March 9, 2014 – March 15, 2014
“Since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23, 24 RSV.
Study Help: Selected Messages, Book 1, 394–398.
“The Lord would have His people sound in the faith—not ignorant of the great salvation so abundantly provided for them. They are not to look forward, thinking that at some future time a great work is to be done for them; for the work is now complete. The believer is not called upon to make his peace with God; he never has nor ever can do this. He is to accept Christ as his peace, for with Christ is God and peace.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 394.
- The whole world is guilty of violating the law of God, including you and me. What does the word of God say? Romans 3:23, 12.
Note: “Many are deceived concerning the condition of their hearts. They do not realize that the natural heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. They wrap themselves about with their own righteousness, and are satisfied in reaching their own human standard of character; but how fatally they fail when they do not reach the divine standard, and of themselves they cannot meet the requirements of God.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 320.
- Jesus died for our sins, those violations of God’s law; why did God raise Him from the dead? Romans 4:25.
- What is the result of our belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ? Romans 3:24–26.
Note: “Here the truth is laid out in plain lines. This mercy and goodness is wholly undeserved. The grace of Christ is freely to justify the sinner without merit or claim on his part. 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 to him, and he is no more to doubt God’s forgiving grace.
“There is nothing in faith that makes it our saviour. Faith cannot remove our guilt. Christ is the power of God unto salvation to all them that believe. The justification comes through the merits of Jesus Christ. He has paid the price for the sinner’s redemption. Yet it is only through faith in His blood that Jesus can justify the believer.” Reflecting Christ, 78.
- Explain the content of Romans 5:18, 19 and its effect upon us.
Note: “Money cannot buy it, intellect cannot grasp it, power cannot command it; but to all who will accept it, God’s glorious grace is freely given. But men may feel their need, and, renouncing all self-dependence, accept salvation as a gift. Those who enter heaven will not scale its walls by their own righteousness, nor will its gates be opened to them for costly offerings of gold or silver, but they will gain an entrance to the many mansions of the Father’s house through the merits of the cross of Christ.
“For sinful men, the highest consolation, the greatest cause of rejoicing, is that Heaven has given Jesus to be the sinner’s Saviour. … He offered to go over the ground where Adam stumbled and fell; to meet the tempter on the field of battle, and conquer him in man’s behalf. Behold Him in the wilderness of temptation. Forty days and forty nights He fasted, enduring the fiercest assaults of the powers of darkness. He trod the ‘winepress alone; and of the people there was none with’ Him (Isaiah 63:3). It was not for Himself, but that He might break the chain that held the human race in slavery to Satan.” God’s Amazing Grace, 179.
- Being justified, declared guiltless and blameless, what is it that we receive through this relationship with God? Romans 5:1.
Note: “When God pardons the sinner, remits the punishment he deserves, and treats him as though he had not sinned, He receives him into divine favor, and justifies him through the merits of Christ’s righteousness.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 389.
“As the penitent sinner, contrite before God, discerns Christ’s atonement in his behalf, and accepts this atonement as his only hope in this life and the future life, his sins are pardoned. This is justification by faith. Every believing soul is to conform his will entirely to God’s will, and keep in a state of repentance and contrition, exercising faith in the atoning merits of the Redeemer and advancing from strength to strength, from glory to glory.
“Pardon and justification are one and the same thing. 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. The Lord speaks to His heavenly Father, saying: ‘This is My child. I reprieve him from the condemnation of death, giving him My life insurance policy—eternal life—because I have taken his place and have suffered for his sins. He is even My beloved son.’ Thus man, pardoned, and clothed with the beautiful garments of Christ’s righteousness, stands faultless before God.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1070.
- Atonement or reconciliation brings spiritual joy to our lives. Read Romans 5:8–11. Name at least five blessings we receive because Christ died for us.
Note: “Herein His love commends itself in the most marvelous manner to the rebellious race. What a sight for angels to behold! What a hope for man, ‘that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us’ (Romans 5:8)! The just suffered for the unjust; He bore our sins in His own body on the tree. ‘He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things’ (Romans 8:32)?” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 246.
- Through Whom have we received reconciliation or atonement? Romans 5:11.
Note: “The sinner can be justified only through faith in the atonement made through God’s dear Son, who became a sacrifice for the sins of the guilty world. No one can be justified by any works of his own. He can be delivered from the guilt of sin, from the condemnation of the law, from the penalty of transgression, only by virtue of the suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ. Faith is the only condition upon which justification can be obtained, and faith includes not only belief but trust.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 389.
- What will God also do for those who are justified? Romans 8:28, 29.
Note: “God Himself is ‘the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus’ (Romans 3:26). And ‘whom He justified, them He also glorified’ (Romans 8:30).” In Heavenly Places, 148.
“Great as is the shame and degradation through sin, even greater will be the honor and exaltation through redeeming love. To human beings striving for conformity to the divine image there is imparted an outlay of heaven’s treasure, an excellency of power, that will place them higher than even the angels who have never fallen.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 163.
4 RECONCILIATION—MADE ONE WITH THE FATHER
- What is the condition for reconciliation to God? I John 3:1; 1:9; Daniel 9:24.
Note: “Reconciliation means that every barrier between the soul and God is removed, and that the sinner realizes what the pardoning love of God means. By reason of the sacrifice made by Christ for fallen men, God can justly pardon the transgressor who accepts the merits of Christ. Christ was the channel through which the mercy, love, and righteousness might flow from the heart of God to the heart of the sinner.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 396.
- Jesus, in a covenant agreement with His Father, agreed to give His life for fallen man. What was the result of this agreement? John 3:16.
- What were the last words of Jesus before He died on the cross? What happened in the temple at the same time? John 19:30; Matthew 27:51.
Note: “Then the veil of the temple, that which hid God’s glory from the view of the congregation of Israel, was rent in twain from top to bottom. …
“The mercy seat, upon which the glory of God rested in the holiest of all, is opened to all who accept Christ as the propitiation for sin, and through its medium, they are brought into fellowship with God.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1109.
- Because of God’s love toward us it was His hand which “rent the veil of the temple from top to bottom, opening a new and living way for all, high and low, rich and poor, Jew and Gentile. From henceforth people might come to God without priest or ruler.” What was opened to all who accept Christ? (See Note.)
Note: “It was not the hand of the priest that rent from top to bottom the gorgeous veil that divided the holy from the most holy place. It was the hand of God. When Christ cried out, ‘It is finished’ (John 19:30), the Holy Watcher that was an unseen guest at Belshazzar’s feast pronounced the Jewish nation to be a nation unchurched. The same hand that traced on the wall the characters that recorded Belshazzar’s doom and the end of the Babylonian kingdom, rent the veil of the temple from top to bottom, opening a new and living way for all, high and low, rich and poor, Jew and Gentile. From henceforth people might come to God without priest or ruler.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1109.
- Understanding the reason God sent His son into the world, read John 3:14–17 and put it into your own words.
Note: “Without the cross, man could have no connection with the Father. On it hangs our every hope. In view of it the Christian may advance with the steps of a conqueror; for from it streams the light of the Saviour’s love. When the sinner reaches the cross, and looks up to the One who died to save him, he may rejoice with fullness of joy; for his sins are pardoned. Kneeling at the cross, he has reached the highest place to which man can attain. The light of the knowledge of the glory of God is revealed in the face of Jesus Christ; and the words of pardon are spoken: Live, O ye guilty sinners live. Your repentance is accepted; for I have found a ransom.” The Review and Herald, April 29, 1902.
“Through the cross we learn that our Heavenly Father loves us with an infinite and everlasting love, and draws us to Him with more than a mother’s yearning sympathy for a wayward child. Can we wonder that Paul exclaimed, ‘God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ’ (Galatians 6:14)?” Ibid.
- What is it that every soul may say?
Note: “Every soul may say: ‘By His perfect obedience He has satisfied the claims of the law, and my only hope is found in looking to Him as my substitute and surety, who obeyed the law perfectly for me. By faith in His merits I am free from the condemnation of the law. He clothes me with His righteousness, which answers all the demands of the law. I am complete in Him who brings in everlasting righteousness. He presents me to God in the spotless garment of which no thread was woven by any human agent. All is of Christ, and all the glory, honor, and majesty are to be given to the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world.’ ” Selected Messages, Book 1, 396.
Studies compiled by Judy Hallingstad. Judy is part of the LandMarks team and can be contacted by email at: email@example.com.