Bible Study Guide- March 2-8, 2003
Bible Study Guide- March 2-8, 2003
Steps to Life
MEMORY VERSE: "Be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises." Hebrews 6:12.
SUGGESTED READING: Testimonies, vol. 1, 141–146.
INTRODUCTION: "We expect to see defects in the characters of youth who are not controlled by love and faith in Jesus Christ. We see youth wavering between right and wrong, vacillating between fixed principle and the almost overpowering current of evil that is bearing them off their feet to ruin. But of those of mature age we expect better things. We look for the character to be established, for principles to be rooted, and for them to be beyond the danger of pollution. But the case of Solomon is before us as a beacon of warning. . . . What a lesson for all who desire to save their souls to watch unto prayer continually! What a warning to keep the grace of Christ ever in their heart, to battle with inward corruptions and outward temptations!" Conflict and Courage, 197.
1 What was the condition of the people to whom Paul wrote this letter? Hebrews 5:12, 13.
NOTE: "[In Hebrews 6] the author continues the exhortation he began in chapter 5. His readers have been subsisting on milk when they should have had stronger food. They were still children,and were satisfied to remain so. He wants them to go on to the deeper things of God and not continue to be satisfied with their present attainments." Seventh-day Adventist Bible commentary,vol. 7, 432.
2 What words did Paul use to give the "milk drinkers" a most solemn warning? Hebrews 6:4–8.
NOTE: "All who join themselves to the church but not to the Lord will in time develop their true character. ‘Ye shall know them by their fruits.’ Matthew 7:16. The precious fruit of godliness,temperance, patience, kindness, love, and charity, does not appear in their lives. They bear only thorns and briers. God is dishonored before the world by all such professors. . . . They are, Satan knows, his best working agents while they are unchanged in heart and life, and their works are in such marked contrast to their profession that they are a stumbling block to unbelievers and a great trial to believers. . . ." The Faith I Live By, 92.
3 How did Paul express his hope for these people? Hebrews 6:9.
NOTE: "Even in the corrupt condition in which the society of today is, there are souls capable of better things—souls represented by Christ under the symbol of ‘the lost pearl.’ [See Matthew 13:45, 46.] Christ gave up everything, that he might seek and save that which was lost, that He might recover the pearl that He valued at infinite cost. What are we ready to do to cooperate with Him in this work? What sacrifice are we ready to make? . . ." Lift Him Up, 353.
4 For what did Paul commend the people? Hebrews 6:10.
NOTE: "There have been some who have done what they could with self-denying, self-sacrificing effort. God is not unmindful of their works of love and devotion. . . . Every act of self-denying benevolence and loving service is precious in the sight of God. Some have ever manifested a willingness to do for his cause, and the Lord has prospered these willing ones, making them channels for his gifts, that they might continue to do and be blessed in doing. . . . Neither will he [God] overlook the lack of these labors in the members of his church who make themselves first and his cause second. Every one will be rewarded as his works have been." Review and Herald, December 14, 1886.
5 How does the Lord regard His erring people? Revelation 3:19.
NOTE: "The True Witness declares that when you suppose you are really in a good condition of prosperity you are in need of everything. It is not enough for ministers to present theoretical subjects; they should also present those subjects which are practical. They need to study the practical lessons that Christ gave His disciples and make a close application of the same to their own souls and to the people. Because Christ bears this rebuking testimony, shall we suppose that He is destitute of tender love to His people? Oh, no! He who died to redeem man from death, loves with a divine love, and those whom He loves He rebukes." Testimonies, vol. 3, 257, 258.
6 What was God’s desire for the Hebrew people? Hebrews 6:11.
NOTE: "The Lord looks with approval upon the works of his faithful servants. . . . But while he takes account of faithful service, he is no less exact to mark neglect of duty or its unwilling performance. It has always been the duty of God’s chosen people to labor unselfishly; but some neglect the work they ought to do, and others are overburdened to make up for their deficiencies. If all would cheerfully do their part, they would be sustained; but those who complain and murmur at every step will receive neither help nor reward." The Signs of the Times, June 12, 1884.
7 What should the Christian not be? Hebrews 6:12, first part. Compare Romans 12:11.
NOTE: "There is something for everyone to do in this world of ours. The Lord is coming, and our waiting is to be not a time of idle expectation, but of vigilant work. We are not to spend our time wholly in prayerful meditation, neither are we to drive and hurry and work as if this were required in order that we should gain heaven, while neglecting to devote time to the cultivation of personal piety. There must be a combination of meditation and diligent work. . . . Worldly activities are not to crowd out the service of the Lord. The soul needs the riches of the grace of God, and the body needs physical exercise, in order to accomplish the work that must be done for the promulgation of the gospel of Christ. . . ." Our High Calling, 221.
8 What action is a Christian counseled to take? Hebrews 6:12, last part.
NOTE: "The grace of Christ must be an abiding principle in the heart and be exemplified in the life. Self will then be laid at the foot of the cross, and Christ will be accepted as all and in all. . . .There are great possibilities open to every sincere worker, if all the powers of mind and body are consecrated to God, to do his will, and not to serve self. The very thoughts are to be brought into subjection to the will of Christ. Then the affections will be refined and ennobled; those who carry the burden of the work will not be impure in thought or word or act, neither will they be light and trifling. All frivolity, all cheapness of conversation, all jesting and joking, weakens the soul, and weans the heart from prayer. Like Paul, the true followers of Christ will ever bear about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus; they cannot keep in mind the sufferings of Christ for them, and yet be light and trifling. They will manifest a true, Christ-like dignity and holy solemnity; yet there will be no Phariseeism. There will be cheerful faith and courage in the Lord; for they trust the keeping of their souls unto God as to a faithful Creator." Gospel Workers, 1892 edition, 233, 234.
"God positively enjoins upon all His followers a duty to bless others with their influence and means. . . . In doing for others, a sweet satisfaction will be experienced, an inward peace which will be a sufficient reward. When actuated by a high and noble desire to do others good, they will find true happiness in a faithful discharge of life’s manifold duties. This will bring more than an earthly reward; for every faithful, unselfish performance of duty is noticed by the angels and shines in the life record. In heaven none will think of self, nor seek their own pleasure; but all, from pure, genuine love, will seek the happiness of the heavenly beings around them. If we wish to enjoy heavenly society in the earth made new, we must be governed by heavenly principles here." In Heavenly Places, 233.
9 Of what is God willing that we should have full proof? Hebrews 6:17 (immutable means unchangeable).
NOTE: "By His life and His death, Christ has achieved even more than recovery from the ruin wrought through sin. It was Satan’s purpose to bring about an eternal separation between God and man; but in Christ we become more closely united to God than if we had never fallen. In taking our nature, the Saviour has bound Himself to humanity by a tie that is never to be broken. Through the eternal ages He is linked with us. ‘God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son.’ John 3:16. He gave Him not only to bear our sins, and to die as our sacrifice; He gave Him to the fallen race. To assure us of His immutable counsel of peace, God gave His only-begotten Son to become one of the human family, forever to retain His human nature. This is the pledge that God will fulfill His word." The Desire of Ages, 25.
10 What two immutable things are referred to in Hebrews 6:18? Hebrews 6:16, 17. Compare Galatians 3:16, 17.
NOTE: "As the Bible presents two laws, one changeless and eternal, the other provisional and temporary, so there are two covenants. The covenant of grace was first made with man in Eden, when after the Fall there was given a divine promise that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head. To all men this covenant offered pardon and the assisting grace of God for future obedience through faith in Christ. It also promised them eternal life on condition of fidelity to God’s law. Thus the patriarchs received the hope of salvation. . . .
"Though this covenant was made with Adam and renewed to Abraham, it could not be ratified until the death of Christ. It had existed by the promise of God since the first intimation of redemption had been given; it had been accepted by faith; yet when ratified by Christ, it is called a new covenant. The law of God was the basis of this covenant, which was simply an arrangement for bringing men again into harmony with the divine will, placing them where they could obey God’s law.
"Another compact—called in Scripture the ‘old’ covenant—was formed between God and Israel at Sinai, and was then ratified by the blood of a sacrifice. The Abrahamic covenant was ratified
by the blood of Christ, and it is called the ‘second,’ or ‘new,’ covenant, because the blood by which it was sealed was shed after the blood of the first covenant. That the new covenant was valid in the days of Abraham is evident from the fact that it was then confirmed both by the promise and by the oath of God—the ‘two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie.’ Hebrews 6:18." Patriarchs and Prophets, 370, 371. [Emphasis supplied.]
11 To whom are God’s promise and oath intended to give assurance? Hebrews 6:17.
NOTE: "His [God’s] word is pledged. The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed, but His kindness shall not depart from His people, neither shall the covenant of His peace be removed. His voice is heard, ‘I have loved thee with an everlasting love’ ( Jeremiah 31:3). ‘With everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee’ (Isaiah 54:8). How amazing is this love, that God condescends to remove all cause for doubt and questioning from human fears and weakness and takes hold of the trembling hand reached up to Him in faith; and He helps us to trust Him by multiplied assurances and securities. He has made us a binding agreement upon condition of our obedience, and He comes to meet us in our own understanding of things. We think that a pledge or promise from our fellow men, if recorded, still needs a guarantee. Jesus has met all these peculiar fears, and He has confirmed His promise with an oath: [Hebrews 6:17 quoted.] What more could our Lord do to strengthen our faith in His promises?" That I May Know Him, 262.
12 Of what do Christians lay hold? Hebrews 6:18, last part.
NOTE: " ‘We are saved by hope.’ Romans 8:24. The fallen must be led to feel that it is not too late for them to be men. Christ honored man with His confidence and thus placed him on his honor. Even those who had fallen the lowest He treated with respect. It was a continual pain to Christ to be brought into contact with enmity, depravity, and impurity; but never did He utter one expression to show that His sensibilities were shocked or His refined tastes offended. Whatever the evil habits, the strong prejudices, or the overbearing passions of human beings, He met them all with pitying tenderness. As we partake of His Spirit, we shall regard all men as brethren, with similar temptations and trials, often falling and struggling to rise again, battling with discouragements and difficulties, craving sympathy and help. Then we shall meet them in such a way as not to discourage or repel them, but to awaken hope in their hearts. As they are thus encouraged, they can say with confidence, ‘Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.’ He will ‘plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: He will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold His righteousness.’ Micah 7:8, 9." The Ministry of Healing, 165, 166.
February 2003 Table of Contents