April 28, 2013 – May 4, 2013
That I Might Live
“The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10.
Study Help: “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 926, 927; Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 149–152.
“Through the goodness and mercy of Christ the sinner is to be restored to the divine favor. God in Christ is daily beseeching men to be reconciled to God.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 178.
1 RESTORATION TO GOD’S FAVOR
- For what purpose does the gospel call come to us? Mark 2:17, last part.
Note: “He [the Majesty of heaven] is too pure, He is too just, to behold iniquity. But even this need not keep you away from Him; for He says, ‘I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance’ (Mark 2:17). Let perishing souls come to Him just as they are, without one plea, and plead the atoning blood of Christ, and they will find acceptance with God.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 252.
- What does salvation through Christ mean for us, here and now? 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.” [Author’s italics.] Testimonies, vol. 4, 250, 251
2 TWO THINGS OFFERED
- What does God offer us, and on what condition, as a first step in our restoration? Isaiah 55:6, 7; Luke 24:47.
Note: “Through faith, the believer passes from the position of a rebel, a child of sin and Satan, to the position of a loyal subject of Christ Jesus, not because of an inherent goodness, but because Christ receives him as His child by adoption. The sinner receives the forgiveness of his sins, because these sins are borne by his Substitute and Surety.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1070.
“God does not deal with us as finite men deal with one another. His thoughts are thoughts of mercy, love, and tenderest compassion. He says, ‘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.’ ‘I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins’ (Isaiah 55:7; 44:22).” Steps to Christ, 53.
- Besides forgiving us, what else does God do in behalf of our salvation? I John 1:9. What aim is put before us, and what is our responsibility? Philippians 3:12–14; John 5:14; 8:11.
Note: “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. The character of the thoughts leaves its imprint upon the soul, and all low conversation pollutes the mind. All evil works ruin to those who commit it. God may and will forgive the repenting sinner, but though forgiven, the soul is marred; the power of the elevated thought possible to the unimpaired mind is destroyed. Through all time the soul bears the scars. Then let us seek for that faith which works by love and purifies the heart, that we may represent the character of Christ to the world.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 195.
“It is by following in the path of obedience in simple faith that the character obtains perfection.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1137.
3 DELIVERANCE FROM SATAN’S GRASP
- What did Paul say about the deliverance that Christ operates in us when we accept Him? Hebrews 2:15; Colossians 1:13. Sadly, how do some people cooperate with Satan rather than with Christ?
Note: “Satan will move upon minds that have been indulged, upon men who have always had their own way, and anything presented to them in counsel or reproof to change their objectionable traits of character, is considered fault-finding, binding them, restraining them, that they cannot have liberty to act themselves. The Lord in great mercy has sent messages of warning to them, but they would not listen to reproof. Like the enemy who rebelled in heaven, they did not like to hear; they do not correct the wrong they have done, but become accusers, declaring themselves misused and unappreciated.
“Now is the time of trial, of test, of proving. Those who like Saul, will persist in having their own way, will suffer as he did, loss of honor, and finally the loss of the soul.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1163, 1164.
- How does Christ make us free from the penalty of the law that condemn us? Romans 3:24–26; 5:1.
- What should we learn from the experience of the apostle Paul? Romans 7:9.
Note: “The apostle Paul, in relating his experience, presents an important truth concerning the work to be wrought in conversion. He says, ‘I was alive without the law once’—he felt no condemnation; ‘but when the commandment came,’ when the law of God was urged upon his conscience, ‘sin revived, and I died’ (Romans 7:9). Then he saw himself a sinner, condemned by the divine law. Mark, it was Paul, and not the law, that died.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1076.
4 RESTORING THE IMAGE OF GOD IN US
- How does faith in the gospel relate to the law of God? Romans 3:31.
- What warning are we given against transgressing God’s law? Romans 2:23–27; 8:7; I Timothy 1:9, 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.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1077.
- What do we lose through sin? Romans 3:23; 6:23.
- What is to be restored in us through the gospel? II Corinthians 3:18. How? John 16:13; 17:17, 19.
- How does Christ perform the ministry of restoration? I 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.
5 HEIRS OF THE KINGDOM
- On what condition, and for what purpose, has God given us “the Spirit of adoption”? Romans 8:14–17. What evidence reveals our adoption as God’s children? II Corinthians 6:16–18; II Peter 1:4.
Note: “Let every one who desires to be a partaker of the divine nature appreciate the fact that he must escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. There must be a constant, earnest struggling of the soul against the evil imaginings of the mind. There must be a steadfast resistance of temptation to sin in thought or act. The soul must be kept from every stain, through faith in Him who is able to keep you from falling. We should meditate upon the scriptures, thinking soberly and candidly upon the things that pertain to our eternal salvation.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1145.
- How are we enabled to resist the clamoring of our own carnal nature? Colossians 1:10, 11; Ephesians 3:16, 20.
Note: “Man cannot transform himself by the exercise of his will. He possesses no power by which this change can be effected. … All the culture and education which the world can give will fail of making a degraded child of sin a child of heaven. The renewing energy must come from God. The change can be made only by the Holy Spirit. All who would be saved, high or low, rich or poor, must submit to the working of this power.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 96, 97.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 What is the main purpose of the gospel?
2 Name two benefits granted us through God’s forgiveness.
3 How is the experience of the apostle Paul an example for us?
4 How are we to relate to the law and the gospel?
5 What is the depth of the value of the gospel message?
© 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.