Bible Study Guide- October 27-November 2, 2002
A Purposeful Plan
Steps to Life
A Purposeful Plan
MEMORY VERSE: "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." Luke 19:10.
SUGGESTED READING: Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 149–152; "Ellen G. White Comments," Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 926, 927.
INTRODUCTION: "Christ has undertaken the work of saving all who trust in Him for salvation. He sees the wrongs that need to be righted, the evils that need to be repressed. He came to seek and save that which was lost. ‘Him that cometh to me,’ He says, ‘I will in no wise cast out’ (John 6:37)." Selected Messages, Book 1, 178.
1 The gospel call is given to us for what purpose? Mark 2:17.
NOTE: "Many of you feel no need of a Saviour. You are self-sufficient, self-exalted. Said Christ: ‘I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.’ The blood of Christ will avail for none but those who feel their need of its cleansing power." Testimonies, vol. 5, 219.
2 What does the gift of salvation through Christ mean for each one of us? Matthew 1:21; Revelation 1:5, last part.
NOTE: "God has spoken, and He means that man shall obey. He does not inquire if it is convenient for him to do so. The Lord of life and glory did not consult His convenience or pleasure when He left His station of high command to become a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, accepting ignominy and death in order to deliver man from the consequence of his disobedience. Jesus died, not to save man in his sins, but from his sins. Man is to leave the error of his ways, to follow the example of Christ, to take up his cross and follow Him, denying self, and obeying God at any cost." Testimonies, vol. 4, 250, 251.
3 In the first step of our restoration, what does God offer us, and on what condition? Isaiah 55:7.
NOTE: "We must learn in the school of Christ. Nothing but His righteousness can entitle us to one of the blessings of the covenant of grace. We have long desired and tried to obtain these blessings, but have not received them because we have cherished the idea that we could do something to make ourselves worthy of them. We have not looked away from ourselves, believing that Jesus is a living Saviour. We must not think that our own grace and merits will save us; the grace of Christ is our only hope of salvation. . . . [Isaiah 55:7 quoted.] We must believe the naked promise, and not accept feeling for faith. When we trust God fully, when we rely upon the merits of Jesus as a sin-pardoning Saviour, we shall receive all the help that we can desire.
"We look to self, as though we had power to save ourselves; but Jesus died for us because we are helpless to do this. In Him is our hope, our justification, our righteousness." Selected Messages, Book 1, 351.
4 What does God do for our salvation, in addition to forgiving us? 1 John 1:9.
NOTE: "We must have a knowledge of ourselves, a knowledge that will result in contrition, before we can find pardon and peace. . . . It is only he who knows himself to be a sinner that Christ can save. . . . We must know our real condition, or we shall not feel our need of Christ’s help. We must understand our danger, or we shall not flee to the refuge. We must feel the pain of our wounds, or we should not desire healing." Christ’s Object Lessons, 158.
5 What goal is placed before us, and what is our responsibility in obtaining that goal? Matthew 5:48; John 5:14; 8:11.
NOTE: "The Lord requires perfection from His redeemed family. He calls for perfection in character-building." Signs of the Times, August 23, 1899.
"It is by following in the path of obedience in simple faith that the character obtains perfection. . . . Christ has promised us sufficient power to reach this high standard." Manuscript Releases, vol. 14, 20.
"Abstain from all evil. Common sins, however insignificant they may be regarded, will impair your moral sense, and extinguish the inward impression of the Spirit of God." Review and Herald, December 8, 1891.
6 How did Paul describe the deliverance wrought within us when we accept Christ as our Saviour? Colossians 1:13; Hebrews 2:15.
NOTE: "In freeing our souls from the bondage of sin, God has wrought for us a deliverance greater than that of the Hebrews at the Red Sea. Like the Hebrew host, we should praise the Lord with heart and soul and voice for His ‘wonderful works to the children of men.’ Those who dwell upon God’s great mercies, and are not unmindful of His lesser gifts, will put on the girdle of gladness and make melody in their hearts to the Lord. The daily blessings that we receive from the hand of God, and above all else the death of Jesus to bring happiness and heaven within our reach, should be a theme for constant gratitude. . . ." Conflict and Courage, 93.
7 How does Christ make us free from the penalty of the law, under which we are condemned? Romans 6:14–18.
NOTE: "It is the sophistry of Satan that the death of Christ brought in grace to take the place of the law. The death of Jesus did not change, or annul, or lessen in the slightest degree, the law of ten commandments. That precious grace offered to men through a Saviour’s blood, establishes the law of God. Since the fall of man, God’s moral government and His grace are inseparable. They go hand in hand through all dispensations. ‘Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.’ Psalm 85:10. . . .
"The influence of a gospel hope will not lead the sinner to look upon the salvation of Christ as a matter of free grace, while he continues to live in transgression of the law of God. . . . He will reform his ways, become loyal to God through the strength obtained from his Saviour, and lead a new and purer life." The Faith I Live By, 89.
8 In what way does faith in the gospel relate to the law of God? Romans 3:31.
NOTE: "The righteousness of Christ must be accepted as a free gift by us who are all undeserving. No thread of legality is of any value in the salvation of the soul; for we are saved by grace, through the subduing love of Christ, and the heart is made a willing sacrifice. By keeping the love of God in the heart, the love of the world is kept out, and we become built up in the most holy faith. Christ is the author and finisher of our faith; and when we yield to His hand, we shall steadily grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour. We shall make progress until we reach the full stature of men and women in Christ.
"Faith works by love, and purifies the soul, expelling the love of sin that leads to rebellion against, and transgression of, the law of God. This true love in the heart always leads its possessor into harmony with the commandments of God; for through the agency of the Holy Spirit, the character is transformed, and the mind and will of the human agent are brought into perfect conformity to the divine will, and this is conformity to the divine standard of righteousness." Youth’s Instructor, February 17, 1898.
9 What warning is given to us about breaking God’s law? Romans 2:23–27; 1 Timothy 1:8–10.
NOTE: "The law of God is the mirror to show man the defects in his character. But it is not pleasant to those who take pleasure in unrighteousness to see their moral deformity. They do not prize this faithful mirror, because it reveals to them their sins. Therefore, instead of instituting a war against their carnal minds, they war against the true and faithful mirror, given them by Jehovah for the very purpose that they may not be deceived, but that they may have revealed to them the defects in their character." Review and Herald, March 8, 1870.
10 Through sin, of what do we fall short? Romans 3:23.
NOTE: "Many are deceived concerning the condition of their hearts. They do not realize that the natural heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. They wrap themselves about with their own righteousness, and are satisfied in reaching their own human standard of character; but how fatally they fail when they do not reach the divine standard, and of themselves they cannot meet the requirements of God." Selected Messages, Book 1, 320, 321.
11 How may this loss be restored to us through the gospel? 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:23.
NOTE: "God is clothed with power; He is able to take those who are dead in trespasses and sins, and by the operation of the Spirit which raised Jesus from the dead, transform the human character, bringing back to the soul the lost image of God. Those who believe in Jesus Christ are changed from being rebels against the law of God into obedient servants and subjects of His kingdom. They are born again, regenerated, sanctified through the truth." Fundamentals of Christian Education, 332.
12 What enables us to resist the temptations of our carnal nature? Colossians 1:10, 11; Ephesians 3:16, 20.
NOTE: "When temptations and trials rush in upon us, let us go to God and agonize with Him in prayer. He will not turn us away empty, but will give us grace and strength to overcome, and to break the power of the enemy. Oh, that all could see these things in their true light and endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus! Then would Israel move forward, strong in God, and in the power of His might." Early Writings, 46.
13 As we meet the conditions and experience the victory of overcoming sin, what promise will be fulfilled in us? Romans 8:14–17.
NOTE: "One of the lessons that we are to learn in the school of Christ is that the Lord’s love for us is far greater than that of our earthly parents. We are to have unquestioning faith and perfect confidence in Him. [Romans 8:16, 17 quoted.]
"May the Lord help you, as a diligent student in the school of Christ, to learn to lay your burdens on Jesus. And if you are free in His love, you will look above and away from these annoying trials. Think of what Jesus has endured for you, and never forget that it is part of the legacy that we have received as Christians, to be partakers with Him of His sufferings, that we may be partakers with Him of His glory." Testimonies, vol. 8, 126.
October 2002 Table of Contents