MEMORY VERSE: "Now the just shall live by faith: but if [any man] draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." Hebrews 10:38.
SUGGESTED READING: The Desire of Ages, 315–320; Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 141–144.
INTRODUCTION: "As the penitent sinner, contrite before God, discerns Christ’s atonement in his behalf and accepts this atonement as his only hope in this life and the future life, his sins are pardoned. This is justification by faith. Every believing soul is to conform his will entirely to God’s will and keep in a state of repentance and contrition, exercising faith in the atoning merits of the Redeemer and advancing from strength to strength, from glory to glory." Faith and Works, 103.
1 How is faith defined in the Bible? Hebrews 11:1; 2 Corinthians 4:18.
NOTE: "Faith is not the ground of our salvation, but it is the great blessing—the eye that sees, the ear that hears, the feet that run, the hand that grasps. It is the means, not the end. If Christ gave His life to save sinners, why shall I not take that blessing? My faith grasps it, and thus my faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. Thus resting and believing, I have peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ (Letter 329a, 1905)." "Ellen G. White Comments," Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1073.
2 What is the source of faith? Romans 10:17; 12:3.
NOTE: "God gives light to guide those who honestly desire light and truth; but it is not His purpose to remove all cause for questioning and doubt. He gives sufficient evidence to found faith upon, and then requires men to accept that evidence and exercise faith.
"He who will study the Bible with a humble and teachable spirit will find it a sure guide, pointing out the way of life with unfailing accuracy. But what does your study of the Bible avail, brethren and sisters, unless you practice the truths it teaches? That holy book contains nothing that is nonessential; nothing is revealed that has not a bearing upon our actual lives. The deeper our love for Jesus, the more highly we shall regard that word as the voice of God directly to us." Testimonies, vol. 5, 303.
3 To develop the "measure of faith" God has given to each of us, what must we do? John 6:53, 63; 1 Peter 2:2.
NOTE: "The soul that converses with God through the Scriptures, who prays for light and opens the door of his heart to the Saviour, will not have evil imaginings, worldly scheming, or ambitious lust after honor or distinction in any line. He who seeks for the truth as for hidden treasure will find it in God’s means of communication with man, His word. . . . The word of God will ennoble the mind and sanctify the human agent, enabling him to become a co-worker with divine agencies. The elevated standard of God’s holy law will mean very much to him, as a standard of all his life practice. It will mean holiness, which is wholeness to God. As the human agent presses forward in the path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in, as he receives Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour, he will feed on the bread of life. The word is spirit and life, and if it is brought into the daily practice it will ennoble the whole nature of man. There will be opened to his soul such a view of the Saviour’s love as portrayed by the pen of Inspiration that his heart will be melted into tenderness and contrition. . . .
"Development of character, growth in knowledge and wisdom, will be the sure result of feeding on the word." Medical Ministry, 124.
4 How does true faith assimilate the word of God? 2 Timothy 3:15–17; 1 Peter 1:22, 23.
NOTE: "The word of God must be interwoven with the living character of those who believe it. The only vital faith is that faith which receives and assimilates the truth till it is a part of the being and the motive power of the life and action." Testimonies, vol. 5, 576.
"It is through the exercise of the faculty of faith that we are enabled to receive and practice the word of God. No excuse can be accepted, no plea of justification received for the failure to know and understand the will of the Lord. The Lord will enlighten the heart that is loyal to Him. He can read the thoughts and intents of the heart. It is useless to plead that if it had been so and so, we would have done so and so. There is no if about God’s requirements; His word is yea and amen. There can be no question in the heart of faith as to the power of God to perform His promises. Pure faith works by love, and purifies the soul." Fundamentals of Christian Education, 341.
5 In the process of sanctification, what agencies work together? 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 2:15; John 17:17.
NOTE: "In this text [11 Thessalonians 2:13] the two agencies in the work of salvation are revealed—the divine influence, and the strong, living faith of those who follow Christ. It is through the sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth that we become laborers together with God." Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 22.
"The truth as it is in Jesus is obedience to every precept of Jehovah. It is heart work. Bible sanctification is not the spurious sanctification of today, which will not search the Scriptures, but trusts to good feelings and impulses rather than to the seeking for truth as for hidden treasure. Bible sanctification is to know the requirements of God and to obey them. There is a pure and holy heaven in store for those who keep God’s commandments. It is worth lifelong, persevering, untiring effort." "Ellen G. White Comments," Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1147.
6 What is the difference between genuine faith and a mere profession of faith? James 1:6, 7; Titus 1:16; Hebrews 11:6.
NOTE: "There are thousands who claim to have the light of truth who take no steps in advance. They have no living experience, notwithstanding they have had every advantage. They do not know what consecration means. Their devotions are formal and hollow, and there is no depth to their piety. The Word of God offers spiritual liberty and enlightenment to those who study it earnestly. Those who accept the promises of God, and act on them with living faith, will have the light of heaven in their lives. They will drink of the fountain of life, and lead others to the waters that have refreshed their own souls. We must have that faith in God that takes him at his word." Review and Herald, September 22, 1910.
7 What will be the result of true faith? Galatians 5:6; James 2:14–17.
NOTE: "Genuine faith always works by love; it supplies a motive power. Faith is not an opiate, but a stimulant. Looking to Calvary will not quiet your soul into nonperformance of duty, but will create faith that will work, purifying the soul from all selfishness. In laying hold of Christ by faith, we but just begin our work. . . .
"The labor of love springs from the work of faith. . . . While it is true that our busy activities will not in themselves insure salvation, it is also true that faith which unites us to Christ will stir the soul to activity; and good fruit, which is good works, will be the result of faith." Review and Herald, January 24, 1893.
8 When the Roman centurion’s servant was sick, how did he exercise faith? Luke 7:2, 3.
NOTE: "The centurion was tenderly attached to his servant, and greatly desired his recovery. He believed that Jesus could heal him. He had not seen the Saviour, but the reports he heard had inspired him with faith." The Desire of Ages, 315, 316.
9 What was the difference between the Roman centurion’s faith and that of the Jewish leaders who recommended him to Christ? Luke 7:4–10.
NOTE: "The Jewish elders who recommended the centurion to Christ had shown how far they were from possessing the spirit of the gospel. They did not recognize that our great need is our only claim on God’s mercy. In their self-righteousness they commended the centurion because of the favor he had shown to ‘our nation.’ But the centurion said of himself, ‘I am not worthy.’ His heart had been touched by the grace of Christ. He saw his own unworthiness; yet he feared not to ask help. He trusted not to his own goodness; his argument was his great need. His faith took hold upon Christ in His true character. He did not believe in Him merely as a worker of miracles, but as the friend and Saviour of mankind." The Desire of Ages, 316, 317.
10 As we seek to live by faith, what assurance is given to us? 1 Peter 1:7–9; Philippians 4:6, 7.
NOTE: "In the religious life of every soul who is finally victorious there will be scenes of terrible perplexity and trial; but his knowledge of the Scriptures will enable him to bring to mind the encouraging promises of God, which will comfort his heart and strengthen his faith in the power of the Mighty One. . . . The trial of faith is more precious than gold. All should learn that this is a part of the discipline in the school of Christ, which is essential to purify and refine them from the dross of earthliness. . . .
"Summon all your powers to look up, not down at your difficulties; then you will never faint by the way. You will soon see Jesus behind the cloud, reaching out His hand to help you; and all you have to do is to give Him your hand in simple faith and let Him lead you." Testimonies, vol. 5, 578.
11 Identify some overwhelming circumstances in the Bible that were overcome by faith. Hebrews 11:29–35.
NOTE: "Faith is simple; it means no more nor less than belief in the Word of the infinite God. Believing, all may have life through His name." Signs of the Times, May 17, 1899.
12 What will faith accomplish for us today? 1 John 5:4.
NOTE: "The greatest victories gained for the cause of God are not the result of labored argument, ample facilities, wide influence, or abundance of means; they are gained in the audience chamber with God, when with earnest, agonizing faith men lay hold upon the mighty arm of power.
"True faith and true prayer—how strong they are! They are as two arms by which the human suppliant lays hold upon the power of Infinite Love. Faith is trusting in God,—believing that He loves us, and knows what is for our best good. Thus, instead of our own way, it leads us to choose His way. In place of our ignorance, it accepts His wisdom; in place of our weakness, His strength; in place of our sinfulness, His righteousness. Our lives, ourselves, are already His; faith acknowledges His ownership, and accepts its blessings. Truth, uprightness, purity, are pointed out as secrets of life’s success. It is faith that puts us in possession of these. Every good impulse or aspiration is the gift of God; faith receives from God the life that alone can produce true growth and efficiency." Gospel Workers, 259.