Bible Study Guides – “The End of Your Faith”

January 30 – February 5, 2000

MEMORY VERSE: “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth.” 1 Peter 2:21, 22.

STUDY HELP: 2 Peter 1:5–7; Steps to Christ, 67–75.

INTRODUCTION: “The apostle presents before the believers the ladder of Christian progress, every step of which represents advancement in the knowledge of God, and in the climbing of which there is to be no standstill. Faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity are the rounds of the ladder. We are saved by climbing round after round, mounting step after step, to the height of Christ’s ideal for us. Thus He is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” Acts of the Apostles, 530.

“That Ye May Grow Thereby”

1 What will enable the newly born Christian to grow spiritually? 1 Peter 2:2.

NOTE: “Before us is held out the wonderful possibility of being like Christ—obedient to all the principles of the law of God. But of ourselves we are utterly powerless to attain to this condition. All that is good in man comes to him through Christ. The holiness that God’s Word declares we must have before we can be saved is the result of the working of divine grace as we bow in submission to the discipline and restraining influence of the Spirit of truth.” In Heavenly Places, 129. (See The Faith I Live By, 223.)

2 How does Peter picture this spiritual growth? 2 Peter 1:5–7.

NOTE: “Sanctification is not brought about instantaneously, but it is accomplished by climbing the rounds of Peter’s ladder of eight rounds. We must step on the first in order to reach the highest. This ladder reaches from earth to heaven, and every soul that enters the city of God will have to climb this ladder of self-denial, and this can be accomplished by laying hold of the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. Without this strength, temptation will sweep us down the current to final destruction.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 3, 84. (See Maranatha, 84.)

“The Just Shall Live by Faith”

3 What example of faith was shown in one of Christ’s miracles? Matthew 8:5–13.

NOTE: “Faith is not a happy flight of feeling, it is simply taking God at His word and believing, because God said He would do this.” This Day With God, 9.

“Living faith in the power of Jesus Christ, not in your own efficiency and wisdom, will bring you through every difficulty and temptation. Patiently wait, watch, and pray, and hold fast to the promises. However much your enemies have bruised and wounded your soul, forgive them, and by maintaining faith in Christ, you will find Him to be to you as the shadow of a great Rock in a weary land. Endure the pressure. Submit to wrong, bear the suffering part of religion for Christ’s sake, rather than sin against God by seeking to deliver yourself.” The Upward Look, 42.

4 What does Peter describe as the result of a life of faith? 1 Peter 1:9.

NOTE:: ‘The very best preparation we can have for His Second Coming, is to rest with firm faith, with trust and unshaken confidence, in the great salvation brought to us at His first advent. We must believe that Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many. Is He your personal Saviour? Are you, because the love of Jesus is abiding in your heart, saved from making mistakes and errors? Is the love of Christ a living, active agent in your soul, correcting, reforming, refining you, and purifying you from your wrong practices?” Youth’s Instructor, September 7, 1893.

5 What kind of faith is characteristic of God’s people? Revelation 14:12.

NOTE: “‘The faith of Jesus.’ It is talked of, but not understood. What constitutes the faith of Jesus, that belongs to the Third Angel’s Message? Jesus becoming our sin-bearer that He might become our sin-pardoning Saviour. He was treated as we deserve to be treated. He came to our world and took our sins that we might take His righteousness. Faith in the ability of Christ to save us amply and fully and entirely is the faith of Jesus.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 12, 193.

“Add to Your Faith Virtue”

6 What will be the effect in the life of the one who truly lives by the faith of Jesus? 2 Peter 1:5.

NOTE: “Having received the faith of the gospel, the next work of the believer is to add to his character virtue, and thus cleanse the heart and prepare the mind for the reception of the knowledge of God. This knowledge is the foundation of all true education and of all true service. It is the only real safeguard against temptation; and it is this alone that can make one like God in character. Through the knowledge of God and of His Son Jesus Christ, are given to the believer ‘all things that pertain unto life and godliness.’ No good gift is withheld from him who sincerely desires to obtain the righteousness of God.” Acts of the Apostles, 530-531.

7 What is the knowledge of which Peter speaks? John 17:3
(See also 1 John 2:3–5, 18, 20, 21, 29; 3:5, 14, 15, 18, 19, 24; 4:2, 3, 5:2, 3, 14, 15.)

NOTE: “The experimental knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, whom He has sent, transforms man into the image of God. It gives to man the mastery of himself, bringing every impulse and passion of the lower nature under the control of the higher powers of the mind. It makes its possessor a son of God and an heir of heaven. It brings him into communion with the mind of the Infinite, and opens to him the rich treasures of the universe. This is the knowledge which is obtained by searching the word of God. And this treasure may be found by every soul who will give all to obtain it. ‘If thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.’ Proverbs 2: 3 – 5.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 114.

“And to Knowledge Temperance”

8 What will be added to the character of the one who comes to know God? 2 Peter 1:6, first part.

NOTE: Temperance has been defined as abstinence from those things which are harmful, and moderate use of those things that are good.

“The world is given to self-indulgence. Errors and fables abound. Satan’s snares for destroying are multiplied. All who would perfect holiness in the fear of God must learn the lessons of temperance and self-control. The appetites and passions must be held in subjection to the higher powers of the mind. This self-discipline is essential to that mental strength and spiritual insight which will enable us to understand and to practice the sacred truths of God’s word. For this reason temperance finds its place in the work of preparation for Christ’s Second Coming.” Conflict and Courage, 271.

9 What will be the benefits to the character of the Christian who practices temperance? 2 Peter 1:6, last part.

NOTE: “The observance of temperance and regularity in all things has a wonderful power. It will do more than circumstances or natural endowments in promoting that sweetness and serenity of disposition which count so much in smoothing life’s pathway. At the same time the power of self-control thus acquired will be found one of the most valuable of equipments for grappling successfully with the stern duties and realities that await every human being.” Child Guidance, 395.

“Godliness is Profitable unto All Things”

10 What is the prospect for those who exercise godliness? 1 Timothy 4:7, 8.

NOTE: “Godliness—Godlikeness—is the goal to be reached.” Education, 18.

“Godliness is the fruit of Christian character. If we abide in the Vine, we shall bear the fruits of the Spirit. The life of the Vine will manifest itself through the branches. We must have a close and intimate connection with heaven, if we bear the grace of godliness. Jesus must be a guest in our homes, a member of our households, if we reflect His image and show that we are sons and daughters of the Most High. Religion is a beautiful thing in the home. If the Lord abides with us, we shall feel that we are members of Christ’s family in heaven. We shall realize that angels are watching us, and our manners will be gentle and forbearing. We shall be fitting up for an entrance into the courts of heaven, by cultivating courtesy and godliness. Our conversation will be holy, and our thoughts will be upon heavenly things.” Peter’s Counsel to Parents, 19.

11 Against what spurious religion are we warned? 2 Timothy 3:5.

NOTE: “True godliness is measured by the work done. Profession is nothing; position is nothing; a character like the character of Christ is the evidence we are to bear that God has sent His Son into the world. Those who profess to be Christians, yet do not act as Christ would were He in their place, greatly injure the cause of God. They misrepresent their Saviour, and are standing under false colors.” Review and Herald, October 15, 1901. (See Christ’s Object Lessons, 411.)

“Brotherly Kindness, Charity”

12 What qualities are the supreme fruitage of the life lived by the faith of Jesus? 2 Peter 1:7.

NOTE: “This principle of love for God and for those for whom Christ died, needs to be quickened by the Holy Spirit and cemented with brotherly kindness, tenderness; it needs to be strengthened by acts which testify that God is love. This union, which joins heart with heart, is not the result of sentimentalism, but the working of a healthful principle. Faith works by love, and purifies the soul from all selfishness. Thus the soul is perfected in love. And having found grace and mercy through Christ’s precious blood, how can we fail to be tender and merciful?” In Heavenly Places, 110.

13 What promise are we given that the work of sanctification will be complete when Christ returns? 1 John 3:2.

NOTE: “You are not to think that you must wait until you have perfected one grace before cultivating another. No; they are to grow up together…every day that you live, you can be perfecting the blessed attributes fully revealed in the character of Christ…Do not become overwhelmed with the great amount of work you must do in your lifetime, for you are not required to do it all at once. Let every power of your being go to each day’s work, improve each precious opportunity, appreciate the helps that God gives you, and make advancement up the ladder of progress step by step. Remember that you are to live but one day at a time, that God has given you one day, and heavenly records will show how you have valued its privileges and opportunities. May you so improve every day given you of God, that at last you may hear the Master say, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant.’” Maranatha, 84.