February 13 —19
Memory Verse: “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3: 15.
Study Help: Great Controversy, pages 518 – 523
Introduction: “When you search the Scriptures with an earnest desire to learn the truth, God will breathe His Spirit into your heart and impress your mind with the light of His Word. The Bible is its own interpreter, one passage explaining another. By comparing Scriptures referring to the same subjects, you will see beauty and harmony of which you have never dreamed. There is no other book whose perusal strengthens and enlarges, elevates and ennobles the mind, as does the perusal of this Book of books. Its study imparts new vigor to the mind, which is thus brought in contact with subjects requiring earnest thought, and is drawn out in prayer to God for power to comprehend the truths revealed.” Testimonies Volume 4, 499.
1. WISE UNTO SALVATION
- What are the Scriptures able to do for the one who places his faith in Jesus Christ? 2 Timothy 3: 15
NOTE: “What other book will teach men to love, fear, and obey God as does the Bible? What other book presents to students more ennobling science, more wonderful history? It clearly portrays righteousness, and foretells the consequence of disloyalty to the law of Jehovah. No one is left in darkness as to that which God approves or disapproves. In studying the Scriptures we become acquainted with God, and are led to understand our relation to Christ, who is the sin-bearer, the surety, the substitute, for our fallen race. These truths concern our present and eternal interests. The Bible stands the highest among books, and its study is valuable above the study of other literature in giving strength and expansion to the mind.” Special Testimonies on Education, 18.
- What aspect of God’s Word should especially occupy our minds? With what result? Psalm 1: 1 – 3; Psalm 119: 9 – 16
NOTE: ” ‘The prince of this world cometh,’ said Jesus, ‘and hath nothing in Me.” John 14: 30. There was in Him nothing that responded to Satan’s sophistry. He did not consent to sin. Not even by a thought did He yield to temptation. So it may be with us. Christ’s humanity was united with divinity; He was fitted for the conflict by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And He came to make us partakers of the divine nature. So long as we are united to Him by faith, sin has no more dominion over us. God reaches for the hand of faith in us to direct it to lay fast hold upon the divinity of Christ, that we may attain to perfection of character. And how this is accomplished, Christ has shown us. By what means did He overcome in the conflict with Satan? By the Word of God. Only by the Word could He resist temptation. ‘It is written,’ He said. . . . Every promise in God’s Word is ours. ‘By every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God’ are we to live. When assailed by temptation, look not to circumstances or to the weakness of self, but to the power of the Word. All its strength is yours. ‘Thy word,’ says the psalmist, ‘have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.’ ‘By the word of Thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.’ Ps. 119: 11; 17: 4.” Desire of Ages, 123.
2. HE WILL GUIDE YOU INTO ALL TRUTH
- What precious promises may we claim as we study the Scriptures? John 14: 26, 16: 13
NOTE: See Testimonies Volume 5, 703.
- What prayer of David’s should be ours whenever we study the Scriptures? Psalm 119: 18
NOTE: “Never should the Bible be studied without prayer. Before opening its pages, we should ask for the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, and it will be given. When Nathanael came to Jesus, the Savior exclaimed, ‘Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile.’ [John 1: 47.] Nathanael said, ‘Whence knowest Thou me?’ Jesus answered, ‘Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee.’ And Jesus will see us also in the secret places of prayer, if we will seek Him for light, that we may know what is truth. Angels from the world of light will be with those who in humility of heart seek for divine guidance.” Christian Education, 59.
3. AT THE END IT SHALL SPEAK
- Which people will understand the Scriptures and which will not? Daniel 12: 9 – 10. How does the Bible define wisdom? Psalm 111: 10
NOTE: See Great Controversy, 132.
- Against what misuse of the Scriptures did Peter warn? 2 Peter 3: 16
NOTE: “In order to sustain erroneous doctrines or unchristian practices, some will seize upon passages of Scripture separated from the context, perhaps quoting half of a single verse as proving their point, when the remaining portion would show the meaning to be quite the opposite. With the cunning of the serpent, they entrench themselves behind disconnected utterances construed to suit their carnal desires. Thus do many willfully pervert the Word of God. Others, who have an active imagination, seize upon the figures and symbols of Holy Writ, interpret them to suit their fancy, with little regard to the testimony of Scripture as its own interpreter, and then they present their vagaries as the teachings of the Bible. Whenever the study of the Scriptures is entered upon without a prayerful, humble, teachable spirit, the plainest and simplest as well as the most difficult passages will be wrested from their true meaning.” Great Controversy, 521.
4. BY EVERY WORD
- How did Jesus describe the importance of His words? John 6: 63, last part
NOTE: “Though inestimable treasures are in the Bible, and it is like a mine full of precious ore, it is not valued, it is not searched, and its riches are not discovered. Mercy and truth and love are valuable beyond our power to calculate; we cannot have too great a supply of these treasures, and it is in the Word of God we find out how we may become possessors of these heavenly riches, and yet why is it that the word of God is uninteresting to many professed Christians? Is it because the Word of God is not spirit and is not life? Has Jesus put upon us an uninteresting task, when He commands us to ‘search the Scriptures’? John 5: 39. Jesus says, ‘The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.’ John 6: 63. But spiritual things are spiritually discerned, and the reason of your lack of interest is that you lack the Spirit of God. When the heart is brought into harmony with the Word, a new life will spring up within you, a new light will shine upon every line of the Word, and it will become the voice of God to your soul. In this way you will take celestial observations, and know whither you are going, and be able to make the most of your privileges today.” Christian Education, 80.
- How did Jesus teach us to value the treasures of His Word? Matthew 13: 44
NOTE: “It is proper and right to read the Bible; but your duty does not end there; for you are to search its pages for yourselves. The knowledge of God is not to be gained without mental effort, without prayer for wisdom in order that you may separate from the pure grain of truth the chaff with which men and Satan have misrepresented the doctrines of truth. Satan and his confederacy of human agents have endeavored to mix the chaff of error with the wheat of truth. We should diligently search for the hidden treasure, and seek wisdom from heaven in order to separate human inventions from the divine commands. The Holy Spirit will aid the seeker for great and precious truths which relate to the plan of redemption. I would impress upon all the fact that a casual reading of the Scriptures is not enough. We must search, and this means the doing of all the word implies. As the miner eagerly explores the earth to discover its veins of gold, so you are to explore the word of God for the hidden treasure that Satan has so long sought to hide from man.” Review and Herald, September 11, 1894.
5. COMPARING SPIRITUAL THINGS WITH SPIRITUAL
- What principle of discovering the meaning of the Scriptures is given us in the Word? Isaiah 28: 9 – 10
NOTE: “Perilous times are before us. Everyone who has a knowledge of the truth should awake and place himself, body, soul, and spirit, under the discipline of God. The enemy is on our track. We must be wide-awake, on our guard against him. We must put on the whole armor of God. We must follow the directions given through the spirit of prophecy. We must love and obey the truth for this time. This will save us from accepting strong delusions. God has spoken to us through His word. He has spoken to us through the testimonies to the church and through the books that have helped to make plain our present duty and the position that we should now occupy. The warnings that have been given, line upon line, precept upon precept, should be heeded. If we disregard them, what excuse can we offer?” Testimonies Volume 8, 298.
- What important principle does Paul give for those seeking to understand spiritual things? 1 Corinthians 2: 13 – 14
NOTE: “We should not take the testimony of any man as to what the Scriptures teach, but should study the Word of God ourselves. If we allow others to do our thinking, we shall have crippled energies and contracted abilities. The noble powers of the mind may be so dwarfed by lack of exercise on themes worthy of their concentration as to lose their ability to grasp the deep meaning of the Word of God. The mind will enlarge if it is employed in tracing out the subjects of the Bible, comparing scripture with scripture, and spiritual things with spiritual. There is nothing more calculated to strengthen the intellect than the study of the Scriptures. No other book is so potent to elevate the thoughts, to give vigor to the faculties, as the broad, ennobling truths of the Bible. If God’s Word were studied as it should be, men would have a breadth of mind, a nobility of character, and a stability of purpose that is rarely seen in these times. But there is but little benefit derived from a hasty reading of the Scriptures. One may read the whole Bible through, and yet fail to see its beauty or comprehend its deep and hidden meaning. One passage studied until its significance is clear to the mind, and its relation to the plan of salvation is evident, is of more value than the perusal of many chapters with no definite purpose in view and no positive instruction gained. Keep your Bible with you. As you have opportunity, read it; fix the texts in your memory.” Christian Education, 58.
6. SEEK AND YE SHALL FIND
- What promise is given to those who diligently search for truth? Matthew 7: 7, Proverbs 8: 17
NOTE: “Our heavenly Father has a pure and inexhaustible fountain of knowledge from which we may draw, and there is no limit to His gifts to those who earnestly seek for truth. The capacities of those who add to their faith virtue will be enlarged to receive still greater virtues. There are undeveloped faculties lying dormant that will spring into life and activity when the human is united with the divine. Those who make the most of that which God has given them in this life will find their powers developed to as much greater degree in the future life as they have by wise improvement increased them in this life.” Sabbath School Worker, July 1, 1889.
- What condition is needed if we are to understand the Bible’s teachings? John 7: 17
NOTE: “Satan can present a counterfeit so closely resembling the truth that it deceives those who are willing to be deceived, who desire to shun the self-denial and sacrifice demanded by the truth; but it is impossible for him to hold under his power one soul who honestly desires, at whatever cost, to know the truth. Christ is the Truth and the “Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” John 1: 9. The Spirit of truth has been sent to guide men into all truth. And upon the authority of the Son of God it is declared: ‘Seek, and ye shall find.’ ‘If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine.’ Matthew 7: 7; John 7: 17.” Great Controversy, 528.
- How will this obedience to God’s will be manifested? John 14: 15, 1 John 2: 3 – 5, 4: 20, 5: 2 –3
NOTE: See Acts of the Apostles, 562 –56 3.