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Wally

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Lesson 3 October 10-16



The Law as Teacher





Commentary in Navy                  Inspiration in Maroon






So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--4th Quarter 2020--The Law as Teacher
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2020, 09:05:35 PM »


Sabbath Afternoon


Read for This Week’s Study: Deut. 6:5; Deut. 31:9-27; Rom. 3:19-23; Rev. 12:17; 14:12; Mark 6:25-27; Heb. 5:8.

Memory Text: “And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” Deuteronomy 6:5

In warning the Galatians against legalism, Paul wrote: “For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law” (Gal. 3:21, NKJV). Of course, if any law could have “given life,” it would have been God’s law. And yet Paul’s point is that, for us as sinners, even God’s law can’t give life. Why? “But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe” (Gal. 3:22, NKJV).

However, if the law can’t give life to sinners, what’s the purpose of it, other than to show us our need of grace? Is the law, then, only negative in function, only there to show us our sins?

The law is a revelation of the character of our God. We are to be witnesses of His character. Do you call yourself a Christian? Do you witness His character? When He has a church who reveal His character, He will come. Let us hasten that day.


No; the law is also there to point us to the way of life, which is found only in Jesus. This is also what true education should be about, pointing us to a life of grace, of faith, and of obedience to Christ. That’s why this week we will study the role of God’s law in the whole question of Christian education. As we do, let’s see what the law, though it cannot save us, still can teach us about faith, about grace, and about our God’s love for fallen humanity.

Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, October 17.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--4th Quarter 2020--The Law as Teacher
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2020, 09:08:46 PM »
Sunday     October 11

To Love and to Fear God


The book of Deuteronomy contains Moses’ last words to Israel before a new generation, the one that will finally enter the Promised land. But before they do, he has some very clear words and instructions for them.

Read Deuteronomy 31:9-13.

 31:9   And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and unto all the elders of Israel. 
 31:10   And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of [every] seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles, 
 31:11   When all Israel is come to appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing. 
 31:12   Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that [is] within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law: 
 31:13   And [that] their children, which have not known [any thing], may hear, and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it. 


What does it mean to fear the Lord?

God was intentional about the ways that He imparted His law to Israel. He made every provision so that His laws would not be forgotten. In this way, God is a longsuffering educator. He teaches and repeats and sends prophets and uses His servants to impart His message. And He did it again and again. Indeed, isn’t so much of the writings of the Old Testament nothing but God seeking to teach His people to follow the way of life?

Notice in these verses how Moses stresses the importance of future generations’ learning the law. Moses describes it as a two-step process. First the children will hear the law, and then they will “learn to fear the Lord your God” (Deut. 31:13).

First, they hear, and then, they learn to fear God. That is, learning the law presupposes that fear will not be a natural outcome of knowing the law. The process of fearing God must be learned. Moses implies that knowledge and fear are a process, not an immediate cause-and-effect relationship.

Also, what does “fear God” mean when the people are also told that “you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deut. 6:5, NKJV)? Perhaps we can compare it to the way a child loves and fears a good father, a father who reveals his love and care by showing that he says what he means and he means what he says. With such a father, if you do wrong, you will indeed suffer the consequences of that wrongdoing. Yes, we can, and must, love and fear God at the same time. They are not contradictory ideas. The more we learn about God, the more we come to love Him because of His goodness; and yet at the same time, the more we come to know about God, the more we can fear Him, too, because we can see just how holy and righteousness He is and how sinful and unrighteous we are in contrast, and how it is only by grace – undeserved merit – that we are not destroyed.

How do you understand what it means to love and to fear God at the same time?

The question rightly asked would be "why do you fear God?" Many have no fear of God at all. Even those who have been in the church for many years, many of which do not see any reason to fear God because He is a God of love, great love. What does a Laodicean condition have to do with not fearing God?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--4th Quarter 2020--The Law as Teacher
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2020, 09:21:16 PM »
Monday        October 12
A Witness Against You
 


When Moses knows he is soon to die, he is profoundly aware of the situation that he will leave behind. He knows that after his death the Israelites will enter into the Promised Land of Canaan. He also knows that they will become rebellious upon reaching their long-sought destination.

Read Deuteronomy 31:14-27.

 31:14   And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thy days approach that thou must die: call Joshua, and present yourselves in the tabernacle of the congregation, that I may give him a charge. And Moses and Joshua went, and presented themselves in the tabernacle of the congregation. 
 31:15   And the LORD appeared in the tabernacle in a pillar of a cloud: and the pillar of the cloud stood over the door of the tabernacle. 
 31:16   And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go [to be] among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them. 
 31:17   Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God [is] not among us? 
 31:18   And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods. 
 31:19   Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel. 
 31:20   For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant. 
 31:21   And it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are befallen them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed: for I know their imagination which they go about, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I sware. 
 31:22   Moses therefore wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel. 
 31:23   And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them: and I will be with thee. 
 31:24   And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished, 
 31:25   That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying, 
 31:26   Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee. 
 31:27   For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the LORD; and how much more after my death? 


What preparations does Moses make before his death? What were Moses’ chief concerns, and how does he address those concerns?

Moses’ tone here may appear like that of a teacher preparing for a substitute. He knows that his pupils have misbehaved in his presence in the classroom; he is not so deluded as to think that they will not rebel in his absence. He instructs the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant to place the Book of the Law next to the ark in order for it to be a “witness.” Moses is not simply passing on a lesson plan for his substitute. He is passing on a witness. Moses speaks of the Book of the Law as though it is a living being with power to reprove the hearts of men.

Think about the law as a “witness against” them. How do we understand this idea in the New Testament, as well? See Rom. 3:19-23. That is, how does the law point us to our need of grace?

 3:19   Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 
 3:20   Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law [is] the knowledge of sin. 
 3:21   But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 
 3:22   Even the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 
 3:23   For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 


In Deuteronomy 31, God instructs Moses to write down a song that the Lord has taught Moses. Moses is then to teach the song to the Israelites so that, as stated in verse 19, it “may be a witness for me against the children of Israel.” Again we see God’s directives personified. A song, when sung, is more easily shared and spread. And when a song is a witness, it has the ability to cause people to look at themselves and see what it says about them.

Even as we seek to obey God’s law with all our God-given strength, in what ways does His law function as a “witness against” us? What does this witness teach us about the need of the gospel in our lives?

Interesting statement. "as we seek to obey God’s law with all our God-given strength, in what ways does His law function as a 'witness against' us?"
Two things to understand. When we have God given strength because we are partakers of God's divine nature, we then will not be tempted beyond what we can bear. Why did the law witness against Israel? It appears the teachers of our lesson think that we are like Israel who were rebelling against God by not keeping His law. Is that true of you? Does God's law witness against you? If so, what can you do in response to this rebuke?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--4th Quarter 2020--The Law as Teacher
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2020, 06:51:19 AM »
    Tuesday         October 13

    That You May Prosper

    Throughout the Bible, we hear of other outcomes of knowing – and obeying – God’s law.

    Read Joshua 1:7, 8.


 1:7   Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it [to] the right hand or [to] the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. 
 1:8   This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. 


What was the Lord saying to Joshua, and how do the principles found there apply to us today?

    The Lord tells Joshua as he enters into Canaan: “Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go” (Josh. 1:7, NKJV).

    This notion of success as a by-product of obedience may seem contrary to the way success is measured in our world today. Many today believe that the marks of success are innovation, creativity, and self-reliance. To succeed in a particular industry often requires extraordinary talent and risk-taking.

    However, in God’s eyes success requires a different set of resources.

    Read Revelation 12:17, Revelation 14:12, Romans 1:5, Romans 16:26, James 2:10-12. What are these verses saying to us, today, about obedience to God’s law? That is, even if we are not saved by obeying God’s law, why is it so important that we still keep it?

    Old Testament, New Testament, Old Covenant, New Covenant – it doesn’t matter: as Bible-believing Christians we are called to obedience to God’s law. Violation of the law, also known as sin, can lead only to pain, suffering, and eternal death. Who hasn’t learned for themselves, or seen for themselves, the results of sin, the results of violation of God’s law? Just as ancient Israel would prosper by obeying God’s law (even though they needed grace, as well), it’s no different for us today, either. Hence, as part of Christian education we need to keep God’s law as a central component of what it means to live by faith and trusting in God’s grace.

    What has been your own experience with the consequences of sin? What have you learned that you could share with others so that, perhaps, they might not make the same mistakes?

It appears that we are being taught we must be obedient in this world if we want to live in the next world. Is this what we must be? Must we cease sinning, or are we saved in our sin? Let's continue on to see if the lessons are consistent in its teaching.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--4th Quarter 2020--The Law as Teacher
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2020, 06:52:39 AM »
    Wednesday      October 14

    The Toils and Struggles of Law Keepers

    There are great benefits to following God’s law, as evidenced in the people whom God prospered. Joshua closely followed God’s precepts and he led the people of Israel well. Time and again, the Lord told Israel that if they obeyed the law, they would prosper.

    Read 2 Chronicles 31:20, 21. What were the key reasons in this passage as to why Hezekiah prospered?

    Whatever education venue we are in, we must stress the importance of obedience. Yet our students aren’t stupid. They will notice, sooner or later, the harsh fact that some people are faithful, loving, and obedient. And yet – what? Disaster strikes them as well. How do we explain this?

    The fact is, we can’t. We live in a world of sin, of evil, a world in which the great controversy rages, and none of us are immune to it.

Of course we can explain why disaster strikes the faithful obedient Christian. Look at the life of Christ, why did disaster strike our Savior? For what purpose did Jesus suffer? It was not just for our salvation Jesus suffered. How did Jesus come to have a character that could carry the sins  of the whole world? Do we think He could have done this when he was twelve years old? No, He could not. The Bible tells us He learned obedience through the things He suffered. So it is with us, we learn obedience through the things we suffer. Why will the 144,000 go through a time of trouble such as never was? They are sealed and will not sin, then why not take them to heaven before going through this time of trouble? We have been told why. It is for their good and God's glory.

Let one of our scholars explain why God allows bad things to happen to the faithful Christian who is not sinning.


    What do these texts teach us about this difficult question? Mark 6:25-27; Job 1, 2; 2 Cor. 11:23-29.

    Without question, good and faithful people, law-abiding people, have not always prospered, at least as the world understands prosperity. And here, too, might be a partial answer to this difficult question, a question that as we seek to teach the importance of the law is no doubt going to be raised. What exactly do we mean by “prosperity”? What did the psalmist say? “I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness” (Ps. 84:10, NKJV). There’s no question that, by the world’s standards, even those faithful to God and obedient to His law don’t always “prosper,” at least for now. We do our students a disservice to say otherwise.

    Read Hebrews 11:13-16.

 11:13   These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 
 11:14   For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 
 11:15   And truly, if they had been mindful of that [country] from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 
 11:16   But now they desire a better [country], that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. 


How do these verses help us understand why those who are faithful still suffer in this life?

It is true that suffering in this world is nothing compared to the reward given to the faithful Christian, but it does not explain why God allows suffering to come to the faithful. The greatest honor and the most weighty trust can bestow upon His people is to allow us to be partaker in the sufferings of Christ. “Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake.” Philippians 1:29.

We see here from Scripture that one of the reasons we suffer when being faithful and obedient is for His sake. Again let one of our scholars explain why it is for our good and His sake that we suffer when being perfectly obedient to God's commands.




Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--4th Quarter 2020--The Law as Teacher
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2020, 07:01:32 AM »
    Thursday         October 15

    Jesus, Our Example

    Jesus Christ, the Son of God, lived the only human life in perfect obedience to the Father, in perfect obedience to the law of God. He did this so that He could be not just our substitute, which He was, but also our example, which He was too.

    Read the following passages: Luke 2:51, 52; Phil. 2:8; Heb. 5:8; John 8:28, 29. How do they remind us of Christ’s obedience throughout His life?

    Perhaps John said it the best when he wrote this: “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” (1 John 2:6, NKJV). When we fix our eyes on the life of Christ and His ministry on earth, it is easy to see how He pleased the Father by His obedience. Christ did fulfill prophecy, and He upheld God’s laws throughout His lifetime.

    Just as God told Moses to write down His law so that it might be a witness to Israel, Christ was the living embodiment of the witness to His apostles, disciples, to sinners and saints. Now, rather than just having a set of rules to follow, we have the example of Jesus, a flesh-and-blood human being, to follow, as well.

    As teachers, what better role model can we present to students than the model of Jesus and how He obeyed the Father?

    “That so-called faith in Christ which professes to release men from the obligation of obedience to God, is not faith, but presumption. ‘By grace are ye saved through faith.’ But ‘faith, if it hath not works, is dead.’ Ephesians 2:8; James 2:17. Jesus said of Himself before He came to earth, ‘I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart.’ Psalm 40:8. And just before He ascended again to heaven He declared, ‘I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.’ John 15:10. The Scripture says, ‘Hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments … . He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk even as He walked.’ 1 John 2:3-6.” — Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 61.


    What can you do to better follow Christ’s example in all areas of your life and thus be a better teacher to others as well? Though it’s kind of an old, trite idea, why does what we do – our actions – speak so much louder than what we say?

While Christ is our perfect example, do we not have witnesses on this Earth that reveal the perfection of character that sets an example that sinners can be transformed into saints? It is one thing to see the righteousness of Christ, but it is another to see the righteousness of Christ imparted to repentant sinners, is it not?

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--4th Quarter 2020--The Law as Teacher
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2020, 07:24:05 AM »
    Friday       October 16

    Further Thought: “Love, the basis of creation and of redemption, is the basis of true education. This is made plain in the law that God has given as the guide of life. The first and great commandment is, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind.’ Luke 10:27. To love Him, the infinite, the omniscient One, with the whole strength, and mind, and heart, means the highest development of every power. It means that in the whole being – the body, the mind, as well as the soul – the image of God is to be restored.

Amen!!  Restored when? When Jesus comes and gives us glorified bodies? No, now. We may today reflect the image of God, the righteousness of Christ while living in fallen flesh. We may become partakers of God's divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).


    Like the first is the second commandment – ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’ Matthew 22:39. The law of love calls for the devotion of body, mind, and soul to the service of God and our fellow men. And this service, while making us a blessing to others, brings the greatest blessing to ourselves. Unselfishness underlies all true development. Through unselfish service we receive the highest culture of every faculty. More and more fully do we become partakers of the divine nature. We are fitted for heaven, for we receive heaven into our hearts.” — Ellen G. White, Education, p. 16.


Amen!! What does God require before He empowers sinners to keep His laws? It is only possible to reflect the righteousness of Christ when we are filled with the Holy Spirit. This can only happen when we love God with the whole heart, not part of it. All must be surrendered to Christ before we can die to self and sin.


    Discussion Questions:

        Like Israel of old, we are to love God and to fear God at the same time (Matt. 22:37, Rev. 14:7). In class, talk more about how we can do both. Also, answer the question: Why are these two commandments not in conflict with each other?

They are not so much commands but a reality that we cannot go to heaven unless we are transformed in character. We can only transformed when we allow God to take control of our lives. We will not give control to God unless we trust Him with all we are and all we have. We can only do this when we truly know Him. When we know Him as it is our privilege to know Him, then we will love Him with the whole heart. Then He will come into our hearts and bring with Him all of the fruits of the Spirit, not one will be missing. We will then reflect His character.


        What is the difference between setting a standard and making a rule? In your experience, is Adventism more concerned with setting high standards within its community of believers or in making rules that unite its community? What does Scripture say about setting high standards for oneself? One’s family? One’s church?

The question comes to mind as to what it means to have a standard in the church?  If the standard is one by which we are judged, then what is the difference between a law and and a standard? In the judgment which began in 1844, the standard in the judgment is the law of God. Do we look at our high standards are they which we are being judged? If so, then what is the difference between  God's law and our high "standards"?


        How do we strike the right balance in showing the importance of obedience to the law of God and, at the same time, showing why this obedience is not the source of our salvation?

The obedience manifested by faithful believers comes from being saved, not from earning salvation. When the whole heart is surrendered to Christ, then we are empowered to keep His law. It does not merit salvation, it is the grace of God allowed into the heart that saves us, and it transforms sinners into saints at the same time.


        Read through Psalm 119 and note how many times notions of obedience, freedom, laws, rules, and commands are stated. What does the author of Psalm 119 want to convey about these themes?

That loving God with the whole heart brings love, joy, and peace to the repentant sinner. If we love God, it is because He has first loved us. Who will sin against God when they are filled with love because they have seen His great love for them? None. It is when we forget who God is that we will sin against Him, after knowing Him. What a shame! Let spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating His great love for us! Let us not allow the mind to forget Him who gave all for us that might live.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.