January 10, 2010 – January 16, 2010
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” I John 3:2, 3.
Study Help: Psalm 15; Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 24–27; My Life Today, 263.
“As the wax takes the impression of the seal, so the soul is to take the impression of the Spirit of God, and retain the moral image of Christ. We are to become partakers of the divine nature, realizing in our experience the vigor and perfection of spiritual life.” The Review and Herald, November 1, 1892.
1 Many people want to see God, but according to Jesus, who will see Him? Matthew 5:8.
Note: “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.” Psalm 15.
“Always kind, courteous, ever taking the part of the oppressed, whether Jew or Gentile, Christ was beloved by all. By His perfect life and character, He answered the question asked in the fifteenth Psalm: ‘Lord, who shall abide in Thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in Thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.’ In childhood and youth His course was such that when engaged in work as a teacher, He could say to His disciples, ‘If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love: even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.’ [John 15:10.]” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 402.
2 Read John 1:12. As we “receive” or associate ourselves with Christ, what gift are we also receiving? Where does this “holiness” or “state of purity” come from? Ephesians 4:20–24. Once “received,” what are we then to do? Colossians 2:6.
Note: “No man receives holiness as a birthright, or as a gift from any other human being. Holiness is the gift of God through Christ. Those who receive the Saviour become sons of God. They are His spiritual children, born again, renewed in righteousness and true holiness. Their minds are changed. With clearer vision they behold eternal realities. They are adopted into God’s family, and they become conformed to His likeness, changed by His Spirit from glory to glory.” God’s Amazing Grace, 120.
3 Being pure, meaning free from mixture or containing no material from a foreign country, does this apply to the inward man or the outward man? II Corinthians 4:16.
Note: “Those who receive the Saviour become sons of God. They are His spiritual children, born again, renewed in righteousness and true holiness. Their minds are changed. With clearer vision they behold eternal realities. They are adopted into God’s family, and they become conformed to His likeness, changed by His Spirit from glory to glory.” God’s Amazing Grace, 120.
4 To what has God not called us? I Thessalonians 4:7.
Note: “In his anxiety that the believers at Thessalonica should walk in the fear of God, the apostle pleaded with them to reveal practical godliness in the daily life. ‘We beseech you, brethren,’ he wrote, ‘and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.’ … ‘For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness’ [I Thessalonians 4:1, 2, 7].” The Acts of the Apostles, 262.
5 When we are filled with uncleanness, mixtures from a foreign country, what needs to happen? Ezekiel 36:25–27.
Note: “When Jesus speaks of the new heart, He means the mind, the life, the whole being. To have a change of heart is to withdraw the affections from the world, and fasten them upon Christ. To have a new heart is to have a new mind, new purposes, new motives. What is the sign of a new heart?—a changed life. There is a daily, hourly dying to selfishness and pride.” God’s Amazing Grace, 100.
6 What important advice did Paul tell Timothy and what we need to follow? I Timothy 5:22, last part.
Note: “To know what constitutes purity of mind, soul, and body is an important part of education. Paul summed up the attainments possible for Timothy by saying, ‘Keep thyself pure.’ I Timothy 5:22. Impurity of thought, word, or action will not be indulged by the child of God. Every encouragement and the richest blessings are held up before the overcomers of evil practices, but the most fearful penalties are laid upon those who profane the body and defile the soul.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 103.
7 What is the Lord going to do in our lives with all of the dross, which is refuse or anything worthless—rubbish, and tin, which is a mixture of two or more metals or something that reduces purity? Isaiah 1:25; Isaiah 4:4.
Note: “To sin, wherever found, our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:29. In all who submit to His power the Spirit of God will consume sin. But if men cling to sin, they become identified with it. Then the glory of God, which destroys sin, must destroy them. …
“Wherever men came before God while willfully cherishing evil, they were destroyed. …
“Only the pure in heart could abide in His presence.” The Desire of Ages, 107, 108.
8 When we have received the Lord, what must we do? Romans 6:19–22.
Note: “Holiness is wholeness to God. The soul is surrendered to God. The will, and even the thoughts, are brought into subjection to the will of Christ. The love of Jesus fills the soul, and is constantly going out in a clear, refreshing stream, to make glad the hearts of others.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1076.
9 Being a child of God means bearing a likeness to Christ in character. What will happen to all of those who are “pure in heart,” who are free from mixture and contain no “foreign material?” Revelation 7:2, 3.
Note: “ ‘And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure’ [I John 3:3]. In a little while every one who is a child of God will have His seal placed upon him. O that it may be placed upon our foreheads! Who can endure the thought of being passed by when the angel goes forth to seal the servants of God in their foreheads? …
“The seal of the living God will be placed upon those only who bear a likeness to Christ in character.
“As wax takes the impression of the seal, so the soul is to take the impression of the Spirit of God and retain the image of Christ.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 969, 970.
10 Knowing what purity really means, what should be our most earnest prayer to our Heavenly Father? Psalm 51:10–12.
Note: “One of the most earnest prayers recorded in the Word of God is that of David when he pled, ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God’ [Psalm 51:10]. God’s response to such a prayer is, A new heart will I give you (Ezekiel 36:26). This is a work that no finite man can do. Men and women are to begin at the beginning, seeking God most earnestly for a true Christian experience. They are to feel the creative power of the Holy Spirit. They are to receive the new heart, that is kept soft and tender by the grace of heaven. The selfish spirit is to be cleansed from the soul. They are to labor earnestly and with humility of heart, each one looking to Jesus for guidance and encouragement. Then the building, fitly framed together, will grow into a holy temple in the Lord.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1165.
“ ‘Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life’ [Proverbs 4:23]. Diligent heart-keeping is essential to a healthy growth in grace. The heart in its natural state is a habitation for unholy thoughts and sinful passions. When brought into subjection to Christ, it must be cleansed by the Spirit from all defilement. This can not be done without the consent of the individual.
“When the soul has been cleansed, it is the duty of the Christian to keep it undefiled. Many seem to think that the religion of Christ does not call for the abandonment of daily sins, the breaking loose from habits which have held the soul in bondage. They renounce some things condemned by the conscience, but they fail to represent Christ in the daily life. They do not bring Christlikeness into the home. They do not show a thoughtful care in their choice of words. Too often, fretful, impatient words are spoken, words which stir the worst passions of the human heart. Such ones need the abiding presence of Christ in the soul. Only in His strength can they keep guard over the words and actions.
“In the work of heart-keeping we must be instant in prayer, unwearied in petitioning the throne of grace for assistance. Those who take the name of Christian should come to God in earnestness and humility, pleading for help. The Saviour has told us to pray without ceasing. The Christian can not always be in the position of prayer, but his thoughts and desires can always be upward. Our self-confidence would vanish, did we talk less and pray more. …
“Let the prayer go up to God, ‘Create in me a clean heart;’ for a pure, cleansed soul has Christ abiding therein, and out of the abundance of the heart are the issues of life. The human will is to be yielded to Christ. Instead of passing on, closing the heart in selfishness, there is need of opening the heart to the sweet influences of the Spirit of God. Practical religion breathes its fragrance everywhere. It is a savor of life unto life.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1157.
“Genuine conversion is needed, not once in years, but daily. This conversion brings man into a new relation with God. Old things, his natural passions and hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong, pass away, and he is renewed and sanctified. But this work must be continual; for as long as Satan exists, he will make an effort to carry on his work. He who strives to serve God will encounter a strong undercurrent of wrong. His heart needs to be barricaded by constant watchfulness and prayer, or else the embankment will give way; and like a millstream, the undercurrent of wrong will sweep away the safeguard. No renewed heart can be kept in a condition of sweetness without the daily application of the salt of the Word. Divine grace must be received daily, or no man will stay converted.” Our High Calling, 215.
“The Lord purifies the heart very much as we air a room. We do not close the doors and windows, and throw in some purifying substance; but we open the doors and throw wide the windows, and let heaven’s purifying atmosphere flow in. The Lord says, ‘He that doeth truth cometh to the light’ [John 3:21]. The windows of impulse, of feeling, must be opened up toward heaven, and the dust of selfishness and earthliness must be expelled. The grace of God must sweep through the chambers of the mind, the imagination must have heavenly themes for contemplation, and every element of the nature must be purified and vitalized by the Spirit of God.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 940.
Lesson Studies were prepared by Judy Hallingstad of the LandMarks staff. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org .