“The Just Shall Live by His Faith”
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20.
STUDY HELP: The Faith I Live By, 122–126.
Thought to Remember: Faith is simply taking God at His word—believing that He will fulfill His promises because He said He would.
Introduction “God has called His people to glory and virtue, and these will be manifest in the lives of all who are truly connected with Him. Having become partakers of the heavenly gift, they are to go unto perfection, being ‘kept by the power of God through faith.’ 1 Peter 1:5. It is the glory of God to give His virtue to His children. He desires to see men and women reaching the highest standard; and when by faith they lay hold of the power of Christ, when they plead His unfailing promises, and claim them as their own, when with an importunity that will not be denied they seek for the power of the Holy Spirit, they will be made complete in Him.” The Acts of the Apostles, 530.
“Justified by Faith”
1 How only may we be forgiven [justified]? Galatians 2:16.
NOTE: “You cannot atone for your past sins; you cannot change your heart and make yourself holy. But God promises to do all this for you through Christ. You believe that promise. You confess your sins and give yourself to God. You will to serve Him. Just as surely as you do this, God will fulfill His word to you. If you believe the promise,—believe that you are forgiven and cleansed,—God supplies the fact; you are made whole, just as Christ gave the paralytic power to walk when the man believed that he was healed. It is so if you believe it. Do not wait to feel that you are made whole, but say, ‘I believe it; it is so, not because I feel it, but because God has promised.’” Steps to Christ, 51.
2 Does this mean that there is no place for good works in the life of the Christian? James 2:20–24.
NOTE: “Righteousness is right doing, and it is by their deeds that all will be judged. Our characters are revealed by what we do. The works show whether the faith is genuine. It is not enough for us to believe that Jesus is not an impostor, and that the religion of the Bible is no cunningly devised fable. We may believe that the name of Jesus is the only name under heaven whereby man may be saved, and yet we may not through faith make Him our personal Saviour. It is not enough to believe the theory of truth. It is not enough to make a profession of faith in Christ and have our names registered on the church roll. ‘He that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us.’ ‘Hereby we do know that we know Him if we keep His commandments.’ 1 John 3:24; 2:3. This is the genuine evidence of conversion. Whatever our profession, it amounts to nothing unless Christ is revealed in works of righteousness.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 312, 313.
“The Faith of Abraham”
3 What example of faith do we find in the experience of Abraham? Hebrews 11:17–19. Read Genesis 22:1–14.
NOTE: “There are many who have never made an unreserved surrender of themselves to God. They have not a right idea of the infinite sacrifice made by God to save a ruined world. If God should speak to them as He did to Abraham, they would not be sufficiently acquainted with His voice to know that He was calling upon them to make a sacrifice, in order to test the depth of their love and the sincerity of their faith. The plague spot of selfishness is as contagious as leprosy. Those who enter the heavenly courts must be purified from every vestige of this plague.…The Lord has a great work for us to do, and He invites us to look to Him, to trust in Him, to walk with Him, to talk with Him. He invites us to make an unreserved surrender of all that we have and are to Him, that when He shall call upon us to sacrifice for Him, we may be ready and willing to obey. We shall enjoy the fullness of divine grace only as we give all to Christ. We shall know the meaning of true happiness only as we keep the fire burning on the altar of sacrifice. God will bequeath the most in the future to those who have done the most in the present.…Each day, under different circumstances, He tries us; and in each true-hearted endeavor He chooses His workers, not because they are perfect, but because they are willing to work unselfishly for Him, and He sees that through connection with Him they may gain perfection.” Our High Calling, 191.
4 What experience did Jesus hold up as an example of great faith? Matthew 8:5–10.
NOTE: “We need a living experience. In faith we are only like little children learning to walk. As a child takes its first steps, it often totters and falls; but it gets up again, and finally learns that it can walk alone. We must learn how to believe in God. We are not to look at our feelings, but to know God by living faith. Look at the centurion who came to Christ for an example of genuine faith.…What kind of power did this centurion think was vested in Jesus? He knew it was the power of God. He said, ‘I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth.’ The centurion saw with the eye of faith that the angels of God were all around Jesus, and that His word would commission an angel to go to the sufferer. He knew that His word would enter the chamber, and that his servant would be healed. And how Christ commended this man’s faith! He exclaimed, ‘I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.’” The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, 559, 560.
“Exceeding Great and Precious Promises”
5 In order to be a partaker of the divine nature and to escape the corruption of sinful lusts, in what must we put our faith? 11 Peter 1:4.
NOTE: See The Desire of Ages, 121.
6 What exceeding great and precious promises may we rely on in times of temptation? 1 Corinthians 10:13; Psalm 50:15; 37:39; 11 Peter 2:9; James 4:7; Hebrews 2:18.
NOTE: “Satan is watching to ensnare your feet. You must have help from above if you would escape his devices. By faith and prayer all may meet the requirements of the gospel. No man can be forced to transgress. His own consent must be first gained; the soul must purpose the sinful act before passion can dominate over reason or iniquity triumph over conscience. Temptation, however strong, is never an excuse for sin. ‘The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers.’ Cry unto the Lord, tempted soul. Cast yourself, helpless, unworthy, upon Jesus, and claim His very promise. The Lord will hear. He knows how strong are the inclinations of the natural heart, and He will help in every time of temptation.” Testimonies,vol. 5, 177.
“The Shield of Faith”
7 What will protect us when we are assailed by the devil? Ephesians 6:16. Compare 1 John 5:4.
NOTE: “We are not worthy of God’s love, but Christ, our surety, is worthy, and is abundantly able to save all who shall come unto Him. Christ delights to take apparently hopeless material, those whom Satan has debased and through whom he has worked, and make them the subjects of His grace. He rejoices to deliver them from suffering and from the wrath that is to fall upon the disobedient. If the enemy can lead the desponding to take their eyes off from Jesus, and look to themselves, and dwell upon their own unworthiness, instead of dwelling upon the worthiness of Jesus, His love, His merits, and His great mercy, he will get away their shield of faith and gain his object; they will be exposed to his fiery temptations. The weak should therefore look to Jesus, and believe in Him; they then exercise faith.” God’s Amazing Grace, 185.
8 What precious promises do we have when we make the Lord our shield? Psalm 119:114–117. Compare Proverbs 30:5.
NOTE: “It is the privilege of Christians to obtain strength from God to hold every precious gift. Fervent and effectual prayer will be regarded in heaven. When the servants of Christ take the shield of faith for their defense, and the sword of the Spirit for war, there is danger in the enemy’s camp. Amidst the snares to which all are exposed, they need strong and trustworthy defenses on which to rely. Many in this corrupt age have so small a supply of the grace of God, that in many instances their defense is broken down by the first assault, and fierce temptations take them captives. The shield of grace can preserve all unconquered by the temptations of the enemy, though surrounded with the most corrupting influences. By firm principle, and unwavering trust in God, their virtue and nobleness of character can shine, and, although surrounded with evil, no taint need be left upon their virtue and integrity.” Ibid., 33.
“Yea, Though I Walk Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death”
9 What example of faith is seen in the life of Job? Job 13:15, first part. Compare Romans 8:38, 39.
NOTE: “When depression settles upon the soul, it is no evidence that God has changed. He is ‘the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.’ Hebrews 13:8. You are sure of the favor of God when you are sensible of the beams of the Sun of Righteousness; but if the clouds sweep over your soul, you must not feel that you are forsaken. Your faith must pierce the gloom. Your eye must be single, and your whole body will be full of light. The riches of the grace of Christ must be kept before the mind. Treasure up the lessons that His love provides. Let your faith be like Job’s, that you may declare, ‘Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.’…The most trying experiences in the Christian’s life may be the most blessed. The special providences of the dark hours may encourage the soul in future attacks of Satan, and equip the servant of God to stand in fiery trials. The trial of your faith is more precious than gold. You must have that abiding confidence in God that is not disturbed by the temptations and arguments of the deceiver. Take the Lord at His word. You must study the promises, and appropriate them, as you have need.” Our High Calling, 324.
10 What is the positive outcome when our faith is tested? 1 Peter 1:7.
NOTE: See The Acts of the Apostles, 467, 468.
“The Just Shall Live by His Faith”
11 If we are to be accounted just in the judgment, how are we to live? Romans 1:16, 17.
NOTE: “How to exercise faith. This is the science of the gospel. The Scripture declares, ‘Without faith it is impossible to please God.’ The knowledge of what the Scripture means when urging upon us the necessity of cultivating faith, is more essential than any other knowledge that can be acquired. We suffer much trouble and grief because of our unbelief, and our ignorance of how to exercise faith. We must break through the clouds of unbelief. We can not have a healthy Christian experience, we can not obey the gospel unto salvation, until the science of faith is better understood, and until more faith is exercised. There can be no perfection of Christian character without that faith that works by love, and purifies the soul.” Review and Herald, October 18, 1898.
12 How does faith lead to righteousness in the life of the Christian? Revelation 14:12.
NOTE: “Genuine faith in Jesus leads to denial of self; but however high the profession may be, if self is exalted and indulged, the faith of Jesus is not in the heart. The true Christian manifests by a life of daily consecration that he is bought with a price, and is not his own. He realizes that an infinite sacrifice has been made for him, and that his life is of inestimable value, through the merits of Jesus’ blood, intercession, and righteousness. But while he comprehends the exalted privileges of the sons of God, his soul is filled with humility. There is no boasting of holiness from the lips of those who walk in the shadow of Calvary’s cross. They feel that it was their sin which caused the agony that broke the heart of the Son of God, and their comeliness is turned to corruption. Those who live nearest to Jesus, feel most deeply their own unworthiness, and their only hope is in the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. Like Moses, they have had a view of the awful majesty of holiness, and they see their own insufficiency in contrast with the purity and exalted loveliness of Jesus.” Review and Herald, March 6, 1888.
13 What is the ultimate purpose of our faith? 1 Peter 1:9. Compare Hebrews 12:1, 2.
NOTE: “When souls are converted their salvation is not yet accomplished. They then have the race to run; the arduous struggle is before them to do, what? ‘To fight the good fight of faith,’ to press forward to the mark for the prize of the high calling which is in Christ Jesus. There is no release in this warfare; the battle is lifelong, and must be carried forward with determined energy proportionate to the value of the object you are in pursuit of, which is eternal life. Immense interests are here involved. We are made partakers of Christ’s self-sacrifice here in this life, and then we are assured that we shall be partakers of all its benefits in the future immortal life, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end. Think of this.” My Life Today, 313.
“Faith, saving faith…is the act of the soul by which the whole man is given over to the guardianship and control of Jesus Christ. He abides in Christ and Christ abides in the soul by faith as supreme. The believer commits his soul and body to God, and with assurance may say, Christ is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day. All who will do this will be saved unto life eternal. There will be an assurance that the soul is washed in the blood of Christ and clothed with His righteousness and precious in the sight of Jesus.” In Heavenly Places, 104.