June 2, 2001 – June 8, 2001
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16.
STUDY HELP: Steps to Christ, 57–65.
“The influence of a Gospel hope will not lead the sinner to look upon the salvation of Christ as a matter of free grace, while he continues to live in transgression of the Law of God. When the light of truth dawns upon his mind, and he fully understands the requirements of God, and realizes the extent of his transgressions, he will reform his ways, become loyal to God through the strength obtained from his Saviour, and lead a new and purer life. ‘Whosoever abideth in Him,’ says John, ‘sinneth not; whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him.’” Signs of the Times, February 25, 1897.
“This Gospel . . . Must be Preached”
1 What commission did Christ give His church? Matthew 24:14.
NOTE: “The work of preaching the gospel has not been committed to angels, but has been entrusted to men. Holy angels have been employed in directing this work, they have in charge the great movements for the salvation of men; but the actual proclamation of the gospel is performed by the servants of Christ upon the earth.” The The Great Controversy, 312.
2 How does the Bible define the Gospel? Romans 1:16.
NOTE: “The real end of the gospel is to develop in human beings supreme, sanctified love for God and unselfish love for one another. This love is not a fitful impulse; it is not merely the exercise of benevolence, or philanthropy; it is the fruit of a heart purified from all defilement. The gospel was made known by God to raise human beings from sin to righteousness. He who receives the gospel constantly reaches out for the divine, perseveringly taking hold of the strength of the Saviour. His heart is an abiding place for the Holy Spirit. Day by day He shows forth the praises of Him who has called Him out of darkness into His marvelous light.” Loma Linda Messages, 62.
“Men may profess to believe the gospel; but unless they are sanctified by the gospel their profession is of no avail. If they do not gain the victory over sin, then sin is gaining the victory over them. The thorns that have been cut off but not uprooted grow apace, until the soul is overspread with them.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 50, 51.
“And Would Pervert the Gospel of Christ”
3 Against what false gospel did the church have to battle? Acts 15:1, 5. Compare Galatians 1:6–8, 2:16; II Corinthians 11:4.
NOTE: “Paul’s object was to preach the righteousness that comes by faith in Jesus Christ. He took the position that every soul must have a genuine experience in this righteousness. The burning zeal in the heart of Paul compelled him to give the message. He gave assurance of his own faith in the message he bore, and the Holy Spirit accompanied his words with convincing power. . . . Those who engage in the work of God’s cause today will meet just such trials as Paul endured in his work. By the same boastful and deceptive work Satan will seek to draw converts from the faith. Theories will be brought in that will not be wise for us to handle. Satan is a cunning worker, and he will bring in subtle fallacies to darken and confuse the mind and root out the doctrines of salvation. Those who do not accept the Word of God just as it reads, will be snared in his trap. Today we need to speak the truth with holy boldness. The testimony borne to the early church by the Lord’s messenger, His people are to hear in this time: ‘Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed’ (Galatians 1:8).” Manuscript Releases, vol. 7, 356, 357.
4 What contrasting “gospel” was also a problem in the early church? Revelation 2:6, 15.
NOTE: “The doctrine is now largely taught that the gospel of Christ has made the law of God of none effect; that by ‘believing’ we are released from the necessity of being doers of the word. But this is the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which Christ so unsparingly condemned.” The Bible Echo, February 8, 1897.
“Those who are teaching this doctrine today have much to say in regard to faith and the righteousness of Christ; but they pervert the truth, and make it serve the cause of error. They declare that we have only to believe on Jesus Christ, and that faith is all-sufficient; that the righteousness of Christ is to be the sinner’s credentials; that this imputed righteousness fulfils the law for us, and that we are under no obligation to obey the law of God. This class claim that Christ came to save sinners, and that He has saved them. ‘I am saved,’ they will repeat over and over again. But are they saved while transgressing the law of Jehovah?—No; for the garments of Christ’s righteousness are not a cloak for iniquity. Such teaching is a gross deception. . . .” Signs of the Times, February 25, 1897.
‘Saved by His life’
5 How did Paul explain the purpose of Christ’s death? Romans 5:10, first part.
NOTE: “Well would it be for us if we could always remember Calvary, where Jesus bore the terrible burden of the sins of the world. In His expiring agony hear Him exclaim, ‘My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?’ and remember that He endured the hiding of His Father’s face that it might not be forever hidden from fallen man. He endured shame, cruel scourging, insult, and mockery, that we might be reconciled to God and rescued from endless death. If our minds dwell upon these themes, our conversation will be in Heaven, from whence we look for our Saviour, and even vain thoughts will seem out of place.” Review and Herald, June 17, 1884.
6 How does salvation come to us? Romans 5:10, last part.
NOTE: “The gospel is the power and wisdom of God, if it is correctly represented by those who claim to be Christians. Christ crucified for our sins should humble every soul before God in his own estimation. Christ risen from the dead, ascended on high, our living Intercessor in the presence of God, is the science of salvation, which we need to learn and teach to children and youth. Said Christ, ‘I sanctify Myself, that they might also be sanctified.’ This is the work that ever devolves upon every teacher.” Counsels on Sabbath School Work, 124.
“How careful is the Lord Jesus to give no occasion for a soul to despair. How He fences about the soul from Satan’s fierce attacks. If through manifold temptations we are surprised or deceived into sin, He does not turn from us, and leave us to perish. No, no, that is not like our Saviour. Christ prays for us. He was tempted in all points like as we are; and having been tempted, He knows how to succor those who are tempted. Our crucified Lord is pleading for us in the presence of His Father at the throne of grace. His atoning sacrifice we may plead for our pardon, our justification, and our sanctification. The Lamb slain is our only hope. Our faith looks upon Him, grasps Him as the one who can save to the uttermost, and the fragrance of the all– sufficient offering is accepted of the Father. Unto Christ is committed all power in heaven and in earth, and all things are possible to him that believeth. Christ’s glory is concerned in our success. He has a common interest with all humanity. He is our sympathizing Saviour.” Review and Herald, September 1, 1891.
7 How does Paul express his abhorrence of the teaching that Christians may continue in sin? Romans 6:1, 2.
NOTE: “Christ has paid all that man owes to God from the beginning of his life. Sin is the transgression of the law, and through Christ man must now render perfect obedience to that law. By His righteousness of active obedience, Christ clothes me with His righteousness, in order that I shall not continue in sin, but perfect a character after the similitude of Christ.” The Home Missionary, November 1, 1897.
8 What will be the evidence of the work of salvation in the Christian’s life? I John 3:5, 6.
NOTE: “The part man has to act in the salvation of the soul is to believe on Jesus Christ as a perfect Redeemer, not for some other man, but for his own self. Christ imputes His perfection and righteousness to the believing sinner when he does not continue in sin, but turns from transgression to obedience of the commandments. While God can be just, and yet justify the sinner through the merits of Christ, no man can cover his soul with the garments of Christ’s righteousness while practicing known sins, or neglecting known duties.” The Faith I Live By, 115.
“A Nation Bringing Forth the Fruits”
9 Why did God reject the Jewish people? Matthew 21:43. (Read verses 33–41.)
NOTE: “God in His Son had been seeking fruit, and had found none. Israel was a cumberer of the ground. Its very existence was a curse; for it filled the place in the vineyard that a fruitful tree might fill. It robbed the world of the blessings that God designed to give. The Israelites had misrepresented God among the nations. They were not merely useless, but a decided hindrance. To a great degree their religion was misleading, and wrought ruin instead of salvation.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 215.
10 What fruit will the Spirit bring forth in the lives of those who obey the Gospel? Galatians 5:22, 23. Compare John 15:1–8.
NOTE: “There can be no growth or fruitfulness in the life that is centered in self. If you have accepted Christ as a personal Saviour, 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. ‘The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.’ Galatians 5:22, 23. This fruit can never perish, but will produce after its kind a harvest unto eternal life.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 68.
“Every Creature Under Heaven”
11 How successful was the early church in preaching the Gospel? Colossians 1:23. Compare Acts 8:4.
NOTE: “‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.’ Again and again the words are repeated, that they may not lose their significance. Upon all creatures under heaven, high and low, rich and poor, was the light of heaven to shine in clear, strong rays. The disciples were to be colaborers with Him, their Redeemer, in the work of saving the world. Christ assured them, ‘All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.’ They were to go forth in His name, and He promised them the ministry of His Spirit. He did not lay before them a plain and easy path. They were to be partakers of His sufferings. But He told them of the legacy they would receive. If they united with one another and with Him, His righteousness would shine upon them, and from them to a world constantly increasing in wickedness.” Review and Herald, March 15, 1898.
12 How is this successful work pictured in prophecy? Revelation 6:2.
NOTE: “And what rich assurances are given to the steadfast,—to those who remain true to their allegiance to the God of heaven! ‘If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled,’ the promise reads, ‘and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven,’ the Redeemer will ‘present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable’ in the presence of His Father in the kingdom of glory. Wonderful, wonderful assurance! How cheering, indeed, is the hope of the Christian! Naught in this world can compare with the reward set before those who will ‘be not moved away from the hope of the gospel.’” Review and Herald, October 4, 1906.