January 22, 2000 – January 28, 2000
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” Romans 5:1.
Study Help: Steps to Christ, 23–35.
“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 savior. 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. The sinner can not depend upon his own good works as a means of justification. He must come to the point where he will renounce all his sin, and embrace one degree of light after another, as it shines upon his pathway. He simply grasps by faith the free and ample provision made in the blood of Christ. He believes the promises of God which through Christ are made unto him sanctification and righteousness and redemption.” Signs of the Times, May 19, 1898.
“The Goodness of God”
1 Who made the first move in the salvation of man? Romans 5:8.
note: See In Heavenly Places, 13.
2 Where does the impulse to repent come from? Romans 2:4.
note: “With untold love our God has loved us, and our love awakens toward Him as we comprehend something of the length and breadth and depth and height of this love that passeth knowledge. By the revelation of the attractive loveliness of Christ, by the knowledge of His love expressed to us while we were yet sinners, the stubborn heart is melted and subdued, and the sinner is transformed and becomes a child of heaven. God does not employ compulsory measures; love is the agent which He uses to expel sin from the heart. By it He changes pride into humility, and enmity and unbelief into love and faith.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 76.
“He is Faithful”
3 What precious promise is made to those who confess their sins? 1 John 1:9.
note: See Desire of Ages, 266.
4 If we have sinned against others, what must we also do as well as confessing to God? James 5:16.
note: “If you have given offense to your friend or neighbor, you are to acknowledge your wrong, and it is his duty freely to forgive you. Then you are to seek the forgiveness of God, because the brother you have wounded is the property of God, and in injuring him you have sinned against his Creator. True confession is always of a specific character, and acknowledges particular sins. They may be of such a nature as to be brought before God only; they may be wrongs that should be confessed to individuals who have suffered injury through them; or they may be of a public character, and should then be as publicly confessed. But all confession should be definite and to the point, acknowledging the very sins of which you are guilty.” The Faith I Live By, 128. (See also The Faith I Live By, 34; The Upward Look, 176.)
“He That Covereth His Sins”
5 What example did David set in confessing his sins? Psalm 32:5.
note: “How anxious are you to remove the record of the past, to have your wrong-doings blotted out? What depths of iniquity are open to God’s sight, that are hidden from all mortal view! Every secret thing shall be brought into judgement, whether it be good or evil. Past sins, unrepented of and unforgiven, will be brought up then, only to condemn us, and appoint our portion with the lost. But the promises of God are full of encouragement for us. ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’” Review and Herald, January 13, 1891.
6 What contrast is made between those who confess their sins and those who try to hide them? Proverbs 28:13.
note: “If those who hide and excuse their faults could see how Satan exults over them, how he taunts Christ and holy angels with their course, they would make haste to confess their sins and to put them away. Through defects in the character, Satan works to gain control of the whole mind, and he knows that if these defects are cherished, he will succeed. Therefore he is constantly seeking to deceive the followers of Christ with his fatal sophistry that it is impossible for them to overcome. But Jesus pleads in their behalf His wounded hands, His bruised body; and He declares to all who would follow Him, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee.’ 2 Corinthians 12:9. Let none, then, regard their defects as incurable. God will give faith and grace to overcome them.” The Faith I Live By, 203.
“If I Have Taken Any Thing”
7 What promise is given to those who make restitution for their wrongs? Ezekiel 33:15.
note: “If we have injured others through any unjust business transaction, if we have overreached in trade, or defrauded any man, even though it be within the pale of the law, we should confess our wrong, and make restitution as far as lies in our power. It is right for us to restore not only that which we have taken, but all that it would have accumulated if put to a right and wise use during the time it has been in our possession.” Desire of Ages, 556.
8 What example of true repentance is given by Zacchaeus? Luke 19:1–10.
note: “No sooner did Zacchaeus yield to the influence of the Holy Spirit than he cast aside every practice contrary to integrity. No repentance is genuine that does not work reformation. The righteousness of Christ is not a cloak to cover unconfessed and unforsaken sin. Every converted soul will, like Zacchaeus, signalize the entrance of Christ into his heart by an abandonment of the unrighteous practices that have marked his life. Like the chief publican, he will give proof of his sincerity by making restitution. If we have injured others through any unjust business transaction, we should confess our wrong, and make restitution as far as lies in our power. It is right for us to restore not only that which we have taken, but all that it would have accumulated if put to a right and wise use during the time it has been in our possession.” Conflict and Courage, 302.
“Let the Wicked Forsake His Way”
9. In order to return to the Lord and receive His pardon, what decision must the sinner make? Isaiah 55:7.
note: “There are some who do not readily respond to the invitation to forsake their own way, and come into harmony with God’s way. They prefer to follow a way of their own choosing. Those who wish to do so, have the privilege of continuing to walk in their own unconsecrated way, but the end of that way is sorrow and destruction.” North Pacific Union Gleaner, March 23, 1910. (See also Steps to Christ, 47.)
10 Must we reform ourselves before we can return to God? Isaiah 44:22; Jeremiah 31:3.
note: “Do not listen to the enemy’s suggestion to stay away from Christ until you have made yourself better; until you are good enough to come to God. If you wait until then, you will never come. When Satan points to your filthy garments, repeat the promise of Jesus, ‘Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.’ John 6:37. Tell the enemy that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin. Make the prayer of David your own, ‘Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.’ Psalm 51:7. Arise and go to your Father. He will meet you a great way off. If you take even one step toward Him in repentance, He will hasten to enfold you in His arms of infinite love. His ear is open to the cry of the contrite soul. The very first reaching out of the heart after God is known to Him. Never a prayer is offered, however faltering, never a tear is shed, however secret, never a sincere desire after God is cherished, however feeble, but the Spirit of God goes forth to meet it. Even before the prayer is uttered or the yearning of the heart made known, grace from Christ goes forth to meet the grace that
is working upon the human soul.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 206. (See also Review and Herald, April 10, 1900.)
“He Will Abundantly Pardon”
11 What precious promises of pardon does the Lord make? Micah 7:18–19.
note: “Behold Christ. Dwell upon His love and mercy. This will fill the soul with abhorrence for all that is sinful, and will inspire it with an intense desire for the righteousness of Christ. The more clearly we see the Savior, the more clearly shall we discern our defects of character. Confess your sins to Christ, and with true contrition of soul co-operate with Him by putting these sins away. Believe that they are pardoned. The promise is positive, ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ Be assured that the Word of God will not fail. He who has promised is faithful. It is as much your duty to believe that God will fulfil His word, and forgive you, as it is to confess your sins.” Review and Herald, May 21, 1908.
12 What gracious invitation does the Lord make? Ezekiel 18:23, 31–32; Ezekiel 33:10–11.
note: “God does not desire the destruction of any.…Throughout the period of probationary time His Spirit is entreating men to accept the gift of life. It is only those who reject His pleading that will be left to perish. God has declared that sin must be destroyed as an evil ruinous to the universe. Those who cling to sin will perish in its destruction.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 123. (See also Prophets and Kings, 325.)