Bible Study – Christian Temperance

August 21 – 27, 2022

Key Text

“And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” 1 Corinthians 9:25

Study Help: Child Guidance, 394–400


“True temperance teaches us to abstain entirely from that which is injurious, and to use healthful and nutritious articles judiciously.” The Review and Herald, September 23, 1884



1.a.        What is one attribute of the fruit of the Holy Spirit? Galatians 5:22, 23; 2 Peter 1:5, 6. What was one of the points that Paul presented to Felix? Acts 24:25. Is temperance important for us today?

Note: “Temperance in all things of this life is to be taught and practiced. Temperance in eating, drinking, sleeping, and dressing is one of the grand principles of the religious life.” Child Guidance, 394

“We are to practice temperance in all things. If we honor the Lord by acting our part, He will on His part preserve our health. We should have a sensible control of all our organs. By practicing temperance in eating, in drinking, in dressing, in labor, and in all things, we can do for ourselves what no physician can do for us.” Ibid., 397

1.b.        What is the will of God regarding our physical bodies? 3 John 2; Jeremiah 33:6. What was Daniel’s decision regarding eating and drinking, and with what result? Daniel 1:8, 11, 12, 15, 18–20

Note: “The case of Daniel shows us, that, through religious principle, young men may triumph over the lust of the flesh and remain true to God’s requirements, even though it cost them a great sacrifice.” Testimonies, Vol. 4, 570



2.a. What was the original diet given to Adam and Eve and to all animals? Genesis 1:29, 30; 2:9. After the Fall, what was added to the diet of humans? Genesis 3:18

Note: “Not all foods wholesome in themselves are equally suited to our needs under all circumstances. Care should be taken in the selection of food. Our diet should be suited to the season, to the climate in which we live, and to the occupation we follow. Some foods that are adapted for use at one season or in one climate are not suited to another. So there are different foods best suited for persons in different occupations. Often food that can be used with benefit by those engaged in hard physical labor is unsuitable for persons of sedentary pursuits or intense mental application. God has given us an ample variety of healthful foods, and each person should choose from it the things that experience and sound judgment prove to be best suited to his own necessities.” Child Guidance, 386

2.b. What is the appropriate diet for human beings today, and what should be avoided? Psalm 104:14

Note: “Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator. These foods, prepared in as simple and natural a manner as possible, are the most healthful and nourishing. They impart a strength, a power of endurance, and a vigor of intellect that are not afforded by a more complex and stimulating diet.” The Ministry of Healing, 296

“Reason, instead of being the ruler, has come to be the slave of appetite to an alarming extent. An increasing desire for rich food has been indulged, until it has become the fashion to crowd all the delicacies possible into the stomach. Especially at parties of pleasure is the appetite indulged with but little restraint. Rich dinners and late suppers are served, consisting of highly seasoned meats, with rich sauces, cakes, pies, ices, tea, coffee, etc. No wonder that, with such a diet, people have sallow complexions, and suffer untold agonies from dyspepsia.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 149

“[A]lmonds are preferable to peanuts, but peanuts in limited quantities may be used in connection with grains to make nourishing food which can be cared for by the digestive organs. But every soul must experiment for himself.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 21, 285



3.a.        After the Flood there was a temporary change in the diet of humans. What was added to their diet, and with what restrictions? Genesis 9:3, 4; 7:2; Leviticus 3:17

Note: “God gave man no permission to eat animal food until after the Flood. Everything had been destroyed upon which man could subsist, and therefore the Lord in their necessity gave Noah permission to eat of the clean animals which he had taken with him into the ark. But animal food was not the most healthful article of food for man. …

“After the Flood the people ate largely of animal food. God saw that the ways of man were corrupt, and that he was disposed to exalt himself proudly against his Creator and to follow the inclinations of his own heart. And He permitted that long-lived race to eat animal food to shorten their sinful lives. Soon after the Flood the race began to rapidly decrease in size, and in length of years.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 373

3.b.        When God wished to withdraw flesh food from ancient Israel, how did the people react? Numbers 11:4–6; 21:5. Why did the Lord comply with their desire, and what was the result? Ezekiel 14:4; Numbers 11:31–33; 1 Corinthians 10:6

Note: “The Lord intends to bring His people back to live upon simple fruits, vegetables, and grains. He led the children of Israel into the wilderness, where they could not get a flesh diet; and He gave them the bread of heaven. ‘Man did eat angels’ food.’ But they craved the fleshpots of Egypt, and mourned and cried for flesh, notwithstanding that the Lord had promised them that if they would submit to His will He would carry them into the land of Canaan and establish them there, a pure, holy, happy people, and there should not be a feeble one in all their tribes; for He would take away all sickness from among them.” Medical Ministry, 277

“[G]od is trying to lead us back, step by step, to His original design—that man should subsist upon the natural products of the earth. Among those who are waiting for the coming of the Lord, meat eating will eventually be done away; flesh will cease to form a part of their diet. We should ever keep this end in view, and endeavor to work steadily toward it.” Counsels on Health, 450



4.a.        What does the Bible say about alcoholic beverages? Proverbs 20:1; 23:29–32; Isaiah 5:22

Note: “With the awful results of indulgence in intoxicating drink before us, how is it that any man or woman who claims to believe in the word of God, can venture to touch, taste, or handle wine or strong drink? Such a practice is certainly out of harmony with their professed faith.” Temperance, 42

“Governors, senators, representatives, judges, men who enact and administer a nation’s laws, men who hold in their hands the lives, the fair fame, the possessions of their fellows, should be men of strict temperance. Only thus can their minds be clear to discriminate between right and wrong. Only thus can they possess firmness of principle, and wisdom to administer justice and to show mercy. But how does the record stand? How many of these men have their minds beclouded, their sense of right and wrong confused, by strong drink! How many are the oppressive laws enacted, how many the innocent persons condemned to death, through the injustice of drinking lawmakers, witnesses, jurors, lawyers, and even judges!” The Ministry of Healing, 345, 346

“Look at the breweries planted all over the land, to supply to the public that which is a deadly evil. … [W]hat a curse is the liquor to the man who enters [the drinking house] and drinks! The traveler enters the public house with his reason, walking uprightly; but look at him as he leaves; the luster is gone from his eye, his reason is paralyzed, and he reels to and fro like a ship at sea.” The Bible Echo, January 22, 1894

4.b. What express command was given to Aaron and his sons, to Manoah and his wife, and to Zechariah? Leviticus 10:8–10; Judges 13:3, 4, 13, 14; Luke 1:12–15

Note: “The use of spirituous liquors has the effect to weaken the body, confuse the mind, and debase the morals. It prevents men from realizing the sacredness of holy things or the binding force of God’s requirements. All who occupied positions of sacred responsibility were to be men of strict temperance, that their minds might be clear to discriminate between right and wrong, that they might possess firmness of principle, and wisdom to administer justice and to show mercy.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 362



5.a. What do the Holy Scriptures say about our physical bodies? 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17; 6:19, 20

Note: “It is not possible for us to glorify God while living in violation of the laws of life. The heart cannot possibly maintain consecration to God while lustful appetite is indulged. A diseased body and disordered intellect, because of continual indulgence in hurtful lust, make sanctification of the body and spirit impossible. The apostle understood the importance of the healthful conditions of the body for the successful perfection of Christian character.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 44

“God desires that we shall have a care, a regard, and an appreciation for our bodies—the temple of the Holy Spirit.” Healthful Living, 305

5.b. In order to preserve the health of our physical bodies, what counsel is given us? 1 Corinthians 9:24–27; 10:31; 1 Thessalonians 5:23

Note: “All are required to do what they can to preserve healthy bodies and sound minds. If they will gratify a gross appetite, and by so doing blunt their sensibilities, and becloud their perceptive faculties so that they cannot appreciate the exalted character of God, or delight in the study of His word, they may be assured that God will not accept their unworthy offering any sooner than that of Cain.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 49



1    What vital quality makes captive Daniel outshine prestigious Felix?

2    Describe the diet God intends that we partake in these last days.

3    When only in history did God permit the use of flesh food, and why?

4    Why are alcoholic beverages such an evil?

5    Why is the message of health reform so important?

Copyright 2000, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – Christian Perfection

August 14 – 20, 2022

Key Text

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48

Study Help: The Sanctified Life, 80–88


“Perfection alone can meet the standard of heaven. As God Himself is perfect in His exalted sphere, so should His children be perfect in the humble sphere they occupy.” The Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 2, 225



1.a.        What did God declare when His work of creation by forming man in His own image was ended? Genesis 1:31; Ecclesiastes 7:29

Note: “In the beginning God created man in His own likeness. He endowed him with noble qualities. His mind was well-balanced, and all the powers of his being were harmonious. … To bring him back to the perfection in which he was first created, is the great object of life—the object that underlies every other.” Christian Education, 63, 64

“God made man upright; He gave him noble traits of character, with no bias toward evil. He endowed him with high intellectual powers, and presented before him the strongest possible inducements to be true to his allegiance. Obedience, perfect and perpetual, was the condition of eternal happiness. On this condition he was to have access to the tree of life.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 49

1.b.        How do we know that Adam was perfect in every aspect of life? Genesis 2:19, 20; Psalm 8:4–6

Note: “To man, the crowning work of creation, God has given power to understand His requirements, to comprehend the justice and beneficence of His law, and its sacred claims upon him; and of man unswerving obedience is required.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 52



2.a. How far had people gone in their degeneracy when the world was still in its infancy? Genesis 6:5, 11, 12

Note: “[A]fter the Fall, men chose to follow their own sinful desires; and as the result, crime and wretchedness rapidly increased. Neither the marriage relation nor the rights of property were respected. Whoever coveted the wives or the possessions of his neighbor, took them by force, and men exulted in their deeds of violence. They delighted in destroying the life of animals; and the use of flesh for food rendered them still more cruel and bloodthirsty, until they came to regard human life with astonishing indifference.

“The world was in its infancy; yet iniquity had become so deep and widespread that God could no longer bear with it … .” Patriarchs and Prophets, 92

“The inhabitants of the antediluvian world were intemperate in eating and drinking. They would have flesh meats, although God had at that time given man no permission to eat animal food. They ate and drank till the indulgence of their depraved appetite knew no bounds, and they became so corrupt that God could bear with them no longer. Their cup of iniquity was full, and He cleansed the earth of its moral pollution by a flood.” Counsels on Health, 109

2.b. How is the degradation of humanity described by the apostle Paul? Romans 1:21–32

Note: “It is a law of the human mind that by beholding we become changed. Man will rise no higher than his conceptions of truth, purity, and holiness. If the mind is never exalted above the level of humanity, if it is not uplifted by faith to contemplate infinite wisdom and love, the man will be constantly sinking lower and lower. The worshipers of false gods clothed their deities with human attributes and passions, and thus their standard of character was degraded to the likeness of sinful humanity. They were defiled in consequence. … God had given men His commandments as a rule of life, but His law was transgressed, and every conceivable sin was the result. The wickedness of men was open and daring, justice was trampled in the dust, and the cries of the oppressed reached unto heaven.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 91



3.a. What plan was devised in the heavenly courts for the restoration of the human family? Job 33:24, 26–28; Mark 10:45

Note: “The Godhead was stirred with pity for the race, and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit gave Themselves to the working out of the plan of redemption. In order fully to carry out this plan, it was decided that Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, should give Himself an offering for sin.” Counsels on Health, 222

“Adam’s sin plunged the race into hopeless misery; but by the sacrifice of the Son of God, a second probation was granted to man.

“In the plan of redemption a way of escape is provided for all who will avail themselves of it. God knew that it was impossible for man to overcome in his own strength, and He has provided help for him. How thankful we should be that a way is open for us, by which we can have access to the Father; that the gates are left ajar, so that beams of light from the glory within may shine upon those who will receive them!” The Signs of the Times, August 10, 1915

3.b. Despite Satan’s plan to keep the human race entrapped in its fallen state, how did Jesus intervene for our recovery? John 10:27–29; 6:39, 40; Philippians 1:6

Note: “Ever since Adam’s sin, the human race had been cut off from direct communion with God; the intercourse between heaven and earth had been through Christ; but now that Jesus had come ‘in the likeness of sinful flesh’ (Romans 8:3), the Father Himself spoke. He had before communicated with humanity through Christ; now He communicated with humanity in Christ. Satan had hoped that God’s abhorrence of evil would bring an eternal separation between heaven and earth. But now it was manifest that the connection between God and man had been restored.” The Desire of Ages, 116 [Emphasis author’s.]

“That the transgressor might have another trial, that men might be brought into favor with God the Father, the eternal Son of God interposed Himself to bear the punishment of transgression. One clothed with humanity, who was yet one with the Deity, was our ransom. The very earth shook and reeled at the spectacle of God’s dear Son suffering the wrath of God for man’s transgression. The heavens were clothed in sackcloth to hide the sight of the Divine Sufferer.” Lift Him Up, 153



4.a. Once we receive Christ and His truth, what further steps must be taken in order for us to reach perfection? Hebrews 5:12–14; 6:1, 2; 2 Peter 3:18

Note: “Our work is to strive to attain in our sphere of action the perfection that Christ in His life on the earth attained in every phase of character. He is our example. In all things we are to strive to honor God in character. In falling day by day so far short of the divine requirements, we are endangering our soul’s salvation. We need to understand and appreciate the privilege with which Christ invests us, and to show our determination to reach the highest standard. We are to be wholly dependent on the power that He has promised to give us.” Medical Ministry, 253

“As God is perfect in His high sphere of action, so man may be perfect in his human sphere. The ideal of Christian character is Christlikeness. There is opened before us a path of continual advancement. We have an object to reach, a standard to gain which includes everything good and pure and noble and elevated. There should be continual striving and constant progress onward and upward toward perfection of character.” In Heavenly Places, 141

4.b. When Jesus comes, will He make us perfect, or find us already perfect? 1 Corinthians 1:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Ephesians 5:27; 2 Peter 3:14

Note: “When Christ shall come, He will not change the character of any individual. Precious, probationary time is given to be improved in washing our robes of character and making them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Christian Education, 237

“We cannot afford to lose eternal life because we are not willing to separate from the world. Self must be hidden in Christ. Our sight must be filled with a view of His perfection. We must stand wholly on the Lord’s side, remembering the word, ‘We are laborers together with God.’ God desires us to learn in the school of Christ to be meek and lowly in heart. Self is to be crucified, with the affections and lusts. There is no second probation for fallen man. Heaven is not the place for overcoming defects in the character.” The Youth’s Instructor, October 25, 1900



5.a. What wonderful promise is given to those who will have fully purified their heart in the blood of the Lamb? Matthew 5:8; Revelation 7:14, 15; 1 John 3:2, 3

Note: “Jesus declared that the pure in heart should see God. They would recognize Him in the person of His Son, who was sent to the world for the salvation of the human race. Their minds, being cleansed and occupied with pure thoughts, would more clearly discover the Creator in the works of His mighty hand, in the things of beauty and magnificence which comprise the universe.” The Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 2, 208, 209

“The pure in heart live as in the visible presence of God during the time He apportions them in this world. And they will also see Him face to face in the future, immortal state, as did Adam when he walked and talked with God in Eden.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings, 27

5.b. What is the highest goal to be reached by everyone who strives for perfection? 1 Peter 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; Isaiah 25:9

Note: “If we would have eternal life, we must cooperate with God, and thus reach the Bible standard, conforming our characters to the character of our Lord Jesus Christ. … Let every soul strive most zealously during these precious hours of probation, to form the very character that He would wish to have completed and perfected when our Lord comes in power and great glory.” The Youth’s Instructor, September 7, 1893



1    Among all the creatures on earth, in what sense is the human race unique?

2    Why were the Flood and the destruction of Sodom necessary?

3    What is the only hope for our degenerate race?

4    Describe the depth of moral perfection we must attain before Christ returns, and why it is necessary.

5    What does it mean to be pure in heart, in the practical sense?

Copyright 2000, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – Repentance and Conversion

August 7 – 13, 2022

Key Text

“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.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.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.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.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



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?

Copyright 2000, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – Righteousness by Faith

This We Believe (2)

July 31 – August 6, 2022

Key Text

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10

Study Help: Selected Messages, Book 1, 359–369


“Apart from Christ we have no merit, no righteousness. Our sinfulness, our weakness, our human imperfection make it impossible that we should appear before God unless we are clothed in Christ’s spotless righteousness. We are to be found in Him not having our own righteousness, but the righteousness which is in Christ.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 333



1.a.        How did our first parents try to justify themselves after they disobeyed God? Genesis 3:12, 13. How do people excuse their disobedience today?

Note: “Since the fall of Adam, men in every age have excused themselves for sinning, charging God with their sin, saying that they could not keep His commandments. This is the insinuation Satan cast at God in heaven. But the plea, ‘I cannot keep the commandments,’ need never be presented to God; for before Him stands the Saviour, the marks of the crucifixion upon His body, a living witness that the law can be kept. It is not that men cannot keep the law, but that they will not.” The Review and Herald, May 28, 1901

1.b.        What does the Bible declare about self-justification or self-righteousness? Job 9:20; Isaiah 64:6; Luke 16:15

Note: “Whoever trusts in himself that he is righteous, will despise others. As the Pharisee judges himself by other men, so he judges other men by himself.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 151



2.a.        In the experience of Joshua the high priest, what should be done before the change of garment takes place? Zechariah 3:3, 4

Note: “Joshua, who represents God’s people, is clothed in filthy garments, and stands before the angel; but as the people repent before God for the transgression of His law, and reach up by the hand of faith to lay hold on the righteousness of Christ, Jesus says, ‘Take away the filthy garments from them, and clothe them with change of raiment.’ It is through Christ’s righteousness alone that we are enabled to keep the law.” The Signs of the Times, June 2, 1890

“The filthy garments are removed; for Christ says, ‘I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee’ (Zechariah 3:4). The iniquity is transferred to the innocent, the pure, holy, Son of God; and man, all undeserving, stands before the Lord cleansed from all unrighteousness, and clothed with the imputed righteousness of Christ. Oh, what a change of garment is this!” That I May Know Him, 108

“The righteousness of Christ is not a cloak to cover unconfessed and unforsaken sin; it is a principle of life that transforms the character and controls the conduct. Holiness is wholeness for God; it is the entire surrender of heart and life to the indwelling of the principles of heaven.” The Desire of Ages, 555, 556

2.b.        What does the white raiment offered by Jesus represent? Matthew 22:11, 12; Revelation 3:18; 19:8

Note: “By the wedding garment in the parable is represented the pure, spotless character which Christ’s true followers will possess. To the church it is given ‘that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white,’ ‘not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.’ Revelation 19:8, first part; Ephesians 5:27. The fine linen, says the Scripture, ‘is the righteousness of saints’ Revelation 19:8, last part. It is the righteousness of Christ, His own unblemished character, that through faith is imparted to all who receive Him as their personal Saviour.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 310

“The white raiment is purity of character, the righteousness of Christ imparted to the sinner. This is indeed a garment of heavenly texture, that can be bought only of Christ for a life of willing obedience.” Testimonies, Vol. 4, 88



3.a.        What is the definition of justification? Romans 3:25; Colossians 3:13. What is the only way that sinners can be justified before God? Romans 3:24, 26; 5:1; 1 John 1:8, 9

Note: “Justification means the saving of a soul from perdition, that he may obtain sanctification, and through sanctification, the life of heaven. Justification means that the conscience, purged from dead works, is placed where it can receive the blessings of sanctification.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, 908

“Pardon and justification are one and the same thing. Through faith, the believer passes from the position of a rebel, a child of sin and Satan, to the position of a loyal subject of Christ Jesus, not because of an inherent goodness, but because Christ receives him as His child by adoption. The sinner receives the forgiveness of his sins, because these sins are borne by his substitute and surety.” Faith and Works, 103

“Justification is the opposite of condemnation. God’s boundless mercy is exercised toward those who are wholly undeserving.” Ibid., 104

3.b.        Once a man is justified by faith in Christ, what is he to do? John 5:14; 8:11; 15:4. How does God consider a person who annuls His justification by returning to sin? Hebrews 10:26–29

Note: “It is by grace that the sinner is saved, being justified freely by the blood of Christ. But Christ did not die to save the sinner in his sins. The whole world is condemned as guilty before God, for they are transgressors of His holy law; and they will certainly perish unless they repent, turn from their disobedience, and through faith in Christ claim the merits of His precious blood.” The Signs of the Times, July 29, 1886.

“As we look into the divine mirror, the law of God, we see the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and our own lost condition as transgressors. But by repentance and faith we are justified before God, and through divine grace enabled to render obedience to His commandments.” Reflecting Christ, 96

“If the soul whose sins have been forgiven abides in Christ, he remains justified, and he is sanctified by the Holy Spirit; but if he continues in sin, he cuts himself off from communion with God, and, unless he repent, his sins are reckoned unto him in full, and the wrath of God abideth on him. The forgiven of God must abide in Christ, in faith and obedience.” The Review and Herald, December 9, 1890



4.a.        What does the Bible say about perfection of character (sanctification)? Matthew 5:46–48; 1 Thessalonians 5:23

Note: “He who is being sanctified by the truth will be self-controlled, and will follow in the footsteps of Christ until grace is lost in glory. The righteousness by which we are justified is imputed; the righteousness by which we are sanctified is imparted. The first is our title to heaven, the second is our fitness for heaven.” Messages to Young People, 35

“True sanctification comes through the working out of the principle of love. ‘God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.’ 1 John 4:16. The life of him in whose heart Christ abides, will reveal practical godliness. The character will be purified, elevated, ennobled, and glorified. Pure doctrine will blend with works of righteousness; heavenly precepts will mingle with holy practices.” The Acts of the Apostles, 560

“Through the work of the Holy Spirit, the sanctification of the truth, the believer becomes fitted for the courts of heaven; for Christ works within us, and His righteousness is upon us. Without this no soul will be entitled to heaven. We would not enjoy heaven unless qualified for its holy atmosphere by the influence of the Spirit and the righteousness of Christ.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 395

4.b. What is the divine counsel regarding our characters, and how can we achieve His requirements? 1 Peter 1:15, 16; Romans 13:14

Note: “We need constantly a fresh revelation of Christ, a daily experience that harmonizes with His teachings. High and holy attainments are within our reach. Continual progress in knowledge and virtue is God’s purpose for us. His law is the echo of His own voice, giving to all the invitation, ‘Come up higher. Be holy, holier still.’ Every day we may advance in perfection of Christian character.” The Ministry of Healing, 503

“We can keep the law only through making the righteousness of Christ our own. Christ says, ‘Without Me ye can do nothing.’ When we receive the heavenly gift, the righteousness of Christ, we shall find that divine grace has been provided for us, and that human resources are powerless. Jesus gives the Holy Spirit in large measure for great emergencies, to help our infirmities, to give us strong consolation, to illuminate our minds, and purify and ennoble our hearts.” Reflecting Christ, 103



5.a. In order to achieve true sanctification, what is expected from our part? Philippians 2:12, 13; 2 Peter 1:5–11

Note: “If men are willing to be molded, there will be brought about a sanctification of the whole being. The Spirit will take the things of God and stamp them on the soul. By His power the way of life will be made so plain that none need err therein.” The Acts of the Apostles, 53

“What is holiness?—Doing everything with an eye single to the glory of God. Holiness is so living that men shall see your good works, and by seeing them shall glorify God.” The Medical Missionary, October 1, 1893

“We are not to live like the world. We must show that the grace of Christ has a sanctifying influence upon our lives.” The Signs of the Times, March 9, 1888

5.b. What will be the result of constantly looking to Jesus? 2 Corinthians 3:18; Hebrews 12:2; Revelation 3:5; 19:7–9

Note: “A true believer shows that his character has been transformed by living a spiritual life, by living on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. His consecration is shown by the words that fall from his lips and by his zeal in good works.” The Review and Herald, January 25, 1898

“Those who have rendered obedience to God in all ages, have been transformed in character, and in these last days, when iniquity abounds on every hand, our wisdom and understanding before all people will consist in our obedience to the standard of righteousness.” The Signs of the Times, January 6, 1888



1    Why is the habit of self-justification so destructive to our spirituality?

2    How can we obtain the righteousness of Christ?

3    What does “justification” mean?

4    What does “sanctification” mean?

5    How does the righteousness of Christ change our lives, and why must we allow it to do so?

Copyright 2000, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Recipe – Popcorn

The ample dietary fiber and typically low calorie count of popcorn make it easy to understand why many people think of popcorn as a healthy food. And guess what? Properly prepared, it is!

“[Popcorn] … is a whole grain, and high-fiber whole grains have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, and other health problems. Federal dietary guidelines say half of all grains consumed should be whole grains, and popcorn packs more fiber per serving than whole-wheat bread.

“ ‘[Popcorn] is stable. It’s inexpensive. It’s fairly tasty. … Air-popped would be a good way to prepare popcorn because it gives you some control over the seasonings that you add afterward—how much salt, or how much oil …,’ ” said Maya Vadiveloo, an assistant professor in the department of nutrition and food sciences at the University of Rhode Island.

“In addition to fiber, popcorn also is a good source of polyphenols, which are antioxidants that have been linked to better blood circulation and digestive health, as well as a potentially lower risk of certain cancers.

“Another health benefit of popcorn is its high satiety. Because of popcorn’s high fiber content, its low calorie count, and its low energy density, popcorn is considered to be a food that can aid in weight loss. For example, popcorn has been shown to make people feel fuller than a similar calorie amount of potato chips.”

So… start popping!



Use an air popper and drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the kernels as they fall into a deep bowl. When fully popped, sprinkle lightly with salt, nutritional yeast, garlic or onion powder, fresh rosemary, sage, thyme, McKay’s, or any seasoning of your choice.

To Obey God

Late last winter, Steps to Life received a request for baptism from Ryan Grandone, who lives in Montana and heard about our ministry from a friend. Ryan is new to Adventism, but it was clear from our correspondence with him that he had a sincere desire to know and follow the Lord’s will.

Our initial attempt to send him some study materials was thwarted by the enemy of souls, and the package was returned to us as undeliverable. We know that the devil doesn’t want anyone to know and accept the truth or obey the commandments of God, but God intervened, and Ryan eventually received the materials.

Knowing how the devil tries to interfere with our plans, as Ryan puts it, to “get right” with God, he related this experience:

I had been trying to get the Sabbath off permanently at my place of work for quite some time. Since the plant I work for operates 24/7 and is a production facility, this was a problem for my supervisors. I must have given them half a dozen different options that would have worked as far as scheduling goes. They were uninterested in my request and started to ignore me, hoping I would give up.

I knew that I had to have sundown Friday through sundown Saturday off—PERMANENTLY! I started to worry that I would lose my job and was deeply concerned about my future. I couldn’t stop thinking about how I could fix the problem and come up with a solution.

Then I realized that I couldn’t fix the problem. I couldn’t do anything without trusting in God for help! With this realization, I committed in my heart to do whatever I had to do in order to obey God. I walked into my supervisor’s office and told him that if they didn’t seriously look into my request, I was going to find another job.

A short time later I was informed that the company would be creating a new and special position for me. This new position had better hours with every weekend off and would be far easier on me physically. Not only had God provided for me for putting my trust in Him, He made the situation ideal for me. God went above and beyond!

It was a powerful lesson that I will never forget. Praise God Almighty!

“[T]hat He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:16–21

Who Must Give an Account?

Some people believe that when a person dies, life is over for them. Others believe that when a person dies, there will be a future resurrection and then they will have to face judgment. Which view is correct? What is the weight of evidence? Is it true that someday everyone will have to give an account of themselves?

The Bible says that a time is coming when every human being will stand before the judgment seat of God. “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” John 5:28, 29

We read in John 11 that Jesus raised the man Lazarus from the dead. This miracle was not performed in private; in fact, there was a great multitude of witnesses. Lazarus’ sisters, the mourners, and many others who had come to the burial were there, much like we attend our own funeral services today.

“Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.’ Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, ‘Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?’ Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.’ Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth!’ And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Loose him, and let him go.’ Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him.” Verses 39–45

When Jesus came the first time, He came for salvation. He stated it this way to Nicodemus in John 3:17: “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

But when He comes the second time, the Bible repeatedly states that He is coming to bring judgment. At this second coming, each individual will either be saved or lost; and when the judgment seat is set, every human being will have to give an account of himself to God. From the beginning to the end, the Bible assures us that there will be a judgment.

Paul says in Romans 14:12, “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.” Peter says in 1 Peter 4:5, “They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.” Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 32:36, “For the Lord will judge His people … .” We read in Psalm 9:7 that God “has prepared His throne for judgment.” And Psalm 50:3, 4 says, “Our God shall come, and shall not keep silent; a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous all around Him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people.”

In this world, many believe that they can do wrong and get away with it just because no one knows what they have done. But there is Someone who knows. God knows even the most secret things we do. Solomon wrote about this in Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether it is good or whether it is evil.” David had something to say about this as well in Psalm 139:1–4, “O Lord, You have searched me and known me.

“You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.” God understands what you are thinking even before you think it.

Then David says in verses 7–12, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell [the grave], behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall fall on me,’ even the night shall be light about me; indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You.”

It does not matter if it is daytime or nighttime, if you are on land or at sea, no matter where you are David says that the Lord knows. God is watching us and keeping record of what we think, do, and say. Jesus talks about this recordkeeping in Matthew 12:36, 37, “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” God keeps a record of “every secret thing that is done.”

God keeps very good records and we find in the Greek New Testament that “Jesus saw their thoughts.” God knows what we do and what we say, but He also can discern our thoughts before they ever become actions or words. Isaiah 66:18 says, “I know their works and their thoughts. It shall be that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and see My glory.”

We find something very similar in 1 Corinthians 4:5, “Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts.”

When the Bible says, “reveal the counsels of the hearts,” it means that our very thoughts, those that no one has ever known, will be revealed. Jesus said to the disciples, “Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.” Matthew 10:26

In the judgment, every record that God has been keeping, all the things that cannot be hidden from Him—about every person, every society, every church, every nation, every institution, every government, every group of people, and every family—will be made known.

Should this make us afraid of the coming judgment? Jesus says in Matthew 16:24–27, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each, according to his works.”

Notice that the judgment is going to be based upon what we have done in this life. Very many are going to find this distressing when they think of the awful things they have done. They will be wondering what will happen to them. God has been keeping a record of the sins of every individual life and unless that record is expunged, or blotted out, we will be in big trouble.

And that brings us to the gospel, because saving people from their sins is what the gospel is all about. Anything that we have done that is contrary to the law of God must be forgiven and blotted out of our record. John says, “If we confess our sins, He [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. The sins committed in the past and their guilt, along with the power sin has over our lives, can all be taken away.

Paul describes this in detail in Romans 3:23–25: “[F]or all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth to be a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed.”

Being saved, however, involves much more than just having our sins forgiven. While it is necessary for our sins to be forgiven so that we will be found worthy for heaven in the judgment, something more is involved in being saved than simply forgiveness of sins. The Bible says that without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin. Romans 6:23, first part, says, “For the wages of sin is death … .” And Hebrews 9:22, last part, says, “and without shedding of blood there is no remission” of sin. Jesus’ death on the cross, the shedding of His blood, paid the penalty for sin, but, 1 John 1:7 tells us, that “if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from every sin.”

Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” John 3:5. If we are not born of the Holy Spirit, we cannot be saved and will not enter into the kingdom of God. That is why Paul was so emphatic about the fact that the judgment is according to works. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10. Our works have no merit to gain salvation, but our works demonstrate the miraculous change wrought by the Holy Spirit in our hearts.

When a person is brought before a judge in an earthly court of law, his conduct is measured against the standard of the law to determine if he has committed transgression. How does God determine whether what we have done is good or bad? He also has a standard against which our thoughts, deeds, and words are measured. This standard is the law of God.

Many decades after Jesus died on the cross, James tells us clearly that God’s ten commandments, His law, is the standard for His coming judgment. “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘Do not murder.’ Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty.” James 2:10–12

Here James is quoting the sixth and seventh commandments. Even if you keep the whole law, all the commandments, but one, you are a transgressor, guilty of breaking the whole law. The ten commandments are one law—one law with ten parts—and it is by this standard that we all will be judged when Jesus comes.

Paul, writing in Titus 2:11–14, says, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” And Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8. Here is the reason that Jesus died on the cross—that He might redeem us, save us from every lawless deed, and purify us.

So, there are some questions we should be asking ourselves: Am I being purified? Am I being cleansed from my sins by the blood of Jesus? Am I receiving the Holy Spirit so that I now have a new heart and a new mind?

If we are to have lives in harmony with the law of God, then the answers to each of these questions must be Yes. For if we have not been purified and cleansed, if our hearts and minds are the same old, sinful ones we’ve always had, then we are not in harmony with the government and law of God and we will be in trouble on the day of judgment.

To be in harmony with any earthly government, we must be in harmony with the laws of that government. The same holds true of the heavenly government. Many people today make a profession of Christianity, but they have never been born of the Holy Spirit and are therefore not in harmony with the laws of heaven.

Romans 8:1, 2 say, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” But notice then what Paul says in verses 4–9, 14: “[T] hat the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. … For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”

Those who walk according to the law of God and no longer according to the flesh, in the judgment will be judged to be the sons of God. But those simply making a profession of Christianity, who have not been born of the Holy Spirit, who continue in sin, while desiring and hoping to be saved, will be judged out of harmony with God’s government and law and they will be condemned.

Friends, our goal in this life must be to be like Jesus. Christlikeness is the standard of character that we must reach in this life, if we are to be judged worthy of heaven and eternity. We can read this in John 8 and 1 John 3 and in other texts throughout the Bible. “Beloved, now we are the children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” 1 John 3:2

To be ready for Jesus’ second appearing and to be judged worthy of heaven, we must have reached God’s standard of Christlikeness in our lives. This is accomplished only by the wonder-working power of the Holy Spirit. Paul describes those who will make up God’s church on the day of judgment in Ephesians 5:27, “[T]hat He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” This church is ready to meet the Lord when He comes. “And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God.” Revelation 14:5

Someone might think that there is no hope for them, but if we commit our lives to Jesus Christ, He can and will work every miracle that is needed so that we can have the character of Christ formed in our lives just as He wants us to have. “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

God doesn’t do things halfway. If we will commit our lives to Him today, He will complete the work that He has begun in our hearts, just as He promised.

Pastor John J. Grosboll is Director of Steps to Life and pastors the Prairie Meadows Church in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by email at:, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.

Health Nugget – Rest

“He that can take rest is greater than he that can take cities.”

Benjamin Franklin

The Cambridge Dictionary defines rest as “to (cause someone or something) to stop doing a particular activity or stop being active for a period of time in order to relax and get back your strength.”

Rest, composed of sleep, relaxation, reflection, and recreation, is as important to our health and wholeness as air, water, nutrition, and exercise. Proper rest can improve our physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual health.

Relaxation can give us more energy, better sleep, enhanced immunity, increased concentration, better problem-solving skills, greater efficiency, decreased stress, emotional stability, and less headaches and pain.

Rest helps us recover from the work we have done, whether it is our vocation, avocation or training. A day off per week is required to allow bone, muscle, tendons, ligaments, brain, and organs time to recover and repair themselves.

Relaxation gives the heart a rest by slowing the heart rate. This reduces blood pressure and slows the rate of breathing, which reduces the need for oxygen, increases blood flow to the muscles, and decreases muscle tension. Sleep can also maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

Rest keeps us healthy by keeping our immune response functioning properly. Sleep produces molecules that help strengthen our ability to fight infection. These help our cells repair and mend our body when we have been exposed to infectious microorganisms and toxins.

Sleep and rest help our brain repair itself and develop new connections, which are useful when we are learning new skills or adaptations. Memory, focus, concentration, and cognitive function improve with proper sleep and rest. Sleep also reduces the occurrence of mood disorders.

Rest can improve hormone balance. It lowers stress by decreasing abnormal levels of cortisol (stress hormone), increasing alertness, productivity, and general health maintenance. Proper sleep regulates hormones that control appetite and can aid in achieving optimal weight. It also reduces the chances of diabetes.

Rest and relaxation promote restoration and rejuvenation. Proper rest and sleep are critical for overall health and energy. During the day, the chief work of the body is done, but during the night, the body is revived, the muscles are built up, the brain tissue is restored, and the nerves are recharged. For growth and health, a sufficient amount of leisure and rest is essential.

Sleep is essential to maintain a well-balanced mind and healthy body. It allows your body to renew itself and aids in healing. Rest strengthens the immune system and can add years to your life. For healing and cleansing to occur much rest and sleep is needed as these actions are done only while asleep.

If deprived of adequate sleep, great demands are made on your backup energy resources, rendering them unable to rebuild and recharge adequately. If you do this habitually, you can expect to have little resistance to disease and stress and an increase in irritability, while creativity, concentration, and efficiency suffer.

Sleep deprivation impairs judgment, causing values and priorities to change. Continued loss of sleep can result in exhaustion, depression, delusions, paranoia, and hallucinations. Losing as little as three hours of sleep in a single night can cut the effectiveness of your immune system in half.

Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to numerous serious medical conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, inflammation and pain, and even early mortality.

There are a variety of things we can do throughout the day to lay the groundwork for better sleep at night.

  • Engage in active exercise daily to best counteract mental and emotional fatigue.
  • Find an outdoor activity you enjoy and can do every day—sunshine, exercise, and fresh air promote sleep. The sweetest rest follows labor. “The sleep of a laboring man is sweet.” Ecclesiastes 5:12
  • Avoid caffeine, even during the day. It commonly causes insomnia. Avoid sleep aids that suppress REM sleep. Avoid alcohol. Skip TV viewing.
  • Maintain a regular schedule for going to bed and getting up, even on weekends.
  • An empty stomach promotes better sleep. Make evening meals light and eaten well before bedtime.
  • Sleep in a totally dark room. Turn off devices at least two hours before retiring.
  • Don’t rehearse the day’s problems at bedtime. Count your blessings and fill your mind with gratitude and thanksgiving. Take a warm bath. Drink herbal tea.
  • Seek a relationship with God who can bear your anxieties and refresh your spirit. Read the Scriptures. Pray.
  • Science has shown that “one day of rest per week” enhances work performance on the other six. Enjoy a Sabbath rest!

Try magnesium glycinate at the evening meal for physical and mental relaxation. Magnesium relaxes the muscles. Tension in the neck or shoulders and/or muscle twitches as well as leg and foot cramps could indicate a need for magnesium, which is depleted by chronic stress. Studies show that up to 80 percent of the population are low or deficient in magnesium.

Excerpts from;;

“I know that from the testimonies given me from time to time, for brain workers, that sleep is worth far more before than after midnight. Two hours’ good sleep before twelve o’clock is worth more than four hours after twelve o’clock.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 7, 223

“Make it a habit not to sit up after nine o’clock. Every light should be extinguished. This turning night into day is a wretched, health-destroying habit.” Daughters of God, 177

“Give yourselves … give all that are under you the fullest amount of sleep they will take, by compelling them to go to bed at some regular hour, and to rise in the morning the moment they awake; and within a fortnight, nature, with almost the regularity of the rising sun, will unloose the bonds of sleep the moment enough repose has been secured for the wants of the system. This is the only safe and sufficient rule—and as to the question how much sleep one requires, each must be a rule to himself—great Nature will never fail to write it out to the observer under the regulations just given.—Dr. Spicer.” How to Live, 193

The Lord has encouraged us to work six days and rest the seventh. That is His plan for the proper balance between work and rest. “On the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” Genesis 2:2, 3

The ultimate rest is found in Jesus. Leave your burdens with the Lord and accept His peace and forgiveness. “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:29, 30

Morning Glory Cloud

The sky glories in beautiful cloud formations. Three of the most fascinating could be billow clouds, wave clouds and roll clouds.

Billow clouds mimic cresting waves of water. They form where two horizontal winds meet, warmer air over the top of cooler air. The upper layers of warm air, which are moving at very high speeds, pick up the top layer of cloud that is passing through and forms these wave-like rolls. The air then drops like a wave making these clouds look like breaking ocean waves.

The wave or undulating cloud is a distinctive but rare cloud that appears to be rippling waves in the skies. These wave-like structures form on the underside of established clouds and make the overall cloud look like a rough sea surface when they are viewed from below.

Most spectacular of all clouds are roll clouds. Roll clouds are a low tubular cloud formation stretching from horizon to horizon. The cloud formation is natural, but incredibly rare. They are typically found along coastal regions resulting from a sea breeze or cold front.

The longest known roll cloud is called the Morning Glory because it always appears at dawn. The southern part of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland, Australia, is the only known location where Morning Glory clouds can be regularly observed and forecast with some degree of accuracy due to the configuration of land and sea and orientation to the wind in the area. From late September to early November, the sky develops strange rolls of clouds. These clouds form in a series of bands that can be up to 620 miles long, only 300 to 600 feet above the ground and can move at speeds up to 37 miles per hour.

The Cape York Peninsula extends north between the Gulf of Carpentaria to the west and the Coral Sea to the east. During the day, the breeze from the Coral Sea coast blows in from the east and the breeze from the gulf blows in from the west. The two breezes collide over inland parts of the peninsula, forcing the air to rise where they form a line of clouds over the spine of the peninsula. When night falls, the air cools and descends, meeting a surface inversion which forms over the gulf. The densities in this stable layer are different above and below the inversion.

The air descending from the peninsula to the east goes underneath the inversion layer and this generates a series of waves or rolling cylinders which travel across the gulf. These cylinders of air roll along the underside of the inversion layer, so that the air rises at the front of the wave and sinks at the rear. As day breaks, the air is saturated enough so that the rising air in the front produces the cloud, which forms the leading edge of the cylinder, and evaporates in the back, hence forming the full Morning Glory roll cloud. The cloud lasts until the surface inversion disappears with the heating of the day.

Morning Glory clouds can appear as one solitary cloud or more frequently as successive waves of up to ten, strung out like rope lines across the landscape. Technically, this makes the Morning Glory the world’s biggest wave.

Taken from Wonder World – Roll Clouds – Clouds That Look a Tidal Wave; Glory Cloud

“God’s glory in the heavens, the innumerable worlds in their orderly revolutions, ‘the balancings of the clouds’ (Job 37:16), the mysteries of light and sound, of day and night—all were objects of study by the pupils of earth’s first school.” Child Guidance, 45

It is Well With My Soul

Imagine that everything in your life is just perfect. You’ve met and married your soulmate and have beautiful children and a thriving career. Life is grand and it would seem to be pretty easy to say to God, “It is well with my soul.”

But now imagine that peace and joy is taken away and all that remains is you and your spouse, grief-stricken and hearts broken. Would you then find it as easy to say those same words?

The words of this beautiful and moving hymn were written by Horatio Gates Spafford in 1873. A devout Presbyterian church elder, Horatio placed his trust in God, much like Job, during times of prosperity as well as calamity. He immersed himself in the Scriptures and lived a joyous life for many years. He was a successful attorney who owned several real estate properties throughout the city of Chicago. He and his beloved wife Anna had four beautiful daughters.

But faith, no matter how strong, does not spare us from adversity.

Just as Horatio was at the pinnacle of his professional and financial success, things began to change. In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed nearly every real estate investment Horatio owned.

In 1873, to benefit Anna’s health, Horatio sent her and their daughters, Annie (12), Maggie (7), Bessie (4), and Tanetta (18 months), to Paris aboard the S.S. Ville du Havre, intending to join them after wrapping up some last-minute business in Chicago. But on November 21, the ocean liner on which Anna and their daughters were traveling was struck by the Lochearn, a British iron sailing ship, and sank in twelve minutes. Anna was saved by the crew of the Lochearn, but all four of their daughters were lost. The Trimountain arrived and transported the survivors to Cardiff, Wales, where Anna was able to send to Horatio the heart-wrenching telegram, “Saved alone. What shall I do?”

Immediately Horatio left Chicago to bring Anna home. During the crossing, the captain of the ship called Horatio to his cabin to tell him that they were passing over the spot where the Ville du Havre had gone down, taking with it his daughters. It was here that he put his pen to paper and this timeless hymn was born.

After the tragic loss of their daughters, they were blessed with two more daughters, Bertha and Grace, and two sons, Horatio and Jacob. However, Horatio died at the age of four in 1880.

The original manuscript of It Is Well With My Soul had only four verses, but a fifth verse was later added and the last line of the original song was modified. The tune was composed in 1876 by Philip Bliss, an American composer and well-known hymn writer. He titled the tune after the ship on which the Spafford daughters died, Ville du Havre.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows, like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
“It is well, it is well with my soul.”

 Though Satan should buffet, though’ trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

 My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought;
My sin not in part but in whole,
Is nailed to His cross and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, oh, my soul.

 For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life,
Thou will whisper Thy peace to my soul.

 And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll,
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
“Even so” it is well with my soul.


It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him.” Psalm 62:5

Taken from The Library of Congress/The American Colony in Jerusalem: Family Tragedy; Wikipedia