April 18–April 24
hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments:
for this [is] the whole [duty] of man.”
Suggested Reading: Patriarchs
and Prophets, 145–155; Christ’s Object Lessons, 272–283.
“Why cannot those who claim to understand the Scriptures, see
that God’s requirement under grace is just the same He made in Eden—perfect obedience to His law. In
the Judgment, God will ask those who profess to be Christians, Why did you
claim to believe in My Son, and continue to transgress My
law? Who required this at your hands—to
trample upon My rules of righteousness?
. . . The gospel of the New
Testament is not the Old Testament standard lowered to meet the sinner and save
him in his sins. God requires of all His
subjects obedience, entire obedience to all His commandments. He demands now as ever perfect righteousness
as the only title to heaven. Christ is
our hope and our refuge. His
righteousness only is imputed to the obedient.
Let us accept it through faith, that the Father shall find in us no
sin. But those who have trampled on the
holy law will have no right to claim that righteousness. O that we might view the immensity of the
plan of salvation as obedient children to all God’s requirements,
believing that we have peace with God through Jesus Christ, our atoning
sacrifice.” Review and Herald, September 21, 1886.
1 How is
obedience regarded by the Lord? 1 Samuel 15:22.
sacrificial offerings were in themselves of no value in the sight of God. They were designed to express on the part of
the offerer penitence for sin and faith in Christ and
to pledge future obedience to the law of God.
But without penitence, faith, and an obedient heart, the offerings were
worthless. When, in direct violation of
God’s command, Saul proposed to present a sacrifice of that which God had
devoted to destruction, open contempt was shown for the divine authority. The service would have been an insult to Heaven. Yet with the sin of Saul and its result
before us, how many are pursuing a similar course. While they refuse to believe and obey some
requirement of the Lord, they persevere in offering up to God their formal
services of religion. There is no response
of the Spirit of God to such service. No
matter how zealous men may be in their observance of religious ceremonies, the
Lord cannot accept them if they persist in willful violation of one of His
and Prophets, 634.
2 What encouraging
promise is made to the obedient? Isaiah 1:19.
cannot overestimate the value of simple faith and unquestioning obedience. It is by following in the path of obedience
in simple faith that the character obtains perfection.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day
Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1137.
3 What great
promise was made by the Lord to ancient Israel if they would be an obedient people? Deuteronomy 11:22–28.
it be made plain that the way of God’s commandments is the way of life. God has established the laws of nature, but
His laws are not arbitrary exactions.
Every ‘Thou shalt not,’ whether in physical or
in moral law, implies a promise. If we
obey it, blessing will attend our steps.
God never forces us to do right, but He seeks to save us from the evil
and lead us to the good.” The Ministry of Healing, 114.
4 To what
does the Lord liken those who obey His words?
Matthew 7:24, 25.
set forth the principles of His kingdom, and showed them to be the great rule
of life. To impress the lesson He adds
an illustration. It is not enough, He
says, for you to hear My words. By obedience you must make them the
foundation of your character. Self is
but shifting sand. If you build upon
human theories and inventions, your house will fall. By the winds of temptation, the tempests of
trial, it will be swept away. But these
principles that I have given will endure.
Receive Me; build on My words.” The Desire of Ages, 314.
5 What is
said concerning the blessed results of the obedience of Jesus? Romans 5:19.
man fallen could not overcome Satan with his human strength, Christ came from
the royal courts of heaven to help him with His human and divine strength
combined. Christ knew that Adam in Eden,
with his superior advantages, might have withstood the temptations of Satan,
and conquered him. He also knew that it
was not possible for man, out of Eden,
separated from the light and love of God since the Fall,
to resist the temptations of Satan in his own strength. In order to bring hope to man, and save him
from complete ruin, He humbled Himself to take man’s nature,
that, with His divine power combined with the human, He might reach man
where he is. He obtains for the fallen
sons and daughters of Adam that strength which it is impossible for them to
gain for themselves, that in His name they may overcome the temptations of
Satan. . . .” Maranatha,
6 What is the
terrible result of man’s disobedience?
would have his people clearly understand that they will be visited according to
their obedience or transgression.
Wickedness and disease have increased with every successive
generation. The land has labored under
the curse which man has brought upon it because of continued
Gifts, vol. 4a, 123.
7 In the parable of the two sons, which one did the will of
his father? Matthew 21:28–31.
this parable the father represents God, the vineyard the church. By the two sons are represented two classes
of people. The son who refused to obey
the command, saying, ‘I will not,’ represented those who were living in open
transgression, who made no profession of piety, who openly refused to come
under the yoke of restraint and obedience which the law of God imposes. But many of these afterward repented and
obeyed the call of God. When the gospel
came to them in the message of John the Baptist, ‘Repent ye;
for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,’ they repented, and confessed their
sins. (Matthew 3:2.).” Christ’s Object Lessons, 275,
8 What is the
moral standard of obedience? James 2:8–12. Compare 1 John 3:4; Ecclesiastes 12:13.
one surrenders to Christ, the mind is brought under the control of the law; but
it is the royal law, which proclaims liberty to every captive. By becoming one with Christ, man is made
free. Subjection to the will of Christ
means restoration to perfect manhood.” The Ministry of Healing, 131.
9 How only
can we be found obedient to the requirements of the Lord? Romans 8:3, 4.
Lord saw our fallen condition; He saw our need of grace, and because He loved
our souls, He has given us grace and peace.
Grace means favor to one who is undeserving, to one who is lost. The fact that we are sinners, instead of
shutting us away from the mercy and love of God, makes the exercise of His love
to us a positive necessity in order that we may be saved.” Selected Messages,
10 To what extent is the indwelling presence of Christ, through
the Spirit, able to bring us into obedience?
should keep off from Satan’s enchanted ground and not allow your minds to be
swayed from allegiance to God. Through
Christ you may and should be happy and should acquire habits of
self-control. Even your thoughts must be
brought into subjection to the will of God and your feelings under the control
of reason and religion. Your imagination
was not given you to be allowed to run riot and have its own way without any
effort at restraint or discipline. If
the thoughts are wrong the feelings will be wrong, and the thoughts and
feelings combined make up the moral character.
When you decide that as Christians you are not required to restrain your
thoughts and feelings you are brought under the influence of evil angels and
invite their presence and their control.
If you yield to your impressions and allow your thoughts to run in a
channel of suspicion, doubt, and repining you will be among the most unhappy of mortals, and your lives will prove a
11 What great
test came to Abraham concerning his son Isaac?
Genesis 22:1, 2. Review this story of faith and obedience as
recorded in Genesis 22:1–14.
act of faith in Abraham is recorded for our benefit. It teaches us the great lesson of confidence
in the requirements of God, however close and cutting they may be; and it
teaches children perfect submission to their parents and to God. By Abraham’s obedience we are taught that
nothing is too precious for us to give to God.”
Testimonies, vol. 3, 368.
12 Because of
his obedience, what promise was made to Abraham? Genesis 22:15–18.
Compare Genesis 26:2–5.
great act of faith stands like a pillar of light, illuminating the pathway of
God’s servants in all succeeding ages.
Abraham did not seek to excuse himself from doing the will of God. During that three days’ journey he had
sufficient time to reason, and to doubt God, if he was disposed to doubt. He might have reasoned that the slaying of
his son would cause him to be looked upon as a murderer, a second Cain; that it
would cause his teaching to be rejected and despised; and thus destroy his
power to do good to his fellow men. He might have pleaded that age should excuse
him from obedience. But the patriarch
did not take refuge in any of these excuses.
Abraham was human; his passions and attachments were like ours; but he
did not stop to question how the promise could be fulfilled if Isaac should be
slain. He did not stay to reason with
his aching heart. He knew that God is
just and righteous in all His requirements, and he obeyed the command to the
very letter.” Patriarchs
and Prophets, 153.