Bible Study Guides – Apart from God

February 23, 2014 – March 1, 2014

Key Text

“O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” Romans 7:24, 25.

Study Help: Christ’s Object Lessons, 200–202.


“He saw the world in its wretchedness and sin, apart from God. All this misery was the result of man’s turning away from God to worship Satan.” The Story of Jesus, 47.


  • What is it that the sinner does not want to retain in his mind and why? Romans 1:28. How does this compare with Luke 15:11–13?

Note: “Although surrounded with the blessings of His love, there is nothing that the sinner, bent on self-indulgence and sinful pleasure, desires so much as separation from God. Like the ungrateful son, he claims the good things of God as his by right. He takes them as a matter of course, and makes no return of gratitude, renders no service of love. As Cain went out from the presence of the Lord to seek his home; as the prodigal wandered into the ‘far country’ (Luke 15:13), so do sinners seek happiness in forgetfulness of God (Romans 1:28).” Christ’s Object Lessons, 200.

  • How do the professors of wisdom become fools? Romans 1:21, 22. What is the end result? Proverbs 5:22.

Note: “The Bible tells of men who ‘professing themselves to be wise’ ‘became fools’ (Romans 1:22); and this is the history of the young man of the parable. The wealth which he has selfishly claimed from his father he squanders upon harlots. The treasure of his young manhood is wasted. The precious years of life, the strength of intellect, the bright visions of youth, the spiritual aspirations—all are consumed in the fires of lust.

“A great famine arises, he begins to be in want, and he joins himself to a citizen of the country, who sends him into the field to feed swine. To a Jew this was the most menial and degrading of employments. The youth who has boasted of his liberty, now finds himself a slave. He is in the worst of bondage. … The glitter and tinsel that enticed him have disappeared, and he feels the burden of his chain. Sitting upon the ground in that desolate and famine-stricken land, with no companions but the swine, he is fain to fill himself with the husks on which the beasts are fed. Of the gay companions who flocked about him in his prosperous days and ate and drank at his expense, there is not one left to befriend him. Where now is his riotous joy? Stilling his conscience, benumbing his sensibilities, he thought himself happy; but now, with money spent, with hunger unsatisfied, with pride humbled, with his moral nature dwarfed, with his will weak and untrustworthy, with his finer feelings seemingly dead, he is the most wretched of mortals.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 199, 200.


  • What will eventually be the response of one who has lived without God and is alone in a far country? Romans 7:24. What happened to the son who wasted his substance? Luke 15:13–16.

Note: “Whatever the appearance may be, every life centered in self is squandered. Whoever attempts to live apart from God is wasting his substance. He is squandering the precious years, squandering the powers of mind and heart and soul, and working to make himself bankrupt for eternity. The man who separates from God that he may serve himself, is the slave of mammon. The mind that God created for the companionship of angels has become degraded to the service of that which is earthly and bestial. This is the end to which self-serving tends.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 200, 201.

  • What advice is given in Isaiah 55:2?

Note: “If you have chosen such a life, you know that you are spending money for that which is not bread, and labor for that which satisfieth not. There come to you hours when you realize your degradation. Alone in the far country you feel your misery, and in despair you cry, ‘O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death’ (Romans 7:24)?” Christ’s Object Lessons, 201.

“Multitudes are vainly seeking happiness in worldly amusements. They crave something which they do not have. They are spending their money for that which is not bread, and their labor for that which satisfieth not. The hungering, thirsting soul will continue to hunger and thirst as long as it partakes of these unsatisfying pleasures. O that every such one would listen to the voice of Jesus, ‘If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink’ (John 7:37). Those who drink of the living water will thirst no more for frivolous, exciting amusements. Christ, the wellspring of life, is the fountain of peace and happiness.” Evangelism, 266.

  • In what do sinners trust when not in God and what is the ultimate result? Jeremiah 17:5, 6.

Note: “It is the statement of a universal truth which is contained in the prophet’s words, ‘Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited’ (Jeremiah 17:5, 6).” Christ’s Object Lessons, 201.


  • Upon whom does the sun and rain fall? Matthew 5:45.

Note: “God ‘maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust’ (Matthew 5:45); but men have the power to shut themselves away from sunshine and shower. So while the Sun of Righteousness shines, and the showers of grace fall freely for all, we may by separating ourselves from God still ‘inhabit the parched places in the wilderness’ (Jeremiah 17:6).” Christ’s Object Lessons, 201, 202.

  • When realizing danger what is the cry of the soul? Romans 7:24.

Note: “If you have chosen such a life, you know that you are spending money for that which is not bread, and labor for that which satisfieth not. There come to you hours when you realize your degradation. Alone in the far country you feel your misery, and in despair you cry, ‘O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death’ (Romans 7:24)?” Christ’s Object Lessons, 201.


  • What is it that draws the sinner toward repentance? Romans 2:4; Jeremiah 31:3.

Note: “The love of God still yearns over the one who has chosen to separate from Him, and He sets in operation influences to bring him back to the Father’s house. The prodigal son in his wretchedness ‘came to himself.’ The deceptive power that Satan had exercised over him was broken. He saw that his suffering was the result of his own folly, and he said, ‘How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father’ (Luke 15:17, 18). Miserable as he was, the prodigal found hope in the conviction of his father’s love. It was that love which was drawing him toward home. So it is the assurance of God’s love that constrains the sinner to return to God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 202.

  • In John 5:6–8, what question did Jesus ask? What was his response and how should that affect all who live by faith in God’s word? Compare Romans 7:24?

Note: “By sin we have been severed from the life of God. Our souls are palsied. Of ourselves we are no more capable of living a holy life than was the impotent man capable of walking. Many realize their helplessness; they are longing for that spiritual life which will bring them into harmony with God, and are striving to obtain it. But in vain. In despair they cry, ‘O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death’ (Romans 7:24, margin)? Let these desponding, struggling ones look up. The Saviour is bending over the purchase of His blood, saying with inexpressible tenderness and pity, ‘Wilt thou be made whole’ (John 5:6)? He bids you arise in health and peace. Do not wait to feel that you are made whole. Believe the Saviour’s word. Put your will on the side of Christ. Will to serve Him, and in acting upon His word you will receive strength. Whatever may be the evil practice, the master passion which through long indulgence binds both soul and body, Christ is able and longs to deliver. He will impart life to the soul that is ‘dead in trespasses’ (Ephesians 2:1). He will set free the captive that is held by weakness and misfortune and the chains of sin.” The Ministry of Healing, 84.


  • Paul prays for the believers. How do you understand the depth of meaning in his prayer requesting that they might be filled with the fullness of God? Ephesians 3:14–19.

Note: “Again he writes of his desire that the brethren at Ephesus might come to understand the height of the Christian’s privilege. He opens before them, in the most comprehensive language, the marvelous power and knowledge that they might possess as sons and daughters of the Most High. It was theirs ‘to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man,’ to be ‘rooted and grounded in love,’ to ‘comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.’ But the prayer of the apostle reaches the climax of privilege when he prays that ‘ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.’ Ephesians 3:16–19.

“Here are revealed the heights of attainment that we may reach through faith in the promises of our heavenly Father, when we fulfill His requirements. Through the merits of Christ we have access to the throne of Infinite Power.” The Great Controversy, 476, 477.

  • Why is there no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus? Romans 8:1, 2, 34.


  • Explain how Numbers 35:10–12 would parallel with Romans 8:1, 34.

Note: “The cities of refuge appointed for God’s ancient people were a symbol of the refuge provided in Christ. The same merciful Saviour who appointed those temporal cities of refuge has by the shedding of His own blood provided for the transgressors of God’s law a sure retreat, into which they may flee for safety from the second death. No power can take out of His hands the souls that go to Him for pardon.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 516.

  • Who is it that we should seek and why? Acts 17:27, 28, first part.

Note: “The sinner is exposed to eternal death, until he finds a hiding place in Christ; and as loitering and carelessness might rob the fugitive of his only chance for life, so delays and indifference may prove the ruin of the soul. Satan, the great adversary, is on the track of every transgressor of God’s holy law, and he who is not sensible of his danger, and does not earnestly seek shelter in the eternal refuge, will fall a prey to the destroyer.

“The prisoner who at any time went outside the city of refuge was abandoned to the avenger of blood. Thus the people were taught to adhere to the methods which infinite wisdom appointed for their security. Even so, it is not enough that the sinner believe in Christ for the pardon of sin; he must, by faith and obedience, abide in Him.” [Author’s italics.] Patriarchs and Prophets, 517.

Studies compiled by Judy Hallingstad. Judy is part of the LandMarks team and can be contacted by email at: