Bible Study – Christ’s Intercession

April 23 – 29, 2023

Key Text

“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 423–432; 479–491


“God is approached through Jesus Christ, the Mediator, the only way through which He forgives sins.” The Faith I Live By, 102



1.a. Since His resurrection and ascension, what has Christ been doing in behalf of His people? Hebrews 7:25

 Note: “Not as a mere petitioner does the Captain of our salvation intercede for us, but as a Conqueror claiming His victory. …

“Christ has pledged Himself to be our substitute and surety, and He neglects no one. He who could not see human beings exposed to eternal ruin without pouring out His soul unto death in their behalf, will look with pity and compassion upon every soul who realizes that he cannot save himself.

“He will look upon no trembling suppliant without raising him up. He who through His own atonement provided for man an infinite fund of moral power, will not fail to employ this power in our behalf.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 156, 157

“God cannot forgive sins at the expense of His justice, His holiness, and His truth. But He does forgive sins and that fully. There are no sins He will not forgive in and through the Lord Jesus Christ.” The Faith I Live By, 102

1.b. What should we realize in considering Christ’s intercession for us? Hebrews 10:7–13

Note: “The work of Christ in the sanctuary above, presenting His own blood each moment before the mercy seat, as He makes intercession for us, should have its full impression upon the heart, that we may realize the worth of each moment.” Counsels on Sabbath School Work, 111



2.a. How can we be sure of our acceptance before God? Romans 3:21–26, 28; 5:1, 2

 Note: “As the high priest sprinkled the warm blood upon the mercy seat while the fragrant cloud of incense ascended before God, so, while we confess our sins and plead the efficacy of Christ’s atoning blood, our prayers are to ascend to heaven, fragrant with the merits of our Saviour’s character. Notwithstanding our unworthiness, we are to remember that there is One who can take away sin, and who is willing and anxious to save the sinner. With His own blood He paid the penalty for all wrongdoers. Every sin acknowledged before God with a contrite heart, He will remove.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, 970

“That blood alone is efficacious. It alone can make propitiation for our sins. It is the blood of the only-begotten Son of God that is of value for us that we may draw nigh unto God, His blood alone that taketh ‘away the sin of the world.’ Morning and evening the heavenly universe behold every household that prays, and the angel with the incense, representing the blood of the atonement, finds access to God.” Ibid., 971

2.b. How can our prayers be answered? Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:24; John 14:12–14

 Note: “The religious services, the prayers, the praise, the penitent confession of sin ascend from true believers as incense to the heavenly sanctuary, but passing through the corrupt channels of humanity, they are so defiled that unless purified by blood, they can never be of value with God. They ascend not in spotless purity, and unless the Intercessor, who is at God’s right hand, presents and purifies all by His righteousness, it is not acceptable to God. All incense from earthly tabernacles must be moist with the cleansing drops of the blood of Christ. He holds before the Father the censer of His own merits, in which there is no taint of earthly corruption. He gathers into this censer the prayers, the praise, and the confessions of His people, and with these He puts His own spotless righteousness. Then, perfumed with the merits of Christ’s propitiation, the incense comes up before God wholly and entirely acceptable. Then gracious answers are returned.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 344



3.a. What are the conditions for our sins to be blotted out? Acts 3:19; 1 John 1:9

 Note: “Oh, let us live wholly for the Lord and show by a well-ordered life and godly conversation that we have been with Jesus and are His meek and lowly followers. We must work while the day lasts, for when the dark night of trouble and anguish comes, it will be too late to work for God. Jesus is in His holy temple and will now accept our sacrifices, our prayers, and our confessions of faults and sins and will pardon all the transgressions of Israel, that they may be blotted out before He leaves the sanctuary. When Jesus leaves the sanctuary, then they who are holy and righteous will be holy and righteous still; for all their sins will then be blotted out, and they will be sealed with the seal of the living God. But those that are unjust and filthy will be unjust and filthy still; for then there will be no Priest in the sanctuary to offer their sacrifices, their confessions, and their prayers before the Father’s throne. Therefore what is done to rescue souls from the coming storm of wrath must be done before Jesus leaves the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary.” Early Writings, 48

 3.b. What is the role of repentance and confession in regard to the blotting out of sins? Proverbs 28:13; Acts 26:20

 Note: “In the time of trouble, if the people of God had unconfessed sins to appear before them while tortured with fear and anguish, they would be overwhelmed; despair would cut off their faith, and they could not have confidence to plead with God for deliverance. But while they have a deep sense of their unworthiness, they will have no concealed wrongs to reveal. Their sins will have been blotted out by the atoning blood of Christ, and they cannot bring them to remembrance.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 202

“There must be a reformation. The plowshare of truth must plow deep furrows in our proud hearts, and tear up the sod of our unsanctified natures, that the Spirit and love of Jesus may be planted in our hearts. Time is fast hastening on, and every work will soon be brought into judgment, and either our sins or our names will be blotted out of the book of life.” The Youth’s Instructor, January 13, 1898



4.a. What is true repentance? Give an example. Psalms 32:1–5; 51:1–7

 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. …

“But when the heart yields to the influence of the Spirit of God, the conscience will be quickened, and the sinner will discern something of the depth and sacredness of God’s holy law, the foundation of His government in heaven and on earth. … Conviction takes hold upon the mind and heart. The sinner has a sense of the righteousness of Jehovah and feels the terror of appearing, in his own guilt and uncleanness, before the Searcher of hearts. He sees the love of God, the beauty of holiness, the joy of purity; he longs to be cleansed and to be restored to communion with Heaven.

“The prayer of David after his fall, illustrates the nature of true sorrow for sin. His repentance was sincere and deep. There was no effort to palliate his guilt; no desire to escape the judgment threatened, inspired his prayer. David saw the enormity of his transgression; he saw the defilement of his soul; he loathed his sin. It was not for pardon only that he prayed, but for purity of heart. He longed for the joy of holiness—to be restored to harmony and communion with God. …

“A repentance such as this, is beyond the reach of our own power to accomplish; it is obtained only from Christ, who ascended up on high and has given gifts unto men.” Steps to Christ, 23–25

4.b. What is the sure result of true repentance? Give an example. Luke 19:9; Ezekiel 33:14, 15

 Note: “Zacchaeus … felt that he was a sinner in the sight of God. Yet what he had heard of Jesus kindled hope in his heart. Repentance, reformation of life, was possible, even to him. … Zacchaeus began at once to follow the conviction that had taken hold upon him, and to make restitution to those whom he had wronged.” The Desire of Ages, 553

“No repentance is genuine that does not work reformation. 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.” Ibid., 555, 556



5.a. What is written about confession? Leviticus 5:5; Psalm 32:5; James 5:16

 Note: “Confession of sin, whether public or private, should be heartfelt and freely expressed. It is not to be urged from the sinner. It is not to be made in a flippant and careless way, or forced from those who have no realizing sense of the abhorrent character of sin. …

“True confession is always of a specific character, and acknowledges particular sins. They may be of such a nature as to be brought before God only; they may be wrongs that should be confessed to individuals who have suffered injury through them; or they may be of a public character, and should then be as publicly confessed. But all confession should be definite and to the point, acknowledging the very sins of which you are guilty.” Steps to Christ, 38

5.b. Why will confessions after the close of probation be of no use or value? Luke 13:27, 28. Give examples. Joshua 7:20, 21; Matthew 27:3, 4

 Note: “Confessions will be made by the guilty when they stand before the bar of God, after every case has been decided for life or death. The consequences to result to himself will draw from each an acknowledgment of his sin. It will be forced from the soul by an awful sense of condemnation and a fearful looking for of judgment. But such confessions cannot save the sinner. …

“When the records of heaven shall be opened, the Judge will not in words declare to man his guilt, but will cast one penetrating, convicting glance, and every deed, every transaction of life, will be vividly impressed upon the memory of the wrongdoer.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 498



1    What position does Christ hold while He is interceding in behalf of His people?

2    What is the only way our prayers can be answered?

3    What must we do so that our sins may be blotted out?

4    What is true repentance?

5    What confessions are acceptable before God?

 Copyright 2005, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – Christ’s Resurrection

April 16 – 22, 2023

Key Text

“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 779–795; The Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 3, 198–206


“Only He who is one with God could say, I have power to lay down My life, and I have power to take it again. In His divinity, Christ possessed the power to break the bonds of death.” The Desire of Ages, 785



1.a. What happened after Christ had rested the Sabbath day in the tomb? Matthew 28:1–4

Note: “The angel approached the grave, and rolling away the stone as if it had been a pebble, he sat upon it. Then his voice was heard, Son of God, come forth; thy Father calls Thee; and Jesus came forth from the grave with the step of a mighty conqueror.” The Youth’s Instructor, July 28, 1898

“This was He who had been nailed to the cross. … Mountains piled upon mountains over His sepulcher could not have prevented Him from coming forth.” The Desire of Ages, 780, 781

1.b. What message did the women receive? Matthew 28:5–8

Note: “With combined wisdom and tenderness, the angels reminded the women of the words of Jesus, warning them beforehand of His crucifixion and resurrection. The women now fully comprehended the words of their Master, which at the time were veiled in mystery to them. They gathered fresh hope and courage.” The Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 3, 200



2.a. What took place at the death and resurrection of Christ? Matthew 27:51, 52

Note: “As Christ arose, He brought from the grave a multitude of captives. The earthquake at His death had rent open their graves, and when He arose, they came forth with Him. They were those who had been colaborers with God, and who at the cost of their lives had borne testimony to the truth. Now they were to be witnesses for Him who had raised them from the dead.

“During His ministry, Jesus had raised the dead to life. He had raised the son of the widow of Nain, and the ruler’s daughter and Lazarus. But these were not clothed with immortality. After they were raised, they were still subject to death. But those who came forth from the grave at Christ’s resurrection were raised to everlasting life. They ascended with Him as trophies of His victory over death and the grave. These, said Christ, are no longer the captives of Satan; I have redeemed them. I have brought them from the grave as the firstfruits of My power, to be with Me where I am, nevermore to see death or experience sorrow.” The Desire of Ages, 786

“In this scene of the resurrection of the Son of God is given a lively image of the glory that will be revealed at the general resurrection of the just at the second appearing of Christ in the clouds of heaven. Then the dead that are in their graves shall hear His voice and come forth to life; and not only the earth, but the heavens themselves, shall be shaken. A few graves were opened at the resurrection of Christ; but at His second coming all the precious dead, from righteous Abel to the last saint that dies, shall awake to glorious, immortal life.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, 1110

2.b. What did the resurrected ones do? Matthew 27:53

Note: “These went into the city, and appeared unto many, declaring, Christ has risen from the dead, and we be risen with Him. Thus was immortalized the sacred truth of the resurrection. The risen saints bore witness to the truth of the words, ‘Thy dead men shall live, together with My dead body shall they arise.’ Their resurrection was an illustration of the fulfillment of the prophecy, ‘Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.’ Isaiah 26:19.” The Desire of Ages, 786



3.a. What kind of report did the Roman guards take to the Jewish priests? Matthew 28:11 

Note: “At sight of the angels and the glorified Saviour the Roman guard had fainted and become as dead men. When the heavenly train was hidden from their view, they arose to their feet, and as quickly as their trembling limbs could carry them, made their way to the gate of the garden. Staggering like drunken men, they hurried on to the city, telling those whom they met the wonderful news. They were making their way to Pilate, but their report had been carried to the Jewish authorities, and the chief priests and rulers sent for them to be brought first into their presence. A strange appearance those soldiers presented. Trembling with fear, their faces colorless, they bore testimony to the resurrection of Christ. The soldiers told all, just as they had seen it; they had not had time to think or speak anything but the truth. With painful utterance they said, It was the Son of God who was crucified; we have heard an angel proclaiming Him as the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory.” The Desire of Ages, 781

3.b. What was the attitude of the priests? Why did the priests fear the report in regard to Christ’s resurrection? Matthew 28:11–15 

Note: “The priests overreached themselves. How could the soldiers say that the disciples had stolen the body while they slept? If they were asleep, how could they know? And if the disciples had been proved guilty of stealing Christ’s body, would not the priests have been first to condemn them? Or if the sentinels had slept at the tomb, would not the priests have been foremost in accusing them to Pilate?

“The soldiers were horrified at the thought of bringing upon themselves the charge of sleeping at their post. This was an offense punishable with death. Should they bear false witness, deceiving the people, and placing their own lives in peril? Had they not kept their weary watch with sleepless vigilance? How could they stand the trial, even for the sake of money, if they perjured themselves?

“In order to silence the testimony they feared, the priests promised to secure the safety of the guard, saying that Pilate would not desire to have such a report circulated any more than they did. The Roman soldiers sold their integrity to the Jews for money.” The Desire of Ages, 782



4.a. How did the disciples react when they heard the good news of Christ’s resurrection, and why? Luke 24:10–12; John 20:9

Note: “While the Saviour was in God’s presence, receiving gifts for His church, the disciples thought upon His empty tomb, and mourned and wept. The day that was a day of rejoicing to all heaven was to the disciples a day of uncertainty, confusion, and perplexity. Their unbelief in the testimony of the women gives evidence of how low their faith had sunk. The news of Christ’s resurrection was so different from what they had anticipated that they could not believe it. It was too good to be true, they thought.” The Desire of Ages, 790

“Trouble seemed crowding upon trouble. On the sixth day of the week they had seen their Master die; on the first day of the next week they found themselves deprived of His body, and they were accused of having stolen it away. …

“And all the time they might have been rejoicing in the knowledge of a risen Saviour. In the garden, Mary had stood weeping, when Jesus was close beside her. Her eyes were so blinded by tears that she did not discern Him. And the hearts of the disciples were so full of grief that they did not believe the angels’ message or the words of Christ Himself.” Ibid., 794

4.b. How can our own attitude, often similar to Mary’s, improve? John 20:11–13

Note: “How many are still doing what these disciples did! How many echo Mary’s despairing cry, ‘They have taken away the Lord, … and we know not where they have laid Him’! To how many might the Saviour’s words be spoken, ‘Why weepest thou? whom seekest thou?’ He is close beside them, but their tear-blinded eyes do not discern Him. He speaks to them, but they do not understand.

“Oh that the bowed head might be lifted, that the eyes might be opened to behold Him, that the ears might listen to His voice! ‘Go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen.’ Bid them look not to Joseph’s new tomb, that was closed with a great stone, and sealed with the Roman seal. Christ is not there. Look not to the empty sepulcher. Mourn not as those who are hopeless and helpless. Jesus lives, and because He lives, we shall live also. From grateful hearts, from lips touched with holy fire, let the glad song ring out, Christ is risen!” The Desire of Ages, 794



5.a. By what method did Christ unveil the key prophecies His emotionally-overwhelmed disciples needed to understand? Luke 24:13–27

5.b. What far-reaching results stem from the resurrection of Christ? 1 Corinthians 15:13–19, 51–58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18

Note: “We read in the Bible about the resurrection of Christ from the dead; but do we act as though we believed it? Do we believe that Jesus is a living Saviour, that He is not in Joseph’s new tomb, with the great stone rolled before it, but that He has risen from the dead, and ascended on high, to lead captivity captive, and to give good gifts unto men? He is there to plead our cases in the courts of heaven. He is there because we need a friend in the heavenly court, One who is to be our advocate and intercessor. Then let us rejoice in this. We have everything for which to praise God. Many judge of their religious state by their emotions; but these are not a safe criterion. Our Christian life does not depend upon our feelings, but upon our having a right hold from above. We must believe the words of God just as He has spoken them; we must take Christ at His word, believe that He came to represent the Father, and that the Father, as is represented in Christ, is our friend, and that He desires not that we should perish, or He would never have given His Son to die our sacrifice. The cross of Calvary is an eternal pledge to every one of us, that God wants us to be happy, not only in the future life but in this life.” The Review and Herald, March 8, 1892



1    What impact did the news about the resurrection of Christ have upon the disciples?

2    Besides the women, who else helped to spread the good news?

3    What was the reaction of the Jewish leaders?

4    What is the role of Christ’s resurrection in our salvation?

5    What is the meaning of Christ’s resurrection to me?

Copyright 2005, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – Christ’s Death on the Cross

April 9 – 15, 2023

Key Text

“But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 741–764


“For the purpose of redeeming a lost world, the divine Son of God had endured the cross, despising the shame, and had ascended to heaven triumphant over death and the grave.” The Acts of the Apostles, 436



1.a. When did Christ offer Himself to die for our salvation? Revelation 13:8

Note: “The plan for our redemption was not an afterthought, a plan formulated after the fall of Adam. It was a revelation of ‘the mystery which hath been kept in silence through times eternal.’ Romans 16:25, R. V. It was an unfolding of the principles that from eternal ages have been the foundation of God’s throne. From the beginning, God and Christ knew of the apostasy of Satan, and of the fall of man through the deceptive power of the apostate. God did not ordain that sin should exist, but He foresaw its existence, and made provision to meet the terrible emergency. So great was His love for the world, that He covenanted to give His only-begotten Son.” The Desire of Ages, 22

1.b. When man sinned, what typical sacrifice was offered? Genesis 4:4

Note: “To Adam, the offering of the first sacrifice was a most painful ceremony. His hand must be raised to take life, which only God could give. It was the first time he had ever witnessed death, and he knew that had he been obedient to God, there would have been no death of man or beast.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 68



2.a. How did God reveal the plan of salvation to Abraham? Genesis 22:12, 13

Note: “It was to impress Abraham’s mind with the reality of the gospel, as well as to test his faith, that God commanded him to slay his son. The agony which he endured during the dark days of that fearful trial was permitted that he might understand from his own experience something of the greatness of the sacrifice made by the infinite God for man’s redemption. No other test could have caused Abraham such torture of soul as did the offering of his son. God gave His Son to a death of agony and shame. The angels who witnessed the humiliation and soul anguish of the Son of God were not permitted to interpose, as in the case of Isaac. There was no voice to cry, ‘It is enough.’ To save the fallen race, the King of glory yielded up His life. What stronger proof can be given of the infinite compassion and love of God? ‘He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?’ Romans 8:32.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 154

2.b. What prophetic description did Isaiah make about Christ? Isaiah 53:6, 7

Note: “The Holy Spirit through Isaiah, taking up the illustration, prophesied of the Saviour, ‘He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter,’ ‘and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all’ (Isaiah 53:7, 6); but the people of Israel had not understood the lesson. Many of them regarded the sacrificial offerings much as the heathen looked upon their sacrifices—as gifts by which they themselves might propitiate the Deity. God desired to teach them that from His own love comes the gift which reconciles them to Himself.” The Desire of Ages, 112, 113

“The Majesty of heaven was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and amid scoffing and jeers, ridicule and false accusation, He was nailed to the cross. The crowd, in whose hearts humanity seemed to be dead, sought to aggravate the cruel sufferings of the Son of God by their revilings. But as a sheep before His shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth. He was giving His life for the life of the world, that all who believed in Him should not perish.” The Upward Look, 90


3 CHRIST, THE LAMB OF GOD (continued)

3.a. How did John the Baptist introduce Christ to the people? John 1:29, 36

Note: “John had been deeply moved as he saw Jesus bowed as a suppliant, pleading with tears for the approval of the Father. As the glory of God encircled Him, and the voice from heaven was heard, John recognized the token which God had promised. He knew that it was the world’s Redeemer whom he had baptized. The Holy Spirit rested upon him, and with outstretched hand pointing to Jesus, he cried, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ ” The Desire of Ages, 112

3.b. How did Peter describe the price of our redemption? 1 Peter 1:18, 19

Note: “In Christ dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead. But the only way in which He could reach men was to veil His glory by a garb of humanity. The angels beheld the hiding of His glory, that divinity might touch humanity. Christ ever retained the utmost hatred for sin, but He loved the purchase of His blood. He suffered in the place of sinful men, taking them into union with Himself.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, 904

“Men need to understand that Deity suffered and sank under the agonies of Calvary. Yet Jesus Christ whom God gave for the ransom of the world purchased the church with His own blood. The Majesty of heaven was made to suffer at the hands of religious zealots, who claimed to be the most enlightened people upon the face of the earth. …

“We are not to praise the gospel, but praise Christ. We are not to worship the gospel, but the Lord of gospel. Christ is a perfect representation of God on the one hand, and a perfect specimen of sinless humanity on the other hand. Thus He has combined divinity and humanity.” Ibid., 907

“In Christ dwelt the fullness of the Godhead bodily. This is why, although He was tempted in all points like as we are, He stood before the world, from His first entrance into it, untainted by corruption, though surrounded by it. Are we not also to become partakers of that fullness, and is it not thus, and thus only, that we can overcome as He overcame?” Our High Calling, 364



4.a. What did the cross mean to the apostle Paul? 1 Corinthians 1:18

4.b. What was the main subject of Paul’s preaching? 1 Corinthians 1:22–24

Note: “To the minds of multitudes living at the present time, the cross of Calvary is surrounded by sacred memories. Hallowed associations are connected with the scenes of the crucifixion. But in Paul’s day the cross was regarded with feelings of repulsion and horror. To uphold as the Saviour of mankind one who had met death on the cross, would naturally call forth ridicule and opposition.

“Paul well knew how his message would be regarded by both the Jews and the Greeks of Corinth. ‘We preach Christ crucified,’ he admitted, ‘unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness.’ 1 Corinthians 1:23. Among his Jewish hearers there were many who would be angered by the message he was about to proclaim. In the estimation of the Greeks his words would be absurd folly. He would be looked upon as weak-minded for attempting to show how the cross could have any connection with the elevation of the race or the salvation of mankind.

“But to Paul the cross was the one object of supreme interest. Ever since he had been arrested in his career of persecution against the followers of the crucified Nazarene he had never ceased to glory in the cross. At that time there had been given him a revelation of the infinite love of God, as revealed in the death of Christ; and a marvelous transformation had been wrought in his life, bringing all his plans and purposes into harmony with heaven. From that hour he had been a new man in Christ. He knew by personal experience that when a sinner once beholds the love of the Father, as seen in the sacrifice of His Son, and yields to the divine influence, a change of heart takes place, and henceforth Christ is all and in all.” The Acts of the Apostles, 245

“Under the inspiration of the Spirit, the apostle Paul represents Christians as those who have purified their souls in obeying the truth. Just in accordance with the faith and love we bring into our work will be the power brought into it. No man can create faith. The Spirit operating upon and enlightening the human mind, creates faith in God. In the Scriptures faith is stated to be the gift of God, powerful unto salvation, enlightening the hearts of those who search for truth as for hidden treasure.” The General Conference Bulletin, April 1, 1899



5.a. How can we glory in the cross? Galatians 6:14

Note: “The nearer we come to Jesus, and the more clearly we discern the purity of His character, the more clearly shall we see the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and the less shall we feel like exalting ourselves. There will be a continual reaching out of the soul after God, a continual, earnest, heartbreaking confession of sin and humbling of the heart before Him. At every advance step in our Christian experience our repentance will deepen. We shall know that our sufficiency is in Christ alone.” The Acts of the Apostles, 561

“The anguish and humiliation of God’s people is unmistakable evidence that they are regaining the strength and nobility of character lost in consequence of sin. It is because they are drawing nearer to Christ, because their eyes are fixed on His perfect purity, that they discern so clearly the exceeding sinfulness of sin. Meekness and lowliness are the conditions of success and victory. A crown of glory awaits those who bow at the foot of the cross.” Prophets and Kings, 590

5.b. What should be the center of our message? John 3:14–17

Note: “The sacrifice of Christ as an atonement for sin is the great truth around which all other truths cluster. In order to be rightly understood and appreciated, every truth in the word of God, from Genesis to Revelation, must be studied in the light which streams from the cross of Calvary, and in connection with the wondrous, central truth of the Saviour’s atonement. Those who study the Redeemer’s wonderful sacrifice grow in grace and knowledge.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, 1137



1    How was our salvation made possible?

2    Why is the gospel called the everlasting gospel?

3    What price was paid for our redemption?

4    What is the only basis of our glorying?

5    What should be the center of our message?

Copyright 2005, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Bible Study – Justification

Christian Character (2)

April 2 – 8, 2023

Key Text

“Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:1

Study Help: Faith and Works, 103–109


“Through all the ages the great truth of justification by faith has stood as a mighty beacon to guide repentant sinners into the way of life.” The Acts of the Apostles, 373



1.a. What is justification? Romans 5:18

Note: “Pardon and justification are one and the same thing.” Faith and Works, 103

“Justification is the opposite of condemnation.” Ibid., 104

1.b. What is the only acceptable way to be justified? Romans 3:21, 22; 5:1

Note: “The Lord does not save sinners by abolishing His law, the foundation of His government in heaven and in earth. The punishment has been endured by the sinner’s substitute. … In the councils of heaven, before the world was created, the Father and the Son covenanted together that if man proved disloyal to God, Christ, one with the Father, would take the place of the transgressor, and suffer the penalty of justice that must fall upon him.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 6, 1070

“When the Spirit of God controls mind and heart, the converted soul breaks forth into a new song; for he realizes that in his experience the promise of God has been fulfilled, that his transgression has been forgiven, his sin covered.” The Acts of the Apostles, 476



2.a. How does Paul explain God’s way to justify sinners? Romans 5:14–19

Note: “Christ, in the wilderness of temptation, stood in Adam’s place to bear the test he failed to endure. Here Christ overcame in the sinner’s behalf, four thousand years after Adam turned his back upon the light of his home. Separated from the presence of God, the human family had been departing every successive generation, farther from the original purity, wisdom, and knowledge which Adam possessed in Eden. Christ bore the sins and infirmities of the race as they existed when He came to the earth to help man. In behalf of the race, with the weaknesses of fallen man upon Him, He was to stand the temptations of Satan upon all points wherewith man would be assailed. …

“In what contrast is the second Adam as He entered the gloomy wilderness to cope with Satan single-handed. Since the Fall the race had been decreasing in size and physical strength, and sinking lower in the scale of moral worth, up to the period of Christ’s advent to the earth. And in order to elevate fallen man, Christ must reach him where he was. He took human nature, and bore the infirmities and degeneracy of the race. He, who knew no sin, became sin for us. He humiliated Himself to the lowest depths of human woe, that He might be qualified to reach man, and bring him up from the degradation in which sin had plunged him.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, 1081

2.b. Since we all are sinners, what is our only hope and assurance? Romans 3:23–26; Titus 3:5–7

Note: “Righteousness is obedience to the law. The law demands righteousness, and this the sinner owes to the law; but he is incapable of rendering it. The only way in which he can attain to righteousness is through faith. By faith he can bring to God the merits of Christ, and the Lord places the obedience of His Son to the sinner’s account. Christ’s righteousness is accepted in place of man’s failure, and God receives, pardons, justifies, the repentant, believing soul, treats him as though he were righteous, and loves him as He loves His Son. This is how faith is accounted righteousness; and the pardoned soul goes on from grace to grace, from light to a greater light.” Faith and Works, 101



3.a. What is the role of the blood of Christ in our salvation? Romans 5:9

Note: “God calls for faith in Christ as our atoning sacrifice. His blood is the only remedy for sin.

“It is not God’s will that you should be distrustful, and torture your soul with the fear that God will not accept you because you are sinful and unworthy. … You can say: ‘I know I am a sinner, and that is the reason I need a Saviour. … I have no merit or goodness whereby I may claim salvation, but I present before God the all-atoning blood of the spotless Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is my only plea.’ ” The Faith I Live By, 102

3.b. Why is the blood a key so essential in the plan of salvation? Leviticus 17:11; Hebrews 9:22

Note: “We are to have free access to the atoning blood of Christ. This we must regard as the most precious privilege, the greatest blessing, ever granted to sinful man. And how little is made of this great gift! How deep, how wide and continuous is this stream. To every soul thirsting after holiness there is repose, there is rest, there is the quickening influence of the Holy Spirit, and then the holy, happy, peaceful walk and precious communion with Christ. … Its cleansing virtue gives strength and vigor to faith, power to prayer, and happiness in cheerful obedience.” Sons and Daughters of God, 224

“Christ has made reconciliation for sin, and has borne all its ignominy, reproach, and punishment; and yet while bearing sin, He has brought in everlasting righteousness, so that the believer is spotless before God. …

“But there are many who claim to be children of God who are resting their hopes upon other dependencies, rather than on the blood of Christ alone. When urged to rest their faith wholly upon Christ as a complete Saviour, many reveal the fact that they have faith in something that they think they can do. … They imagine that they have a great deal to do themselves to save their own souls, and that Jesus will come in and piece out that part which is lacking, and give the finishing stroke to their salvation. These poor souls will not be strong in God until they accept Christ as a complete Saviour. They can add nothing to their salvation.” Ibid., 227



4.a. Among the Israelites, what was the only way of escape from destruction when they were about to leave Egypt? Exodus 12:13

Note: “The Israelites were required to sprinkle the doorposts with the blood of a slain lamb, in order that when the angel of death passed through the land, they might escape destruction. But if instead of doing this simple act of faith and obedience, they had barricaded the door, and taken every precaution to keep the destroying angel out, their pains would have been in vain. … When the blood was seen upon the doorpost, it was enough. The salvation of the house was assured. So it is in the work of salvation; it is the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanseth from all sin.” Sons and Daughters of God, 227

4.b. How can we be clean before God? 1 John 1:7–9. What attitude will this inspire in our heart?

Note: “Thank God that He who spilled His blood for us, lives to plead it, lives to make intercession for every soul who receives Him. ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ 1 John 1:9. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. It speaketh better things than the blood of Abel, for Christ ever liveth to make intercession for us. We need to keep ever before us the efficacy of the blood of Jesus. That life-cleansing, life-sustaining blood, appropriated by living faith, is our hope. We need to grow in appreciation of its inestimable value, for it speaks for us only as we by faith claim its virtue, keeping the conscience clean and at peace with God.

“This is represented as the pardoning blood, inseparably connected with the resurrection and life of our Redeemer, illustrated by the ever-flowing stream that proceeds from the throne of God, the water of the river of life.” Our High Calling, 47

“None but God can subdue the pride of man’s heart. We cannot save ourselves. We cannot regenerate ourselves. In the heavenly courts there will be no song sung, To me that loved myself, and washed myself, redeemed myself, unto me be glory and honor, blessing and praise. But this is the keynote of the song that is sung by many here in this world. They do not know what it means to be meek and lowly in heart; and they do not mean to know this, if they can avoid it. The whole gospel is comprised in learning of Christ, His meekness and lowliness.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 456



5.a. How can we be overcomers over Satan and his devices? Revelation 12:11

Note: “We become overcomers by helping others to overcome, by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. The keeping of the commandments of God will yield in us an obedient spirit, and the service that is the offspring of such a spirit, God can accept.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, 974

5.b. What will be our song in heaven? Revelation 15:3

Note: “I urge you to prepare for the coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven. Day by day cast the love of the world out of your hearts. Understand by experience what it means to have fellowship with Christ. Prepare for the judgment, that when Christ shall come to be admired in all them that believe, you may be among those who will meet Him in peace. In that day the redeemed will shine forth in the glory of the Father and the Son. The angels, touching their golden harps, will welcome the King and His trophies of victory—those who have been washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. A song of triumph shall peal forth, filling all heaven. Christ has conquered. He enters the heavenly courts, accompanied by His redeemed ones, the witnesses that His mission of suffering and sacrifice has not been in vain.” The Adventist Home, 550



1    How can I be justified before God?

2    What is the meaning of grace?

3    What is the role of the blood of Christ in our salvation?

4    How can we be washed in the blood of Christ?

5    How can we be overcomers?

Copyright 2005, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Recipe – Vegan Cheese and Dressing


Almost 70 years ago, a wonderful dish was created. Similar, in terms of ingredients to a taco salad, haystacks are composed of many ingredients. They are a combination of Fritos, tortilla chips, or rice, cooked beef, beans, or chili, followed by fresh vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, olives, peppers, and onions, and topped with various condiments such as guacamole, sour cream, ranch dressing, or salsa. All of these ingredients are laid out potluck-style and each individual can build their haystack according to their personal taste.

Haystacks are commonly found in three distinct North American religious subcultures: Seventh-day Adventists, the Amish, and the Mormons.

The Amish haystack has less of a Mexican influence and includes lettuce, chips, meat, and a spaghetti-like sauce, topped with the chopped vegetables and cheese.

The Mormon haystack has a more Asian influence and includes white rice, chicken pieces, cheese, celery, tomatoes, sliced almonds, coconut, chow mein noodles, and pineapple chunks.

Ella May Hartlein is credited with creating the Adventist version in the early 1950s. Adventist haystacks are vegetarian with no beef or other animal meats. If vegan, then other animal by-products such as cheese, ranch dressing, or sour cream are omitted. These items typically are replaced with soy sour cream and soy cheese, or home-made ranch dressing and cheese (see recipes below).


Sabbath is approaching, maybe you should have haystacks

Recipe – Cheese & Dressing for Haystacks

Melty Cheese

2 c. water

1/4 c. raw cashews

1-1/2 tsp. salt

2 Tbs. tomato paste

1/8 tsp. turmeric

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

2-3 Tbs. cornstarch

3 Tbs. yeast flakes

1 Tbs. lemon juice

1 Tbs. olive oil

1/2 tsp. onion powder

Blend cashews in small amount of water. Then add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Cook in saucepan over low heat stirring constantly to prevent scorching.

Ranch Dressing

2 c. vegan mayo

1/2 Tbs. basil

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. lemon juice

1/2 Tbs. onion powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1 scant teaspoon fructose

1/8 tsp. paprika

Blend all ingredients together adding a little water at a time until it reaches desired consistency.

To Reveal His Glory

To understand the plan of salvation we must understand not only the nature of man when he was first created, but what happened to his nature when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit.

The glory of God is His character, and man was created in the image of God for the purpose of revealing His glory. We know that the law of God is a transcript of His character, and an expression of His very nature. The law of God embodies the principles of righteousness, and the very essence of God’s nature is summed up in two words: divine love.

Adam was created with these principles of righteousness written upon his heart; divine love motivated every thought, word, and action of his life. He was in harmony with the character and nature of God and could therefore reflect the glory of God. But when Adam disobeyed God and acquired a knowledge of evil, something changed in his nature.

“The world laid its homage, as a willing offering, at the feet of the enemy.” Testimonies, Vol. 6, 236

“From eternal ages it was God’s purpose that every created being, from the bright and holy seraph to man, should be a temple for the indwelling of the Creator. Because of sin, humanity ceased to be a temple for God. Darkened and defiled by evil, the heart of man no longer revealed the glory of the Divine One.” The Desire of Ages, 161

Paul refers to this in Ephesians 2:2, 3, “You once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.” We are familiar with what happened after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. They knew they had sinned, and in shame they hid from God’s presence. Adam said, “ ‘I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.’ ” Genesis 3:10

First John 4:18 tells us that there is no fear in love because perfect love, God’s kind of love, casts out fear. If we are afraid, then we have not been perfected in love. Adam was made perfect in love and given a simple test to determine his loyalty to his Creator, but he failed when he ate of the fruit. He yielded to temptation, and his nature was changed.

Now no longer perfected in love, he feared his Creator. This was the first change we see in the nature of man as a result of sin. Adam was now a bondservant of the devil, and as the legal representative of the human race, he had chosen for himself, and on behalf of all mankind to come, to serve the enemy of righteousness.

Adam’s single act of disobedience demonstrated that he believed Satan’s lie and disbelieved God’s word, thereby implying that God was a liar. As a result, he transferred his love and loyalty from God to his new master, Satan. “The white robe of innocence was worn by our first parents when they were placed by God in holy Eden. They lived in perfect conformity to the will of God. All the strength of their affections was given to their heavenly Father. A beautiful soft light, the light of God, enshrouded the holy pair. This robe of light was a symbol of their spiritual garments of heavenly innocence.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 310, 311

Adam and Eve were not naked, they were clothed in light. But once they ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they accepted Satan as their new master, and traded this robe of innocence for the nakedness of sin. We need to know what this garment of light represented, why it is so significant that Adam and Eve were once clothed in it, and what a great loss it was when it was removed from them.

The Bible uses light to represent the law of God and since the law is a transcript of His character, light also represents God’s character.

“For the commandment is a lamp, and the law is light; reproofs of instruction are the way of life.” Proverbs 6:23

“To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20

“Listen to Me, My people; and give ear to Me, O My nation: for a law shall proceed from Me, and I will make My judgment to rest for a light to the people.” Isaiah 51:4

Jesus came as a man to represent God’s law, to bear this light to the world. “Christ came to our world to represent the character of God as it is represented in His holy law; for His law is a transcript of His character.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 17, 8. “The law of God is an expression of His very nature; it is an embodiment of the great principle of love, and hence is the foundation of His government in heaven and earth.” Steps to Christ, 60. The robe of light worn by Adam and Eve before the fall was a symbol of the law of God—the righteousness of God that was written in their heart when they were created.

“This robe of light was a symbol of their spiritual garments of heavenly innocence. Had they remained true to God it would ever have continued to enshroud them. But when sin entered, they severed their connection with God, and the light that had encircled them departed. Naked and ashamed, they tried to supply the place of the heavenly garments by sewing together fig leaves for a covering.

“This is what the transgressors of God’s law have done ever since the day of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. They have sewed together fig leaves to cover their nakedness caused by transgression. They have worn the garments of their own devising, by works of their own they have tried to cover their sins, and make themselves acceptable with God.

“But this they can never do. Nothing can man devise to supply the place of his lost robe of innocence.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 311

Revelation 16:13 describes the sixth plague as three unclean spirits that come out of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. These spirits go out to the kings of the earth and the whole world to gather them together to that great battle of the great day of God almighty. We want to notice, right in the middle of this description, Jesus stops and makes an announcement in verse 15, “ ‘Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.’ ” Mrs. White explains this more clearly in Manuscript Releases, Vol. 8, 345, “ ‘Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked (without the robe of Christ’s righteousness) and they see his shame.’ ”

Friend, there is nothing that we can ever do to cover our own nakedness, no more than could Adam and Eve. People try, just like Adam and Eve tried, but the only way your spiritual nakedness can be covered is with Christ’s righteousness, a spiritual robe of light that embodies the principle of God’s law and love.

So, what happens when there is an absence of God’s love in the life and nature of man? “For God is love, and love is life.” Christ’s Object Lesson, 258. “Leaving the first love is represented as a spiritual fall.” The Review and Herald, December 15, 1904. Having left his first love, Adam now feared God, because he no longer had the perfect love of God in his heart, and his connection with God was severed. His robe of light—righteousness—was replaced with a robe of darkness—selfishness.

“Under God, Adam was to stand at the head of the earthly family, to maintain the principles of the heavenly family. This would have brought peace and happiness. But the law that none ‘liveth to himself’ (Romans 14:7), Satan was determined to oppose. He desired to live for self and sought to make himself a center of influence. It was this that had incited rebellion in heaven, and it was man’s acceptance of this principle that brought sin on earth. When Adam sinned, man broke away from the heaven-ordained center. A demon became the central power in the world. Where God’s throne should have been, Satan placed his throne. The world laid its homage, as a willing offering, at the feet of the enemy.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers and Students, 33

“Man was originally endowed with noble powers and a well-balanced mind. He was perfect in his being, and in harmony with God. His thoughts were pure, his aims holy. But through disobedience, his powers were perverted, and selfishness took the place of love.” Steps to Christ, 17

“When man fell, the law of self was set up. This law harmonizes with the will of sinful humanity. There is no strife between them. But when the word of God speaks to the conscience, telling of a higher than human will, even the will of God, man’s will desires to go its own way, irrespective of consequences. The charm of obedience was broken by Adam’s disobedience. A sense of the importance of obedience as an absolute necessity, ceased to exist in the mind. And now man thinks, If I choose, I can obey God; and if I choose, I can disobey Him.” The Signs of the Times, January 25, 1899

“Love is power. Intellectual and moral strength are involved in this principle, and cannot be separated from it.” Gospel Workers, 311. Paul says in Romans 7:22, 23: “I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” What is that other law? Paul calls it the law of sin. Mrs. White calls it the law of self. When Adam fell, the desire to live for self, the principle of selfishness that governs Satan’s kingdom, became the governing principle of the heart and mind of man.

“When man transgressed the divine law, his nature became evil, and he was in harmony, and not at variance, with Satan. There exists naturally no enmity between sinful man and the originator of sin. Both became evil through apostasy.” The Great Controversy, 505

The Bible says that the heart of man is, “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” Jeremiah 17:9. The literal translation of desperately wicked is incurably wicked. Remember that the heart, mind, and will are used synonymously in the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy, so these words all represent the governing power in the nature of man.

Think about this for a moment. When Adam sinned, everything about him changed. His perfect heart and mind, became sinful. His will, while still free to choose, became a slave to wickedness and, without determined effort and divine aid, would naturally always choose to do evil. His body was no longer free from age or disease or the desires of his selfish heart. His thoughts were no longer filled with love or in harmony with God’s mind, but were now open to and willing to receive the temptations and dictates of his new master. Adam could say, “I don’t want to be this way. I’m going to go back and be like I was before,” but he couldn’t make it so. Adam would be forever a sinner, unless he surrendered himself to the transforming power of God, which can and will change the heart, mind, and will of every man, woman, and child if they choose it, restoring once again the principles of righteousness and love within.

If the will is right, then all the rest of the being will come under its sway. The will is not an inclination, it is the choice, the deciding power, the kingly power which works in the children of men, either to obey or to disobey. “This will, that forms so important a factor in the character of man, was at the Fall given into the control of Satan.” Testimonies, Vol. 5, 515. Adam and Eve, by their deliberate choice to disobey God, gave their will to the tempter. Now in control of the will of man, Satan works in and through man to bring about his utter ruin.

“When man sinned, all heaven was filled with sorrow; for through yielding to temptation, man became the enemy of God, a partaker of the satanic nature. The image of God in which he had been created was marred and distorted. The character of man was out of harmony with the character of God; for through sin man became carnal.” The Signs of the Times, February 13, 1893

Carnal is from the Latin word caro which means flesh. The Greek word is Sarks, also meaning flesh. To be carnal is to be flesh. Just like heart, mind, and will, carnal and flesh are used synonymously in the Bible. Notice also, in the previous quotation, that the prophet uses nature and character synonymously. Let’s read that quotation again: “Through yielding to temptation, man became the enemy of God, a partaker of the satanic nature. The image of God in which he had been created was marred and distorted. The character of man was out of harmony with the character of God; for through sin man became carnal.”

Man sinned and became carnal, his nature governed by selfishness. The mind of man is intimately associated with his nature, and his mind is now ruled, not by the principle of divine love, but by the natural, ruling principle of selfishness.

“Selfishness and covetousness are at the foundation of all sins, yet many are not convicted of the sin of selfishness because it is a part of their nature, and they do not listen to the reproving of the Holy Spirit.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 13, 270

“It is a weakness of humanity to pet selfishness, because it is a natural trait of character.” The Faith I Live By, 140

“Sin alienated him [Adam] from his Maker. He no longer reflected the divine image. His heart was at war with the principles of God’s law. ‘The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.’ Romans 8:7.” The Great Controversy, 467

We clearly see that when Adam sinned, the change that occurred in his nature—replacing the robe of light representing the principles of love and obedience with a robe of selfishness and sinfulness—is a change that affected all who came after him, right down through time to all of us today. But we must look carefully at something else that was handed down to us as part of the change in our nature.

“Adam sinned, and the children of Adam share his guilt and its consequences; but Jesus bore the guilt of Adam, and all the children of Adam that will flee to Christ, the second Adam, may escape the penalty of transgression.” The Signs of the Times, May 19, 1890

Many Adventists do not believe or at least struggle with the idea, that through Adam we all share in the guilt for an action that we had nothing to do with. But let me ask a question: Is the guilt a result of Adam’s decision to eat of the fruit, or is it a consequence of something else?

“It is plainly written on the unrenewed heart and on a fallen world, All seek their own. Selfishness is the great law of our degenerate nature.” Ibid., December 8, 1881. “Selfishness is the want [lack] of Christlike humility, and its existence is the bane of human happiness, the cause of human guilt, and leads those who cherish it to make shipwreck of faith.” Mind, Character, and Personality, Vol. 1, 271, 272. What is the cause of human guilt? It is the governing principle of selfishness in the heart of man.

When Adam sinned, his loyalty and allegiance, and that of the entire human race, was transferred from God to Satan, and the principle of selfishness which is the cornerstone of his government became the natural ruling principle in man’s life. The key word here is natural. Man’s nature is now naturally selfish. It cannot, of itself, be any other way. And since selfishness is sin (The Signs of the Times, April 13, 1891), man is guilty of selfishness whether he commits a particular act of selfishness or not. Adam’s disobedience resulted in the consequence of a ruined nature, and the principle of selfishness by which his nature, and ours, is now governed, is the cause of our guilt.

In addition to this ruinous change in man’s nature and the guilt that accompanies the principle of selfishness that governs his heart, there is another consequence of Adam’s sin that his children must face.

“Sin is the cause of physical degeneration; sin has blighted the race, and introduced disease, misery, and death.” Pacific Health Journal, February 1, 1902. Consequences to our moral nature led to a selfish, sinful nature and involved us in guilt, but there are also degenerative consequences to our physical nature that are not sin. It is very important to understand the difference.

“Adam disobeyed, and entailed sin upon his posterity.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 6, 3. The word entail means to be settled on a person and his descendants. Adam settled sin upon his posterity. This entailment separates us from God because we now have carnal minds and hearts.

“ ‘The carnal [or natural] mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.’ Human nature could not keep the law, even if it would. Apart from Christ, without union with Him, we can do nothing. ‘Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.’ The law requires us to present to God a holy character. It demands of men today just what it demanded of Adam in Eden—perfect obedience, perfect harmony with all its precepts in all relations of life, under all circumstances and conditions. No unholy thought can be tolerated, no unlovely action can be justified. As the law requires that which no man of himself can render, the human family are found guilty before the great moral standard, and it is not in the province of law to pardon the transgressor of law. The standard of the law cannot be lowered to meet man in his fallen condition. No compromise can be made with the sinner to take less than the full requirement of the law. The law cannot acquit the guilty, it cannot cleanse the sinner, or give power to the transgressor to raise himself into a purer, holier atmosphere. Standing before a holy, good, and just law, and finding ourselves condemned because of transgression, we may well cry out, What shall we do to be saved?” The Signs of the Times, May 30, 1895

This statement is very clear. The law requires righteousness, a holy character. The law must be written in the heart, stamped on the soul. We do not have this righteousness, but Jesus does, and He offers it to each and every one of Adam’s children. He offers it to you and me.

“By nature we are alienated from God. The Holy Spirit describes our condition in such words as, ‘Dead in trespasses and sins;’ ‘The whole head is sick, the whole heart faint;’ ‘no soundness in it.’ We are held fast in the snare of Satan, ‘taken captive by him at his will.’ ” Steps to Christ, 43

Let’s do a quick review and answer the following questions:

What does it mean to be naked?

To be naked represents an absence of Christ’s righteousness. Christ’s righteousness is represented in His law which is described in two words: divine love.

Why did Adam’s nakedness cause him to fear?

Because perfect love casts out fear and Adam had left his first love.

What does being naked have to do with the change in man’s nature after the fall?

The robe of light was a symbol of God’s law—His righteousness surrounding them, the principles of righteousness and love in their hearts. This garment departed when Adam and Eve sinned and selfishness became the natural, ruling principle of the nature and character of man.

Does this nakedness have anything to do with death?

Paul tells us in Romans 8:6, “For to be carnally [fleshly] minded is death.” Remember, “God is love, and love is life.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 258. Without God’s love and righteousness in the life, death is the inevitable result. Adam, having left his first love, died spiritually that day, and would have died physically as well if Christ had not interceded on man’s behalf. Man’s choice resulted in death, but Christ’s choice to intercede resulted in redemption.

“When man sinned, all heaven was filled with sorrow … . They ceased their songs of praise, and throughout the heavenly courts there was mourning for the ruin sin had wrought. … Since the divine law is as changeless as the character of God, there could be no hope for man unless some way could be devised whereby his transgression might be pardoned, his nature renewed, and his spirit restored to reflect the image of God. Divine love had conceived such a plan. …

“The Creator of man, could be his Saviour. No angel of heaven could reveal the Father to the sinner, and win him back to allegiance to God. … None but Christ could redeem man from the curse of the law. He proposed to take upon Himself the guilt and shame of sin—sin so offensive in the sight of God that it would necessitate separation from His Father. Christ proposed to reach to the depths of man’s degradation and woe, and restore the repenting, believing soul to harmony with God. … Christ redeemed him from the condemnation of the law, and imparted divine power, and through man’s cooperation, the sinner could be restored to his lost estate.” The Signs of the Times, February 13, 1893

Any particle of selfishness in my heart makes me a partaker of the satanic nature and an enemy of God, and I have no ability to remove selfishness from my nature. But there is hope for mankind—it is to surrender and be born again. The Christian religion is more than just Jesus dying on the cross and forgiveness of sins. That was necessary or I could not be saved, but I can never be saved until the natural selfishness of my nature has been replaced with a new heart and a new mind. This is accomplished only when I surrender my heart, mind, and will to the working of the Holy Spirit.

[Emphasis supplied.]

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.

Testimony – Ignorant? Not So Fast.

If you are over 20 years old, you know the dynamics of the twenties. You’re young, curious, full of energy, ready to discover and travel the world. I was no different. I grew up in a certain cultural and religious environment, teaching me certain truths, morals, and values. As most 20-year-olds, I questioned them and was eager to find out better for myself and come to my own conclusions. I wanted to discover the whole world, travel to Asia, Africa, etc. I made sure my travel dreams came true. When traveling to the eastern hemisphere, I quickly discovered that not all the values I was taught are universal. At the same time, I noticed hints of biblical stories that proved to be universal in countries such as Thailand, Laos, Malaysia—such as the depiction of the Flood on a Buddhist temple, stories of Jesus in the far non-Christian world, and traces of the pre-Christian Sabbath.

The Sabbath/Sunday issue was of particular interest to me. I was on a quest to get to the bottom of the origins of the Sabbath, and I dived deeply into the stories of the Bible. A fascinating ancient world unfolded in front of me. The more I read—whether the Bible, historical documents, or secular materials—the clearer the confirmation of the Sabbath history became. The Sabbath has been here since the beginning of time as a memorial of creation. Moreover, it has never been changed by any divine authority.

The evidence, whether biblical or recorded by secular historians, was overwhelming. If this is the case, why then is it that only a tiny fraction of Christianity observes it? How do Christians today explain it away if their own literature confirms the seventh day of the week as the eternal day of worship? I made friends with clergy from various denominations and asked. I took Bible studies in a Lutheran youth group, then studied the entire pre-baptismal courses with Jehovah Witnesses and the Church of Latter-day Saints. Those were easy to access. Other denominations didn’t even have any structured courses. When I asked about the fourth commandment, it was always swept under the carpet.

No Protestant denomination had clear-cut answers. The reality of the true Sabbath can’t be denied, so the next step would be to explain it away. Or outright declare that it’s not important. We are talking about the decalogue here, one of the Biblical ten commandments. Not important? I was hoping for better answers.

Perhaps the most honest Christians on this issue are the Roman Catholics. They do not try to hide the truth. One well-educated clergyman explained to me that while I am reading the Sabbath truth from the Bible correctly, the Roman Catholic Church has the power—given by heaven itself—to alter any Biblical doctrine. In addition to the Bible, the Catholic Church has one more pillar of faith—church tradition. This church tradition, sanctioned by God Himself, has the power to overwrite the Bible. So claims the Roman Church. Flabbergasting!

As a young person, full of ideals and a strong sense of justice, I was disappointed with the answers given by both Catholic and Protestant clergy. The inevitable conclusion was that the clergy members will have to answer to God’s court of justice at the final day of our earth’s history.

I felt sorry for the regular church members who will never do the research themselves. Or even if they do, will accept their clergy’s word as final. While people in all denominations revere the Bible, by and large, they don’t read it. Most people just don’t know, and it’s not up to me to decide how God will judge ignorance.

Soon thereafter, I was about to pass through a fire—one of the most profound experiences of my life that challenged some of my assumptions about the people in the pews. I signed up for a summer colporteur program, which helped me work my way through school. This job is a door-to-door sale of Christian books. The student will learn sales techniques, but also will talk to people about spiritual subjects. Some of the conversations stayed hammered in my mind forever. People asked me for prayers, we prayed on their front porches. The most powerful experiences are portrayed in the following stories. I have lived through this same experience several times:

The Baptist Couple

In a middle-class neighborhood of a suburban town in the midwestern United States, I knocked on the door of a beautiful home with a nicely manicured lawn. A man opened the door, greeting me with a smile. I explained the reason for my visit and shared with him the books I had to offer. He called his wife and together they chose several books. They shared with me that they attended their local Baptist church. A wealthy church, they proudly added. They were quite knowledgeable about the Bible and we had a very nice conversation. Since they knew so much, I added a bonus to their order and gifted them the book The National Sunday Law by Jan Marcussen.

I didn’t share this book with every household. But here, I just felt impressed to give them one. Moreover, we connected very quickly and became friends. They thanked and invited me for lunch the next Sunday.

I knocked on the door next Sunday. The man opened the door. He didn’t say hello or any other greeting. Instead, he exclaimed: “I know we go to church on the wrong day,” and invited me in. I didn’t expect this statement to come out of his mouth. So I asked: “Really? What does your wife think about it?” She stood right behind him and also exclaimed: “I always knew the Adventists are right on this one.” I couldn’t believe my ears.

We shared a lunch together and briefly touched on their Sabbath knowledge again. They explained it in these words: “While we know that we go to church on the wrong day, it doesn’t mean we’ll switch denominations. We’re comfortable in our church, we have lots of friends and family there. At the end, it doesn’t really matter on which day we worship.” This time I didn’t say anything. They know the truth, but think it’s not important. I’m not the judge.

I have gone through similar experiences and conversations many times. Bible students acknowledge the facts, yet they choose to do otherwise.

I had talked to people from various denominations, thinking their lack of knowledge is to blame for not keeping God’s law, but I stood corrected. There are many people who are not ignorant. They know the truth, they just choose to ignore it.

I state again that the above experience with the lovely Baptist couple wasn’t an isolated one. I recall many more. The following one was one of the first ones in my teenage years:

The Lutheran Lady

I lived in a small town with my family. One of our neighbors was a lovely, retired lady. Her husband had already passed away and gradually her health didn’t allow her to do her own grocery shopping. I offered to help. She’d give me her list of items to purchase and I gladly did the shopping and delivered it to her house.

She always invited me in. I unloaded the bags on the table, she paid the bill, and each time offered some homemade goodies. As I entered her kitchen, I noticed on several occasions that she listened to audio recordings of Christian sermons. In those recordings, I quickly recognized the voice of a famous Adventist evangelist. I asked the lady where she got the audio tapes. It was in the days before CDs and internet downloads.

She proudly shared the story that she attended evangelistic meetings with her husband some years prior and this evangelist was the presenter. Back in those days, such meetings didn’t last a weekend. They lasted several weeks! She and her husband made sure that they purchased the recordings of every single night, so they could listen to them later at home. It was quite a library, over 30 tapes!

She related to me that her husband believed everything that was presented on those audio tapes. I checked the tapes and naturally, several of them covered the Sabbath subject. I also knew that her husband died as a good Lutheran.

This lady herself would never set her foot in the Adventist church. She lived in a staunch Lutheran area and her Lutheran family and neighbors would have disapproved. Some years later, this lady also passed away as a good Lutheran.

The above stories beg the question: If I learned a truth of which I am absolutely convicted, would I leave my own denomination and follow my conscience? The reality is that most people would not, which portrays the following experience:

The Exception

I was sitting in an Adventist church, listening to the testimony of a young couple who had left their Sunday-keeping denomination because they no longer could ignore the voice of their conscience on the Sabbath. They had searched for a Sabbath-keeping congregation and joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

They shared that this step was very hard. Their prior church was so much better in all aspects. There was more fun, all their family and friends were there, the music was better, so many activities to choose from, etc. Their newly found Adventist congregation was half dead, but they made the transition anyway and slowly found new friends.

After sharing their story, an open forum for questions followed. At that point, one Adventist church member stood up and expressed his admiration for the couple. He furthermore stated: “I’d never do what you did. You left your family and friends behind. You should have stayed in your prior church. Here we can’t offer as much.” Many others in the congregation nodded in agreement.

Really? We can’t offer as much? No other denomination has such deep wells of knowledge. The reality that we are viewed as non-inclusive and overly proud of our exceptionalism is only our problem. When thousands will knock on our door one day, will we turn them away? May God have mercy on us. I tremble when I think of that day. Get ready now!

Blessed and Sanctified Sabbath

“Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And 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 … .” Genesis 2:1–3, first part

“God looked with satisfaction upon the work of His hands. All was perfect, worthy of its divine Author, and He rested … .

“After resting upon the seventh day, God sanctified it, or set it apart, as a day of rest for humankind. …

“God designs that the Sabbath shall direct the minds of all people to the contemplation of His created works. Nature speaks to their senses, declaring that there is a living God, the Creator, the Supreme Ruler of all. … The beauty that clothes the earth is a token of God’s love. We may behold it in the everlasting hills, in the lofty trees, in the opening buds and the delicate flowers. All speak to us of God. The Sabbath, ever pointing to Him who made them all, bids men and women open the great book of nature and trace therein the wisdom, the power, and the love of the Creator.” To Be Like Jesus, 134

“Following the example of the Creator, man was to rest upon this sacred day, that as he should look upon the heavens and the earth, he might reflect upon God’s great work of creation; and that as he should behold the evidences of God’s wisdom and goodness, his heart might be filled with love and reverence for his Maker. …

“God saw that a Sabbath was essential for man … that he might more fully contemplate the works of God, and meditate upon His power and goodness. He needed a Sabbath, to remind him more vividly of God, and to awaken gratitude because all that he enjoyed and possessed came from the beneficent hand of the Creator.

“When the foundations of the earth were laid … then was laid the foundation of the Sabbath. Well may this institution demand our reverence: it was ordained by no human authority, and rests upon no human traditions; it was established by the Ancient of days, and commanded by His eternal word.” The Faith I Live By, 31

Our relationship with God must be a 24/7/365 relationship, but on the Sabbath, above the other six days, God means for us to empty our hearts and minds of the needs and cares of our worldly life to spend this 24 hours with Him alone. The Sabbath is a continual sign of His love and mercy, and as we rest from our labors, we give evidence of our obedience to His law.

It is during the Sabbath hours, that we are spiritually refreshed and invigorated. It is on this day that we are told to gather in His house and join with our brothers and sisters in Christ in praise and thankfulness, glorifying Him who in the beginning created us and now preserves us until His coming. The Sabbath is God’s sign and pledge that He can and will sanctify all who surrender themselves to Him as His chosen and peculiar people. And as we keep the Sabbath holy, we display to all the earth that we are His people. (See The Review and Herald, October 28, 1902)

Catholic & Protestant Confessions about the Sabbath

“The Sabbath was binding in Eden, and it has been in force ever since. This fourth commandment begins with the word ‘remember’, showing that the Sabbath already existed when God wrote the law on the tables of stone at Sinai. How can men claim that this one commandment has been done away with when they will admit that the other nine are still binding?”

D.L. Moody, Weighed and Wanting (Fleming H. Revell Co.: New York), 47, 48


“There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday. It will be said, however, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week. … Where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament—absolutely not.

To me it seems unaccountable that Jesus, during three years’ intercourse with His disciples, often conversing with them upon the Sabbath question … never alluded to any transference of the day; also, that during forty days of His resurrection life, no such thing was intimated.

Of course, I quite well know that Sunday did come into use in early Christian history … . But what a pity it comes branded with the mark of paganism, and christened with the name of the sun god, adopted and sanctioned by the papal apostasy, and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to Protestantism!

Dr. Edward T. Hiscox, a paper read before a New York ministers’ conference, November 13, 1893, reported in the New York Examiner, November 16, 1893


“But,’ say some, ‘it was changed from the seventh to the first day.’ Where? When? And by whom? No man can tell. No; it never was changed, nor could it be, unless creation was to be gone through again: for the reason assigned must be changed before the observance, or respect to the reason, can it be changed! It is all old wives’ fables to talk of the change of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day. If it be changed, it was that august personage changed it who changes times and laws ex officio—I think his name is Doctor Antichrist.

Alexander Campbell, The Christian Baptist, February 2, 1824, Vol. 1, No. 7, 164


“But, the moral law contained in the ten commandments, and enforced by the prophets, He (Christ) did not take away. It was not the design of His coming to revoke any part of this. This is a law which never can be broken. … Every part of this law must remain in force upon all mankind, and in all ages; as not depending either on time or place, or any other circumstances liable to change, but on the nature of God and the nature of man, and their unchangeable relation to each other.

John Wesley, The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, AM., ed. (New York: Eaton & Mains), Sermon 25, Vol. 1, 221


“The Sabbath is a part of the Decalogue—the ten commandments. This alone forever settles the question as to the perpetuity of the institution. … Until, therefore, it can be shown that the whole moral law has been repealed, the Sabbath will stand. … The teaching of Christ confirms the perpetuity of the Sabbath.

T.C. Blake. D.D., Theology Condensed, 474, 475


“For example, nowhere in the Bible do we find that Christ or the Apostles ordered that the Sabbath be changed from Saturday to Sunday. We have the commandment of God given to Moses to keep holy the Sabbath day, that is the 7th day of the week, Saturday. Today most Christians keep Sunday because it has been revealed to us by the [Roman Catholic] church outside the Bible.”

Catholic Virginian, October 3, 1947, 9, article “To Tell You the Truth.”


“Q: Which is the Sabbath day?

A: Saturday is the Sabbath day?

Q: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?

A: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.”

The Converts Catechism of Catholic Doctrine (1957), 50


“The Christian Sabbath [Sunday] is not in the Scriptures, and was not by the primitive Church called the Sabbath.”

Timothy Dwight, Theology: Explained and Defended (1823), Sermon 107, Vol. 3, 258


“Reason and sense demand the acceptance of one or the other of these alternatives: either Protestantism and the keeping holy of Saturday, or Catholicity and the keeping holy of Sunday. Compromise is impossible.”

John Cardinal Gibbons, The Catholic Mirror, December 23, 1893


“Sunday is a Catholic institution, and… can be defended only on Catholic principles… From beginning to end of Scripture there is not a single passage that warrants the transfer of weekly public worship from the last day of the week to the first.

Catholic Press, August 25, 1900


These quotations come from the pamphlet entitled Roman Catholic and Protestant Confessions about Sunday. This pamphlet and other materials regarding the Sabbath can be purchased from:

The Bible Sabbath Association
HC 60 Box 8
Fairview, OK 73737

Also available from the Steps to Life bookstore is the booklet Remember the Sabbath Day, written by Marshall Grosboll, which provides a thorough history of the Sabbath.

Question – How can I tell my family and friends about the Sabbath?


How can I tell my family and friends about the Sabbath, if they don’t want to hear?


“At this time a living testimony is to be borne in the lives of God’s professed people, so that the world may see that in this age, when evil reigns on every side, there is yet a people who are laying aside their will and are seeking to do God’s will—a people in whose hearts and lives God’s law is written.

“God expects those who bear the name of Christ to represent Him. Their thoughts are to be pure, their words noble and uplifting. The religion of Christ is to be interwoven with all that they do and say. They are to be a sanctified, purified, holy people, communicating light to all with whom they come in contact. It is His purpose that by exemplifying the truth in their lives they shall be a praise in the earth. The grace of Christ is sufficient to bring this about. But let God’s people remember that only as they believe and work out the principles of the gospel can they fulfill His purpose. Only as they yield their God-given capabilities to His service will they enjoy the fullness and the power of the promise whereon the church has been called to stand. …

“God desires His people to show by their lives the advantage of Christianity over worldliness; to show that they are working on a high, holy plane. … He longs to make them channels through which He can pour His boundless love and mercy.” Lift Him Up, 189

“Those who study the word of God, and day by day receive instruction from Christ, bear the stamp of heaven’s principles. A high, holy influence goes forth from them. A helpful atmosphere surrounds their souls. The pure, holy, elevated principles that they follow enable them to bear a living testimony to the power of divine grace. …

“… By seeing their good works, others are led to glorify the Father who is above; for it is made manifest that there is a God on the throne of the universe whose character is worthy of praise and imitation. …

“The world watches to see what fruit is borne by professed Christians.” The Review and Herald, July 27, 1905

“God enjoins upon all His followers to bear a living testimony in unmistakable language by their conduct, their dress and conversation, in all the pursuits of life, that the power of true godliness is profitable to all in this life and in the life to come.” The Faith I Live By, 235 [Emphasis supplied.]