“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.
Study Help: Fundamentals of
Christian Education, 196–200; The Acts of the Apostles,
“The gospel is the power of God unto salvation when it is
interwoven with the practical life, when it is lived and practiced.”My Life Today, 224.
does the Bible define sin?1 John
3:4; James 4:17.Why do we struggle with
sin, and how can we gain the victory over it?Romans 7:14–24; John 8:34, 36; 15:5.
note: “Enslaved by sin, the moral powers
are under the tyranny of Satan.The soul
is made the sport of his temptations; and unless some mighty arm is stretched
out to rescue him, man goes where the arch-rebel leads the way.”Testimonies, vol. 7, 42.
“The nearer we come to Jesus, and the more clearly we discern the
purity of His character, the more clearly shall we see the exceeding sinfulness
of sin, and the less shall we feel like exalting ourselves.There will be a continual reaching out of the
soul after God, a continual, earnest, heartbreaking confession of sin and
humbling of the heart before Him.At
every advance step in our Christian experience our repentance will deepen.We shall know that our sufficiency is in
Christ alone and shall make the apostle’s confession our own: ‘I know that in
me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing.’‘God forbid that I should glory, save in the
cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I
unto the world.’Romans 7:18; Galatians
of the Apostles, 561.
should we realize in seeking Christ’s strength?Hebrews 4:15, 16; ; 12:2.
note: “Many have a feeble religious
experience because, instead of seeking the Lord for the efficiency of the Holy
Spirit, they make flesh their arm.”Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 381.
“Our faith must pierce beyond the veil, seeing things that are
invisible.No one else can look for
you.”“Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 930.
happens when we come to Christ?Ephesians 2:8; Romans 2:4; 5:1, 2.
note: “The very first step to Christ is
taken through the drawing of the Spirit of God; as man responds to this
drawing, he advances toward Christ in order that he may repent. . . .
“If we are drawn to Christ, it is through His power and
virtue.The grace of contrition comes
through Him, and from Him comes justification.”Selected Messages, Book 1, 390, 391.
we accept Christ as our personal Saviour, how are we benefited by the work that
Christ has done for us?Romans 5:18, 19;
11 Corinthians 5:21.
note: “Justification is a full, complete
pardon of sin.The moment a sinner
accepts Christ by faith, that moment he is pardoned.The righteousness of Christ is imputed
[credited] to him.”The Signs of the Times,
May 19, 1898.
“By faith he [the repentant sinner] can bring to God the merits of
Christ, and the Lord places the obedience of His Son to the sinner’s
account.Christ’s righteousness is
accepted in place of man’s failure, and God receives, pardons, justifies, the
repentant, believing soul, treats him as though he were righteous, and loves
him as He loves His Son.This is how
faith is accounted righteousness.”Review and Herald, November 4, 1890.
work does Christ do in us through the Holy Spirit, with our consent and
cooperation?John 3:7, 8;
11 Corinthians 5:17; 7:1.
note: “It is the grace that Christ implants
in the soul which creates in man enmity against Satan.Without this converting grace and renewing
power, man would continue the captive of Satan, a servant ever ready to do his
bidding.But the new principle in the
soul creates conflict where hitherto had been peace.The power which Christ imparts enables man to
resist the tyrant and usurper.Whoever
is seen to abhor sin instead of loving it, whoever resists and conquers those
passions that have held sway within, displays the operation of a principle
wholly from above.”The Great Controversy,
what way does the process of sanctification involve daily choices on our
part?Romans 8:1, 5, 13; Galatians 5:16;
note: “To walk in the light means to
resolve, to exercise thought, to exert will power, in an earnest endeavor to
represent Christ in sweetness of character.It means to put away all gloom.You are not to rest satisfied simply in saying, ‘I am a child of God.’Are you beholding Jesus, and, by beholding,
becoming changed into His likeness?To
walk in the light means advancement and progress in spiritual
vol. 4, 273.
do justification and sanctification operate together in our salvation?1 John 1:9; Romans 6:1, 2, 7, 22.Give examples.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.”“Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 908.
“The Christian will feel the promptings of sin, but he will
maintain a constant warfare against it.Here is where Christ’s help is needed.Human weakness becomes united to divine strength, and faith exclaims:
‘Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus
Christ.’1 Corinthians 15:57.”The Great Controversy, 469, 470.
what sense do we have to cooperate with Christ to become holy?Colossians 1:21–23, 29.For what purpose do we receive power through
the gospel?Romans 1:16; Ephesians 3:16–20.
note: “The work of gaining salvation is one
of copartnership, 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.”The Acts
of the Apostles, 482.
changes does God bring forth in giving us His grace?Titus 2:11–14; 3:5.How does the leaven in the parable illustrate
the radical change?Matthew 13:33.
note: “As the leaven, when mingled with the
meal, works from within outward, so it is by the renewing of the heart that the
grace of God works to transform the life.”Christ’s Object Lessons, 97.
“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.
“The leaven of truth works a change in the whole man, making the
coarse refined, the rough gentle, the selfish generous.By it the impure are cleansed, washed in the
blood of the Lamb.Through its
life-giving power it brings all there is of mind and soul and strength into
harmony with the divine life. Man with
his human nature becomes a partaker of divinity.”Ibid., 102.
what condition can we receive the power of God’s grace?What kind of faith do we need?Matthew 17:20; Jude 20.
note: “The heavenly intelligences will work
with the human agent who seeks with determined faith that perfection of
character which will reach out to perfection in action.To everyone engaged in this work Christ says,
I am at your right hand to help you.
“As the will of man co-operates with the will of God, it becomes
omnipotent.Whatever is to be done at
His command may be accomplished in His strength.All His biddings are enablings.”Christ’s Object Lessons, 332, 333.
The World by Wisdom Knew Not God
“The truth of God is infinite, capable of measureless expansion,
and the more we contemplate it, the more will its glory appear.The truth has been opened before us, and yet
the words of Paul to the Galatians are applicable to us. . . .[Galatians 3:1–4 quoted.]
“ ‘Without Me,’ Christ says, ‘ye can do nothing.’[John 15:5.]Those who undertake to carry forward the work in their own strength will
certainly fail.Education alone will not
fit a man for a place in the work, will not enable him to obtain a knowledge of
God.Hear what Paul has to say on this
matter: [1 Corinthians –21
“Through successive ages of darkness, in the midnight of
heathenism, God permitted men to try the experiment of finding out God by their
own wisdom, not to demonstrate their inability to His satisfaction, but that
men themselves might see that they could not obtain a knowledge of God and of
Jesus Christ His Son, save through the revelation of His word by the Holy
Spirit.When Christ came to the world,
the experiment had been fully tried, and the result made it evident that the
world by wisdom knew not God.Even in
the church God has allowed men to test their own wisdom in this matter, but
when a crisis has been brought about through human fallibility, God has risen
mightily to defend His people.When the
church has been brought low, when trial and oppression have come upon His
people, He more abundantly exalted them by signal deliverance.When unfaithful teachers came among the
people, weakness followed, and the faith of God’s people seemed to wane; but
God arose and purged His floor, and the tried and true were lifted up.
“There are times when apostasy comes into the ranks, when piety is
left out of the heart by those who should have kept step with their divine
Leader.The people of God separate from
the source of their strength, and pride, vanity, extravagance, and display
follow.There are idols within and idols
without; but God sends the Comforter as a reprover of sin, that His people may
be warned of their apostasy and rebuked for their backsliding.When the more precious manifestations of His
love shall be gratefully acknowledged and appreciated, the Lord will pour in
the balm of comfort and the oil of joy.
“When men are led to realize that their human calculations come far
short, and are convinced that their wisdom is but foolishness, then it is that
they turn to the Lord to seek Him with all the heart, that they may find Him.
. . .
“Every church among us needs the deep movings of the Spirit of
God.O we would point men to the cross
of Calvary.We would bid
them look upon Him whom their sins have pierced.We would bid them to behold the Redeemer of
the world suffering the penalty of their transgression of the law of God.The verdict is that ‘the soul that sinneth it
shall die.’[Ezekiel 18:20.]But on the cross the sinner sees the
only-begotten of the Father, dying in his stead, and giving the transgressor
life.All the intelligences in earth and
heaven are called upon to behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed
upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.Every sinner may look and live.Do not survey that scene of Calvary
with careless, thoughtless mind.Can it
be that angels shall look down upon us, the recipients of God’s love, and see
us cold, indifferent, unimpressible, when heaven in amazement beholds the
stupendous work of redemption to save a fallen world, and desires to look into
the mystery of Calvary’s love and woe?Angels in wonder and amazement look upon those for whom so great
salvation has been provided, and marvel that the love of God does not awaken
them, and lead them to pour forth melodious strains of gratitude and
adoration.But the result which all
heaven looks to behold is not seen among those who profess to be followers of
Christ.How readily do we speak in endearing
words of our friends and relatives, and yet how slow we are to speak of Him
whose love has no parallel, set forth in Christ crucified among you.
“The love of our heavenly Father in the gift of His only-begotten
Son to the world, is enough to inspire every soul, to melt every hard, loveless
heart into contrition and tenderness; and yet shall heavenly intelligences see
in those for whom Christ died, insensibility to His love, hardness of heart,
and no response of gratitude and affection to the Giver of all good
things?Shall affairs of minor
importance absorb the whole power of the being, and the love of God meet no
return?Shall the Sun of R ighteousness
shine in vain?In view of what God has
done, could His claims be less upon you?Have we hearts that can be touched, that can be impressed with divine
love?Are we willing to be chosen
vessels?Has not God His eye upon us,
and has He not bidden us to send forth His message of light?We need an increase of faith.We must wait, we must watch, we must pray, we
must work, pleading that the Holy Ghost may be poured out upon us abundantly,
that we may be lights in the world. . . .
“The converted soul lives in Christ.His darkness passes away, and a new and
heavenly light shines into his soul.[Proverbs 11:30, last part; Daniel 12:3 quoted.]What is done through the co-operation of men with God is a work that
shall never perish, but endure through the eternal ages.He that makes God his wisdom, that grows up
into the full stature of a man in Christ Jesus, will stand before kings, before
the so-called great men of the world, and show forth the praises of Him who
hath called him out of darkness into His marvelous light.”Fundamentals of
Christian Education, 196–199.