February 14, 2010 – February 20, 2010
“For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:14.
Study Help: Ephesians 2; “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 943, 944.
“There is no such thing in the Word of God as unconditional election—once in grace, always in grace. In the second chapter of Second Peter the subject is made plain and distinct. After a history of some who followed an evil course, the explanation is given: ‘Which have forsaken the right way … following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness’ [II Peter 2:15].” The Faith I Live By, 157.
1 When we walk, or live, in the way of this world, we are made a part of what group? Ephesians 2:2; Revelation 2:9, last part.
Note. “Christ speaks of the church over which Satan presides as the synagogue of Satan. Its members are the children of disobedience. They are those who choose to sin, who labor to make void the holy law of God. It is Satan’s work to mingle evil with good, and to remove the distinction between good and evil. Christ would have a church that labors to separate the evil from the good, whose members will not willingly tolerate wrong-doing, but will expel it from the heart and life.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 958.
2 One meaning of trespass is to deviate or turn aside from the straight road. Understanding that meaning, which leader do we turn to when we trespass? Ephesians 2:1–3.
Note. “The same spirit that prompted rebellion in Heaven still inspires rebellion on earth. Satan has continued with men the same policy which he pursued with the angels. His spirit now reigns in the children of disobedience. Like him they seek to break down the restraints of the law of God, and promise men liberty through transgression of its precepts.” The Great Controversy, 500.
3 Some say once saved, always saved or once on the right way, always on the right way. Is this true according to what the word of God says? Can we deviate from or forsake the right way? II Peter 2:15; Ezekiel 18:21; 33:13.
Note. “Balaam was once a good man and a prophet of God; but he had apostatized, and had given himself up to covetousness; yet he still professed to be a servant of the Most High.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 439.
“How many who have in adversity remained true to God, have fallen under the glittering allurements of prosperity. With the possession of wealth, the ruling passion of a selfish nature is revealed. The world is cursed today by the miserly greed and the self-indulgent vices of the worshipers of mammon.” Counsels on Stewardship, 139.
4 What is it better for a person to have not known than to know and turn away? II Peter 2:20, 21.
Note. “In spite of all their display, their garnished habitation, Satan comes in with a troop of evil angels and takes his place in the soul, to help in the deception. The apostle writes, ‘If after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them’ [II Peter 2:20, 21].” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1093.
5 The word elect in 1 Peter 1:2 has the same meaning as chosen in Matthew 20:16. Knowing this, what are the characteristics of the elect in 1 Peter 1:2?
Note. “If we comply with the conditions the Lord has made, we shall secure our election to salvation. Perfect obedience to His commandments is the evidence that we love God, and are not hardened in sin.
“Christ has a church in every age. There are in the church those who are not made any better by their connection with it. They themselves break the terms of their election. Obedience to the commandments of God gives us a right to the privileges of His church.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Commentary, vol. 6, 1079.
“Our Saviour claims all there is of us; He asks our first and holiest thoughts, our purest and most intense affection. If we are indeed partakers of the divine nature, His praise will be continually in our hearts and upon our lips. Our only safety is to surrender our all to Him and to be constantly growing in grace and in the knowledge of the truth.” The Sanctified Life, 95.
6 Even though many are called, how many did Jesus say were chosen? Matthew 20:16; Revelation 17:14, last part.
Note. “The Father sets His love upon His elect people who live in the midst of men. These are the people whom Christ has redeemed by the price of His own blood; and because they respond to the drawing of Christ, through the sovereign mercy of God, they are elected to be saved as His obedient children.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1114.
7 To predestinate means to predetermine or to reach a definite purpose. What is God’s purpose for you and me? Romans 8:29, 30; Ephesians 1:4, 5.
Note. “Now here are the most precious jewels of truth for every individual soul of us. Here is the only election in the Bible, and you can prove yourself elected of Christ by being faithful; you can prove yourself the chosen of Christ by abiding in the vine.” Ibid., 1079.
“It will require a sacrifice to give yourself to God; but it is a sacrifice of the lower for the higher, the earthly for the spiritual, the perishable for the eternal. God does not design that our will should be destroyed, for it is only through its exercise that we can accomplish what He would have us do. Our will is to be yielded to Him, that we may receive it again, purified and refined, and so linked in sympathy with the Divine that He can pour through us the tides of His love and power. However bitter and painful this surrender may appear to the willful, wayward heart, yet ‘it is profitable for thee’ [Matthew 5:29, 30].” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 62.
8 By faithful obedience to the truth, what do we make sure? II Peter 1:10.
Note. “Here is the condition of the only saving election in the Word of God. We are to become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. We are to add grace to grace, and the promise is, ‘If ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’ [II Peter 1:10, 11].” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1114.
9 When we no longer walk in the way of this world and become strangers and foreigners of this country, who then are we fellow citizens with? Ephesians 2:12–19.
Note. “Our work is to attract minds away from earth to heaven; to take others with us as companions, to walk the path that is cast up for the ransomed of the Lord. The children of the Heavenly King are to move among men, not as citizens of the world, but as citizens of the kingdom above. We are pilgrims and strangers in this world, seeking a better country, even a heavenly.” The Signs of the Times, August 17, 1891.
10 What is our foundation built upon and who is the cornerstone? Ephesians 2:20.
Note. “The preparations made for the building of this house for the Lord, must be in accordance with the instructions He had given. No pains must be spared in its erection; for in it God was to meet with His people. The building must show forth to the nations of the earth the greatness of Israel’s God. In every part it must represent the perfection of Him whom the Israelites were called upon to honor before all the world.
“The specifications regarding the building were often repeated. In all the work done, these specifications were to be followed with the utmost exactness. Believers and unbelievers were to learn of the importance of the work from the care shown in its performance.
“The care shown in the building of the temple is a lesson to us regarding the care that we are to show in our character-building. No cheap material was to be used. No haphazard work was to be done in matching the different parts. Piece must fit piece perfectly. Just as God’s temple was, so must His church be. Into their character-building His people are to bring no worthless timbers, no careless, indifferent work.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1029, 1030.
“There could be no such thing as one not prepared for heaven entering heaven. There is no such thing as a human being sanctified and fitted for the heavenly kingdom not having an election to that kingdom. God elects those who have been working on the plan of addition. The explanation is given in the first chapter of Second Peter. For every human being, Christ has paid the election price. No one need be lost. All have been redeemed. To those who receive Christ as a personal Saviour will be given power to become the sons and daughters of God. An eternal life insurance policy has been provided for all.
“Whom God elects, Christ redeems. The Saviour has paid the redemption price for every soul. We are not our own; for we are bought with a price. From the Redeemer, who from the foundation of the world has chosen us, we receive the insurance policy that entitles us to eternal life.
“There is the election of God on the condition of practice, and there is no other election in the Bible. Election is within our reach. ‘If ye do these things, ye shall never fall’ [II Peter 1:10].” Ibid., vol. 7, 944.
“Here is the condition of the only saving election in the Word of God. We are to become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. We are to add grace to grace, and the promise is, ‘If ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’ [II Peter 1:10, 11].
“There is no such thing in the Word of God as unconditional election—once in grace, always in grace. In the second chapter of Second Peter the subject is made plain and distinct. After a history of some who followed an evil course, the explanation is given: ‘which have forsaken the right way … following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness.’… [II Peter 2:15–20 quoted.] Here is a class of whom the apostle warns, ‘For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them’ [verse 21].
“There is truth to be received if souls are saved. The keeping of the commandments of God is life eternal to the receiver. But the Scriptures make it plain that those who once knew the way of life and rejoiced in the truth are in danger of falling through apostasy, and being lost. Therefore there is need of a decided, daily conversion to God.
“All who seek to sustain the doctrine of election, once in grace, always in grace, do this against a plain, ‘Thus saith the Lord.’ [Eze. 18:21; 33:13 quoted.]
“Those who have been truly converted have been buried with Christ in the likeness of His death, and raised from the watery grave in the likeness of His resurrection, to walk in newness of life. By faithful obedience to the truth they are to make their calling and election sure.” Ibid., vol. 6, 1114, 1115.
Lesson Studies were prepared by Judy Hallingstad of the LandMarks staff. She can be contacted at email@example.com .