Bible Study Guide- January 13-19
MEMORY VERSE: "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to
be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death." 11 Corinthians 7:10.
STUDY HELP: Steps to Christ, 23, 24.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Godly sorrow comes only from beholding Jesus at Calvary.
INTRODUCTION: "The Bible does not teach that the sinner must repent before he can heed the invitation of Christ, ‘Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.’ Matthew 11:28. It is the virtue that goes forth from Christ, that leads to genuine repentance." Steps to Christ, 26.
A Knowledge of Sin
1 Genuine repentance will involve sorrow for sin. What does the Bible declare sin to be? 1 John 3:4; Romans 3:20.
NOTE: "’Sin is the transgression of the law.’ This is the only definition of sin. Without the law there can be no transgression. ‘By the law is the knowledge of sin.’ The standard of righteousness is exceeding broad, prohibiting every evil thing." Ellen G. White Comments, SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 951.
"I must speak the truth to all. Those who have accepted the light from God’s Word are never, never to leave an impression upon human minds that God will serve with their sins. His Word defines sin as the transgression of the law." Selected Messages, Book 1, 115.
2 What did Paul say helped him see that he was a sinner before God? Romans 7:7, 8; 4:15.
NOTE: "Paul says that as ‘touching the righteousness which is in the law’—as far as outward acts were concerned—he was ‘blameless’ (Philippians 3:6); but when the spiritual character of the law was discerned, he saw himself a sinner. Judged by the letter of the law as men apply it to the outward life, he had abstained from sin; but when he looked into the depths of its holy precepts, and saw himself as God saw him, he bowed in humiliation and confessed his guilt. He says, ‘I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.’ Romans 7:9. When he saw the spiritual nature of the law, sin appeared in its true hideousness, and his self-esteem was gone." Steps to Christ, 29, 30.
Repentance—a Gift from God
3 Who has promised to give us repentance? Acts 5:31.
NOTE: "Through faith we receive the grace of God; but faith is not our Saviour. It earns nothing. It is the hand by which we lay hold upon Christ, and appropriate His merits, the remedy for sin. And we cannot even repent without the aid of the Spirit of God. The Scripture says of Christ, ‘Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.’ Acts 5:31. Repentance comes from Christ as truly as does pardon." The Desire of Ages, 175.
"Through influences seen and unseen, our Saviour is constantly at work to attract the minds of men from the unsatisfying pleasures of sin to the infinite blessings that may be theirs in Him. To all these souls, who are vainly seeking to drink from the broken cisterns of this world, the divine message is addressed, ‘Let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.’ Revelation 22:17." Steps to Christ, 28.
4 Where will we find this most precious gift of repentance? John 3:14; 12:32; Romans 2:4. See also Acts 11:18; 11 Peter 3:9.
NOTE: "Christ must be revealed to the sinner as the Saviour dying for the sins of the world; and as we behold the Lamb of God upon the cross of Calvary, the mystery of redemption begins to unfold to our minds and the goodness of God leads us to repentance. In dying for sinners, Christ manifested a love that is incomprehensible; and as the sinner beholds this love, it softens the heart, impresses the mind, and inspires contrition in the soul." Steps to Christ, 26, 27.
"We do not repent in order that God may love us, but He reveals to us His love in order that we may repent." Christ’s Object Lesson, 189.
"Christ on the cross not only draws men to repentance toward God for the transgression of His law—for whom God pardons He first makes penitent—but Christ has satisfied Justice; He has proffered Himself as an atonement. His gushing blood, His broken body, satisfy the claims of the broken law, and thus He bridges the gulf which sin has made." Selected Messages, Book 1, 341.
Repentance not to be Repented of
5 What kind of sorrow does the Bible say is necessary in order to experience genuine repentance? 2 Corinthians 7:10.
NOTE: "The mourning here [referring to Matthew 5:4] brought to view is true heart sorrow for sin. Jesus says, ‘I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.’ John 12:32. And as one is drawn to behold Jesus uplifted on the cross, he discerns the sinfulness of humanity. He sees that it is sin which scourged and crucified the Lord of glory. He sees that, while he has been loved with unspeakable tenderness, his life has been a continual scene of ingratitude and rebellion. He has forsaken his best Friend and abused heaven’s most precious gift. He has crucified to himself the Son of God afresh and pierced anew that bleeding and stricken heart. He is separated from God by a gulf of sin that is broad and black and deep, and he mourns in brokenness of heart. Such mourning ‘shall be comforted.’ God reveals to us our guilt that we may flee to Christ, and through Him be set free from the bondage of sin, and rejoice in the liberty of the sons of God. In true contrition we may come to the foot of the cross, and there leave our burdens." Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 9, 10.
6 In experiencing "godly sorrow" for his sins, what attribute did the publican reveal that the Pharisee did not? Luke 18:13, 14.
NOTE: "It is not only at the beginning of the Christian life that this renunciation of self is to be made. At every advance step heavenward it is to be renewed. All our good works are dependent on a power outside of ourselves. Therefore there needs to be a continual reaching out of the heart after God, a continual, earnest, heartbreaking confession of sin and humbling of the soul before Him. Only by constant renunciation of self and dependence on Christ can we walk safely." Christ’s Object Lessons, 159, 160.
"It is when we most fully comprehend the love of God that we best realize the sinfulness of sin. When we see the length of the chain that was let down for us, when we understand something of the infinite sacrifice that Christ has made in our behalf, the heart is melted with tenderness and contrition." Steps to Christ, 36.
Confess and Forsake
7 What two actions are required in genuine repentance? Proverbs 28:13.
NOTE: "The conditions of obtaining mercy of God are simple and just and reasonable. The Lord does not require us to do some grievous thing in order that we may have the forgiveness of sin. We need not make long and wearisome pilgrimages, or perform painful penances, to commend our souls to the God of heaven or to expiate our transgression; but he that confesseth and forsaketh his sin shall have mercy." Steps to Christ, 37.
"It should be made plain that the violation of God’s law, either natural or spiritual, is sin, and that in order…to receive His blessing, sin must be confessed and forsaken." Ministry of Healing, 228.
"Confession will not be acceptable to God without sincere repentance and reformation. There must be decided changes in the life; everything offensive to God must be put away. This will be the result of genuine sorrow for sin." Steps to Christ, 39.
8 What is God’s promise to all who will come to Him confessing and forsaking their sins? 1 John 1:9.
NOTE: "If we had to bear our own guilt, it would crush us. But the sinless One has taken our place; though undeserving, He has borne our iniquity. ‘If we confess our sins,’ God ‘is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ 1 John 1:9. Glorious truth!—just to His own law, and yet the Justifier of all that believe in Jesus. ‘Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retaineth not His anger forever, because He delighteth in mercy.’ Micah 7:18." Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 116.
"True confession is always of a specific character, and acknowledges particular sins. They may be of such a nature as to be brought before God only; they may be wrongs that should be confessed to individuals who have suffered injury through them; or they may be of a public character, and should then be as publicly confessed. But all confession should be definite and to the point, acknowledging the very sins of which you are guilty." Steps to Christ, 38.
A Biblical Example
9 Who has God made a witness of what constitutes true repentance? Isaiah 55:3, 4.
NOTE: "Many have murmured at what they called God’s injustice in sparing David, whose guilt was so great, after having rejected Saul for what appear to them to be far less flagrant sins. But David humbled himself and confessed his sin, while Saul despised reproof and hardened his heart in impenitence. This passage in David’s history is full of significance to the repenting sinner. It is one of the most forcible illustrations given us of the struggles and temptations of humanity, and of genuine repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Through all the ages it has proved a source of encouragement to souls that, having fallen into sin, were struggling under the burden of their guilt. Thousands of the children of God, who have been betrayed into sin, when ready to give up to despair have remembered how David’s sincere repentance and confession were accepted by God, notwithstanding he suffered for his transgression; and they also have taken courage to repent and try again to walk in the way of God’s commandments." Patriarchs and Prophets, 726.
10 After confessing his sins, what else did David ask God to give him? Psalm 51:10.
NOTE: "God’s forgiveness is not merely a judicial act by which He sets us free from condemnation. It is not only forgiveness for sin, but reclaiming from sin. It is the outflow of redeeming love that transforms the heart. David had the true conception of forgiveness when he prayed, ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.’ Psalm 51:10." Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 114.
"The prayer of David after his fall, illustrates the nature of true sorrow for sin. His repentance was sincere and deep. There was no effort to palliate his guilt; no desire to escape the judgment threatened, inspired his prayer. David saw the enormity of his transgression; he saw the defilement of his soul; he loathed his sin. It was not for pardon only that he prayed, but for purity of heart. He longed for the joy of holiness—to be restored to harmony and communion with God." Steps to Christ, 24, 25.
"Whoever under the reproof of God will humble the soul with confession and repentance, as did David, may be sure that there is hope for him. Whoever will in faith accept God’s promises, will find pardon. The Lord will never cast away one truly repentant soul. He has given this promise: ‘Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me.’ Isaiah 27:5. ‘Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.’ Isaiah 55:7." Patriarchs and Prophets, 726.
11 What did the convicted Felix tell the apostle Paul after listening to a message of "righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come"? Acts 24:25.
NOTE: "Beware of procrastination. Do not put off the work of forsaking your sins and seeking purity of heart through Jesus. Here is where thousands upon thousands have erred to their eternal loss. I will not here dwell upon the shortness and uncertainty of life; but there is a terrible danger—a danger not sufficiently understood—in delaying to yield to the pleading voice of God’s Holy Spirit, in choosing to live in sin; for such this delay really is. Sin, however small it may be esteemed, can be indulged in only at the peril of infinite loss. What we do not overcome, will overcome us and work out our destruction." Steps to Christ, 32, 33.
12 What are we told Esau could not find? Hebrews 12:16, 17.
NOTE: "Every act of transgression, every neglect or rejection of the grace of Christ, is reacting upon yourself; it is hardening the heart, depraving the will, benumbing the understanding, and not only making you less inclined to yield, but less capable of yielding, to the tender pleading of God’s Holy Spirit." Ibid, 33.
"Christ is ready to set us free from sin, but He does not force the will; and if by persistent transgression the will itself is wholly bent on evil, and we do not desire to be set free, if we will not accept His grace, what more can He do? We have destroyed ourselves by our determined rejection of His love. ‘Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.’ ‘Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.’ 11 Corinthians 6:2; Hebrews 3:7, 8." Ibid, 34.
December 2001 Table of Contents