July 1, 2007 – July 7, 2007
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9.
Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 19−22.
“There are but few who have an appreciation of the grievous character of sin, and who comprehend the greatness of the ruin that has resulted from the transgression of God’s law. By examining the wonderful plan of redemption to restore the sinner to the moral image of God, we see that the only means for man’s deliverance was wrought out by the self-sacrifice, and the unparalleled condescension and love of the Son of God. He alone had the strength to fight the battles with the great adversary of God and man, and, as our substitute and surety, he has given power to those who lay hold of him by faith, to become victors in his name, and through his merits.” Review and Herald, August 21, 1888.
1 In whom do we have redemption? What is the signification of the term? Romans 3:24.
note: “The great work of redemption could be carried out only by the Redeemer taking the place of fallen Adam. With the sins of the world laid upon Him, He would go over the ground where Adam stumbled. He would bear a test infinitely more severe than that which Adam failed to endure. He would overcome on man’s account, and conquer the tempter, that, through His obedience, His purity of character and steadfast integrity, His righteousness might be imputed to man, that, through His name, man might overcome the foe on his own account.” Confrontation, 17, 18.
“In freeing our souls from the bondage of sin, God has wrought for us a deliverance greater than that of the Hebrews at the Red Sea.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 289. [Emphasis added.]
“The deliverance of Israel from Egypt was an object lesson of redemption.” The Desire of Ages, 77. [Emphasis added.]
2 What did man lose by the fall of Adam and Eve? Romans 5:12; Genesis 2:17.
note: “Sorrow filled heaven, as it was realized that man was lost, and that world which God had created was to be filled with mortals doomed to misery, sickness, and death. . . . The whole family of Adam must die.” Early Writings, 149.
“Immortality, promised to man on condition of obedience, had been forfeited by transgression. Adam could not transmit to his posterity that which he did not possess; and there could have been no hope for the fallen race had not God, by the sacrifice of His Son, brought immortality within their reach. . . . Every man may come into possession of this priceless blessing if he will comply with the conditions.” The Great Controversy, 533.
3 When man was created, what was given to him? Genesis 1:26. To whom did he surrender this dominion? Luke 4:5, 6. Then, what needs to be done that man may be brought back to God’s original plan?
note: “After the earth with its teeming animal and vegetable life had been called into existence, man, the crowning work of the Creator, and the one for whom the beautiful earth had been fitted up, was brought upon the stage of action. To him was given dominion over all that his eye could behold.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 44.
“He [Satan] asked the Saviour to bow to his authority, promising that if He would do so, the kingdoms of the world would be His. He pointed Christ to his success in the world, enumerating the principalities and powers that were subject to him. He declared that what the law of Jehovah could not do, he had done.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1083.
“When Satan declared to Christ, The kingdom and glory of the world are delivered unto me, and to whomsoever I will I give it, he stated what was true only in part, and he declared it to serve his own purpose of deception. Satan’s dominion was that wrested from Adam, but Adam was the vicegerent of the Creator. His was not an independent rule. The earth is God’s, and He has committed all things to His Son. Adam was to reign subject to Christ. When Adam betrayed his sovereignty into Satan’s hands, Christ still remained the rightful King.” The Desire of Ages, 129.
4 What is Christ made to believers? 1 Corinthians 1:30.
note: “We have not looked away from ourselves, believing that Jesus is a living Saviour. We must not think that our own grace and merits will save us; the grace of Christ is our only hope of salvation. . . . When we trust God fully, when we rely upon the merits of Jesus as a sin-pardoning Saviour, we shall receive all the help that we can desire.
“We look to self, as though we had power to save ourselves; but Jesus died for us because we are helpless to do this. In Him is our hope, our justification, our righteousness.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 351.
5 What does Jesus say of His own existence? Revelation 22:13. Of what significance has the expression “alpha and omega”?
note: “All the great truths of the Scriptures center in Christ; rightly understood, all lead to Him. Let Christ be presented as the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end, of the great plan of redemption.” Evangelism, 485.
“When the students of prophecy shall set hearts to know the truths of Revelation, they will realize what an importance is attached to this search. Christ Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the Genesis of the Old Testament, and the Revelation of the New. Both meet together in Christ. Adam and God are reconciled by the obedience of the second Adam, who accomplished the work of overcoming the temptations of Satan and redeeming Adam’s disgraceful failure and fall.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1092, 1093.
6 What is the first step in the work of redemption? Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:12−14.
note: “[Ephesians 1:7 quoted.] Yes, only believe that God is your helper. He wants to restore His moral image in man. As you draw near to Him with confession and repentance, He will draw near to you with mercy and forgiveness.” Steps to Christ, 55.
“ ‘He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.’ [Proverbs 28:13.]
“The conditions of obtaining mercy of God are simple and just and reasonable. The Lord does not require us to do some grievous thing in order that we may have the forgiveness of sin. We need not make long and wearisome pilgrimages or perform painful penances, to commend our souls to the God of heaven or to expiate our transgression; but he that confesseth and forsaketh his sin shall have mercy. This is a precious promise, given to fallen man to encourage him to trust in the God of love and to seek for eternal life in His kingdom.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 635.
7 Through whom does the forgiveness of sins come? Matthew 1:21; Acts 13:38.
note: “God waits to bestow the blessing of forgiveness of sins, of pardon for iniquity, of the gift of righteousness upon all who will believe in His love, and accept of His salvation. Christ is ready to say to the repenting sinner, ‘. . . Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee. . . .’ Zechariah 3:4−7. Christ is the connecting link between God and man. The blood of Jesus Christ is the eloquent plea that speaks in behalf of sinners.” Our High Calling, 38.
8 When sins are pardoned, how does it affect the sinner’s past life? 1 John 1:9. How does the Lord look upon the forgiven one? Romans 4:7, 8.
note: “God requires that we confess our sins, and humble our hearts before Him; but at the same time we should have confidence in Him as a tender Father, who will not forsake those who put their trust in Him. Many of us walk by sight, and not by faith. We believe the things that are seen, but do not appreciate the precious promises given us in God’s Word; and yet we cannot dishonor God more decidedly than by showing that we distrust what He says, and question whether the Lord is in earnest with us or is deceiving us.
“God does not give us up because of our sins. We may make mistakes, and grieve His Spirit; but when we repent, and come to Him with contrite hearts, He will not turn us away. There are hindrances to be removed. Wrong feelings have been cherished, and there have been pride, self-sufficiency, impatience, and murmurings. All these separate us from God. Sins must be confessed; there must be a deeper work of grace in the heart.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 350, 351.
9 What does forgiveness or justification bring? Romans 5:1.
note: “Pardon and justification are one and the same thing. Through faith, the believer passes from the position of a rebel, a child of sin and Satan, to the position of a loyal subject of Christ Jesus, not because of an inherent goodness, but because Christ receives him as His child by adoption. The sinner receives the forgiveness of his sins, because these sins are borne by his Substitute and Surety. . . . Thus man, pardoned, and clothed with the beautiful garments of Christ’s righteousness, stands faultless before God. . . .
“Justification is the opposite of condemnation. God’s boundless mercy is exercised toward those who are wholly undeserving. He forgives transgressions and sins for the sake of Jesus, who has become the propitiation for our sins. Through faith in Christ, the guilty transgressor is brought into favor with God and into the strong hope of life eternal.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1070, 1071.
10 Why do we have peace? Romans 8:1; John 14:24.
note: “The religion of Christ means more than the forgiveness of sin; it means taking away our sins, and filling the vacuum with the graces of the Holy Spirit. It means divine illumination, rejoicing in God. It means a heart emptied of self, and blessed with the abiding presence of Christ. When Christ reigns in the soul, there is purity, freedom from sin. The glory, the fullness, the completeness of the gospel plan is fulfilled in the life. The acceptance of the Saviour brings a glow of perfect peace, perfect love, perfect assurance. The beauty and fragrance of the character of Christ revealed in the life testifies that God has indeed sent His Son into the world to be its Saviour.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 419, 420.
11 What has Christ given to everyone whom He has redeemed from sin? 11 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13. Of what is this Spirit an earnest or pledge? Ephesians 1:14.
note: “In giving the Holy Spirit, it was impossible for God to give more. To this gift nothing could be added. By it all needs are supplied. The Holy Spirit is the vital presence of God, and if appreciated will call forth praise and thanksgiving, and will ever be springing up unto everlasting life.” Ye Shall Receive Power, 284.
“There is a serious, solemn work to be done at this time. In all places the standard is to be lifted. God has [Ephesians 1:9−13 quoted]. The word of truth, Bible truth, present truth, is to be presented calmly, soberly, in the demonstration of the Spirit, for the angels of God are making impressions upon minds. . . . [Verse 13, last part, quoted.]
“What is the seal of the living God, which is placed in the foreheads of His people? It is a mark which angels, but not human eyes, can read; for the destroying angel must see this mark of redemption. The intelligent mind has seen the sign of the cross of Calvary in the Lord’s adopted sons and daughters. The sin of the transgression of the law of God is taken away. They have on the wedding garment, and are obedient and faithful to all God’s commands.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 21, 51, 52.
12 To what time are believers sealed? Ephesians 4:30.
note: “Let the church arise, and repent of her back-slidings before God. Let the watchmen awake, and give the trumpet a certain sound. It is a definite warning that we have to proclaim. . . .
“The work is before us; will we engage in it? We must work fast, we must go steadily forward. We must be preparing for the great day of the Lord. We have no time to lose, no time to be engaged in selfish purposes. The world is to be warned. What are we doing as individuals to bring the light before others? God has left to every man his work; every one has a part to act, and we cannot neglect this work except at the peril of our souls.
“O my brethren, will you grieve the Holy Spirit, and cause it to depart? Will you shut out the blessed Saviour, because you are unprepared for his presence? Will you leave souls to perish without the knowledge of the truth, because you love your ease too well to bear the burden that Jesus bore for you? Let us awake out of sleep.” Review and Herald, March 22, 1887.