September 18 – 24, 2022
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16
Study Help: The Acts of the Apostles, 47–56
“May the Lord open the closed eyes of His people and quicken their dulled senses, that they may realize that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to them that believe.” Testimonies, Vol. 7, 11, 12
1 THE GOSPEL IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
1.a. What hope was given to our first parents after their fall? Genesis 3:15
Note: “This sentence, uttered in the hearing of our first parents, was to them a promise. While it foretold war between man and Satan, it declared that the power of the great adversary would finally be broken.” The Faith I Live By, 75
1.b. By what means did patriarchs and prophets express their faith in the good news of salvation? Genesis 8:20; 22:7, 8, 13
Note: “The worship of God through sacrificial offerings was established, and those who feared God acknowledged their sins before Him, and looked forward with gratitude and holy trust to the coming of the Day Star, which should guide the fallen sons of Adam to heaven, through repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Thus the gospel was preached in every sacrifice; and the works of the believers continually revealed their faith in a coming Saviour.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 231
2 JOHN THE BAPTIST’S MESSAGE
2.a. When John began his ministry, what was the theme of his message? Matthew 3:1, 2; Luke 3:3–6
Note: “The doctrine that John preached was, first, repentance for past sins; then, ‘the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ They must show repentance toward God; then they would be prepared to show faith in the One who was about to declare Himself unto them.” The Review and Herald, November 28, 1907
2.b. How did John deal with different types of people, and what were the results of his preaching? Luke 3:7–14
Note: “To the self-righteous Pharisees, the priestly Sadducees, King Herod and his court, princes and soldiers, publicans and peasants, John had spoken with equal plainness.” The Desire of Ages, 218
“To those who were untaught in the oracles of God, it was enough for John to say, ‘Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ But when the Baptist saw the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he was stirred to give them a decided message. These men held themselves as a power among the people. Though they held different theories regarding some Bible subjects they were united in their desire to hear the words of the wilderness prophet. Some who came from curiosity, arrested by his words, became interested in the message he was giving, and were moved to be baptized. … Christ was about to appear as the revealer of the character of God. His very presence would make known to men their sin.” The Review and Herald, November 28, 1907
“Many of the scribes and Pharisees came confessing their sins, and asking for baptism. They had exalted themselves as better than other men, and had led the people to entertain a high opinion of their piety; now the guilty secrets of their lives were unveiled. But John was impressed by the Holy Spirit that many of these men had no real conviction of sin. They were timeservers. As friends of the prophet, they hoped to find favor with the coming Prince. And by receiving baptism at the hands of this popular young teacher, they thought to strengthen their influence with the people.
“John met them with the scathing inquiry, ‘O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance … .’ ” The Desire of Ages, 105
3 THE MESSAGE OF JESUS
3.a. As Jesus began His earthly ministry, what was the topic He urged upon the people? Mark 1:14, 15
Note: “[T]he gospel message, as given by the Saviour Himself, was based on the prophecies. The ‘time’ which He declared to be fulfilled was the period made known by the angel Gabriel to Daniel. ‘Seventy weeks,’ said the angel, ‘are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy.’ Daniel 9:24. A day in prophecy stands for a year. See Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6. The seventy weeks, or four hundred and ninety days, represent four hundred and ninety years. … According to the prophecy, this period was to reach to the Messiah, the Anointed One. In A.D. 27, Jesus at His baptism received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and soon afterward began His ministry. Then the message was proclaimed. ‘The time is fulfilled.’ ” The Desire of Ages, 233
3.b. What was the commission then given to the followers of Jesus, which is binding to this very day? Mark 16:15, 16; Matthew 28:18–20; Acts 1:8
Note: “The power of Christ, the crucified Saviour, to give eternal life, should be presented to the people. We should show them that the Old Testament is as verily the gospel in types and shadows as the New Testament is in its unfolding power.” Testimonies, Vol. 6, 392
“The Saviour directed His disciples to begin their work in Jerusalem, and then pass on through Judea and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Only a small proportion of the people accepted the doctrine; but the messengers bore the message rapidly from place to place.” Maranatha, 38
“God has organized His instrumentalities for drawing all men unto Him. As the worker seeks to give to others the light God has given him, the Lord imparts increased light; and doing his best, with an eye single to the glory of God, he realizes the value of souls. As he visits from house to house, opening the Scriptures to those whose understanding is darkened, angels of God will be close beside him to impress the heart of the one who is athirst for the water of life.” The Review and Herald, October 6, 1896
4 BELIEVE THE GOSPEL
4.a. What will be the effect of the gospel on those who by faith accept the provision made for salvation? Luke 5:32; 24:47; 2 Corinthians 7:9, 10
Note: “Sinners, however wicked, abominable, and corrupt, by faith in Him [Jesus] will be purified, made clean, through the doing of His word. The truth will be a savor of life unto life to those who believe, but the same truth will be to the unbeliever a savor of death unto death. Those who reject Christ and refuse to believe the truth, will be filled with bitterness against those who accept Jesus as a personal Saviour. But those who receive Christ are melted and subdued by the manifestation of His love in His humiliation, suffering, and death in their behalf.” The Review and Herald, July 24, 1894
“There is no salvation without repentance. No impenitent sinner can believe with his heart unto righteousness. Repentance is described by Paul as a godly sorrow for sin, that ‘worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of.’ 2 Corinthians 7:10. This repentance has in it nothing of the nature of merit, but it prepares the heart for the acceptance of Christ as the only Saviour, the only hope of the lost sinner.” Faith and Works, 99
4.b. How does Scripture explain the type of belief that we need in order to be saved? James 2:14–20; 1 John 2:4, 5; 3:24
Note: “There are those who profess holiness, who declare that they are wholly the Lord’s, who claim a right to the promises of God, while refusing to render obedience to His commandments. These transgressors of the law claim everything that is promised to the children of God; but this is presumption on their part, for John tells us that true love for God will be revealed in obedience to all His commandments.” The Acts of the Apostles, 562, 563
“The faith in Christ that saves the soul is not what it is represented to be by many. ‘Believe, believe,’ is their cry; ‘only believe in Christ, and you will be saved. It is all you have to do.’ While true faith trusts wholly in Christ for salvation, it will lead to perfect conformity to the law of God. Faith is manifested by works.” Faith and Works, 52
5 THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL
5.a. What is the Bible definition of the gospel, the good news of salvation? Romans 1:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 15:1–4; 2 Timothy 1:8
Note: How does genuine acceptance of the gospel affect people?
“Hanging upon the cross Christ was the gospel. Now we have a message, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ Will not our church members keep their eyes fixed on a crucified and risen Saviour, in whom their hopes of eternal life are centered? This is our message, our argument, our doctrine, our warning to the impenitent, our encouragement for the sorrowing, the hope for every believer. If we can awaken an interest in men’s minds that will cause them to fix their eyes on Christ, we may step aside, and ask them only to continue to fix their eyes upon the Lamb of God. They thus receive their lesson. Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. He whose eyes are fixed on Jesus will leave all. He will die to selfishness. He will believe in all the word of God, which is so gloriously and wonderfully exalted in Christ.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 21, 37
“As Christ’s witnesses we are to bear testimony to its power. We are to bring the afflicted ones to the Saviour. His transforming grace and miracle-working power will win many souls to the truth. His healing power, united with the gospel message, will bring success in emergencies. The Holy Spirit will work upon hearts, and we shall see the salvation of God. In a special sense the healing of the sick is our work.” Evangelism, 544
5.b. From where is the power of the gospel derived, and who will be imbued with that power? Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8; Joel 2:28–30
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 How has the gospel provided salvation to souls throughout history?
2 Why was John the Baptist’s message so powerful?
3 What comes to us when we seek to fulfill the gospel commission?
4 Explain a key component of genuine belief in Christ.
5 What should be our attitude in order to experience the Holy Spirit’s power in its fullness?
Copyright 2000, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.