August 7 – 13, 2022
“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” Acts 3:19
Study Help: Steps to Christ, 12–26, 49–55
“Genuine, saving faith is inseparable from repentance and conversion, and will manifest the fruits of the Spirit. It is a continual, conscious trust in Jesus. The sinner’s only hope is in the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour.” The Review and Herald, November 27, 1883
1 THE REAL HUMAN CONDITION
1.a. How does the word of God describe the spiritual state of an unconverted person? Ephesians 2:1–3; Colossians 2:13
Note: “By nature we are alienated from God.” The Faith I Live By, 87
1.b. What is the condition of all humanity? Romans 3:10–18
Note: “To be without the graces of the Spirit of God is sad indeed; but it is a more terrible condition to be thus destitute of spirituality and of Christ, and yet try to justify ourselves by telling those who are alarmed for us that we need not their fears and pity. Fearful is the power of self-deception on the human mind! What blindness! setting light for darkness and darkness for light!” Testimonies, Vol. 4, 88
“We must have a knowledge of ourselves, a knowledge that results in contrition, before we can find pardon and peace. It is only he who knows himself to be a sinner that Christ can save. We must know our true condition, or we shall not feel our need of Christ’s help. We must understand our danger, or we shall not flee to the refuge. We must feel the pain of our wounds, or we shall not desire healing.” The Signs of the Times, April 9, 1902
2 THE SINNER’S NEED
2.a. What important truth is to be kept in mind, as recorded in the parable of the Pharisee and the publican? Luke 18:10–14; Psalm 51:17
Note: “The publican had gone to the temple with other worshipers, but he soon drew apart from them as unworthy to unite in their devotions. Standing afar off, he ‘would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast,’ in bitter anguish and self-abhorrence. He felt that he had transgressed against God, that he was sinful and polluted. He could not expect even pity from those around him, for they looked upon him with contempt. He knew that he had no merit to commend him to God, and in utter self-despair he cried, ‘God be merciful to me, a sinner.’ He did not compare himself with others.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 151
“When the sinner is conscious of his helpless condition, and feels his need of a Saviour, he may come with faith and hope to ‘the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ Christ will accept the soul who comes to Him in true repentance.” This Day With God, 370
2.b. Why do we need a power outside of ourselves to make us righteous before God? Isaiah 64:6; Job 14:4
Note: “It is impossible for us, of ourselves, to escape from the pit of sin in which we are sunken. Our hearts are evil, and we cannot change them. ‘Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.’ ‘The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.’ Job 14:4; Romans 8:7. Education, culture, the exercise of the will, human effort, all have their proper sphere, but here they are powerless. They may produce an outward correctness of behavior, but they cannot change the heart; they cannot purify the springs of life. There must be a power working from within, a new life from above, before men can be changed from sin to holiness. That power is Christ. His grace alone can quicken the lifeless faculties of the soul, and attract it to God, to holiness.” Steps to Christ, 18
“Salvation is by Jesus Christ, for He alone is our righteousness. Would that everyone would cease to look to himself for merit. We are to find in Jesus Christ all we need, and by cooperating with Him, we shall be complete in Him.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 10, 11
3 SORROW FOR SIN
3.a. What does a person exclaim when he or she realizes their undone condition? Romans 7:24; Psalm 51:1–3. What does true repentance involve? 2 Corinthians 7:10
Note: “Repentance includes sorrow for sin and a turning away from it. We shall not renounce sin unless we see its sinfulness; until we turn away from it in heart, there will be no real change in the life.” Steps to Christ, 23
“Repentance is one of the firstfruits of saving grace. … Repentance is the only process by which infinite purity reflects the image of Christ in His redeemed subjects.” The Signs of the Times, June 28, 1905
3.b. Once we confess our sin and turn away from it, what should we confidently expect? 1 John 1:9; Romans 10:9
Note: “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
“Christ has made every provision for us to be strong. He has given us His Holy Spirit, whose office is to bring to our remembrance all the promises that Christ has made, that we may have peace and a sweet sense of forgiveness. If we will but keep our eyes fixed on the Saviour and trust in His power, we shall be filled with a sense of security; for the righteousness of Christ will become our righteousness.” My Life Today, 45
“If you believe the promise—believe that you are forgiven and cleansed—God supplies the fact; you are made whole, just as Christ gave the paralytic power to walk when the man believed that he was healed. It is so if you believe it.” Steps to Christ, 51 [Emphasis author’s.]
4.a. What gracious invitation is extended to every human being who feels his or her need of salvation? Isaiah 1:18; 55:6, 7
Note: “In the heavenly courts our Saviour stands and extends to the world the gracious invitation, Come, ye weary, ye poor, ye hungry; come, ye burdened, ye heavy laden, sin-sick souls, come.” The Signs of the Times, August 5, 1875
“As the sinner is convicted of sin, he is also attracted by the love and holiness of Christ; for Jesus is drawing him unto Himself. … Repentance is born in the heart by beholding the love of Christ, who gave His life to save the sinner. It is the love of God that softens the hardest hearts.” The Review and Herald, September 3, 1901
“Christ is ready to set us free from sin, but He does not force the will; and if by persistent transgression the will itself is wholly bent on evil, and we do not desire to be set free, if we will not accept His grace, what more can He do?” Steps to Christ, 34 [Emphasis author’s.]
4.b. What danger exists in procrastinating our return to the Lord? Hebrews 3:15; Amos 8:11, 12; Luke 13:25–27
Note: “I will not here dwell upon the shortness and uncertainty of life; but there is a terrible danger—a danger not sufficiently understood—in delaying to yield to the pleading voice of God’s Holy Spirit, in choosing to live in sin; for such this delay really is. Sin, however small it may be esteemed, can be indulged in only at the peril of infinite loss. What we do not overcome, will overcome us and work out our destruction.” Steps to Christ, 32, 33
“A man sees his danger. He sees that he needs a change of character, a change of heart. He is stirred; his fears are aroused. The Spirit of God is working in him, and with fear and trembling he works for himself, seeking to find out his defects of character, and to see what he can do to bring about the needed change in his life. His heart is humbled. By confession and repentance he shows the sincerity of his desire to reform. He confesses his sins to God, and if he has injured anyone, he confesses the wrong to the one he has injured. While God is working, the sinner, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, works out that which God is working in mind and heart. He acts in harmony with the Spirit’s working, and his conversion is genuine.” The Review and Herald, July 7, 1904
5 BORN AGAIN
5.a. Relate the conversation of Jesus with Nicodemus. John 3:1–8. What was the result of that interview?
Note: “Nicodemus received the lesson [that he was to look and live], and carried it with him. He searched the Scriptures in a new way, not for the discussion of a theory, but in order to receive life for the soul. He began to see the kingdom of heaven as he submitted himself to the leading of the Holy Spirit.” The Desire of Ages, 175
5.b. What is the real meaning of being “born again” of water and of the Spirit? John 1:12, 13; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 2 Peter 1:3, 4
Note: “Those who become new creatures in Christ Jesus will bring forth the fruits of the Spirit, ‘love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.’ Galatians 5:22, 23. They will no longer fashion themselves according to the former lusts, but by the faith of the Son of God they will follow in His steps, reflect His character, and purify themselves even as He is pure. The things they once hated they now love, and the things they once loved they hate. The proud and self-assertive become meek and lowly in heart.” Steps to Christ, 58
“Those who experience the work of true conversion in their hearts will reveal the fruits of the Spirit in their lives. Oh, that those who have so little spiritual life would realize that eternal life can be granted only to those who become partakers of the divine nature and escape the corruption that is in the world through lust!” Testimonies, Vol. 9, 155
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 Why is the philosophy of just fostering the “good” in ourselves flawed?
2 In the parable, why was the publican justified and not the Pharisee?
3 What characterizes genuine repentance?
4 What is true conversion?
5 What changes can be seen in those who are born again?
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