Author Topic: SDA Sabbath Sch Lesson 6--4th Quarter 2020--More Lessons From the Master Teacher  (Read 522 times)

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Lesson 6 October 31-November 6

More Lessons From the Master 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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Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study: Gen. 3:1-11, Rom. 5:11-19, Gen. 28:10-17, John 1:1-14, Matt. 15:21-28, Mark 10:46-52.

Memory Text: “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go thy way; your faith hath made you well.’ And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.” Mark 10:52

Who among us has never been ashamed of himself or herself? Who among us hasn’t done things that pain us to think about, and that we would recoil in horror at the thought of others knowing? Most likely, we’ve all been there, haven’t we?

Imagine, then, what it was like to be Adam and Eve after they ate fruit from the forbidden tree. Or when Jacob tricked his father into favoring him over his elder brother and then had to run away from his brother’s anger. How did he sleep at night? And imagine being the woman caught in adultery, “in the very act” (John 8:4). David had been there, too, and Psalm 32 was his poignant expression and confession of what it had been like.

Of course, that’s one reason the gospel is universal and Christ’s death was for all humanity. Whatever our differences, surely one thing unites us: our general sinfulness

Never heard our fallen nature called "our general sinfulness."  Better to say "our evil nature."  All are evil by nature and will not obtain holy flesh until by God's grace we meet Jesus at His second (soon) coming.  Then how can we obtain holiness in evil flesh? Jesus has provided a remedy for our sin sick souls. If we will learn of Him, if we will eat His flesh and drink His blood, we shall be transformed into His image. While we still live in sinful flesh, we can become partakers of another nature, His holy nature.  2 Peter 1:4 tells us this. When we surrender the whole heart to Him, He will take possession of it and cleans it white than snow!! Living in evil flesh in not an excuse for sin since God has promised us a transformed character that walks in all of the light we have been given. We do not follow our "general sinfulness" when we love God with all of the heart.

Hence, true Christian education must be about pointing us to the only solution for our rather dismal state. This week we’ll look at our only solution, our Master Teacher.

Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, November 7.
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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Sunday        November 1

Instead of Hiding

Read Genesis 3:1-11. Why would God have asked Adam, “Where art thou?”

Typical stories of the Fall depict the fruit as an apple. But that’s not what the text says. It was simply the “fruit of the tree” (Gen. 3:3). The kind of fruit doesn’t matter. Eating from this tree was forbidden because the tree stood for something. It stood for the temptation to push God aside and to declare, “I can be the measure of my own life. I can be God to myself. I have authority over the Word of God.”

And, sure enough, when the snake, or “serpent,” got Adam and Eve to eat the tree’s fruit, their lives skidded off course. And then, when they sensed God nearby, they tried to hide “among the trees of the garden” (Gen. 3:8, NKJV).

How strange that God would ask Adam, “Where are you?” God certainly knew where he was. Perhaps the Lord asked the question to help Adam and Eve realize just what they were doing – hiding – as a result of what they had done. That is, He was helping them see the sad results of their actions.

Read Romans 5:11-19, where Paul, many times, directly links what Adam did in Eden with what Jesus did on the cross. What should this tell us about how Jesus came to undo what Adam did?

One could argue that the plan of salvation is God’s response to Adam and Eve’s answer. They were hiding from God in the shame and the guilt of their sin, and God came to rescue them. In our own ways, we, too, have done the same thing, and Jesus has come to rescue us. Hence the question “Where are you?” could be asked of us, as well. That is, where are you, in your sin and guilt, in relationship to Jesus and what He has done to rescue you from it?

Whatever else Christian education entails, why must it entail, even emphasize, the fact that our natural state is to hide from God, and then point us to Jesus as the solution?

If we do not lead our children to give their hearts to Christ in our schools, then they will leave the church which we see happening to a very large number. If they are not taught the real gospel then they do not know their need nor the plan of salvation. God has given to us, the last of the seven churches in Revelation a message that says we all need to learn the gospel message, for most in the church are in a lost condition and need to "repent."

3:14   And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 
 3:15   I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 
 3:16   So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 
 3:17   Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 
 3:18   I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 
 3:19   As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 
 3:20   Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 
 3:21   To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 
 3:22   He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. 

Something to think about. Many in the church today went through our schools and still do not know the gospel of grace.  Share this message with your Sabbath School.

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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Monday        November 2

On the Run

Read Genesis 28:10-17. What is the context of this story, and what does it teach us about God’s grace for those who, in a sense, are on the run from their sins?

In his dealings with the rest of the family, Jacob, with his mother’s help, had fallen into cruel deceits, and now he’s paying for it. His brother is breathing violent threats against him, and he’s become a fugitive, headed toward his uncle’s place in Haran. Everything is unsettled and scary.

One day Jacob trudges into the dusk, and then the dark. He’s in the middle of nowhere, with only the sky for a roof. Finding a stone for a pillow, he falls asleep. But sleep’s blank unconsciousness is soon interrupted. The famous dream comes, and the ladder, or staircase, that he sees rests on earth and stretches to heaven. Angels are ascending and descending on it.

Then he hears a voice say, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham.” The voice goes on to repeat promises Jacob is familiar with from the family lore. Your offspring will become great. They will be a blessing to all the families of the earth. “Know that I am with you,” the voice continues, “and will keep you wherever you go, … for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you” (Gen. 28:15, NRSV).

Ellen G. White wrote of how Paul, much later, “beholds the ladder of Jacob’s vision, representing Christ, who has connected earth with heaven, and finite man with the infinite God. His faith is strengthened as he calls to mind how patriarchs and prophets have relied upon the One who is his support and consolation, and for whom he is giving his life.” — The Acts of the Apostles, p. 512.

Jacob awakes, and he says to himself: “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it” (Gen. 28:16, NKJV). What’s happened here is “awesome.” He’ll never forget the place, and he gives it a name. Then he vows lifelong loyalty to God.

What can we learn from this story about how God, in Christ, is seeking to reach us despite our sins? Again, why must Christian education keep this principle at the forefront of what it teaches?

We are saved by grace. God does not excuse sin, but rather wants to save sinners from sin. The only way He can do this is to reveal His character to us. His grace that we do not deserve is what transforms sinners into saints.  We love Him supremely because He first loved us while we were yet sinners.

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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Tuesday         November 3

Rabbi Jesus

Of all the chapter beginnings in the New Testament, none is more famous than this: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). And John 1 soon takes you to the unforgettable verse: “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14, NRSV).

Read John 1:1-14. What are these texts telling about who Jesus was and what He was doing here? What should this tell us about Jesus as the great example of a teacher?

The same God who spoke to Adam and Eve in the garden, and to Jacob in the middle of nowhere, now shows up as a person. God, says the New Testament, was personified in Jesus. Through Jesus, we can learn about God’s will and God’s way, because Jesus was God.

The chapter goes on to say how John the Baptist was so compelling a preacher that even religious leaders from Jerusalem suspected that he might be someone special. But he was preparing the way for someone greater than himself. Someone astonishingly special was about to appear, and he, John the Baptist, would be unworthy to “untie the thong of his sandal” (John 1:27, NRSV).

The next day he saw Jesus and declared that He was the “Son of God.” That day, and also a day later, he called Jesus “the lamb of God.”

Also, two of John the Baptist’s followers decide to follow Jesus themselves. And when Jesus asks what they are looking for, they call him “‘Rabbi’ (which translated means Teacher)” (John 1:38, NRSV).

Jesus, then, is a rabbi, a teacher, but never has there been a human teacher like Him, because, again, He is God. In other words, God came down to humanity in the form of a human being, and in that form He functioned as a rabbi, a teacher. No wonder Ellen White called Jesus “the greatest teacher the world has ever seen.” — Signs of the Times, June 10, 1886. After all, this Teacher was God.

Considering who Jesus was, why does it make sense to learn from Him the best ways of teaching spiritual truth?

Let us then learn of His way of teaching spiritual truth. Jesus spent more time healing than preaching? Why? If you plant a garden, do you just through the seed out without plowing the ground? Jesus spent time revealing His love for sinners that the heart would then be ready to hear spiritual truth. The health message is the "right arm of the gospel."  Why? Because it reveals we not only love them, but reveals powerful truths about health that God has given to His church.

What can we learn from Jesus about why not only what we say is important for teaching, but what we do, as well?

It is by seeing Christians that are truly converted that the world will know there is a God in heaven. Why? Because they will see there is a difference in character between those who love God and those who do not. If they do not see a difference in character, then what does that say about the professing Christian?
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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Wednesday        November 4

A Woman Talks Back

Jesus is the Master Teacher. God’s true character shines through in His teaching, and also in His life. Thus, one Gospel story is all the more remarkable for showing that when someone talks back to Jesus, He still listens.

Read the story of Jesus’ encounter with a Gentile (or “Canaanite”) woman from the region of Tyre and Sidon (Matt. 15:21-28, Mark 7:24-30). Notice that the men in Jesus’ circle are impatient with her, and that even Jesus appears to dismiss her. What do you make of the woman’s audacity? What does this story teach us about how Jesus Himself taught others?

Jesus was near Tyre and Sidon. He had crossed into a place where strangers abounded and ethnic tension bristled. The Greek-speaking city dwellers looked down on Jewish farmers in the countryside, and the Jewish farmers looked down on them in return.

Not long before, Herod, the puppet governor of Galilee, Jesus’ home territory, had executed John the Baptist. But John was a man whose vision Jesus largely shared, and the execution seemed ominous. Jesus came face-to-face with the danger of His mission.

Feeling the strain, Jesus entered a house, hoping, so Mark says in his account, that no one would know He was there (Mark 7:24). But the woman found Him.

In the culture of that time and place, a woman had no right to assert herself. What is more, this woman belonged to a culture and ethnic group the Jews had little time for, and this put her at a further disadvantage.

But the woman’s daughter was sick. She wanted help, and she persisted in asking for it.

Jesus dismissed her. “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs,” He said (Matt. 15:26, NRSV). The remark could have hurt her feelings.

And then something remarkable happened. She then responded. She was familiar with dogs – unlike the Jews, who would not have them as pets – and she said: “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table” (Matt. 15:27, NRSV).

Her remark makes a difference. It seems compelling. And Jesus heals her child.

“Let it be to you as you desire” (Matt. 15:28, NKJV). How do we understand these words? How do we respond, though, when things do not happen as we desire?

Jesus knew her heart. He wanted the disciples to see how wrong it was for them to treat her as they did. He healed her daughter. And the disciples saw they were wrong. How do we act when God does not answer our prayer immediately?  If we know the character of our God, how ought we react? If we have studied the Bible, then how ought we act when God does not answer our prayer as we want? Do we want the wrong thing? Who is wiser, God or me?  Then there are a couple of things to consider. If God is wiser than I, which He is, then why would I think He erred in not answering my prayer as I want? God know the end from the beginning. If it possible that I do not know what is best for me, and God does and this is why He answers as He does. Or, maybe I am not truly converted and God does not have to answer my prayers. Being evil is enough that God does not have to answer my request. Which is it? Either way, God is righteous and loves us even if we continue in sin. When we can no longer hear His still small voice because have seared the heart, then God tells the angels to leave and go to others who can still be helped.
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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Thursday          November 5

A Student Who Gets It

Jesus and His followers had turned toward Jerusalem. As Herod had been concerned about John the Baptist, the authorities, including Herod, were now concerned about Jesus. His followers included the poor and other vulnerable folk hoping desperately for change.

Jesus wanted above all things to bring hope to the world. But He was sure, by now, that those with the most power and privilege were going to do what they could to nullify that mission. They did not want Him to succeed.

As for the inner circle of Jesus’ students, the twelve disciples, they seemed eager to be on Jesus’ side. But at the same time, they seemed baffled – or blind. For example, in Mark 8:31-33, the Master Teacher is challenging His students to see things hard for them to see. That is, in many ways they were still spiritually blind to what really mattered (see Mark 8:37).

All this is background for Jesus’ encounter with someone who does see.

Read the story of Jesus and the healing of Bartimaeus, a blind beggar. (See Mark 10:46-52.) Notice the great mercy Jesus shows. Now consider how the blind man’s desire to see leads to his decision to follow Jesus on the way, or road, to Jerusalem. Do you think Mark may be drawing a contrast between Bartimaeus and the other disciples? How does this story shed light on what it means for you to be responsive to the Master Teacher?

Bartimaeus had wanted to see the curl in a baby’s hair and the color of wheat at harvest. But seeing includes more than just what’s physical only. This story, in other words, is about seeing spiritually. It is about getting it – about catching on to what the Master Teacher is truly about. Physical sight is one thing. It’s an important thing, and Jesus knows it. But Jesus also knows that every person’s deepest wish is for a new and better life.

When self is alive, then the flesh has power over the mind and heart. In order to be transformed into this new and better life, we must understand first that we are evil and need to transformed, and then we need to know what we must do in order to be transformed. How can one be converted from an evil sinner into a righteous (right doing) saint?  Some don't think we have to do anything. But, that is not true. If we do not have to do anything, then the whole world would be saved. What is out part which is immeasurably small, and God's part is immeasurably large. Without our part  we shall be lost. What must I do? I must learn of God. I must feed upon Jesus and by beholding His glory (character), I will be changed into His image (character). Prayerfully read 2 Cor. 3:18.

Read Hebrews 5:12-14. What is this teaching us about true education?

True education begins at the foundation of our faith, understanding our great need of help from above, and understanding the power of grace to transform a sinner into the image of God. Hebrews is present truth for today in God's church. Paul is saying the  same thing Jesus is saying to His church today. We need to understand the foundation of our faith. We need to feed upon milk not meat.

What are the foundation principles of Christianity? Read verses 6:1,2

"the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,  Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment."

Notice also in 5:8 and 9:

 5:8   Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 
 5:9   And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal

Was not Jesus always obedient? Yes, He was without blemish, without sin. They why does the Bible say He learned obedience? Because like us, He grew in strength of character. He was not ready for Gethsemane when He was 12. Through His dependence upon His Father He gained strength when suffering. So it is with all who are fully surrendered and are clinging to Christ. Suffering as we abide in Christ will make us more patient. Prayerfully read Romans 5:3-5.

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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Friday     November 6

Further Thought: Read Ellen G. White, “The Test of Discipleship,” pp. 57-65, in Steps to Christ.

Ellen White tells us (among other things) that when we truly respond to the Master Teacher, “we long to bear His image, breathe His spirit, do His will, and please Him in all things” (Steps to Christ, p. 58). In the company of Jesus Christ, duty, she says, “becomes a delight” (Steps to Christ, p. 59).

I was impressed to reveal the truth about these thoughts, to put them in a proper manner that deals with the foundation of our faith. Judas was in the company of Jesus, but was not converted. The prophet is speaking of those who are truly converted. There is a radical transformation in character when one is truly converted. Not in the presence of Jesus, but that Christ is in the heart, it has been given to Him, the whole heart.

“If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17.......

That regenerating power, which no human eye can see, begets a new life in the soul; it creates a new being in the image of God. While the work of the Spirit is silent and imperceptible, its effects are manifest. If the heart has been renewed by the Spirit of God, the life will bear witness to the fact....

f we are Christ’s, our thoughts are with Him, and our sweetest thoughts are of Him. All we have and are is consecrated to Him. We long to bear His image, breathe His spirit, do His will, and please Him in all things. { SC 58.2}
Those who become new creatures in Christ Jesus will bring forth the fruits of the Spirit, “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” Galatians 5:22, 23. They will no longer fashion themselves according to the former lusts, but by the faith of the Son of God they will follow in His steps, reflect His character, and purify themselves even as He is pure. The things they once hated they now love, and the things they once loved they hate. The proud and self-assertive become meek and lowly in heart. The vain and supercilious become serious and unobtrusive. The drunken become sober, and the profligate pure."

 Now, from the Bible, consult Matthew 5-7. Here is the Sermon on the Mount, one of the great summaries of what the Master Teacher wanted His students to know, and the keynote of the kingdom He came to establish.

Yes, Jesus had to correct the Jews who were in a Laodicean condition thinking things were good and they were in need of nothing in regards to spiritual things. But, Jesus told them they would not inherit the kingdom if they were angry with a neighbor without a cause, or if they looked upon a woman with lust in the heart. Do we understand this, as the foundation of the gospel? Many don't, and think they are saved in their sin.

Discussion Questions:

    As God addressed Adam and Eve, and also Jacob, so Jesus addresses us. He connects with our deep longings, and He startles us (as He did Bartimaeus) into reconsidering who we are and where we are going. In this light, think about how we teach the Bible to our children and to one another. What is the difference between mediocre Bible teaching and the compelling kind that really makes a difference in people’s lives?

Speaking the gospel truth and living it is what makes a difference. I left the church when I was 13 because I saw hypocrisy in the church. I had not been taught the gospel nor its power to transform sinners into saints.

    Is the question of where you are on life’s journey purely personal, or might it be helpful to discuss this with people you trust? How does the idea of the church as the “body of Christ” (1 Cor. 12:27) suggest that conversation with others can be one way of getting in touch with what Christ wants you to know?

God sends teachers, but unlike many who are ministers in the church, they point people to Jesus and His Word rather than to others to find out what the Bible says.

    We learned on Thursday that as soon as Bartimaeus could see – as soon as he was rescued from his physical (and spiritual) blindness – he followed Jesus on the road to Jerusalem. On this road he heard, every day, the Master Teacher’s wisdom. Now, we may assume, he wanted to bear Jesus’ image, breathe His spirit, do His will. Why would someone take “delight,” as Steps to Christ puts it, in following a standard as high as the one Jesus upheld in the Sermon on the Mount?

Again, I am impressed to point you to read for yourselves what is written in Steps to Christ before and after what has been quoted. The deception that reigns in the church must be understood that the sinner might be set from from captivity. Here is a short statement in context that ought to open closed eyes.

All that man can do without Christ is polluted with selfishness and sin. It is the grace of Christ alone, through faith, that can make us holy. { SC 59.4}
The opposite and no less dangerous error is that belief in Christ releases men from keeping the law of God; that since by faith alone we become partakers of the grace of Christ, our works have nothing to do with our redemption. { SC 60.1}
But notice here that obedience is not a mere outward compliance, but the service of love. The law of God is an expression of His very nature; it is an embodiment of the great principle of love, and hence is the foundation of His government in heaven and earth. If our hearts are renewed in the likeness of God, if the divine love is implanted in the soul, will not the law of God be carried out in the life? When the principle of love is implanted in the heart, when man is renewed after the image of Him that created him, the new-covenant promise is fulfilled, “I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them.” Hebrews 10:16. And if the law is written in the heart, will it not shape the life? Obedience—the service and allegiance of love—is the true sign of discipleship. Thus the Scripture says, “This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.” “He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” 1 John 5:3; 2:4. Instead of releasing man from obedience, it is faith, and faith only, that makes us partakers of the grace of Christ, which enables us to render obedience. { SC 60.2}

    Dwell more on the question at the end of Thursday’s study. How do we learn to discern between good and evil? How do we define what is good and what is evil? And why is what we do with that knowledge perhaps even more important than having that knowledge itself?

When Adam sinned, he did not lose his ability to know right from wrong. We all have a conscience. What did happen to Adam  is that he no longer had the power to do right, he was at enmity with God and aligned with Satan and sin. It is only through a full heart surrender that man can obey God or do any good thing for the right reason. How do we define what is good and what is evil? The Bible tells us. In the United States we have an organization that tells us that there is to be a separation between church and state. But, their interpretation of this is very wrong. The domain of morality is that of the church. When the Bible is forsaken then there is no understanding of morality. Thus, the ACLU has no authority to say where the line is to be drawn in regards to separation of church and  state. They say that no religious laws ought to be in effect, for this would be a violation of the separation between church and state. How very ignorant and a display of common sense.

Thou shalt not kill is a religious law, shall we do away with it? Thou shalt not steal. Will the ACLU want to do away with this?  The courts are making a move in that direction. How about thou shalt not commit adultery? They have done away with this already. It is through the Holy Spirit that we come to understand truth. He opens our minds to see the truth. But, many today reject the still small voice of God speaking to humanity.

For those who want to know where the dividing line is, since there is to be a separation between church and state in the United States, it has to do with our relationship with others and our relationship with God. The state has no business in mandating how we worship God or when we worship Him. But, the church being the domain of morality, there is no morality without following the morality of the Bible. And, thus we see the great immorality in America and the world.

And, because the world has been allowed into God's church, there are just as many divorces in the church as in the world.  Revival and reformation is promised.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.