The Law as Teacher

This is a tool for you to use if you lead a Sabbath School (SS) class or small group. It is keyed to the Bible texts used in the current week’s Adult SS Lesson and includes a brief story from current news you can use to introduce the discussion and then a series of discussion questions in a relational pattern designed to build fellowship and spiritual reflection.


For use: October 11 – 17

Texts: Deuteronomy 6:5; 31:9–27; Romans 3:19–23; Revelation 12:17; 14:12; Mark 6:25–27; Hebrews 5:8


Recycling is good for the environment, easy to do, and everyone knows the rules. Right? Wrong! While lots of people help keep the planet green by tossing things in the recycling bin, not everyone knows some of the basic rules of proper recycling.

“Approximately one-third of what typically goes into recycling bins in the U.S. doesn’t belong there,” says Jeremy Walters, sustainability ambassador for Republic Services. “One of the biggest misconceptions is that an item is recyclable if it has the recycle symbol on it. This, coupled with confusion about what can and cannot be recycled, has caused contamination rates to increase.”

Some rules vary from state to state, but there are basic guidelines that everyone can follow to make sure your household recycling is done the right way. For instance, while many things can be recycled, they still need to be properly sorted. And no matter where you live, almost all recyclers will take paper, cardboard, metal cans, and plastic containers labeled with a No. 1 or 2.

God has provided us with a set of rules that will help keep us happy, healthy, and headed for the kingdom of heaven. God’s law was not haphazardly given to Israel as an afterthought. It was given intentionally and reviewed regularly to help the Hebrew nation remember rules that would prevent them much heartache.

The law, when kept, promises to bring prosperity, but not in the sense of how the world measures success. True wealth is not attained by gathering greater amounts of money or personal possessions. It comes by having a character that reflects the image of God found in the law. Still, difficult times face people who seek to keep God’s law, but by persevering through trials, by persisting in keeping the Lord’s commands through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, you will thrive.

This week’s Sabbath School lesson, “The Law as Teacher,” reminds us that the Ten Commandments weren’t created so that the Lord can catch us doing things the wrong way. The life-giving rules were provided, as Sabbath’s lesson states, to “point us to the way of life, which is found only in Jesus.”

So, don’t assume everybody knows the rules. Take time to review them!


For Reflection

Connecting: Do you recycle your trash? If you do, what rules do you follow?

SharingDoes the Bible–as a whole–teach that it is important to obey God’s law?

  1. No. Our focus should not be on the law, but on Jesus.
  2. Yes. God’s people are identified as those who “keep the commandments of God” (Revelation 14:12).
  3. No. People who try to keep the law are legalistic and obnoxious to be around.
  4. Yes. But keeping the commandments comes only through faith in Jesus (Romans 1:5).
  5. Yes. The Bible even says the devil is especially hostile toward commandment-keepers (Revelation 12:17).
  6. Other:

Applying: Your co-worker mocks the idea that we should keep God’s law. Think of three illustrations that could help explain how keeping certain laws could save a person’s life. (For instance, traffic laws, health laws, and athletic sports rules.)

Valuing: Do you think of God’s law as a helpful teacher, educating you in a better way of life? Pray with one other person, over the phone or Zoom if necessary, asking the Lord to help you value the commandments as a safeguard against evil.

~ Curtis Rittenour

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