Christian Character (4)
October 1 – 7, 2023
“For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:36
Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 723–739
“Patience pours the balm of peace and love into the experiences of the home life. … Patience will seek for unity in the church, in the family, and in the community. This grace must be woven into our lives.” The Review and Herald, February 21, 1888
1 TEMPERANCE BEFORE PATIENCE
- Why does temperance or self-control precede patience? 2Peter 1:6
Note: “Any habit or practice which will weaken the nerve and brain power or the physical strength disqualifies for the exercise of the next grace which comes in after temperance—patience.” Our High Calling, 69
“It is next to an impossibility for an intemperate person to be patient.
“Some of us have a nervous temperament, and are naturally as quick as a flash to think and to act; but let no one think that he cannot learn to become patient. Patience is a plant that will make rapid growth if carefully cultivated.” My Life Today, 97
2 TRAINING THE CHILD
2.a. What traits of character is the child of God to develop? 2 Peter 1:4–8
Note: “The first education children should receive from the mother in infancy, should be in regard to their physical health. They should be allowed only plain food, of that quality that would preserve to them the best condition of health, and that should be partaken of only at regular periods, not oftener than three times a day, and two meals would be better than three. If children are disciplined aright, they will soon learn that they can receive nothing by crying or fretting. A judicious mother will act in training her children, not merely in regard to her own present comfort, but for their future good.” A Solemn Appeal, 137
2.b. What did Sister White confirm in her own experience with helping various children in her home? 1 Corinthians 10:31
Note: “For more than twelve years we have taken only two meals each day, of plain, unstimulating food. During that time, we have had almost constantly the care of children, varying in age from three to thirteen years. We worked gradually and carefully to change their habit of eating three times a day to two; we also worked cautiously to change their diet from stimulating food, as meat, rich gravies, pies, cakes, butter, spices, etc., to simple, wholesome fruits, vegetables, and grains. The consequence has been that our children have not been troubled with the various maladies to which children are more or less subject. They occasionally take cold by reason of carelessness, but this seldom makes them sick. …
“Children reared in this way are much more easily controlled than those who are indulged in eating everything their appetite craves, and at all times. They are usually cheerful, contented, and healthy. Even the most stubborn, passionate, and wayward, have become submissive, patient, and possessed of self-control by persistently following up this order of diet, united with a firm but kind management in regard to other matters.” The Health Reformer, May 1, 1877
3 EXAMPLES OF PATIENCE
3.a. What did God say about Job’s character? Job 1:1, 8
3.b. What should we learn from Job’s reaction to Satan’s first devastating attack against his children and properties? Job 1:13–22
Note: “Satan works through the elements also to garner his harvest of unprepared souls. He has studied the secrets of the laboratories of nature, and he uses all his power to control the elements as far as God allows. When he was suffered to afflict Job, how quickly flocks and herds, servants, houses, children, were swept away, one trouble succeeding another as in a moment. It is God that shields His creatures and hedges them in from the power of the destroyer.” Counsels on Health, 460
3.c. Having destroyed Job’s children and their possessions, how did Satan further try to discourage the patriarch? Job 2:3–8
Note: “The Lord said unto Satan, ‘All that he hath is in thy power.’ ‘Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.’
“Thus permitted, Satan swept away all that Job possessed—flocks and herds, menservants and maidens, sons and daughters; and he ‘smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.’ Job 1:8–12; 2:5–7.” Education, 155
3.d. What did Job’s wife suggest he should do, and what was his response? Job 2:9, 10
Note: “Job was deprived of his worldly possessions, and so afflicted in body that he was abhorred by his relatives and friends; yet he maintained his integrity.” The Acts of the Apostles, 575
3.e. How does Isaiah’s prophecy describe Christ’s attitude before His enemies? Isaiah 53:7. What should we learn from the way this prophecy was fulfilled? Mark 14:60–62
4 ARRAIGNMENT AND CRUCIFIXION
4.a. What was Christ’s response before Pilate’s and Herod’s courts? Matthew 27:11–14; Luke 23:6–9
Note: “Standing behind Pilate, in view of all in the court, Christ heard the abuse; but to all the false charges against Him He answered not a word. His whole bearing gave evidence of conscious innocence. He stood unmoved by the fury of the waves that beat about Him. It was as if the heavy surges of wrath, rising higher and higher, like the waves of the boisterous ocean, broke about Him, but did not touch Him. He stood silent, but His silence was eloquence. It was as a light shining from the inner to the outer man.
“Pilate was astonished at His bearing.” The Desire of Ages, 726
4.b. How did Christ react during His crucifixion? Luke 23:33–47
Note: “Arriving at the place of execution, the prisoners were bound to the instruments of torture. The two thieves wrestled in the hands of those who placed them on the cross; but Jesus made no resistance. The mother of Jesus, supported by John the beloved disciple, had followed the steps of her Son to Calvary. She had seen Him fainting under the burden of the cross, and had longed to place a supporting hand beneath His wounded head, and to bathe that brow which had once been pillowed upon her bosom. But she was not permitted this mournful privilege. …
“The Saviour made no murmur of complaint. His face remained calm and serene, but great drops of sweat stood upon His brow. There was no pitying hand to wipe the death dew from His face, nor words of sympathy and unchanging fidelity to stay His human heart. While the soldiers were doing their fearful work, Jesus prayed for His enemies, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ His mind passed from His own suffering to the sin of His persecutors, and the terrible retribution that would be theirs. No curses were called down upon the soldiers who were handling Him so roughly. No vengeance was invoked upon the priests and rulers, who were gloating over the accomplishment of their purpose. Christ pitied them in their ignorance and guilt. He breathed only a plea for their forgiveness—‘for they know not what they do.’ ” The Desire of Ages, 744
5 PATIENCE—THE RESULT OF JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH
5.a. What is the only way we can develop patience? Romans 5:1–5
Note: “All who stand unshrinkingly in the forefront of the battle must feel the special warfare of Satan against them. As they realize his attacks, they will flee to the Stronghold. They feel their need of special strength from God, and they labor in His strength; therefore the victories they gain do not exalt them, but lead them in faith to lean more securely upon the Mighty One. Deep and fervent gratitude to God is awakened in their hearts, and they are joyful in the tribulation which they experience while pressed by the enemy. These willing servants are gaining an experience and forming a character which will do honor to the cause of God.” Testimonies, Vol. 2, 510
5.b. How does patience promote our missionary efforts? 2 Corinthians 6:3–10
Note: “Patience as well as courage has its victories. By meekness under trial, no less than by boldness in enterprise, souls may be won to Christ. The Christian who manifests patience and cheerfulness under bereavement and suffering, who meets even death itself with the peace and calmness of an unwavering faith, may accomplish for the gospel more than he could have effected by a long life of faithful labor.” The Acts of the Apostles, 465
5.c. What is one identification of God’s remnant people? Revelation 14:12
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 How do you define patience according to the Bible?
2 Why is temperance necessary in developing patience?
3 Summarize the experience of Job.
4 What is written about Christ’s patience?
5 Is patience the cause or result of justification before God?
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