March 20, 2011 – March 26, 2011
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13.
Study Help: The Great Controversy, 662–678; Early Writings, 269–273.
“God will preserve all who walk in the path of obedience.” The Desire of Ages, 126.
1 How does the great controversy between Christ and Satan involve us? I Peter 5:8; Romans 7:14, 15; John 15:5.
Note: “Man is naturally inclined to follow Satan’s suggestions, and he cannot successfully resist so terrible a foe unless Christ, the mighty Conqueror, dwells in him, guiding his desires, and giving him strength. God alone can limit the power of Satan. He is going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it. He is not off his watch for a single moment, through fear of losing an opportunity to destroy souls. It is important that God’s people understand this, that they may escape his snares.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 341.
2 Wherein is our only hope of victory? I Corinthians 15:57; I Peter 5:9; Philippians 4:13; Romans 8:37.
Note: “The example of Christ shows us that our only hope of victory is in continual resistance of Satan’s attacks. He who triumphed over the adversary of souls in the conflict of temptations understands Satan’s power over the race, and has conquered him in our behalf. As an overcomer, He has given us the advantage of His victory, that in our efforts to resist the temptations of Satan we may unite our weakness to His strength, our worthlessness to His merits. And sustained by His enduring might under the strength of temptation, we may resist in His all-powerful name, and overcome as He overcame.” Messages to Young People, 50.
3 Explain one duty we have in the plan of salvation. Ephesians 4:27.
Note: “The tempter can never compel us to do evil. He cannot control minds unless they are yielded to his control. The will must consent, faith must let go its hold upon Christ, before Satan can exercise his power upon us. But every sinful desire we cherish affords him a foothold. Every point in which we fail of meeting the divine standard is an open door by which he can enter to tempt and destroy us. And every failure or defeat on our part gives occasion for him to reproach Christ.
“When Satan quoted the promise, ‘He shall give His angels charge over Thee,’ he omitted the words, ‘to keep Thee in all Thy ways’ [Psalm 91:11]; that is, in all the ways of God’s choosing. Jesus refused to go outside the path of obedience. While manifesting perfect trust in His Father, He would not place Himself, unbidden, in a position that would necessitate the interposition of His Father to save Him from death.” The Desire of Ages, 125.
4 How is God willing to help us if we give our hearts to Him? I Corinthians 10:13; Psalm 50:15; II Peter 1:3, 4.
Note: “Jesus gained the victory through submission and faith in God, and by the apostle He says to us, ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.’ James 4:7, 8. We cannot save ourselves from the tempter’s power; he has conquered humanity, and when we try to stand in our own strength, we shall become a prey to his devices; but ‘the name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.’ Proverbs 18:10. Satan trembles and flees before the weakest soul who finds refuge in that mighty name.” The Desire of Ages, 130, 131.
“What human wisdom cannot do the wisdom of God can do through the surrender of the will, the mind, the soul, the strength, the entire being, to God. His providence can unite hearts in bonds that are of heavenly origin. But the result will not be a mere external interchange of affection in soft and flattering words. There will be a new experience; the loom of heaven weaves with warp and woof finer, yet more firm, than those of earth.” In Heavenly Places, 205.
5 How are we to do our part in overcoming? James 4:7, 8; II Corinthians 7:1; II Peter 1:5–8.
Note: “Will man take hold of divine power, and with determination and perseverance resist Satan, as Christ has given him example in His conflict with the foe in the wilderness of temptation? God cannot save man against his will from the power of Satan’s artifices. Man must work with his human power, aided by the divine power of Christ, to resist and to conquer at any cost to himself. In short, man must overcome as Christ overcame. And then, through the victory that it is his privilege to gain by the all-powerful name of Jesus, he may become an heir of God and joint heir with Jesus Christ. This could not be the case if Christ alone did all the overcoming. Man must do his part; he must be victor on his own account, through the strength and grace that Christ gives him. Man must be a co-worker with Christ in the labor of overcoming, and then he will be partaker with Christ of His glory. …
“It is a sacred duty that we owe to God to keep the spirit pure, as a temple for the Holy Ghost. If the heart and mind are devoted to the service of God, obeying all His commandments, loving Him with all the heart, might, mind, and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves, we shall be found loyal and true to the requirements of heaven.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 32, 33. [Emphasis author’s.]
6 How are we to work out our own salvation? Philippians 2:12, second part, 13; I John 1:7, 9.
Note: “The work of gaining salvation is one of copartnership, a joint operation. There is to be co-operation between God and the repentant sinner. This is necessary for the formation of right principles in the character. Man is to make earnest efforts to overcome that which hinders him from attaining to perfection. But he is wholly dependent upon God for success. Human effort of itself is not sufficient. Without the aid of divine power it avails nothing. God works and man works. Resistance of temptation must come from man, who must draw his power from God. On the one side there is infinite wisdom, compassion, and power; on the other, weakness, sinfulness, absolute helplessness.” The Acts of the Apostles, 482.
7 How do John 5:39, II Corinthians 13:5, and I Peter 1:22 describe what our relationship is to be with God’s word?
Note: “We must search the Scriptures with humble hearts, trembling at the word of the Lord, if we would not be in any way deceived in regard to our true character. There must be persevering effort to overcome selfishness and self-confidence. Self-examination must be thorough, that there be no danger of self-deception. A little catechizing of self on special occasions is not sufficient. Daily examine the foundation of your hope, and see whether you are indeed in the love of Christ. Deal truly with your own hearts, for you cannot afford to run any risk here. Count the cost of being a wholehearted Christian, and then gird on the armor. Study the Pattern; look to Jesus, and be like Him. Your peace of mind, your hope of eternal salvation, depend on faithfulness in this work. As Christians we are less thorough in self-examination than in anything else; it is no wonder, then, that we make such slow advancement in understanding self.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 332, 333.
8 What promise belongs to those who walk in the path of obedience? Number 23:21, 23; II Timothy 2:19, 22; John 14:23.
Note: “If they [the people of God living in these last days] follow after righteousness and true holiness, if they keep all the commandments of God, Satan and his agents will not be permitted to overcome them. All the opposition of their bitterest foes will prove powerless to destroy or uproot the vine of God’s own planting. Satan understands what Balaam learned by sad experience, that there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither divination against Israel, while iniquity is not cherished among them; therefore his power and influence will ever be employed to mar their unity and defile the purity of their characters.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 599.
“Often when Satan has failed of exciting distrust, he succeeds in leading us to presumption. If he can cause us to place ourselves unnecessarily in the way of temptation, he knows that the victory is his. God will preserve all who walk in the path of obedience; but to depart from it is to venture on Satan’s ground. There we are sure to fall. The Saviour has bidden us, ‘Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.’ Mark 14:38.” The Desire of Ages, 126.
9 Explain the details of the Christian’s armor. Ephesians 6:10–18.
10 Name one victor who testified to the success given to those who wear this armor. 11 Timothy 4:7, 8.
11 What should we be doing while the great controversy is being waged? Mark 14:38; Luke 12:37, 38, 40, 42, 43.
Note: “Those who watch for the Lord’s coming are not waiting in idle expectancy. The expectation of Christ’s coming is to make men fear the Lord, and fear His judgments upon transgression. It is to awaken them to the great sin of rejecting His offers of mercy. Those who are watching for the Lord are purifying their souls by obedience to the truth. With vigilant watching they combine earnest working. Because they know that the Lord is at the door, their zeal is quickened to co-operate with the divine intelligences in working for the salvation of souls. These are the faithful and wise servants who give to the Lord’s household ‘their portion of meat in due season.’ Luke 12:42.” The Desire of Ages, 634.
Review and Thought Questions:
1 What are people unable to do unless they are under the control of Christ?
2 Although Satan has conquered humanity, when is he forced to tremble?
3 How do we become coworkers with Christ?
4 What must we do if we do not want to be deceived in regard to our own character?
5 How should we wait for the Lord’s appearing?
©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.