Bible Study Guide- November 3-9, 2002
Power of God
Steps to Life
Power of God
MEMORY VERSE: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." Romans 1:16.
SUGGESTED READING: Fundamentals of Christian Education, 196–200; The Acts of the Apostles, 557–567.
INTRODUCTION: "There is no defect in God’s plan for the salvation of men. If the gospel is not to every soul the power of God unto salvation, it is not because the gospel is at fault, but because men are not practical believers, practical receivers of the grace and righteousness of Christ. . . . The professed believers do not take Christ as their personal Saviour, but follow Jesus a great way off. One reason for this lack of personal religion is that they have not been educated in these vital principles." This Day With God, 18.
1 How is sin defined in the Bible? 1 John 3:4; James 4:17.
NOTE: "It is the Creator of men, the Giver of the law, who declares that it is not His purpose to set aside its precepts. Everything in nature, from the mote in the sunbeam to the worlds on high, is under law. And upon obedience to these laws the order and harmony of the natural world depend. So there are great principles of righteousness to control the life of all intelligent beings, and upon conformity to these principles the well-being of the universe depends. Before this earth was called into being, God’s law existed. Angels are governed by its principles, and in order for earth to be in harmony with heaven, man also must obey the divine statutes." Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 48.
2 Why do we struggle with sin, and how can we be victorious over it? Romans 7:14–24; John 8:34, 36.
NOTE: "Character building is the work, not of a day, nor of a year, but of a lifetime. The struggle for conquest over self, for holiness and heaven, is a lifelong struggle. Without continual effort and constant activity, there can be no advancement in the divine life, no attainment of the victor’s crown." The Ministry of Healing, 452.
3 In seeking Christ’s strength, what should we realize? Hebrews 4:15, 16; 7:25; 12:2.
NOTE: "We have an all-powerful Redeemer. Christ came from heaven in the guise of humanity to live the principles of righteousness in this world. He was endowed with power to minister to all who would accept Him as their Redeemer, to succor the repentant ones who were convinced of the sinfulness of sin." Selected Messages, Book 2, 397.
4 When we come to Christ, what happens? Ephesians 2:8; Romans 5:1, 2.
NOTE: "Abundant grace has been provided that the believing soul may be kept free from sin; for all heaven, with its limitless resources, has been placed at our command. We are to draw from the well of salvation. Christ is the end of law for righteousness to everyone who believeth. In ourselves we are sinners; but in Christ we are righteous. Having made us righteous through the imputed righteousness of Christ, God pronounces us just, and treats us as just. He looks upon us as His dear children. Christ works against the power of sin, and where sin abounded, grace much more abounds." Selected Messages, Book 1, 394.
5 How do we benefit from the work Christ has done for us, when we accept Him as our personal Saviour? Romans 5:18, 19; 2 Corinthians 5:21.
NOTE: "Think of what Christ’s obedience means to us. It means that in His strength we, too, may obey. He came to this world to show us what God can do for us, and what we can do in co-operation with God. In human flesh He went into the wilderness to be tempted by the enemy. He knows what it is to hunger and thirst. He knows the weakness and the infirmities of the flesh. He was tempted in all points like as we are tempted, yet without sin." Signs of the Times, June 14, 1905.
6 With our consent and cooperation, what work does Christ perform in us through the Holy Spirit? John 3:7, 8; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 7:1.
NOTE: "The old nature, born of blood and the will of the flesh, cannot inherit the kingdom of God. The old ways, the hereditary tendencies, the former habits, must be given up; for grace is not inherited. The new birth consists in having new motives, new tastes, new tendencies. Those who are begotten unto a new life by the Holy Spirit, have become partakers of the divine nature, and in all their habits and practices, they will give evidence of their relationship to Christ. When men who claim to be Christians retain all their natural defects of character and disposition, in what does their position differ from that of the worldling? They do not appreciate the truth as a sanctifier, a refiner. They have not been born again." Review and Herald, April 12, 1892.
7 In what way does the process of sanctification involve daily choices on our part? Romans 8:1, 5, 13; Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 5:8–11.
NOTE: "The mind must be trained through daily tests to habits of fidelity, to a sense of the claims of right and duty above inclination and pleasure. Minds thus trained do not waver between right and wrong, as the reed trembles in the wind; but as soon as matters come before them, they discern at once that principle is involved, and they instinctively choose the right without long debating the matter. They are loyal because they have trained themselves to habits of faithfulness and truth." Testimonies, vol. 3, 22.
8 How do justification and sanctification work together in our salvation? 1 John 1:9; Romans 6:1, 2, 7, 22. Compare 1 Corinthians 6:9–11; Colossians 3:8–10.
NOTE: "Justification means the saving of a soul from perdition, that he may obtain sanctification, and through sanctification, the life of heaven. Justification means that the conscience, purged from dead works, is placed where it can receive the blessings of sanctification (Manuscript 113, 1902)." "Ellen G. White Comments," Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 908.
9 To become holy, how must we cooperate with Christ? Colossians 1:21–23.
NOTE: "The work of gaining salvation is one of co-partnership, a joint operation. There is to be co-operation between God and the repentant sinner. This is necessary for the formation of right principles in the character. Man is to make earnest efforts to overcome that which hinders him from attaining to perfection. But he is wholly dependent upon God for success. Human effort of itself is not sufficient. Without the aid of divine power it avails nothing. God works and man works. Resistance of temptation must come from man, who must draw his power from God. On the one side there is infinite wisdom, compassion, and power; on the other, weakness, sinfulness, absolute helplessness." The Acts of the Apostles, 482.
10 For what purpose do we receive power through the gospel? Romans 1:16; Ephesians 3:16–20.
NOTE: "Here are revealed the heights of attainment that we may reach through faith in the promises of our heavenly Father, when we fulfill His requirements. Through the merits of Christ we have access to the throne of Infinite Power. ‘He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?’ Romans 8:32. The Father gave His Spirit without measure to His Son, and we also may partake of its fullness." The Great Controversy, 477.
11 What changes occur in our lives as we receive God’s grace? Titus 2:11–14; 3:5.
NOTE: "The grace of Christ is to control the temper and the voice. Its working will be seen in politeness and tender regard shown by brother for brother, in kind, encouraging words. An angel presence is in the home. The life breathes a sweet perfume, which ascends to God as holy incense. Love is manifested in kindness, gentleness, forbearance, and long-suffering.
"The countenance is changed. Christ abiding in the heart shines out in the faces of those who love Him and keep His commandments. Truth is written there. The sweet peace of heaven is revealed. There is expressed a habitual gentleness, a more than human love." Christ’s Object Lessons, 102.
12 Upon what condition is receiving the power of God’s grace dependent? Luke 17:5, 6; Mark 11:24; Matthew 17:20.
NOTE: "There is no encouragement given for unbelief. The Lord manifests His grace and His power over and over again, and this should teach us that it is always profitable under all circumstances to cherish faith, to talk faith, to act faith. We are not to have our hearts and hands weakened by allowing the suggestions of suspicious minds to plant in our hearts the seeds of doubt and distrust [Hebrews 3:12 quoted] (Letter 97, 1898)." "Ellen G. White Comments," Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 928.
13 What kind of faith do we need? Jude 20.
NOTE: "The power of Satanic agencies is great, and the Lord calls upon His people to strengthen one another, ‘building up yourselves on your most holy faith.’
"Instead of co-operating with Satan, let everyone learn what it means to co-operate with God. In these depressing times He has a work to be done that demands the firm courage and faith which will enable us to sustain one another. All need to stand shoulder to shoulder and heart to heart as laborers together with God. What might not be accomplished in and through the grace of God if the members of the church would stand together, to sustain His workers, to help with their prayers and their influence when discouragement presses in on every side! Then is the time to work as faithful stewards." Testimonies, vol. 7, 184, 185.
October 2002 Table of Contents