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Sabbath School Lessons on Religion in Relationships
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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 1: Created for Community *
Introduction: Did God create us to worship Him or to help
others? If the answer is "both," what does God expect of us
in our dealings with others? Our lesson this week is
entitled "Created for Community" and we start out with our
most immediate "community" - the family. Let's jump into our
- Family Relationships
- Read Genesis 2:15-17. We see in the Genesis record
God's first dealings with humans. In these verses,
what do you conclude God has in mind for humans?
(That they live productive lives and that they obey
- Read Genesis 2:18. Why is it "not good" for man to
be alone? (The second part of the verse teaches us
that having a "helper" reflects God's view of the
best human relationship.)
- What kind of "help" is this "helper" to
provide? (Go back to the original assignment
to humans: Live productive lives and obey
- Read Genesis 2:19-20. Was Adam looking for a helper
among the animals? (The text certainly reads that
- When the Bible says "no suitable helper was
found" what does that mean? (The New Bible
Commentary says "suitable helper" would be
better translated "helper matching him." Eve
would supply what Adam lacked. It was only a
woman who fully satisfied the job
- Did God have "minimum specifications" for
Adam's helper? (That is the reasonable
conclusion to be drawn. God was looking
for the right "match." Someone
- How should young people today judge
whether a potential future mate is
"suitable" and the "right match?"
- Read Genesis 2:21-23. If you read Genesis 1 you see
that God created just about everything by simply
speaking. Why is God fooling around with a rib when
creating Eve? He must have had some lesson in mind
for us, what is it?
- In what way is woman a suitable helper to man?
Consider Adam's description of Eve in verse
23. (Adam says that she is suitable because
she was part of me. I think he is saying that
she is like me, she is the same thing that I
am, she is compatible with me. That she was
made of Adam's rib signifies an equality in
creation. I think that was God's message. She
is quite unlike one of the animals.)
- Read Genesis 2:24. This text says "for this reason"
man and wife will become "one flesh." What reason
does the text refer to? (The reason goes back to
God's creative act of making woman out of a part of
- How do a man and woman become "one flesh" today?
(There are many aspects to the "one flesh" concept,
but at the most fundamental level it refers to
reproduction: the creation of new life out of the
bodies of the parents. Adam and Eve were originally
"one flesh" and they again become "one flesh" in
procreation. Compare Genesis 1:28.)
- There is a huge debate in the United States that
was brought to center stage by a ruling of the
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. It ruled that
homosexuals have a constitutional right to marry.(I
have argued constitutional law issues many times
before this very court in the past.) Regardless of
what the Massachusetts court thinks of its state
constitution, what do these texts suggest that God
thinks of homosexuality as a "marriage unit?"
(Homosexuality fails the "one flesh" concept in the
most fundamental of ways - homosexuals cannot join
together to create new life. Physiologically, they
are not a "match.")
- Unlike many popular theories of man, God never asks
us to turn off our brains or our eyes when
evaluating His plan for humans. Facts are a "hard
thing" for the theories of man, but not the designs
of God. What have you observed is the common result
of homosexual unions? (It is certainly not life.
The male homosexual sex act especially exposes the
body to the transmission of disease and death. The
result is a world-wide plague that has spread even
to heterosexuals who do not observe the "man ...
united to his wife" design of God. Death is a far
different result than the new life that results
from a man and a woman becoming "one flesh." This
fits the common pattern in the great controversy
between good and evil. God creates the original,
Satan creates a counterfeit. God's original brings
life, Satan's counterfeit brings death.)
- The New Bible Commentary says that the word
"united" in Genesis 2:24 literally means "sticks."
What does this teach us about the marriage
relationship? (That God intends married couples to
stick together. Jesus makes this clear in Matthew
- Golden Relationships
- Read Matthew 7:9-11. What kind of relationship
does a father normally have with his son? (The
best. Fathers care more about their sons than they
do about other children. Mothers care more about
their daughters than they do about other children.
Parents care most about their own kids.)
- Have you ever worried that God does not have
your best interests in mind? Is so, what do
these texts teach you? (You can trust your
heavenly father to at least("how much more")
treat you the same way that a loving earthly
father would treat you. If you are a father or
mother, you have a better understanding of
what God is trying to teach us about His love
and care for us.)
- What kind of gifts does God give us? (Good
- What does this teach us about having all
of our prayers answered? (Parents know
that their children often ask for things
that are not "good gifts." This is a test
God uses in answering our requests.)
- Read Matthew 7:12. "So in everything" suggests that
verses 9-11 have something to do with verse 12. Do
they? If you say "yes," what do they have to do
with verse 12? (The kindness and love of our Father
in Heaven should drive our relationships with those
around us. We should show kindness and love to
- What standard should we apply to our behavior?
(Ask how you would like the other person to
treat you, then treat them that way. This is
the classic "Golden Rule" - do to others as
you would have them do to you.)
- Does that mean we always give others what
they want from us? (The "good gift" rule
- Read 1 Corinthians 10:23-29. What could be
"permissible" but not "beneficial?" ( Romans 14:1-2.
teaches us that there are "disputable" matters in
the Bible. One believer thinks the matter is sin
and another does not.)
- What was the disputed matter in 1 Corinthians
10? (If you look at this chapter you will see
that Paul says believers should not
participate in sacrifices to idols. The
question is, when does eating the meat offered
to idols stop being idol worship? Paul
explains that as far as he is concerned, when
it hits the meat market it is "okay" unless it
has a big "meat offered to idols" sign on it.)
- Would God give us two standards for behavior?
- Compare 1 Corinthians 10:27-29 with Romans
14:14-15. What standard is applied here? (The
"unified" standard is love to others. These
texts say that when we are around those who do
not share our values we should avoid doing
what distresses others.)
- Is acting differently depending on who is
around hypocrisy or love? ( Romans 14:1-15 and
1 Corinthians 10:27-29 teach this is love.)
- Why should the standards of the weak (or
the "strict" or the "legalists") limit us?
- What if the "weak" are obnoxious about
- Let's discuss the actual application of this.
Many years ago wearing a wedding ring was a
disputed matter in my church. I thought it
was a moral obligation and others thought it
was a sin. A church member came to me and
(presumably on behalf of the church) asked me
not to wear my ring to church board meetings.
What should I have done? Should I have said
(referring to the first part of this lesson)
"Marriage is important, and the ring is an
important symbol showing I believe in
marriage?" (I stopped wearing the ring to
church board meetings. God is looking for
harmony on "disputable matters.")
- Read 1 Corinthians 13:3-7. How does your life
compare to this standard?
- Friend, God has a standard for our marriage and our
relationships with others. Are you meeting God's
goals for your relationships with others?
- Next week: "Honor Your Father and Mother." (Tell
your children to tune in!)
* Copr. 2004, 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.