By Gordon Anderson
MEMORY VERSE: “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Romans 6:16.
STUDY HELP: Steps to Christ, 17–22.
INTRODUCTION: “More people than we think are longing to find the way to Christ. Those who preach the last message of mercy should bear in mind that Christ is to be exalted as the sinner’s refuge. Some ministers think that it is not necessary to preach repentance and faith; they take it for granted that their hearers are acquainted with the gospel, and that matters of a different nature must be presented in order to hold their attention. But many people are sadly ignorant in regard to the plan of salvation; they need more instruction upon this all-important subject than upon any other.” Gospel Workers, 158.
“ENMITY AGAINST GOD”
- How does Paul describe the mind of the one who is without Christ? Romans 8:7.
NOTE: See Steps to Christ, 18.
- What is the inevitable consequence of a life of sin? Romans 6:23, first part.
NOTE: “We are required to obey the law of God, and are not only instructed as to the penalty of disobedience, but we have narrated for our benefit and warning the history of Adam and Eve in Paradise, and the sad results of their disobedience of God’s commands. The account is full and explicit. The law given to man in Eden is recorded, together with the penalty accruing in case of its disobedience. Then follows the story of the temptation and fall, and the punishment inflicted upon our erring parents. Their example is given us as a warning against disobedience, that we may be sure that the wages of sin is death, that God’s retributive justice never fails, and that He exacts from His creatures a strict regard for His commandments. When the law was proclaimed at Sinai, how definite was the penalty annexed, how sure was punishment to follow the transgression of that law, and how plain are the cases recorded in evidence of that fact!” Testimonies, vol. 4, 11, 12.
- What did the Lord place between Satan and mankind? Genesis 3:15.
NOTE: “God declares: ‘I will put enmity.’ This enmity is not naturally entertained. When man transgressed the divine law, his nature became evil, and he was in harmony, and not at variance, with Satan. There exists naturally no enmity between sinful man and the originator of sin. Both became evil through apostasy. The apostate is never at rest, except as he obtains sympathy and support by inducing others to follow his example. For this reason fallen angels and wicked men unite in desperate companionship. Had not God specially interposed, Satan and man would have entered into an alliance against Heaven; and instead of cherishing enmity against Satan, the whole human family would have been united in opposition to God.” Great Controversy, 505.
“HE GAVE HIS ONLY-BEGOTTEN SON”
- What provision was made to restore to man the opportunity for eternal life? 1 John 4: 9, 10.
NOTE: “Jesus might have remained in heaven, to receive the adoration of the heavenly host, but He did not do this. For man’s sake He stepped down from the throne, laid aside His royal robe, clothed His divinity with humanity, and for our sake became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. In assuming humanity, He exalted the fallen race before God, and made it possible for sinful man to become an heir of heaven. Can we wonder that John exclaimed, ‘Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God?’” Signs of the Times, July 28, 1890.
- What is the basis of our justification? Romans 5:9.
NOTE: “True repentance will lead a man to bear his guilt himself and acknowledge it without deception or hypocrisy. Like the poor publican, not lifting up so much as his eyes unto heaven, he will smite upon his breast, and cry, ‘God be merciful to me a sinner;’ and those who do acknowledge their guilt will be justified; for Jesus will plead His blood in behalf of the repentant soul. It is no degradation for man to bow down before his Maker and confess his sins, and plead for forgiveness through the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. It is noble to acknowledge your wrong before Him whom you have wounded by transgression and rebellion. It lifts you up before men and angels; for ‘he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.’” Testimonies, vol. 5, 638.
“SHALL WE CONTINUE IN SIN?”
- What change must be seen in the life of the one who has been justified through faith in the blood of Jesus? Romans 6:1, 2.
NOTE: “What is the sinner to be converted from? The transgression of God’s law to obedience of it. But if he is told that he cannot keep the law of God, and that if he should attempt it he would be brought into bondage, to what is he then converted, transgression of the law to a continuance in that transgression? This is absurd. Yet professed ministers of Christ tell the sinner that he is guiltless while disloyal to the law of God. Such conversions are not ratified in heaven.” Signs of the Times, July 18, 1878.
“NOT HAVING A WEDDING GARMENT”
- What story did Jesus tell to explain the necessary preparation we must make for heaven? Matthew 22:1, 14.
NOTE: See Christ’s Object Lessons, 311, 312.
- What is the evidence that a person knows Christ? 1 John 2:3, 4.
NOTE: “Righteousness is right doing, and it is by their deeds that all will be judged. Our characters are revealed by what we do. The works show whether the faith is genuine. It is not enough for us to believe that Jesus is not an impostor, and that the religion of the Bible is no cunningly devised fable. We may believe that the name of Jesus is the only name under heaven whereby man may be saved, and yet we may not through faith make Him our personal Savior. It is not enough to believe the theory of truth. It is not enough to make a profession of faith in Christ and have our names registered on the church roll. ‘He that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us.’ ‘Hereby we do know that we know Him if we keep His commandments.’ 1 John 3:24; 2:3. This is the genuine evidence of conversion. Whatever our profession, it amounts to nothing unless Christ is revealed in works of righteousness.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 312.
“A NEW CREATURE”
- What change must take place in the life of the Christian? 1 Corinthians 5:7, John 3:3, Psalm 51:10.
NOTE: See Desire of Ages, 280 and See also Steps to Christ, 57, 58.
- In what way did Christ portray the growth that should take place in the life of the Christian? Mark 4:26, 29.
NOTE: “The germination of the seed represents the beginning of spiritual life, and the development of the plant is a beautiful figure of Christian growth. As in nature, so in grace; there can be no life without growth. The plant must either grow or die. As its growth is silent and imperceptible, but continuous, so is the development of the Christian life. At every stage of development, our life may be perfect; yet if God’s purpose for us is fulfilled, there will be continual advancement. Sanctification is the work of a lifetime. As our opportunities multiply, our experience will enlarge, and our knowledge increase. We shall become strong to bear responsibility, and our maturity will be in proportion to our privileges.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 65, 66.
“THRUST IN THY SICKLE AND REAP”
- What fruit must be seen in the life of the Christian? Galatians 5:22, 24.
NOTE: “The plant does not germinate, grow, or bring forth fruit for itself, but to ‘give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater.’ Isaiah 55:10. So no man is to live unto himself. The Christian is in the world as a representative of Christ, for the salvation of other souls. There can be no growth or fruitfulness in the life that is centered in self. If you have accepted Christ as a personal Savior, you are to forget yourself, and try to help others. Talk of the love of Christ, tell of His goodness. Do every duty that presents itself. Carry the burden of souls upon your heart, and by every means in your power seek to save the lost. As you receive the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of unselfish love and labor for others, you will grow and bring forth fruit. The graces of the Spirit will ripen in your character. Your faith will increase, your convictions deepen, your love be made perfect. More and more you will reflect the likeness of Christ in all that is pure, noble, and lovely.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 67, 68.
- On what are we to feed to promote Christian growth? Matthew 4:4.
NOTE: “By constantly relying upon Christ as our personal Saviour, we shall grow up into Him in all things Who is our head.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 66, 67.
- Will the fruit be ripe in the lives of the Christians when Jesus comes? Mark 4:29, 1 John 3:2.
NOTE: “When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own. It is the privilege of every Christian not only to look for but to hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, (2 Peter 3:12, margin). Were all who profess His name bearing fruit to His glory, how quickly the whole world would be sown with the seed of the gospel. Quickly the last great harvest would be ripened, and Christ would come to gather the precious grain.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 69.