February 21, 2010 – February 27, 2010
“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” II Peter 1:10.
Study Help: Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 445–456, especially 450–456.
“Man is elected to work out his own salvation with fear and trembling. He is elected to put on the armor, to fight the good fight of faith.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 454.
1 To what are we told to give diligence, daily diligence, and why? II Peter 1:10.
Note. “If we comply with the conditions the Lord has made, we shall secure our election to salvation. Perfect obedience to His commandments is the evidence that we love God, and are not hardened in sin.
“Christ has a church in every age. There are in the church those who are not made any better by their connection with it. They themselves break the terms of their election. Obedience to the commandments of God gives us a right to the privileges of His church.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1079.
2 Knowing that our salvation is an issue in making our election sure, what are we told to do? Philippians 2:12.
Note. “Every soul is elected who will work out his own salvation with fear and trembling. He is elected who will put on the armor and fight the good fight of faith. He is elected who will watch unto prayer, who will search the Scriptures, and flee from temptation. He is elected who will have faith continually, and who will be obedient to every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. The provisions of redemption are free to all; the results of redemption will be enjoyed by those who have complied with the conditions.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 208.
“Genuine faith always works by love. When you look to Calvary it is not to quiet your soul in the non-performance of duty, not to compose yourself to sleep, but to create faith in Jesus, faith that will work, purifying the soul from the slime of selfishness. When we lay hold of Christ by faith, our work has just begun. Every man has corrupt and sinful habits that must be overcome by vigorous warfare. Every soul is required to fight the fight of faith. If one is a follower of Christ, he cannot be sharp in deal, he cannot be hardhearted, devoid of sympathy. He cannot be coarse in his speech. He cannot be full of pomposity and self-esteem. He cannot be overbearing, nor can he use harsh words, and censure and condemn.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1111.
3 To lay hold on eternal life, to what kind of fight are we called? I Timothy 6:12.
Note. “When we lay hold of Christ by faith, our work has just begun. Every man has corrupt and sinful habits that must be overcome by vigorous warfare. Every soul is required to fight the fight of faith.” Ibid., 1111.
4 The testing or trial of our faith is more precious than what? How are we to be found when Jesus comes? I Peter 1:7.
Note. “Many poor souls are groping in darkness, looking for the feelings which others say they have had in their experience. They overlook the fact that the believer in Christ must work out his own salvation with fear and trembling. The convicted sinner has something to do. He must repent and show true faith.
“When Jesus speaks of the new heart, He means the mind, the life, the whole being. To have a change of heart is to withdraw the affections from the world, and fasten them upon Christ. To have a new heart is to have a new mind, new purposes, new motives. What is the sign of a new heart?—A changed life. There is a daily, hourly dying to selfishness and pride.” Messages to Young People, 71, 72.
5 Since faith is based upon a moral conviction, how is it made perfect? James 2:22. Can faith be dead; if so, how? James 2:17.
Note. “While we must often impress the mind with the fact that the Christian life is a life of warfare, that we must watch and pray and toil, that there is peril to the soul in relaxing the spiritual vigilance for one moment, the completeness of the salvation proffered us from Jesus who loves us and gave Himself that we should not perish but have everlasting life, is to be the theme.
“Day by day we may walk with God, day by day following on to know the Lord, entering into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, laying hold on the hope set before us. If we reach heaven it must be by binding the soul to the Mediator, becoming partakers of the divine nature. Leaning on Christ, your life being hid with Christ in God and led by His Spirit, you have the genuine faith.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 182.
6 Name some works of the flesh. Galatians 5:19–21.
Note. “That which Satan plants in the heart—envy, jealousy, evil surmising, evil speaking, impatience, prejudice, selfishness, covetousness, and vanity—must be uprooted. If these evil things are allowed to remain in the soul, they will bear fruit by which many shall be defiled. Oh, how many cultivate the poisonous plants, that kill out the precious fruits of love and defile the soul!” My Life Today, 179.
7 To overcome corrupt and sinful habits by vigorous warfare is a battle. What does I Timothy 6:12 say?
Note. “Man, fallen man, may be transformed by the renewing of the mind, so that he can ‘prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God’ [Romans 12:2]. How does he prove this? By the Holy Spirit taking possession of his mind, spirit, heart, and character. Where does the proving come in? ‘We are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men’ [I Corinthians 4:9]. A real work is wrought by the Holy Spirit upon the human character, and its fruits are seen.
“Just as a good tree will bear good fruit, so will the tree that is actually planted in the Lord’s garden produce good fruit unto eternal life. Besetting sins are overcome; evil thoughts are not allowed in the mind; evil habits are purged from the soul temple. The tendencies which have been biased in a wrong direction are turned in a right direction. Wrong dispositions and feelings are changed, new principles of action supplied, and there is a new standard of character. Holy tempers and sanctified emotions are now the fruit borne upon the Christian tree. An entire transformation has taken place. This is the work to be wrought.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1080.
8 What is brought into the life of every true believer? I Corinthians 13:4–8.
Note. “Only the love that flows from the heart of Christ can heal. Only He in whom that love flows, even as the sap in the tree or the blood in the body, can restore the wounded soul.
“Love’s agencies have wonderful power, for they are divine. The soft answer that ‘turneth away wrath’ [Proverbs 15:1], the love that ‘suffereth long, and is kind’ [I Corinthians 13:4], the charity that ‘covereth a multitude of sins’ [I Peter 4:8]—would we learn the lesson, with what power for healing would our lives be gifted! How life would be transformed, and the earth become a very likeness and foretaste of heaven!” My Life Today, 179.
9 What character traits should no longer be found in the life of every true believer? Ephesians 4:31, 32.
Note. “We individually have a case pending in the court of heaven. Character is being weighed in the balances of the sanctuary, and it should be the earnest desire of all to walk humbly and carefully, lest, neglecting to let their light shine forth to the world, they fail of the grace of God and lose everything that is valuable. All dissension, all differences and faultfinding, should be put away, with all evil speaking and bitterness.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 279.
“I have this message for you from the Lord: Be kind in speech, gentle in action. Guard yourself carefully, for you are inclined to be severe and dictatorial, and to say rash things. The Lord speaks to you, saying, Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. Harsh expressions grieve the Lord; unwise words do harm. I am charged to say to you, Be gentle in your speech; watch well your words; let no harshness come into your utterances or into your gestures. Bring into all you do and say the fragrance of Christlikeness. Let not natural traits of character mar and spoil your work. You are to help and strengthen the tempted. Let not self appear in rash words. Christ has given His life for the flock, and for all for whom you labor. Let no word of yours balance souls in the wrong direction. In the minister of Christ there must be revealed Christlikeness of character.” Gospel Workers, 163.
10 What promise is given to him that overcomes? Revelation 3:21.
Note. “Here is the beginning of our confidence which we must hold steadfast unto the end. If Jesus resisted Satan’s temptations, He will help us to resist. He came to bring divine power to combine with human effort.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 929.
“But those who are waiting to behold a magical change in their characters without determined effort on their part to overcome sin, will be disappointed. We have no reason to fear while looking to Jesus, no reason to doubt but that He is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto Him; but we may constantly fear lest our old nature will again obtain the supremacy, that the enemy shall devise some snare whereby we shall again become his captives. We are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God that worketh in you to will and to do of His good pleasure. With our limited powers we are to be as holy in our sphere as God is holy in His sphere. To the extent of our ability, we are to make manifest the truth and love and excellence of the divine character. As wax takes the impression of the seal, so the soul is to take the impression of the Spirit of God and retain the image of Christ.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 336, 337.
“There is an election of individuals and a people, the only election found in the word of God, where man is elected to be saved. Many have looked at the end, thinking they were surely elected to have heavenly bliss; but this is not the election the Bible reveals. Man is elected to work out his own salvation with fear and trembling. He is elected to put on the armor, to fight the good fight of faith. He is elected to use the means God has placed within his reach to war against every unholy lust, while Satan is playing the game of life for his soul. He is elected to watch unto prayer, to search the Scriptures, and to avoid entering into temptation. He is elected to have faith continually. He is elected to be obedient to every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, and that he may be, not a hearer only, but a doer of the word. This is Bible election.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 453, 454.
“God has appointed means, if we will use them diligently and prayerfully, that no vessel shall be shipwrecked, but outride the tempest and storm, and anchor in the haven of bliss at last. But if we despise and neglect these appointments and privileges, God will not work a miracle to save any of us, and we will be lost as were Judas and Satan.
“Do not think that God will work a miracle to save those weak souls who cherish evil, who practice sin; or that some supernatural element will be brought into their lives, lifting them out of self into a higher sphere, where it will be comparatively easy work, without any special effort, any special fighting, without any crucifixion of self; because all who dally on Satan’s ground for this to be done will perish with the evildoers. They will be suddenly destroyed, and that without remedy.” Ibid., 453.
Lesson Studies were prepared by Judy Hallingstad of the LandMarks staff. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org .