October 13, 2001 – October 19, 2001
“How Then Can Man be Justified with God?”
Memory Verse: “‘And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.’” Luke 18:13.
Study Help: The Faith I Live By, 107.
Thought to Remember: “Justification is a full, complete pardon of sin.”
“Herein is the mystery of redemption, that the innocent, pure, and holy Son of the infinite God was permitted to bear the punishment of a thankless race of rebels against the divine government; that through the manifestation of His matchless love, these rebels might be inspired with faith in, and love for God, and might stand before Him repentant, forgiven, guiltless, as if they had never sinned.” Bible Echo, November 25, 1895.
“Sin Bringeth Forth Death”
1 Why do we all need justification? Romans 3:10–12.
note: “The perishing sinner may say: ‘I am a lost sinner; but Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost. He says, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” I am a sinner, and He died upon Calvary’s cross to save me. I need not remain a moment longer unsaved. He died and rose again for my justification, and He will save me now. I accept the forgiveness He has promised.’ The great work that is wrought for the sinner who is spotted and stained by evil is the work of justification. By Him who speaketh truth he is declared righteous. The Lord imputes unto the believer the righteousness of Christ and pronounces him righteous before the universe. He transfers his sins to Jesus, the sinner’s representative, substitute, and surety. Upon Christ He lays the iniquity of every soul that believeth. ‘He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.’ 11 Corinthians 5:21.” The Faith I Live By, 112.
2 What prospect do we all face as sinners? Romans 14:10–12.
note: “Neglect this great salvation, kept before you for years, despise this glorious offer of justification through the blood of Christ and sanctification through the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit, and there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation. I entreat you now to humble yourselves and cease your stubborn resistance of light and evidence. Say unto the Lord, Mine iniquities have separated between me and my God. O Lord, pardon my transgressions. Blot out my sins from the book of Thy remembrance. Praise His holy name, there is forgiveness with Him, and you can be converted, transformed.” Testimonies to Ministers,97.
“By the Works of the Law Shall No Flesh be Justified”
3 Can we be justified (pardoned) for our sins by trying to obey God’s law? Galatians 2:16.
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. 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.” A New Life, 20.
4 Can we hope to be justified if we are not willing to keep God’s law? Romans 2:13.
note: “Those who love God with all the heart will love all His commandments also. The sanctified heart is in harmony with the precepts of God’s law; for they are holy, just, and good. [Romans 7:12.] No one who truly loves and fears God will continue to transgress the law in any particular. When man transgresses he is under the condemnation of the law, and it becomes to him a yoke of bondage. Whatever his profession may be he is not justified, which means pardoned. ‘The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.’ Through obedience comes sanctification of body, soul, and spirit. This sanctification is a progressive work, and an advance from one stage of perfection to another.” My Life Today, 250.
“I Had Not Known Sin, But by the Law”
5 If we cannot be justified by keeping God’s law, what purpose does that law serve? Romans 3:20, last part; Romans 7:7.
note: “It is the sinner who regards the law as a grievous yoke; it is the transgressor that can see no beauty in its precepts. For the carnal mind ‘is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be’ (Romans 8:7). ‘By the law is the knowledge of sin’ (Romans 3:20); for ‘sin is the transgression of the law’ (1 John 3:4). It is through the law that men are convicted of sin; and they must feel themselves sinners, exposed to the wrath of God, before they will realize their need of a Saviour.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 219.
“The first step in reconciliation to God is the conviction of sin. ‘Sin is the transgression of the law.’ ‘By the law is the knowledge of sin.’ I John 3:4; Romans 3:20. In order to see his guilt, the sinner must test his character by God’s great standard of righteousness. It is a mirror which shows the perfection of a righteous character and enables him to discern the defects in his own. The law reveals to man his sins, but it provides no remedy. While it promises life to the obedient, it declares that death is the portion of the transgressor.” The Great Controversy, 467.
6 What is the result of living without God’s law? Romans 1:21–32. Compare Judges 17:4, 5.
note: “Those who are teaching this doctrine today have much to say in regard to faith and the righteousness of Christ; but they pervert the truth, and make it serve the cause of error. They declare that we have only to believe on Jesus Christ, and that faith is all-sufficient; that the righteousness of Christ is to be the sinner’s credentials; that this imputed righteousness fulfills the law for us, and that we are under no obligation to obey the law of God. This class claim that Christ came to save sinners, and that He has saved them. ‘I am saved,’ they will repeat over and over again. But are they saved while transgressing the law of Jehovah? No; for the garments of Christ’s righteousness are not a cloak for iniquity. Such teaching is a gross deception, and Christ becomes to these persons a stumbling-block as He did to the Jews, to the Jews because they would not receive Him as their personal Saviour; to these professed believers in Christ, because they separate Christ and the Law, and regard faith as a substitute for obedience. They separate the Father and the Son, the Saviour of the world. Virtually they teach, both by precept and example, that Christ, by His death, saves men in their transgressions.” Signs of the Times, February 25, 1897.
“The Blood of Jesus Christ Cleanseth Us From all Sin”
7 What is the only means by which we may be cleansed from our sins? 1 John 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18, 19.
See: Christ’s Object Lessons, 205.
8 By what means does Christ continually remind us of this truth? Matthew 26:27, 28. Compare 1 Corinthians 11:23–29; Hebrews 9:19–28.
note: “In partaking with His disciples of the bread and wine, Christ pledged Himself to them as their Redeemer. He committed to them the new covenant, by which all who receive Him become children of God, and joint heirs with Christ. By this covenant every blessing that heaven could bestow for this life and the life to come was theirs. This covenant deed was to be ratified with the blood of Christ. And the administration of the Sacrament was to keep before the disciples the infinite sacrifice made for each of them individually as a part of the great whole of fallen humanity.” Desire of Ages, 656.
“If We Confess Our Sins…”
9 What work is needed on our part for us to receive justification? 1 John 1:9; Psalm 32:5.
note: “I hope that none will obtain the idea that they are earning the favor of God by confession of sins or that there is special virtue in confessing to human beings.…The Lord would have us come to Him daily with all our troubles and confessions of sin, and He can give us rest.…Confess your secret sins alone before your God. Acknowledge your heart wanderings to Him who knows perfectly how to treat your case. If you have wronged your neighbor, acknowledge to him your sin and show fruit of the same by making restitution. Then claim the blessing. Come to God just as you are, and let Him heal all your infirmities. Press your case to the throne of grace; let the work be thorough. Be sincere in dealing with God and your own soul. If you come to Him with a heart truly contrite, He will give you the victory.…He will not misapprehend or misjudge you.” God’s Amazing Grace, 87.
“Many feel a sense of estrangement from God, a realization of their bondage to self and sin; they make efforts for reform; but they do not crucify self. They do not give themselves entirely into the hands of Christ, seeking for divine power to do His will. They are not willing to be molded after the divine similitude. In a general way they acknowledge their imperfections, but they do not give up their particular sins. With each wrong act the old selfish nature is gaining strength.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 48.
10 Where does the desire to repent originate? Romans 2:4. Compare Acts 5:31.
note: “Repentance, as well as forgiveness, is the gift of God through Christ. It is through the influence of the Holy Spirit that we are convicted of sin and feel our need of pardon. None but the contrite are forgiven; but it is the grace of God that makes the heart penitent. He is acquainted with all our weaknesses and infirmities, and He will help us.” Faith and Works, 38.
“Many are confused as to what constitutes the first steps in the work of salvation. Repentance is thought to be a work the sinner must do for himself in order that he may come to Christ. They think that the sinner must procure for himself a fitness in order to obtain the blessing of God’s grace. But while it is true that repentance must precede forgiveness, for it is only the broken and contrite heart that is acceptable to God, yet the sinner cannot bring himself to repentance, or prepare himself to come to Christ. Except the sinner repent, he cannot be forgiven; but the question to be decided is as to whether repentance is the work of the sinner or the gift of Christ. Must the sinner wait until he is filled with remorse for his sin before he can come to Christ? The very first step to Christ is taken through the drawing of the Spirit of God; as man responds to this drawing, he advances toward Christ in order that he may repent.” A New Life, 20.
“Peace With God”
11 What is the result of justification? Romans 5:1. Compare Isaiah 32:17.
note: “Whoever consents to renounce sin and open his heart to the love of Christ, becomes a partaker of this heavenly peace. There is no other ground of peace than this. The grace of Christ received into the heart, subdues enmity; it allays strife and fills the soul with love. He who is at peace with God and his fellow men cannot be made miserable. Envy will not be in his heart; evil surmisings will find no room there; hatred cannot exist. The heart that is in harmony with God is a partaker of the peace of heaven and will diffuse its blessed influence on all around. The spirit of peace will rest like dew upon hearts weary and troubled with worldly strife.” God’s Amazing Grace, 320.
12 How does Paul contrast this peace with the life of the sinner? Romans 8:3–8.
note: “When the Saviour imparts His peace to the soul, the heart will be in perfect harmony with the word of God; for the Spirit and the word agree. The Lord honors His word in all His dealings with men. It is His own will, His own voice, that is revealed to men, and He has no new will, no new truth, aside from His word to unfold to His children. If you have a wonderful experience that is not in harmony with the expressed directions of God’s word, you may well doubt it; for its origin is not from above. The peace of Christ comes through the knowledge of Jesus whom the Bible reveals. If happiness is drawn from outside sources, and not from the Divine Fount, it will be as changeable as varying circumstances can make it; but the peace of Christ is a constant and abiding peace. It does not depend on any circumstance in life, on the amount of worldly goods, or the number of earthly friends. Christ is the fountain of living waters, and happiness and peace drawn from Him will never fail, for He is a well-spring of life.” Signs of the Times, May 19, 1890.