple, given the
context we have been studying? (Our fellow Christians. It
is the church.)
- Do you know people who are not even "straw builders,"
they are destroyers of the church?
- Who will fix this problem? ("God will destroy
- Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-13. When I was growing up, there
was my church denomination and the rest of the "unwashed"
church denominations. Now that I've grown up and worked
closely with other Christians, I realize that other
Christians growing up in other denominations felt that
same way about their church - indeed, my denomination may
have been particularly suspect in their eyes! Who knew?
What does this text say about this "them and us" attitude
among Christians? (It says that we are "one body" in the
Holy Spirit and we drink from the same "one Spirit.")
- What does this teach us about those church members
who look down on other church denominations? (They
have not yet been drinking enough from the Holy
- Read 1 Corinthians 12:14-17. My church has a special
mission to promote the message of Revelation 14:6-12. Is
it correct to consider this an "eye" message? Meaning, is
it just a part of the overall message presented by each
denomination in the greater Christian church?
- When I was young, I was taught that church
denominations that were older than ours each had a
special message, and each subsequent denomination
added a further refinement until we came to my
denomination, which was proclaiming the final
refinement. Is there any Biblical basis for that
view? Or, is a better explanation found in the
chapter we are studying, that each "part" of the
Christian church brings its own unique and important
- If my suggestion is correct, does this help make
sense of all of the Christian churches? Instead of
complaining that all of the denominations show a
failure of unity, what if all of the denominations
are part of the body of Christ, all with a special
addition to truth? Can you imagine the foot saying,
"We have too many body parts around here, it shows a
lack of unity?"
- Read 1 Corinthians 12:18-20. Who is responsible for the
special role of each part of the Christian church? (God
- Consider this example: my grandfather, my uncle, and
my cousin were ministers in the Salvation Army
Church. Many of my relatives are members of that
wonderful denomination. Does that Church have a
special role in the body of Christ that you can
identify? (Yes, it is known for its service to the
poor and homeless.)
- When I was young, and ignorant, I used to pride
myself on what I thought was a more refined
understanding of theology than my uncle who was a
minister in the Salvation Army. This is like the ear
thinking it is superior to the nose! I don't think
I'll ever reach the level of love and trust in God
displayed in the life of my uncle. He was an
astonishing man of God! What do you think you can
learn from the members of other churches?
- How can we cooperate with them to advance the
Kingdom of God, the body of Christ?
- Read 1 Corinthians 12:21-26. I've suggested that you
should consider whether Paul's words apply to all of the
different Christian denominations. How else might they
- Would they apply to factions within our church
- Would they apply to the local church, your local
- If they apply to other denominations, factions within
our church and your local congregation, how would you
understand Paul's comments on parts that are "less
honorable," and "unpresentable?" (When I read
comments on the Internet by supposed members of my
church, I sometimes think "I don't need you!" Paul
corrects me to say that we "should have equal concern
for each other.")
- Friend, we need to be in fellowship with other church
members. We need those who have different spiritual gifts,
different talents and different views. If you are not
regularly attending church, why not commit to start this
- Next week: Peter on the Great Controversy.
* 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.