April 10, 2004 – April 16, 2004
“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 11 Corinthians 7:1.
Suggested Reading: Steps to Christ, 57–65.
“Many do not realize what they must be in order to live in the sight of the Lord without a high priest in the sanctuary through the time of trouble. Those who receive the seal of the living God and are protected in the time of trouble must reflect the image of Jesus fully.” Early Writings, 71.
1 What are we by nature? Ephesians 2:1–3.
note: “Today a large part of those who compose our congregations are dead in trespasses and sins. They come and go like the door upon its hinges. For years they have complacently listened to the most solemn, soul-stirring truths, but they have not put them in practice. Therefore they are less and less sensible of the preciousness of truth. . . . While making a profession, they deny the power of godliness. If they continue in this state, God will reject them. They are unfitting themselves to be members of His family.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 426, 427.
2 How do we become children of God? Galatians 3:26; John 1:12.
note: “To talk of religion in a casual way, to pray without soul hunger and living faith, avails nothing. A nominal faith in Christ, which accepts Him merely as the Saviour of the world, can never bring healing to the soul. The faith that is unto salvation is not a mere intellectual assent to the truth. He who waits for entire knowledge before he will exercise faith cannot receive blessing from God. It is not enough to believe about Christ; we must believe in Him. The only faith that will benefit us is that which embraces Him as a personal Saviour; which appropriates His merits to ourselves. Many hold faith as an opinion. Saving faith is a transaction by which those who receive Christ join themselves in covenant relation with God. Genuine faith is life. A living faith means an increase of vigor, a confiding trust, by which the soul becomes a conquering power.” God’s Amazing Grace, 140.
3 In becoming sons of God, what change must be wrought in us? 11 Corinthians 5:17; John 3:3, 5. Compare Matthew 18:1–3.
note: “Through the power of Christ, men and women have broken the chains of sinful habit. They have renounced selfishness. The profane have become reverent, the drunken sober, the profligate pure. Souls that have borne the likeness of Satan have become transformed into the image of God. This change is in itself the miracle of miracles. A change wrought by the Word, it is one of the deepest mysteries of the Word. We cannot understand it; we can only believe, as declared by the Scriptures, it is ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory.’ [Colossians 1:27.]” The Acts of the Apostles, 476.
4 In conversion, what must we put off? Colossians 3:8–10; 1 Peter 2:1, 2.
note: “Those who choose to become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King, must reveal their choice by bringing their words and actions into harmony with the principles they advocate. My brother, my sister, is the kingdom of God enthroned in your heart by Christ’s presence abiding there? Or is self still a controlling power within? Whose subject are you?” Manuscript Releases, vol. 18, 105.
5 What Christian graces will be seen in the life? Colossians 3:12–14.
note: “The religion of Jesus Christ means progress; it means to be ever reaching upward to a holier and higher standard. The Christian whose heart has been touched with the beauty of the Saviour’s character, is to put into practice that which he learns in the school of Christ. We must be apt pupils in the school of Christ, readily learning that which He teaches us from day to day.” Sons and Daughters of God, 90.
6 What fruit of the Spirit will appear? Galatians 5:22, 23.
note: “Nothing but divine power can regenerate the human heart and imbue souls with the love of Christ, which will ever manifest itself with love for those for whom He died. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. When a man is converted to God, a new moral taste is supplied, a new motive power is given, and he loves the things that God loves; for his life is bound up by the golden chain of the immutable promises to the life of Jesus. Love, joy, peace, and inexpressible gratitude will pervade the soul, and the language of him who is blessed will be, ‘Thy gentleness hath made me great’ (Psalm 18:35).” Selected Messages, vol. 1, 336.
7 What are the works of the flesh? Galatians 5:19–21.
note: “That which Satan plants in the heart—envy, jealousy, evil surmising, evil speaking, impatience, prejudice, selfishness, covetousness, and vanity—must be uprooted. If these evil things are allowed to remain in the soul, they will bear fruit by which many shall be defiled. Oh, how many cultivate the poisonous plants, that kill out the precious fruits of love and defile the soul!” My Life Today, 179.
8 What have those who are born of the Spirit done? Galatians 5:24.
note: “There are many among professed Christians today who would decide that Daniel was too particular and would pronounce him narrow and bigoted. They consider the matter of eating and drinking of too little consequence to require such a decided stand—one involving the probable sacrifice of every earthly advantage. But those who reason thus will find in the day of judgment that they turned from God’s express requirements and set up their own opinion as a standard of right and wrong. They will find that what seemed to them unimportant was not so regarded of God. His requirements should be sacredly obeyed. Those who accept and obey one of His precepts because it is convenient to do so, while they reject another because its observance would require a sacrifice, lower the standard of right, and by their example lead others to lightly regard the holy law of God. ‘Thus saith the Lord’ is to be our rule in all things.” Counsels on Health, 69, 70.
9 What attitude will the Christian sustain toward one who may be his enemy? Matthew 5:43–48.
note: “We are to love our enemies with the same love that Christ manifested toward His enemies by giving His life to save them. Many may say, ‘This is a hard commandment; for I want to keep just as far as I can from my enemies.’ But acting in accordance with your own inclination would not be carrying out the principles that our Saviour has given. . . . While we were yet enemies of God, Christ gave His life for us. We are to follow His example.” Medical Ministry, 253, 254.
10 What will be the result of cherishing an unforgiving spirit? Matthew 6:14, 15.
note: “One of the most common sins, and one that is attended with most pernicious results, is the indulgence of an unforgiving spirit. How many will cherish animosity or revenge and then bow before God and ask to be forgiven as they forgive. Surely they can have no true sense of the import of this prayer or they would not dare to take it upon their lips. We are dependent upon the pardoning mercy of God every day and every hour; how then can we cherish bitterness and malice toward our fellow sinners!” Testimonies, vol. 5, 170.
11 How complete should be our separation from the world? 11 Corinthians 7:1; Matthew 6:24.
note: “Christ’s followers are required to come out from the world, and be separate, and touch not the unclean, and they have the promise of being the sons and daughters of the Most High, members of the royal family. But if the conditions are not complied with on their part, they will not, cannot, realize the fulfillment of the promise. A profession of Christianity is nothing in the sight of God; but true, humble, willing obedience to His requirements designates the children of His adoption, the recipients of His grace, the partakers of His great salvation. Such will be peculiar, a spectacle unto the world, to angels, and to men. Their peculiar, holy character will be discernible, and will distinctly separate them from the world, from its affections and lust.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 441.
12 What purity of life will be found in the children of God? 1 John 3:2, 3.
note: “You must experience a death to self, and must live unto God. ‘If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.’ [Colossians 3:1.] Self is not to be consulted. Pride, self-love, selfishness, avarice, covetousness, love of the world, hatred, suspicion, jealousy, evil surmisings, must all be subdued and sacrificed forever. When Christ shall appear, it will not be to correct these evils and then give a moral fitness for His coming. This preparation must all be made before He comes. It should be a subject of thought, of study, and earnest inquiry, What shall we do to be saved? What shall be our conduct that we may show ourselves approved unto God?
“When tempted to murmur, censure, and indulge in fretfulness, wounding those around you, and in so doing wounding your own soul, oh! let the deep, earnest, anxious inquiry come from your soul, Shall I stand without fault before the throne of God? Only the faultless will be there. None will be translated to heaven while their hearts are filled with the rubbish of earth. Every defect in the moral character must first be remedied, every stain removed by the cleansing blood of Christ, and all the unlovely, unlovable traits of character overcome.
“How long a time are you designing to take to prepare to be introduced into the society of heavenly angels in glory? In the state which you and your family are in at present, all heaven would be marred should you be introduced therein. The work for you must be done here. This earth is the fitting-up place. You have not one moment to lose. All is harmony, peace, and love in heaven. No discord, no strife, no censuring, no unloving words, no clouded brows, no jars there; and no one will be introduced there who possesses any of these elements so destructive to peace and happiness. Study to be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate, laying up for yourselves a good foundation against the time to come, that you may lay hold on everlasting life.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 705, 706.
These lessons are adapted from the Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, October, 1912.