December 27, 2003 – January 2, 2004
“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 11 Timothy 2:15.
Suggested Reading: Steps to Christ, 93–96; The Ministry of Healing, 458–466; Education, 185–192.
“Would you become assimilated to the divine image? . . . Would you drink of the water which Christ shall give you, which shall be in you a well of water springing up into everlasting life? Would you bear fruit to the glory of God? Would you refresh others? Then with heart hungering for the bread of life, the Word of God, search the Scriptures, and live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Your soul’s sanctification and righteousness will result from faith in the Word of God, which leads to obedience of its commands. Let the Word of God be to you as the voice of God instructing you, and saying, ‘This is the way, walk ye in it.’ Isaiah 30:21.” The Signs of the Times, September 5, 1895.
“It is by the perusal of the Bible that the mind is strengthened, refined, and elevated. If there were not another book in the wide world, the word of God, lived out through the grace of Christ, would make man perfect in this world, with a character fitted for the future, immortal life. Those who study the word, taking it in faith as the truth, and receiving it into the character, will be complete in Him who is all and in all. Thank God for the possibilities set before humanity. . . . In the Bible are specified distinctly man’s duties to God and to his fellow men; but without a study of the word, how can these requirements be met? We must have a knowledge of God; for ‘this is life eternal,’ said Christ, ‘that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.’ [John 17:3.]” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 445, 446.
1 What is God’s Word said to be? John 17:17; Psalm 119:160.
note: “The principles of truth impressed upon the heart, line upon line and precept upon precept, will produce right action. The Bible contains the searching maxims which God has given to guide men and women, youth and children, through the conflicts of this life to heaven. The prayer of Christ was, ‘Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.’ [John 17:17.] However enlightened the youth may be through Bible studies, their nature is such that unless the truth of which they have knowledge is practiced in the daily life, every attempt to elevate and ennoble will be unavailing. The parents have a serious responsibility resting upon them to cooperate with the teachers in the Sabbath school.” Counsels on Sabbath School Work, 68.
2 What statements are made concerning the study of the Scriptures? John 5:39; 11 Timothy 2:15.
note: “Those who dig beneath the surface discover the hidden gems of truth. The Holy Spirit is present with the earnest searcher. Its illumination shines upon the Word, stamping the truth upon the mind with a new, fresh importance. The searcher is filled with a sense of peace and joy never before felt. The preciousness of truth is realized as never before. A new, heavenly light shines upon the Word, illuminating it as though every letter were tinged with gold. God Himself has spoken to the mind and heart, making the Word spirit and life.
“Every true searcher of the Word lifts his heart to God, imploring the aid of the Spirit. And he soon discovers that which carried him above all the fictitious statements of the would-be teacher, whose weak, tottering theories are not sustained by the Word of the living God. These theories were invented by men who had not learned the first great lesson, that God’s Spirit and life are in His Word. If they had received in the heart the eternal element contained in the Word of God, they would see how tame and expressionless are all efforts to get something new to create a sensation. They need to learn the very first principles of the Word of God; they would then have the word of life for the people, who will soon distinguish the chaff from the wheat, for Jesus left His promise with His disciples.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 39.
3 For what purpose were the Scriptures given? What will they do for the believer? 11 Timothy 3:16, 17.
note: “Christ calls upon His people to believe and practice His word. Those who receive and assimilate this word, making it a part of every action, of every attribute of character, will grow strong in the strength of God. It will be seen that their faith is of heavenly origin. They will not wander into strange paths. Their minds will not turn to a religion of sentimentalism and excitement. Before angels and before men, they will stand as those who have strong, consistent Christian characters.” Gospel Workers, 309.
4 By what do we live? Matthew 4:4; John 6:63, 67, 68. Compare Deuteronomy 8:1–3.
note: “The example of Christ is before us. He overcame Satan, showing us how we also may overcome. Christ resisted Satan with Scripture. He might have had recourse to His own divine power, and used His own words; but He said, [Matthew 4:4 quoted]. If the Sacred Scriptures were studied and followed, the Christian would be fortified to meet the wily foe; but the word of God is neglected, and disaster and defeat follow.” Counsels on Stewardship, 210.
5 What lights up the pathway of the believer? Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 6:23; 4:18, 19.
note: “We are sustained every moment by God’s care, and upheld by His power. He spreads our tables with food. He gives us peaceful and refreshing sleep. Weekly He brings to us the Sabbath, that we may rest from our temporal labors, and worship Him in His own house. He has given us His word to be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. In its sacred pages we find the counsels of wisdom; and as oft as we lift our hearts to Him in penitence and faith, He grants us the blessings of His grace. Above all else is the infinite gift of God’s dear Son, through whom flow all other blessings for this life and for the life to come.” Counsels on Stewardship, 18.
6 To what is the Word compared? Jeremiah 23:29; Hebrews 4:12.
note: “The truths of the Bible, treasured in the heart and mind and obeyed in the life, convince and convert the soul, transform the character, and comfort and uplift the heart. . . . The Word makes the proud humble, the perverse meek and contrite, the disobedient obedient. The sinful habits natural to man are interwoven with the daily practice. But the Word cuts away the fleshly lusts. It is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the mind. It divides the joints and marrow, cutting away the lusts of the flesh, making men willing to suffer for their Lord.” That I May Know Him, 199.
7 What is stated concerning the prophecies of God’s Word? By what means were they given? 11 Peter 1:19–21. What exhortation is given to Christians living in the last days? 11 Peter 3:2.
note: “The scribes of God wrote as they were dictated by the Holy Spirit, having no control of the work themselves. They penned the literal truth, and stern, forbidding facts are revealed for reasons that our finite minds cannot fully comprehend.
“It is one of the best evidences of the authenticity of the Scriptures that the truth is not glossed over nor the sins of its chief characters suppressed.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 9.
8 What is the effective safeguard against sin? Psalm 119:11.
note: “God’s holy, educating Spirit is in His word. A light, a new and precious light, shines forth from every page. Truth is there revealed, and words and sentences are made bright and appropriate for the occasion, as the voice of God speaking to the soul.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 132.
9 What mighty power did the words of Jesus have when He was on earth? Luke 4:32–39; John 11:43, 44.
note: “The life of God, which gives life to the world, is in His word. It was by His word that Jesus healed disease and cast out demons. By His word He stilled the sea and raised the dead; and the people bore witness that His word was with power. He spoke the word of God as He had spoken it to all the Old Testament writers. The whole Bible is a manifestation of Christ. It is our only source of power.” Gospel Workers, 250.
10 What is said of those who reject God’s Word? Jeremiah 8:9. Compare 1 Corinthians 1:27–31.
note: “What is done through the co-operation of men with God is a work that shall never perish, but endure through the eternal ages. He that makes God his wisdom, that grows up into the full stature of a man in Christ Jesus, will stand before kings, before the so-called great men of the world, and show forth the praises of Him who hath called him out of darkness into his marvelous light. Science and literature cannot bring into the darkened mind of men the light which the glorious gospel of the Son of God can bring. The Son of God alone can do the great work of illuminating the soul. No wonder Paul exclaims, ‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.’ [Romans 1:16.]” Christian Education, 97.
11 What famine has been foretold? Amos 8:11, 12.
note: “Those who had not prized God’s word were hurrying to and fro. They wandered from sea to sea, and from the north to the east, to seek the word of the Lord. Said the angel, They shall not find it. There is a famine in the land; not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. What would they not give for one word of approval from God? but no, they must hunger and thirst on. Day after day have they slighted salvation, and prized earthly pleasure, and earthly riches, higher than any heavenly inducement and treasure. They have rejected Jesus, and despised his saints. The filthy must remain filthy forever.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, 200.
12 How should we regard the words of the Lord? Jeremiah 15:16.
note: “If we would live a true Christian life, the conscience must be quickened by constant contact with the word of God. All the precious things which at infinite cost God has provided for us will do us no good; they cannot strengthen us and produce spiritual growth unless we appropriate them. We must eat the word of God—make it a part of ourselves.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 195.
These lessons are adapted from the Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, April 1912.