May 11, 2008 – May 17, 2008
“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. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16, 17.
Study Help: Education, 253–261.
“Christ did not fail, neither was He discouraged; and the disciples were to show a faith of the same enduring nature. They were to work as He had worked, depending on Him for strength. Though their way would be obstructed by apparent impossibilities, yet by His grace they were to go forward, despairing of nothing and hoping for everything.” The Acts of the Apostles, 23.
1 What is the Bible definition of faith? Hebrews 11:1.
Note: “We can have the salvation of God in our families; but we must believe for it, live for it, and have a continual, abiding faith and trust in God.” Child Guidance, 484.
“The prayer of the publican was heard because it showed dependence reaching forth to lay hold upon Omnipotence. Self to the publican appeared nothing but shame. Thus it must be seen by all who seek God. By faith—faith that renounces all self-trust—the needy suppliant is to lay hold upon infinite power.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 159.
2 What is written about the creation of the universe? Hebrews 11:3; Psalm 33:6, 9.
Note: “God spoke, and His words created His works in the natural world. God’s creation is but a reservoir of means made ready for Him to employ instantly to do His pleasure.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1081.
3 What is recorded about Abel? Genesis 4:4; Hebrews 11:4.
Note: “In every offering to God we are to acknowledge the one great Gift; that alone can make our service acceptable to Him. When Abel offered the firstling of the flock, he acknowledged God, not only as the Giver of his temporal blessings, but also as the Giver of the Saviour. Abel’s gift was the very choicest he could bring; for it was the Lord’s specified claim. But Cain brought only of the fruit of the ground, and his offering was not accepted by the Lord. It did not express faith in Christ. All our offerings must be sprinkled with the blood of the atonement. As the purchased possession of the Son of God, we are to give the Lord our own individual lives.” Review and Herald, November 24, 1896.
“Fallen man, because of his guilt, could no longer come directly before God with his supplications; for his transgression of the divine law had placed an impassable barrier between the holy God and the transgressor. But a plan was devised that the sentence of death should rest upon a Substitute. In the plan of redemption there must be the shedding of blood, for death must come in consequence of man’s sin. The beasts for sacrificial offerings were to prefigure Christ. In the slain victim, man was to see the fulfillment for the time being of God’s word, ‘Thou shall surely die.’ [Genesis 2:17.]” Ibid., March 3, 1874.
4 What was the main difference between Abel’s offering and that of Cain? Genesis 4:3–5.
Note: “Cain thought himself righteous, and he came to God with a thank offering only. He made no confession of sin, and acknowledged no need of mercy. But Abel came with the blood that pointed to the Lamb of God. He came as a sinner, confessing himself lost; his only hope was the unmerited love of God. The Lord had respect to his offering, but to Cain and his offering He had not respect. The sense of need, the recognition of our poverty and sin, is the very first condition of acceptance with God. ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’ [Matthew 5:3.]” Christ’s Object Lessons, 152.
5 Summarize the biography of Enoch. Genesis 5:21–24.
Note: “Did [Enoch] see God by his side? Only by faith. He knew that the Lord was there, and he adhered steadfastly to the principles of truth. We, too, are to walk with God. When we do this, our faces will be lighted up by the brightness of His presence, and when we meet one another, we shall speak of His power, saying, Praise God. Good is the Lord, and good is the word of the Lord.” “Ellen G. White Comments, Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1087.
6 What was the reward of Enoch? Hebrews 11:5.
7 How can we be similar to Enoch?
Note: “We can have what Enoch had. We can have Christ as our constant companion. Enoch walked with God, and when assailed by the tempter, he could talk with God about it. He had no ‘It is written’ as we have, but he had a knowledge of his heavenly Companion. He made God his Counselor, and was closely bound up with Jesus. And Enoch was honored in this course. He was translated to heaven without seeing death. And those who will be translated at the close of time, will be those who commune with God on earth. Those who make manifest that their life is hid with Christ in God will ever be representing Him in all their life practices. Selfishness will be cut out by the roots.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1087.
“Be ambitious, for the Master’s glory, to cultivate every grace of character. In every phase of your character building you are to please God. This you may do; for Enoch pleased Him though living in a degenerate age. And there are Enochs in this our day.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 332.
“If you will only watch, continually watch unto prayer, if you will do everything as if you were in the immediate presence of God, you will be saved from yielding to temptation, and may hope to be kept pure, spotless, and undefiled till the last.” Gospel Workers, 128.
8 What is written of Noah? Genesis 5:28, 29, 32; 6:8, 9, 13, 14, 22; Hebrews 11:7.
Note: “The descendants of Seth were called the sons of God; the descendants of Cain, the sons of men. As the sons of God mingled with the sons of men, they became corrupt and, by intermarriage with them, lost, through the influence of their wives, their peculiar, holy character, and united with the sons of Cain in their idolatry. Many cast aside the fear of God and trampled upon His commandments. But there were a few that did righteousness, who feared and honored their Creator. Noah and his family were among the righteous few.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 66.
“While Noah was giving his warning message to the world, his works testified of his sincerity. It was thus that his faith was perfected and made evident. He gave the world an example of believing just what God says. All that he possessed, he invested in the ark. As he began to construct that immense boat on dry ground, multitudes came from every direction to see the strange sight and to hear the earnest, fervent words of the singular preacher. Every blow struck upon the ark was a witness to the people.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 95.
9 What title did God Himself apply to Noah? Genesis 7:1; 11 Peter 2:5. How and why should we seek to be distinguished in a similar manner?
Note: “Of the vast population of the earth before the Flood, only eight souls believed and obeyed God’s word through Noah. For a hundred and twenty years the preacher of righteousness warned the world of the coming destruction, but his message was rejected and despised. So it will be now. Before the Lawgiver shall come to punish the disobedient, transgressors are warned to repent, and return to their allegiance; but with the majority these warnings will be in vain. Says the apostle Peter, ‘There shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning.’ [11 Peter 3:3, 4.] Do we not hear these very words repeated, not merely by the openly ungodly, but by many who occupy the pulpits of our land?” Patriarchs and Prophets, 102, 103.
10 How was Abraham justified before God? Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:1–5.
Note: “The first and the last are to be sharers in the great, eternal reward, and the first should gladly welcome the last. He who grudges the reward to another forgets that he himself is saved by grace alone.” Review and Herald, July 10, 1894.
11 How was Abraham justified before the whole universe? James 2:18–26.
Note: “In order for man to be justified by faith, faith must reach a point where it will control the affections and impulses of the heart; and it is by obedience that faith itself is made perfect.” Review and Herald, November 4, 1890.
“The faith that does not produce good works does not justify the soul.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 397.
“Faith works by love and purifies the soul. Faith buds and blossoms and bears a harvest of precious fruit. Where faith is, good works appear. The sick are visited, the poor are cared for, the fatherless and the widows are not neglected, the naked are clothed, the destitute are fed. Christ went about doing good, and when men are united with Him, they love the children of God, and meekness and truth guide their footsteps. The expression of the countenance reveals their experience, and men take knowledge of them that they have been with Jesus and learned of Him. Christ and the believer become one, and His beauty of character is revealed in those who are vitally connected with the Source of power and love.” Ibid., 398.
“The character of everyone brought in connection with the light that the Lord communicates to His people will be proved and tested. If there is not expansion and development, and an increase of faith and holiness consistent with the light shining upon their pathway … there will be a blindness that will not see and discern the deep things of God. With those who appreciate the light God has given, there will be a freshness and power and growth in grace, and light will be diffused to others.” Daughters of God, 136.
“Prayer is heaven’s ordained means of success in the conflict with sin and the development of Christian character. The divine influences that come in answer to the prayer of faith will accomplish in the soul of the suppliant all for which he pleads. For the pardon of sin, for the Holy Spirit, for a Christlike temper, for wisdom and strength to do His work, for any gift He has promised, we may ask; and the promise is, ‘Ye shall receive.’ [Matthew 21:22.]” The Acts of the Apostles, 564.
“As a people we are to be purified from our natural evil habits and desires. Our hearts must be changed, or we can not correctly represent the Lord Jesus, who gave his life for us. The Son of God took humanity upon him that he might make it possible for humanity to take hold upon divinity through the exercise of a perfect faith. Christ is our example for the development of a perfect character. Through the strength we receive from him, we may be overcomers. In seeking him for those things that we need, we must exercise a faith that will not be denied. We must represent him by following humbly in his footsteps. Through faith in his merits and practise [sic] of the truth, we shall receive of his grace, and this will be revealed in kindness of heart and of action, and in singleness of purpose. Courtesy and sympathy will be revealed in our lives. By a daily opening of the heart to truth and righteousness, as they are found in Jesus, we shall be able to reveal that truth and that righteousness in our dealings with others.” Review and Herald, February 18, 1909.
“It is impossible for any of us to have a practical knowledge of this union with Christ, without the constant exercise of faith. Faith binds our souls to him, and makes us partakers of the divine nature. Our spiritual growth, our peace, our steadfastness, our constant obedience to the words of Christ, all depend upon the degree of faith we have in God. ‘Without faith it is impossible to please, Him’ [Hebrews 11:6]; for we are powerless to do anything from acceptable motives, except through the grace of Christ, and this grace can be supplied only through the channel of faith, that opens the way of direct communication between our souls and God. In accordance with our faith, we are enabled to overcome principalities, and powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places. Selfishness will not be permitted to flourish in the heart that is exercising living faith. Sin will not be indulged where faith beholds God and angels watching the development of character, and weighing moral worth. Eternal life, the gift of God through Jesus Christ, is a precious reality, and sin becomes exceeding sinful and abhorrent. Faith beholds ‘the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world’ [John 1:29], and realizes something of the cost of Calvary.” The Signs of the Times, March 23, 1888.
©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.