March 10-16, 2002
MEMORY VERSE: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5, 6.
STUDY HELP: Steps to Christ, 105–113.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Doubts are seeds—if we water them they will germinate and grow.
INTRODUCTION: “While God has given ample evidence for faith, He will never remove all excuse for unbelief. All who look for hooks to hang their doubts upon will find them. And those who refuse to accept and obey God’s word until every objection has been removed, and there is no longer an opportunity for doubt, will never come to the light.” The Great Controversy, 527.
1 What does God say we should not do to His Word? Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32.
NOTE: “Satan works on human minds, leading them to think that there is wonderful knowledge to be gained apart from God. By deceptive reasoning he led Adam and Eve to doubt God’s word, and to supply its place with a theory that led to disobedience. And his sophistry is doing today what it did in Eden. Teachers who mingle the sentiments of infidel authors with the education they are giving, plant in the minds of youth thoughts that will lead to distrust of God and transgression of His law. Little do they know what they are doing. Little do they realize what will be the result of their work.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 108.
2 What does Jesus say we should do to eliminate doubts and unbelief? John 7:17.
NOTE: “Disguise it as they may, the real cause of doubt and skepticism, in most cases, is the love of sin. The teachings and restrictions of God’s word are not welcome to the proud, sin-loving heart, and those who are unwilling to obey its requirements are ready to doubt its authority. In order to arrive at truth, we must have a sincere desire to know the truth and a willingness of heart to obey it. And all who come in this spirit to the study of the Bible will find abundant evidence that it is God’s word, and they may gain an understanding of its truths that will make them wise unto salvation.” Steps to Christ, 111.
3 Against what does Paul say we should guard our hearts? Hebrews 3:12.
NOTE: “There is no encouragement given for unbelief. The Lord manifests His grace and His power over and over again, and this should teach us that it is always profitable under all circumstances to cherish faith, to talk faith, to act faith. We are not to have our hearts and hands weakened by allowing the suggestions of suspicious minds to plant in our hearts the seeds of doubt and distrust.” Ellen G. White Comments, Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 928.
4 How did Zacharias respond to Gabriel’s message of a son to be born to him and his wife? Luke 1:18–20.
NOTE: “Zacharias well knew how to Abraham in his old age a child was given because he believed Him faithful who had promised. But for a moment the aged priest turns his thought to the weakness of humanity. He forgets that what God has promised, He is able to perform. What a contrast between this unbelief and the sweet, childlike faith of Mary, the maiden of Nazareth, whose answer to the angel’s wonderful announcement was, ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word’! Luke 1:38.” The Desire of Ages, 98.
5 What invitation received and acted upon will banish all doubts and unbelief? Psalm 34:8.
NOTE: “There is an evidence that is open to all,—the most highly educated, and the most illiterate,—the evidence of experience. God invites us to prove for ourselves the reality of His word, the truth of His promises. He bids us ‘taste and see that the Lord is good.’ Psalm 34:8. Instead of depending upon the word of another, we are to taste for ourselves. He declares, ‘Ask, and ye shall receive.’ John 16:24. His promises will be fulfilled. They have never failed; they never can fail. And as we draw near to Jesus, and rejoice in the fullness of His love, our doubt and darkness will disappear in the light of His presence.” Steps to Christ, 111, 112.
6 After inviting Thomas to touch His recent wounds, what did Jesus say to reprove him for his unbelief? John 20:27–29.
NOTE: “Jesus accepted his acknowledgment, but gently reproved his unbelief:…The faith of Thomas would have been more pleasing to Christ if he had been willing to believe upon the testimony of his brethren. Should the world now follow the example of Thomas, no one would believe unto salvation; for all who receive Christ must do so through the testimony of others.” The Desire of Ages, 807.
7 What did Peter’s lack of faith and doubting spirit cause him to do? Matthew 14:28–32.
NOTE: “When temptations assail you, when care, perplexity, and darkness seem to surround your soul, look to the place where you last saw the light. Rest in Christ’s love and under His protecting care. When sin struggles for the mastery in the heart, when guilt oppresses the soul and burdens the conscience, when unbelief clouds the mind, remember that Christ’s grace is sufficient to subdue sin and banish the darkness. Entering into communion with the Saviour, we enter the region of peace.” The Ministry of Healing, 250.
8 What consequences did Jesus say our words will eventually have on us? Matthew 12:36, 37.
NOTE: “When Satan tempts you, breathe not a word of doubt or darkness. If you choose to open the door to his suggestions, your mind will be filled with distrust and rebellious questioning. If you talk out your feelings, every doubt you express not only reacts upon yourself, but it is a seed that will germinate and bear fruit in the life of others, and it may be impossible to counteract the influence of your words. You yourself may be able to recover from the season of temptation and from the snare of Satan, but others who have been swayed by your influence may not be able to escape from the unbelief you have suggested. How important that we speak only those things that will give spiritual strength and life!” Steps to Christ, 119.
9 What did the man, who was seeking healing for his son, cry out to Jesus? Mark 9:20–24.
NOTE: “In Christ, God has provided means for subduing every sinful trait, and resisting every temptation, however strong. But many feel that they lack faith, and therefore they remain away from Christ. Let these souls, in their helpless unworthiness, cast themselves upon the mercy of their compassionate Saviour. Look not to self, but to Christ. He who healed the sick and cast out demons when He walked among men is the same mighty Redeemer today. Faith comes by the word of God. Then grasp His promise, ‘Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.’ John 6:37. Cast yourself at His feet with the cry, ‘Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief.’ You can never perish while you do this—never.” The Desire of Ages, 429.
10 If we do not have the Holy Spirit to guide us, what does Peter warn can possibly happen? 2 Peter 3:16–18.
NOTE: “There are many things apparently difficult or obscure, which God will make plain and simple to those who thus seek an understanding of them. But without the guidance of the Holy Spirit we shall be continually liable to wrest the Scriptures or to misinterpret them. There is much reading of the Bible that is without profit and in many cases a positive injury. When the word of God is opened without reverence and without prayer; when the thoughts and affections are not fixed upon God, or in harmony with His will, the mind is clouded with doubts; and in the very study of the Bible, skepticism strengthens.” Steps to Christ, 110.
11 What kept many of the children of Israel from going into the Promised Land? Hebrews 3:15–19.
NOTE: “For forty years did unbelief, murmuring, and rebellion shut out ancient Israel from the land of Canaan. The same sins have delayed the entrance of modern Israel into the heavenly Canaan. In neither case were the promises of God at fault. It is the unbelief, the worldliness, unconsecration, and strife among the Lord’s professed people that have kept us in this world of sin and sorrow so many years.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 69.
12 When Christ returns, what will the redeemed know? 1 Corinthians 13:10–12.
NOTE: “By faith we may look to the hereafter and grasp the pledge of God for a growth of intellect, the human faculties uniting with the divine, and every power of the soul being brought into direct contact with the Source of light. We may rejoice that all which has perplexed us in the providences of God will then be made plain, things hard to be understood will then find an explanation; and where our finite minds discovered only confusion and broken purposes, we shall see the most perfect and beautiful harmony.” Steps to Christ, 112, 113.