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Commentary on "Relationships""



Day 1: Sabbath Afternoon, January 15, 2011 - Introduction



This week’s lesson looks at relationships. The first day’s study makes the point that relationships are generally people’s major source of stress. Contrastingly, when relationships are positive, they “are a powerful source of satisfaction.”

“People make us happy, or people make us miserable,” the author declares. The week will focus on relationships and what the Bible teaches about them. The memory text is Matthew 7:12:

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

The Learning Outline in the teachers’ guide states these four cognitive goals: to know

  1. What biblical principles guide the way we treat one another when we are hurt, angry or afraid,
  2. What biblical principles teach us how to build intimacy,
  3. Why confession and forgiveness are so important, and
  4. How we should approach barriers to relationship that have arisen from past experiences with each other.

The teachers’ guide also asks, “How did Christ model relationships with leaders, with His quarreling disciples, and with difficult crowds? What close relationships did He have, and how did He maintain these?:”



This lesson again approaches a topic that reflects our core identities. Relationships are where our strengths and weaknesses are most clearly revealed, and our brokenness and deep sin are most destructive.

The subject of relationships is one that cannot be fully dealt with apart from addressing the individual’s condition. Am I, as a party in a relationship, alive or dead? Have I been born again and transferred into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son, or am I still dead in the domain of darkness? (Col 1:13; Eph; 2:1-6).

If I am still a natural person, spiritually dead and not born again, no amount of good advice and positive behavior will be able to heal my relationships. Humans are intrinsically “objects of wrath” (Eph 2:3), and without any spark of goodness (Rom. 3:9-18), we are naturally helpless to have unselfish love or true care for another. We may behave in ways that are, strictly speaking, moral and acceptable, but our hearts cannot truly love, forgive, and nurture another’s if we are not made alive with the Life of the Lord Jesus that is the Light of humanity.



  1. The first consideration when examining relationships is the condition of one’s own life. Am I born again, or not?
  2. If I am not born again, I mist deal with the Lord Jesus before I can have real hope of healing painful and broken relationships.




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Official Adventist Resources

Standard Edition Study Guide Week 4

Teacher's Edition Study Guide Week 4

Easy Reading Edition Study Guide Wk 4

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