January 20, 2008 – January 26, 2008
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9.
Study Help: Selected Messages, Book 3, 127–142.
“We must confess Christ openly and bravely, exhibiting in our characters His meekness, humility, and love, till men shall be charmed by the beauty of holiness.” Counsels on Health, 400.
1 What did the angel Gabriel declare about Christ? Luke 1:35.
Note: “From all eternity Christ was united with the Father, and when He took upon Himself human nature, He was still one with God. He is the link that unites God with humanity. ‘Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same’ (Hebrews 2:14). Only through Him can we become children of God. To all who believe on Him, He gives power to become the sons of God. Thus the heart becomes the temple of the living God. It is because Christ took human nature that men and women become partakers of the divine nature. He brings life and immortality to light through the gospel.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 228.
2 What else did the angel say to Mary? Matthew 1:21–23.
Note: “Since Jesus came to dwell with us, we know that God is acquainted with our trials, and sympathizes with our griefs. Every son and daughter of Adam may understand that our Creator is the friend of sinners. For in every doctrine of grace, every promise of joy, every deed of love, every divine attraction presented in the Saviour’s life on earth, we see ‘God with us.’ ” The Desire of Ages, 24.
3 What public confession did Peter make? Matthew 16:16.
Note: “Jesus now put a second question, relating to the disciples themselves: ‘But whom say ye that I am?’ Peter answered, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ [Matthew 16:15, 16.]
“From the first, Peter had believed Jesus to be the Messiah. Many others who had been convicted by the preaching of John the Baptist, and had accepted Christ, began to doubt as to John’s mission when he was imprisoned and put to death; and they now doubted that Jesus was the Messiah, for whom they had looked so long. Many of the disciples who had ardently expected Jesus to take His place on David’s throne left Him when they perceived that He had no such intention. But Peter and his companions turned not from their allegiance. The vacillating course of those who praised yesterday and condemned today did not destroy the faith of the true follower of the Saviour. Peter declared, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ [Matthew 16:16.] He waited not for kingly honors to crown his Lord, but accepted Him in His humiliation.” The Desire of Ages, 411, 412.
4 Later, during the crisis in Galilee, what did Peter again declare? John 6:68, 69.
Note: “Without attempting to hinder those who were leaving Him, Jesus turned to the twelve and said, ‘Will ye also go away?’
“Peter replied by asking, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go?’ ‘Thou hast the words of eternal life,’ he added. ‘And we believe and are sure that Thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.’ [John 6:67–69.]
“ ‘To whom shall we go?’ The teachers of Israel were slaves to formalism. The Pharisees and Sadducees were in constant contention. To leave Jesus was to fall among sticklers for rites and ceremonies, and ambitious men who sought their own glory. The disciples had found more peace and joy since they had accepted Christ than in all their previous lives. How could they go back to those who had scorned and persecuted the Friend of sinners? They had long been looking for the Messiah; now He had come, and they could not turn from His presence to those who were hunting His life, and had persecuted them for becoming His followers.” The Desire of Ages, 393.
5 What confession was made by the Ethiopian before his baptism? Acts 8:36, 37.
Note: “The man’s [Ethiopian’s] heart thrilled with interest as the Scriptures were explained to him; and when the disciple had finished, he was ready to accept the light given. He did not make his high worldly position an excuse for refusing the gospel. ‘As they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.’ [Acts 8:36–38.]” The Acts of the Apostles, 108.
“Among the Jews there were those who were seeking for that which they had not. Dissatisfied with a formal religion, they longed for that which was spiritual and uplifting. Christ’s chosen disciples belonged to the latter class, Cornelius and the Ethiopian eunuch to the former. They had been longing and praying for light from heaven; and when Christ was revealed to them, they received Him with gladness.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 116.
“When the Ethiopian asked, ‘What doth hinder me to be baptized?’ Philip did not wait to see how he would hold on to the faith. He said, ‘If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.’ ” The Upward Look, 130.
“Had Philip left the eunuch with his case hanging in the balance, he might never have accepted the Saviour. Evil angels were waiting for their opportunity, when they could press in their falsehoods and divert the Ethiopian from seeking after truth.” The Bible Echo, December 10, 1900.
6 How did the Roman centurion confess his faith in Christ? Mark 15:39.
Note: “When the darkness had lifted from the cross, and the Saviour’s dying cry had been uttered, immediately another voice was heard, saying, ‘Truly this was the Son of God.’ Matthew 27:54.
“These words were said in no whispered tones. All eyes were turned to see whence they came. Who had spoken? It was the centurion, the Roman soldier. The divine patience of the Saviour, and His sudden death, with the cry of victory upon His lips, had impressed this heathen. In the bruised, broken body hanging upon the cross, the centurion recognized the form of the Son of God. He could not refrain from confessing his faith.” The Desire of Ages, 770.
7 What did God the Father declare about Jesus? Matthew 3:16, 17.
Note: “Christ’s prayer on the banks of the Jordan includes every one who will believe in Him. The promise that you are accepted in the Beloved comes to you. God said, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ [Matthew 3:17.] This means that through the dark shadow which Satan has thrown athwart your pathway Christ has cleaved the way for you to the throne of the infinite God. He has laid hold of almighty power, and you are accepted in the Beloved.” The General Conference Bulletin, April 4, 1901.
“When Christ bowed on the banks of Jordan, after His baptism, the heavens were opened, and the Spirit descended in the form of a dove, like burnished gold, and encircled Him with its glory; and the voice of God from the highest heaven was heard, saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ [Matthew 3:17.] The prayer of Christ in man’s behalf opened the gates of heaven, and the Father had responded, accepting the petition for the fallen race. Jesus prayed as our substitute and surety, and now the human family may find access to the Father through the merits of His well-beloved Son. This earth, because of transgression had been struck off from the continent of heaven. Communication had ceased between man and his Maker; but the way has been opened so that he may return to the Father’s house. Jesus is ‘the way, the truth, and the life.’ [John 14:6.] The gate of heaven has been left ajar, and the radiance from the throne of God shines into the hearts of those who love Him, even though they dwell in this sin-cursed earth.” Review and Herald, February 28, 1888.
8 When did the Father utter a similar declaration? John 12:28.
Note: “On another occasion Christ made the request: ‘Father, glorify Thy name.’ And in answer there came ‘a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.’ John 12:28.
“If this voice did not move the impenitent, if the power that Christ manifested in His mighty miracles did not cause the Jews to believe, we should not be greatly surprised to find that men and women today are in danger, through continual association with those who are incredulous, of manifesting the same unbelief that the Jews manifested, and of developing the same perverted understanding.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 202, 203.
9 How did Jesus give evidence of His divinity? John 10:24–29.
Note: “The blessed Bible gives us a knowledge of the great plan of salvation, and shows us how every individual may have eternal life. Who is the author of the book?—Jesus Christ. He is the True Witness, and He says to His own, ‘I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.’ [John 10:28.] The Bible is to show us the way to Christ, and in Christ eternal life is revealed.” Review and Herald, September 11, 1894.
10 What words of Christ angered the Jews? John 10:29–32. Why did they try to stone Him? John 10:33.
Note: “Again the priests and rabbis cried out against Jesus as a blasphemer. His claim to be one with God had before stirred them to take His life, and a few months later they plainly declared, ‘For a good work we stone Thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that Thou, being a man, makest Thyself God.’ John 10:33. Because He was, and avowed Himself to be, the Son of God, they were bent on destroying Him. Now many of the people, siding with the priests and rabbis, took up stones to cast at Him. ‘But Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.’ [John 8:59.]” The Desire of Ages, 470.
“The Lord calls upon us for confession of His goodness. . . . Our confession of His faithfulness is Heaven’s chosen agency for revealing Christ to the world. We are to acknowledge His grace as made known through the holy men of old; but that which will be most effectual is the testimony of our own experience. We are witnesses for God as we reveal in ourselves the working of a power that is divine. Every individual has a life distinct from all others, and an experience differing essentially from theirs. God desires that our praise shall ascend to Him, marked by our own individuality. These precious acknowledgements to the praise of the glory of His grace, when supported by a Christlike life, have an irresistible power that works for the salvation of souls.
“In order to confess Christ, we must have Him to confess. No one can truly confess Christ unless the mind and spirit of Christ are in him. . . . We must understand what it is to confess Christ and wherein we deny Him. . . . The fruits of the Spirit manifested in the life are a confession of Him. If we have forsaken all for Christ, our lives will be humble, our conversation heavenly, our conduct blameless. The powerful, purifying influence of truth in the soul, and the character of Christ exemplified in the life, are a confession of Him.
“Integrity, firmness, and perseverance are qualities that all should seek earnestly to cultivate; for they clothe the possessor with a power which is irresistible—a power which makes him strong to do good, strong to resist evil, strong to bear adversity. . . . Those who have placed themselves without reserve on the side of Christ will stand firmly by that which reason and conscience tell them is right.
“The life of the true believer reveals an indwelling Saviour. The follower of Jesus is Christlike in spirit and in temper. Like Christ, he is meek and humble. His faith works by love and purifies the soul. His whole life is a testimony to the power of the grace of Christ.” God’s Amazing Grace, 277.
Reprinted with permission, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia.