Bible Study Guide – Week 3
By Gordon Anderson
MEMORY VERSE: “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.” John 17: 20, 21.
STUDY HELP: Testimonies, vol. 1, 413-420.
INTRODUCTION: “Honest souls will see the straight chain of present truth. They will see its harmonious connections, link after link uniting into a great whole, and will lay hold upon it. The present truth is not difficult to be understood, and the people whom God is leading will be united upon this broad, firm platform. He will not use individuals of different faith, opinions, and views, to scatter and divide. Heaven and holy angels are working to unite, to bring into the unity of the faith, into the one body. Satan opposes this, and is determined to scatter, and divide, and bring in different sentiments, that the prayer of Christ may not be answered: `Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.’ John 17:20, 21. Jesus designed that the faith of His people should be one. If one goes forth preaching one thing, and another differing with him preaches something else, how can those who believe through their word be one?” Testimonies, vol. 1, 326.
What warning did Paul give about alternative “gospels”? Galatians 6:9.
NOTE: “The position that it is of no consequence what men believe is one of Satan’s most successful deceptions. He knows that the truth, received in the love of it, sanctifies the soul of the receiver; therefore he is constantly seeking to substitute false theories, fables, another gospel. From the beginning the servants of God have contended against false teachers, not merely as vicious men, but as inculcators of falsehoods that were fatal to the soul. Elijah, Jeremiah, Paul, firmly and fearlessly opposed those who were turning men from the word of God. That liberality which regards a correct religious faith as unimportant found no favor with these holy defenders of the truth.” The Great Controversy, 520.
Against what particular false “gospel” did Paul warn the believers in Rome? Romans 6:1, 2.
NOTE: “Today let the question come home to the heart of every one who professes the name of Christ, `Dost thou believe in the Son of God?’ Not, `Do you admit that Jesus is the Redeemer of the world?’ Not to soothe your conscience and the consciences of others by saying, `I believe,’ and think that is all there is to be done. But do you believe with all your heart that Jesus is your Savior? Do you bring Him into your life, and weave Him into your character, until you are one with Christ? Many accept Jesus as an article of belief, but they have no saving faith in Him as their sacrifice and Savior. They have no realization that Christ has died to save them from the penalty of the law which they have transgressed, in order that they may be brought back to loyalty to God. Do you believe that Christ, as your substitute, pays the debt of your transgression? Not, however, that you may continue in sin, but that you may be saved from your sins; that you, through the merits of His righteousness, may be re-instated to the favor of God. Do you know that a holy and just God will accept your efforts to keep His law, through the merits of His own beloved Son who died for your rebellion and sin? You may say that you believe in Jesus, when you have an appreciation of the cost of salvation. You may make this claim, when you feel that Jesus died for you on the cruel cross of Calvary; when you have an intelligent, understanding faith that His death makes it possible for you to cease from sin, and to perfect a righteous character through the grace of God, bestowed upon you as the purchase of Christ’s blood.” Review and Herald, July 24, 1888.
Against which false “gospel” did Paul warn the believers in Galatia? Galatians 2:16.
NOTE: “A legal religion can never lead souls to Christ; for it is a loveless, Christless religion. Fasting or prayer that is actuated by a self-justifying spirit is an abomination in the sight of God. The solemn assembly for worship, the round of religious ceremonies, the external humiliation, the imposing sacrifice, proclaim that the doer of these things regards himself as righteous, and as entitled to heaven; but it is all a deception. Our own works can never purchase salvation.” Desire of Ages, 280.
“Said the Judge: `All will be justified by their faith and judged by their works.’ How vividly then appeared their neglect, and how wise the arrangement of God in giving to every man a work to do to promote the cause and save his fellow men. Each was to demonstrate a living faith in his family and in his neighbourhood, by showing kindness to the poor, sympathizing with the afflicted, engaging in missionary labor, and by aiding the cause of God with his means. But, like Meroz, the curse of God rested upon them for what they had not done.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 386.
What is the true and only Gospel of Jesus Christ? Romans 1:16.
NOTE: “The gospel is to be presented, not as a lifeless theory, but as a living force to change the life. God desires that the receivers of His grace shall be witnesses to its power. Those whose course has been most offensive to Him He freely accepts; when they repent, He imparts to them His divine Spirit, places them in the highest positions of trust, and sends them forth into the camp of the disloyal to proclaim His boundless mercy. He would have His servants bear testimony to the fact that through His grace men may possess Christ-likeness of character, and may rejoice in the assurance of His great love. He would have us bear testimony to the fact that He cannot be satisfied until the human race are reclaimed and reinstated in their holy privileges as His sons and daughters.” The Desire of Ages, 826.
“We have now only a little time in which to prepare for eternity. May the Lord open the closed eyes of His people and quicken their dulled senses, that they may realize that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to them that believe. May they see the importance of giving so pure and righteous a representation of God that the world shall see Him in His beauty. May they be so filled with the Spirit that dwells in Him that the world will have no power to divert them from the work of presenting to men the wonderful possibilities before every soul who receives Christ.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 11, 12.
What response does the Gospel require from the Christian? 1 Peter 4:17; 2 Thessalonians 1:7, 8; Romans 10:16.
NOTE: “It is the privilege of all to give to the world in their home life, in their customs and practices and order, an evidence of what the gospel can do for those who obey it. Christ came to our world to give us an example of what we may become. He expects His followers to be models of correctness in all the relations of life. He desires the divine touch to be seen upon outward things.” Ministry of Healing, 196.
What example are we given of how even leading men could be led astray from the Gospel? Galatians 2:11-14.
NOTE: “The church was threatened with division. But Paul, who saw the subverting influence of the wrong done to the church through the double part acted by Peter, openly rebuked him for thus disguising his true sentiments. In the presence of the church, Paul inquired of Peter, `If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compelest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?’ Galatians 2:13, 14. Peter saw the error into which he had fallen, and immediately set about repairing the evil that had been wrought, so far as was in his power. God, who knows the end from the beginning, permitted Peter to reveal this weakness of character in order that the tried apostle might see that there was nothing in himself whereof he might boast. Even the best of men, if left to themselves, will err in judgement.” Acts of the Apostles, 198, 199.
How does Paul counsel the believers to behave in order to maintain the unity of the church? Ephesians 4:2, 3.
NOTE: “The apostle exhorts his brethren to manifest in their lives the power of the truth which he had presented to them. By meekness and gentleness, forbearance and love, they were to exemplify the character of Christ and the blessings of His salvation. There is but one body, and one Spirit, one Lord, one faith. As members of the body of Christ all believers are animated by the same spirit and the same hope. Divisions in the church dishonor the religion of Christ before the world and give occasion to the enemies of truth to justify their course. Paul’s instructions were not written alone for the church in his day. God designed that they should be sent down to us. What are we doing to preserve unity in the bonds of peace?” Testimonies, vol. 5, 239.
What especially should unite the people of God? Ephesians 4:4-6.
NOTE: “If God’s professed people would receive the light as it shines upon them from His word, they would reach that unity for which Christ prayed, that which the apostle describes, `the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’ `There is,’ he says, ` one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism.’ Ephesians 4:3–5. Such were the blessed results experienced by those who accepted the advent message. They came from different denominations, and their denominational barriers were hurled to the ground; conflicting creeds were shivered to atoms; the unscriptural hope of a temporal millennium was abandoned, false views of the second advent were corrected, pride and conformity to the world were swept away; wrongs were made right; hearts were united in the sweetest fellowship, and love and joy reigned supreme. If this doctrine did this for the few who did receive it, it would have done the same for all if all had received it.” The Great Controversy, 379, 380.
What does it mean to acknowledge Jesus as Lord? Luke 6:46.
NOTE: “The Lord desires all to understand that their prosperity is hid with Him in Christ; that it is dependent on their humility and meekness, their wholehearted obedience and devotion. When they shall learn the lesson of the great Teacher, to die to self, to put no confidence in man, nor to make flesh their arm, then, as they call upon Him, the Lord will be to them a present help in every time of need. He will guide them in judgement. He will be at their right hand to give them counsel. He will say to them: `This is the way, walk ye in it.'” Testimonies, vol. 7, 212, 213.
What did Jesus say of those who claimed to call Him “Lord” and yet refused to do His will? Matthew 7:21-23.
NOTE: “Not all who profess His name and wear His badge are Christ’s. Many who have taught in My name, said Jesus, will be found wanting at last. `Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.’ There are persons who believe that they are right, when they are wrong. While claiming Christ as their Lord, and professedly doing great works in His name, they are workers of iniquity. `With their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.’ He who declares God’s word is to them `as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear Thy words, but they do them not.’ Ezekiel 33:31, 32. A mere profession of discipleship is of no value. The faith in Christ which saves the soul is not what it is represented to be by many. `Believe, believe,’ they say, `and you need not keep the law.’ But a belief that does not lead to obedience is presumption. The apostle John says, `He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.’ 1 John 2:4.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 145, 146.
What marvelous example of faith is given us? Matthew 8:5-10.
NOTE: “What is faith? It is simply taking God at His word; it is believing that God will do just as He has promised.” Signs of the Times, September 9, 1889.
What does the Bible mean by baptism? Acts 8:35-38. (Compare Mark 16:16.).
NOTE: Our English word “baptize” and its related words come from the Greek word “bapto” which means to cover wholly with a fluid, to immerse or to dip. In common usage, it was the word used for the process of dying fabrics by immersing them. The New Testament knows nothing of the sprinkling or pouring of water over infants which some churches miscall “baptism.”
“Soon after our return from the camp meeting, I, with several others, was taken into the [Methodist] church on probation. My mind was very much exercised on the subject of baptism. Young as I was, I could see but one mode of baptism authorized by the Scriptures, and that was immersion. Some of my Methodist sisters tried in vain to convince me that sprinkling was Bible baptism. The Methodist minister consented to immerse the candidates if they conscientiously preferred that method, although he intimated that sprinkling would be equally acceptable with God. Finally the time was appointed for us to receive this solemn ordinance. It was a windy day when we, twelve in number, went down into the sea to be baptized. The waves ran high and dashed upon the shore, but as I took up this heavy cross, my peace was like a river. When I arose from the water, my strength was nearly gone, for the power of the Lord rested upon me. I felt that henceforth I was not of this world, but had risen from the watery grave into a newness of life.” Life Sketches, 25.