Bible Study Guide- January 6-12
The Sinner’s Need of Christ
MEMORY VERSE: "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12
STUDY HELP: Steps to Christ, 17–22.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: "Christ connects fallen man in his weakness and helplessness with the Source of infinite power." Steps to Christ, 20.
INTRODUCTION: "There is but one power that can break the hold of evil from the hearts of men, and that is the power of God in Jesus Christ. Only through the blood of the Crucified One is there cleansing from sin. His grace alone can enable us to resist and subdue the tendencies of our fallen nature." The Ministry of Healing, 428.
The Fall of Man
1 What did Adam and Eve first believe that eventually led them to transgress (disobey) God’s commandment? Genesis 3:1–5; John 8:44; 1 John 2:21.
NOTE: "Ever since the fall of man, Satan has been sowing the seeds of error. It was by a lie that he first gained control over men, and thus he still works to overthrow God’s kingdom in the earth and to bring men under his power." Christ’s Object Lessons, 37.
"Truthfulness and integrity are attributes of God, and he who possesses these qualities possesses a power that is invincible. Never prevaricate; never tell an untruth in precept or in example.…Be straight and undeviating. Even a slight prevarication should not be allowed. The Saviour has a deep contempt for all deception. The stern punishment meted out to Ananias and Sapphira shows this." My Life Today, 331. See also Sons and Daughters of God, 196, "We are now…".
2 How has sin affected man’s relationship with God? Isaiah 59:2; 53:6.
NOTE: "By sin man was shut out from God. Except for the plan of redemption, eternal separation from God, the darkness of unending night, would have been his." Education, 28.
"Before the entrance of sin, Adam enjoyed open communion with his Maker; but since man separated himself from God by transgression, the human race has been cut off from this high privilege. By the plan of redemption, however, a way has been opened whereby the inhabitants of the earth may still have connection with heaven. God has communicated with men by His Spirit, and divine light has been imparted to the world by revelations to His chosen servants. ‘Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.’ 11 Peter 1:21.…" My Life Today, 40. See also Testimonies, vol. 2, 390, "The Lord has given…".
3 What did man lose as a result of his sins? Romans 3:23.
NOTE: God’s glory is His character, see Exodus 33:18, 19; 34:6, 7. "When Adam came from the Creator’s hand, he bore, in his physical, mental, and spiritual nature, a likeness to his Maker. ‘God created man in His own image’ (Genesis 1:27), and it was His purpose that the longer man lived the more fully he should reveal this image—the more fully reflect the glory of the Creator.…But by disobedience this was forfeited. Through sin the divine likeness was marred, and well-nigh obliterated. Man’s physical powers were weakened, his mental capacity was lessened, his spiritual vision dimmed. He had become subject to death. Yet the race was not left without hope. By infinite love and mercy the plan of salvation had been devised, and a life of probation was granted. To restore in man the image of his Maker, to bring him back to the perfection in which he was created, to promote the development of body, mind, and soul, that the divine purpose in his creation might be realized—this was to be the work of redemption. This is the object of education, the great object of life." Education, 15, 16. See also Christ’s Object Lessons, 311, "Only the covering…".
Man’s Hopelessness Without Christ
4 What is impossible for fallen man to do for himself? Jeremiah 13:23; Job 14:4.
NOTE: "It is impossible for us, of ourselves, to escape from the pit of sin in which we are sunken. Our hearts are evil, and we cannot change them. ‘Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.’ ‘The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.’ Job 14:4; Romans 8:7. Education, culture, the exercise of the will, human effort, all have their proper sphere, but here they are powerless. They may produce an outward correctness of behavior, but they cannot change the heart; they cannot purify the springs of life. There must be a power working from within, a new life from above, before men can be changed from sin to holiness. That power is Christ. His grace alone can quicken the lifeless faculties of the soul, and attract it to God, to holiness." Steps to Christ, 18.
5 What does the Bible say we will have without Christ? Ephesians 2:12.
6 Who is apparently the most hopeless man in the world? Romans 7:18–24.
NOTE: "It is not enough to perceive the loving-kindness of God, to see the benevolence, the fatherly tenderness, of His character. It is not enough to discern the wisdom and justice of His law, to see that it is founded upon the eternal principle of love. Paul the apostle saw all this when he exclaimed, ‘I consent unto the law that it is good.’ ‘The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.’ But he added, in the bitterness of his soul-anguish and despair, ‘I am carnal, sold under sin.’ Romans 7:16, 12, 14. He longed for the purity, the righteousness, to which in himself he was powerless to attain, and cried out, ‘O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?’ Romans 7:24, margin. Such is the cry that has gone up from burdened hearts in all lands and in all ages. To all, there is but one answer, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ John 1:29." Steps to Christ, 19.
The Only Hope for Man
7 What has Jesus declared Himself to be for fallen man? John 14:6; Acts 4:10, 12.
NOTE: "Christ has led the way from earth to heaven. He forms the connecting link between the two worlds. He brings the love and condescension of God to man, and brings man up through His merits to meet the reconciliation of God. Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. It is hard work to follow on, step by step, painfully and slowly, onward and upward, in the path of purity and holiness. But Christ has made ample provision to impart new vigor and divine strength at every advance step in the divine life." Testimonies, vol. 3, 193. See also Steps to Christ, 21. "But in vain …" and My Life Today, 260, "This earth…".
8 How did Jesus become the Way for man’s redemption? Romans 5:8; Galatians 1:4; Romans 4:25.
NOTE: "No one need say that his case is hopeless, that he cannot live the life of a Christian. Ample provision is made by the death of Christ for every soul. Jesus is our ever-present help in time of need. Only call upon Him in faith, and He has promised to hear and answer your petitions." Testimonies, vol. 5, 215. See also Ellen G. White Comments, SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1132, "Our only hope…".
9 Through Christ’s life and death man can receive not only forgiveness but power to do what? John 1:12; 1 John 2:4; Revelation 14:12.
NOTE: "It was to atone for man’s transgression of the law that Christ laid down His life. Could the law have been changed or set aside, then Christ need not have died. By His life on earth He honored the law of God. By His death He established it. He gave His life as a sacrifice, not to destroy God’s law, not to create a lower standard, but that justice might be maintained, that the law might be shown to be immutable, that it might stand fast forever.…‘As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.’ John 1:12. This power is not in the human agent. It is the power of God. When a soul receives Christ, he receives power to live the life of Christ.
"God requires perfection of His children. His law is a transcript of His own character, and it is the standard of all character. This infinite standard is presented to all that there may be no mistake in regard to the kind of people whom God will have to compose His kingdom. The life of Christ on earth was a perfect expression of God’s law, and when those who claim to be children of God become Christlike in character, they will be obedient to God’s commandments. Then the Lord can trust them to be of the number who shall compose the family of heaven. Clothed in the glorious apparel of Christ’s righteousness, they have a place at the King’s feast. They have a right to join the blood-washed throng." Christ’s Object Lessons, 314, 315. See also The Desire of Ages, 668, "As Christ lived.…"
God’s Invitation to Man
10 To whom among men does God send His invitation of redemption? Isaiah 55:1; Matthew 5:6.
NOTE: "A divine element combines with the human when the soul reaches out after God and the longing heart can say, ‘My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.’ Psalm 62:5. If you have a sense of need in your soul, if you hunger and thirst after righteousness, this is an evidence that Christ has wrought upon your heart, in order that He may be sought unto to do for you, through the endowment of the Holy Spirit, those things which it is impossible for you to do for yourself." Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 19. See also The Desire of Ages, 187, "He who seeks…" and Ministry of Healing, 161, "Grace is an attribute…".
11 What two experiences does Jesus invite us to have with Him? Matthew 11:28, 29.
NOTE: "In these words Christ is speaking to every human being. Whether they know it or not, all are weary and heavy-laden. All are weighed down with burdens that only Christ can remove. The heaviest burden that we bear is the burden of sin. If we were left to bear this burden, it would crush us. But the Sinless One has taken our place. ‘The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.’ Isaiah 53:6. He has borne the burden of our guilt. He will take the load from our weary shoulders. He will give us rest. The burden of care and sorrow also He will bear. He invites us to cast all our care upon Him; for He carries us upon His heart.…
See also Desire of Ages, 328, 329, "The yoke that binds…" and Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 8-9, "All who have a sense…".
12 When can we receive God’s gracious invitation of mercy? 11 Corinthians 6:2; Hebrews 3:15.
NOTE: "The day will come when the awful denunciation of God’s wrath will be uttered against all who have persisted in their disloyalty to Him. This will be when God must speak and do terrible things in righteousness against the transgressors of His law. But you need not be among those who will come under the wrath of God. It is now the day of His salvation. The light from the cross of Calvary is now shining forth in clear, bright rays, revealing Jesus, our Sacrifice for sin. As you read the promises which I have set before you, remember they are the expression of unutterable love and pity. The great heart of infinite Love is drawn toward the sinner with boundless compassion. ‘We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.’ Yes, only believe that God is your helper. He wants to restore His moral image in man. As you draw nigh to Him with confession and repentance, He will draw nigh to you with mercy and forgiveness." Testimonies, vol. 5, 634, 635. See also Steps to Christ, 34, "Christ is ready…".
December 2001 Table of Contents