Christian Character (2)
April 2 – 8, 2023
“Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:1
Study Help: Faith and Works, 103–109
“Through all the ages the great truth of justification by faith has stood as a mighty beacon to guide repentant sinners into the way of life.” The Acts of the Apostles, 373
1 DEFINED AND EXPLAINED
1.a. What is justification? Romans 5:18
Note: “Pardon and justification are one and the same thing.” Faith and Works, 103
“Justification is the opposite of condemnation.” Ibid., 104
1.b. What is the only acceptable way to be justified? Romans 3:21, 22; 5:1
Note: “The Lord does not save sinners by abolishing His law, the foundation of His government in heaven and in earth. The punishment has been endured by the sinner’s substitute. … In the councils of heaven, before the world was created, the Father and the Son covenanted together that if man proved disloyal to God, Christ, one with the Father, would take the place of the transgressor, and suffer the penalty of justice that must fall upon him.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 6, 1070
“When the Spirit of God controls mind and heart, the converted soul breaks forth into a new song; for he realizes that in his experience the promise of God has been fulfilled, that his transgression has been forgiven, his sin covered.” The Acts of the Apostles, 476
2 JUSTIFIED BY GRACE
2.a. How does Paul explain God’s way to justify sinners? Romans 5:14–19
Note: “Christ, in the wilderness of temptation, stood in Adam’s place to bear the test he failed to endure. Here Christ overcame in the sinner’s behalf, four thousand years after Adam turned his back upon the light of his home. Separated from the presence of God, the human family had been departing every successive generation, farther from the original purity, wisdom, and knowledge which Adam possessed in Eden. Christ bore the sins and infirmities of the race as they existed when He came to the earth to help man. In behalf of the race, with the weaknesses of fallen man upon Him, He was to stand the temptations of Satan upon all points wherewith man would be assailed. …
“In what contrast is the second Adam as He entered the gloomy wilderness to cope with Satan single-handed. Since the Fall the race had been decreasing in size and physical strength, and sinking lower in the scale of moral worth, up to the period of Christ’s advent to the earth. And in order to elevate fallen man, Christ must reach him where he was. He took human nature, and bore the infirmities and degeneracy of the race. He, who knew no sin, became sin for us. He humiliated Himself to the lowest depths of human woe, that He might be qualified to reach man, and bring him up from the degradation in which sin had plunged him.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, 1081
2.b. Since we all are sinners, what is our only hope and assurance? Romans 3:23–26; Titus 3:5–7
Note: “Righteousness is obedience to the law. The law demands righteousness, and this the sinner owes to the law; but he is incapable of rendering it. The only way in which he can attain to righteousness is through faith. By faith he can bring to God the merits of Christ, and the Lord places the obedience of His Son to the sinner’s account. Christ’s righteousness is accepted in place of man’s failure, and God receives, pardons, justifies, the repentant, believing soul, treats him as though he were righteous, and loves him as He loves His Son. This is how faith is accounted righteousness; and the pardoned soul goes on from grace to grace, from light to a greater light.” Faith and Works, 101
3 JUSTIFIED BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST
3.a. What is the role of the blood of Christ in our salvation? Romans 5:9
Note: “God calls for faith in Christ as our atoning sacrifice. His blood is the only remedy for sin.
“It is not God’s will that you should be distrustful, and torture your soul with the fear that God will not accept you because you are sinful and unworthy. … You can say: ‘I know I am a sinner, and that is the reason I need a Saviour. … I have no merit or goodness whereby I may claim salvation, but I present before God the all-atoning blood of the spotless Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is my only plea.’ ” The Faith I Live By, 102
3.b. Why is the blood a key so essential in the plan of salvation? Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews 9:22
Note: “We are to have free access to the atoning blood of Christ. This we must regard as the most precious privilege, the greatest blessing, ever granted to sinful man. And how little is made of this great gift! How deep, how wide and continuous is this stream. To every soul thirsting after holiness there is repose, there is rest, there is the quickening influence of the Holy Spirit, and then the holy, happy, peaceful walk and precious communion with Christ. … Its cleansing virtue gives strength and vigor to faith, power to prayer, and happiness in cheerful obedience.” Sons and Daughters of God, 224
“Christ has made reconciliation for sin, and has borne all its ignominy, reproach, and punishment; and yet while bearing sin, He has brought in everlasting righteousness, so that the believer is spotless before God. …
“But there are many who claim to be children of God who are resting their hopes upon other dependencies, rather than on the blood of Christ alone. When urged to rest their faith wholly upon Christ as a complete Saviour, many reveal the fact that they have faith in something that they think they can do. … They imagine that they have a great deal to do themselves to save their own souls, and that Jesus will come in and piece out that part which is lacking, and give the finishing stroke to their salvation. These poor souls will not be strong in God until they accept Christ as a complete Saviour. They can add nothing to their salvation.” Ibid., 227
4 BLOOD ON THE DOORPOSTS
4.a. Among the Israelites, what was the only way of escape from destruction when they were about to leave Egypt? Exodus 12:13
Note: “The Israelites were required to sprinkle the doorposts with the blood of a slain lamb, in order that when the angel of death passed through the land, they might escape destruction. But if instead of doing this simple act of faith and obedience, they had barricaded the door, and taken every precaution to keep the destroying angel out, their pains would have been in vain. … When the blood was seen upon the doorpost, it was enough. The salvation of the house was assured. So it is in the work of salvation; it is the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanseth from all sin.” Sons and Daughters of God, 227
4.b. How can we be clean before God? 1 John 1:7–9. What attitude will this inspire in our heart?
Note: “Thank God that He who spilled His blood for us, lives to plead it, lives to make intercession for every soul who receives Him. ‘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. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. It speaketh better things than the blood of Abel, for Christ ever liveth to make intercession for us. We need to keep ever before us the efficacy of the blood of Jesus. That life-cleansing, life-sustaining blood, appropriated by living faith, is our hope. We need to grow in appreciation of its inestimable value, for it speaks for us only as we by faith claim its virtue, keeping the conscience clean and at peace with God.
“This is represented as the pardoning blood, inseparably connected with the resurrection and life of our Redeemer, illustrated by the ever-flowing stream that proceeds from the throne of God, the water of the river of life.” Our High Calling, 47
“None but God can subdue the pride of man’s heart. We cannot save ourselves. We cannot regenerate ourselves. In the heavenly courts there will be no song sung, To me that loved myself, and washed myself, redeemed myself, unto me be glory and honor, blessing and praise. But this is the keynote of the song that is sung by many here in this world. They do not know what it means to be meek and lowly in heart; and they do not mean to know this, if they can avoid it. The whole gospel is comprised in learning of Christ, His meekness and lowliness.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 456
5.a. How can we be overcomers over Satan and his devices? Revelation 12:11
Note: “We become overcomers by helping others to overcome, by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. The keeping of the commandments of God will yield in us an obedient spirit, and the service that is the offspring of such a spirit, God can accept.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, 974
5.b. What will be our song in heaven? Revelation 15:3
Note: “I urge you to prepare for the coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven. Day by day cast the love of the world out of your hearts. Understand by experience what it means to have fellowship with Christ. Prepare for the judgment, that when Christ shall come to be admired in all them that believe, you may be among those who will meet Him in peace. In that day the redeemed will shine forth in the glory of the Father and the Son. The angels, touching their golden harps, will welcome the King and His trophies of victory—those who have been washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. A song of triumph shall peal forth, filling all heaven. Christ has conquered. He enters the heavenly courts, accompanied by His redeemed ones, the witnesses that His mission of suffering and sacrifice has not been in vain.” The Adventist Home, 550
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 How can I be justified before God?
2 What is the meaning of grace?
3 What is the role of the blood of Christ in our salvation?
4 How can we be washed in the blood of Christ?
5 How can we be overcomers?
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