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Sabbath School Lessons on The Role of the Church in the Community
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 1: The Restoration of All Things *
Introduction: God is under attack! His integrity and His authority as
Creator, Designer and Redeemer have been undermined by Satan from the
beginning. The attack continues today. The question for every human
is "What role do you play in the contest between good and evil?" Our
study of the Bible this week helps us to better understand the
issues. Let's dig in and learn more!
- Losing God's Image
- Read Genesis 1:26-27. Assume that you had never read these
verses before. What would you learn from this? (We exist
because God created us. God created humans as rulers over
the rest of creation and He created humans in His image.
God created humans as male and female - and that reflects
- Since our lesson is about "restoration," how much of
the information that you learned from these verses
has been blurred, if not destroyed, by Satan? (A
popular idea is that humans evolved, they were not
created. They did not begin with an "image," much
less an image of God. A popular idea is that humans
serve the creation and not the other way around. A
popular idea is that male and female identity is not
- Decades ago it occurred to me that I should do a
"self-test," to evaluate my influence. I didn't like
the result. How would you come out on a self-test
concerning God's original plan? Is your influence
cast on the side of those who are tearing down God's
- Read Genesis 3:1-5. What is the essence of Eve's
temptation? (To disbelieve God.)
- Consider those who accept evolution, radical
environmentalism, and same-sex marriage. How do they
compare to Eve? (They obviously do not believe God or
they think that God's plan is unimportant.)
- Re-read Genesis 1:27. Are these issues irrelevant
today? (God says these issues reflect His image.
Erasing the image of God from the earth is the
opposite of what the Christian is supposed to be
- Re-read Genesis 3:4-5. We believe that God does not
change, is this also true for Satan? Does Satan employ
the same tactics today as he did against Eve - to
- What should you and I do about it? Should we be
- If you were present when the serpent was
tempting Eve, would you have been silent?
- Read Genesis 3:22-24 and 1 John 2:1-2. How did God treat
those who disbelieved Him? (God drove them out of Eden so
that they could not eat from the Tree of Life. But, God
also put into operation His plan of salvation for those
who sinned by disbelieving Him.)
- Gaining God's Image
- Read Galatians 3:6-7. What is essential to righteousness?
(Believing God. Eve disbelieved God.)
- Read Galatians 3:10-12. Against what were the Galatians
warned? (Against relying on the law for their salvation.)
- Read Leviticus 18:5. Notice that Paul quotes this
verse in Leviticus. What does it mean? (The law does
a lot of good things. Obeying the law helps us to
live more enjoyable lives. Obeying the law brings
honor to God and to us. But, obeying the law does not
- Read Galatians 3:13-14. What does redeem us from the curse
of the law? What does give us salvation? (Jesus. Faith in
Jesus' life, death and resurrection on our behalf.)
- Read Galatians 3:21-25. What is the relationship between
the law and faith in Jesus? (The law is good, it directs
us to a better life. However, we are sinners, and
attempting to obey the law teaches us that we cannot
perfectly obey it. Faith in Jesus is the only way to
- Let's contemplate this a minute. How would you compare
Eve's sin with the sin of the Galatians? (These are two
extremes that we find in the church today. There are so-called followers of Christ who do not believe what God
says about creation, our relationship to the creation, and
gender roles in human sexuality. On the opposite extreme
are so-called Christians who don't understand that the
role of the law is to improve our life, not prove our
entitlement to salvation. Both groups fail to put Jesus
in His proper place in our life.)
- The Role of the Church in Restoration
- Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-13. We have discussed the two
extremes - disbelieving God and relying on the law for
salvation. What protection do we have from these errors?
(Being a part of the body of Christ - which is the
- Why is that a protection against error? (Read 1
Corinthians 12:7-10. Just as it is error to believe
that we can save ourselves by our works, so it is
error to believe that we can do the work of God on
- Read 1 Corinthians 12:11. What is the unifying factor in
the church? (The Holy Spirit. Once again we come back to
the issue of believing God. Jesus told us that God would
send the Holy Spirit to guide us ( John 14:26).)
- Read 1 Corinthians 12:14-20. How does the Holy Spirit
choose to have the church operate? (Each of us
individually is a co-operating part in the greater church
body. This is a group effort, not an individual effort.)
- Have you noticed that people who are off on some
extreme are generally working by themselves or with a
small group? (The benefit of a larger group is that
it helps avoid error.)
- A Group Effort
- Read Mark 2:1-3. How many men did it take to carry the
- Read Mark 2:4. How many men did it take to decide to carry
the paralyzed guy to the roof and dig a hole in it to get
close to Jesus?
- Read Mark 2:5. Who is the "their" in "When Jesus saw their
faith?" (Apparently, the five men.)
- Let's contemplate the part of the story we have read so
far. How would you react if you were Jesus trying to
teach a group and a group of guys are digging a hole in
the roof above you? (I would have been very annoyed at the
distraction, but Jesus sees through that and calls it
- Could the paralyzed guy have done this on his own?
- What would you think would be the minimum number to
accomplish getting this fellow in front of Jesus? Is
this a calculation we need to make when we have some
- Read Mark 2:5. Do you think this is what the five wanted
- If you were one of the five and recounting your day,
would you say it was filled with frustration? First
the crowd, then climbing the roof, then digging a big
hole, then getting Jesus to help. After all that,
Jesus says the wrong thing!
- Read Mark 2:6-7. Let's assume that these five are
representative of the coordinated work of the church. Do
things always work out as the church group has in mind?
- Why does Jesus not immediately say the obvious, "Get
up and walk?" (Jesus has the big picture in mind.
This is not just about the paralyzed guy. This is
about the religious leaders and all who are
- Read Mark 2:8-12. What has been accomplished by this
mission of faith by the group of five men? (First, their
paralyzed guy is healed. Second, his sins are forgiven.
Third, Jesus demonstrates to the assembled group that He
is God, and He has authority to forgive sin and heal! It
has been a great day!)
- Friend, did you decide that your influence is not what it
should be? If so, why not determine today to trust God and
with the guidance of the Holy Spirit find a group to
advance the Kingdom of God?
- Next week: Restoring Dominion.
* 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.