June 19, 2004 – June 25, 2004
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Romans 15:13.
Suggested Reading: The Faith I Live By, 221.
“In the instruction that Christ gave to His disciples, and to the people of all classes who came to hear His words, there was that which lifted them to a high plane of thought and action. If the words of Christ, instead of the words of men, were given to the learner to-day, we would see evidences of higher intelligence, a clearer comprehension of heavenly things, a deeper knowledge of God, a purer and more vigorous Christian life.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 518.
1 What was the mission of Jesus to this earth? What do sinners have through the death of Christ? What does the Lord desire to be for every person?
note: “We want clear views of what Jesus is to us. We want to have distinct views of the victories gained in our behalf. He spoiled principalities and powers and made a show of them openly. He broke the fetters of the tomb and came forth to take again His life that He laid down for us. He ascended on high, having led captivity captive and received gifts for men. All this suffering He endured for us. . . . He will be our helper and He will be our refuge in every time of need. He should be revealed in our Christian experience as all-sufficient, a present Saviour.” Our High Calling, 20.
See Luke 19:10; Ephesians 1:7; Isaiah 30:18.
2 Describe man’s condition without Christ. From what are believers delivered? To what spiritual life are they called?
note: “A life in Christ is a life of restfulness. There may be no ecstasy of feeling, but there should be an abiding, peaceful trust. Your hope is not in yourself; it is in Christ. Your weakness is united to His strength, your ignorance to His wisdom, your frailty to His enduring might. So you are not to look to yourself, not to let the mind dwell upon self, but look to Christ. Let the mind dwell upon His love, upon the beauty, the perfection, of His character. Christ in His self-denial, Christ in His humiliation, Christ in His purity and holiness, Christ in His matchless love —this is the subject for the soul’s contemplation. It is by loving Him, copying Him, depending wholly upon Him, that you are to be transformed into His likeness.” Steps to Christ, 70, 71.
See Ephesians 4:17–19; 2:11, 12; Colossians 1:12, 13; 1 Peter 5:10; Romans 3:20–22; Acts 13:39.
3 How do sinners become children of God? What change in the life is made necessary? What fruit of the Spirit will appear? What is the result of an unforgiving spirit?
note: “The condition of eternal life is now just what it always has been,—just what it was in Paradise before the fall of our first parents,—perfect obedience to the law of God, perfect righteousness. If eternal life were granted on any condition short of this, then the happiness of the whole universe would be imperiled. The way would be open for sin, with all its train of woe and misery, to be immortalized.” Steps to Christ, 62.
See Galatians 3:26; John 1:12; 11 Corinthians 5:17; John 3:3, 5; Galatians 5:22, 23; Matthew 6:14, 15.
4 What is assured to the obedient? By what standard will our lives be tested? Relate Abraham’s experience in offering up Isaac.
note: “Many today claim to obey the commandments of God, but they have not the love of God in their hearts to flow forth to others. Christ calls them to unite with Him in His work for the saving of the world, but they content themselves with saying, ‘I go, sir.’ They do not go. They do not co-operate with those who are doing God’s service. They are idlers. . . . In taking upon themselves the solemn covenant of the church they have pledged themselves to receive and obey the word of God, to give themselves to God’s service, but they do not do this. In profession they claim to be sons of God, but in life and character they deny the relationship. They do not surrender the will to God. They are living a lie.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 279.
See Isaiah 1:19; James 2:8–12; 1 John 3:4; Ecclesiastes 12:13; Genesis 22:1–14.
5 What did Jesus say His people would experience in this world? Give examples. Of what value is the trying of our faith? What legacy did Jesus leave with His people when He left the world?
note: “Our heavenly Father sees the hearts of men, and He knows their characters better than they themselves know them. He sees that some have susceptibilities and powers, which, directed in the right channel, might be used to His glory to aid in the advancement of His work. He puts these persons on trial and in His wise providence brings them into different positions and under a variety of circumstances, testing them that they may reveal what is in their hearts and the weak points in their characters which have been concealed from their own knowledge. He gives them opportunities to correct these weaknesses, to polish off the rough corners of their natures, and to fit themselves for His service, that when He calls them to action they will be ready, and that angels of heaven may unite their labor with human effort in the work that must be done upon the earth. To men whom God designs shall fill responsible positions, He in mercy reveals their hidden defects, that they may look within and examine critically the complicated emotions and exercises of their own hearts, and detect that which is wrong; thus they may modify their dispositions and refine their manners. The Lord in His providence brings men where He can test their moral powers and reveal their motives of action, that they may improve what is right in themselves and put away that which is wrong. God would have His servants become acquainted with the moral machinery of their own hearts. In order to bring this about, He often permits the fire of affliction to assail them that they may become purified.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 84, 85.
See John 16:32, 33; Hebrews 11:36–39; 1 Peter 1:6, 7; John 14:27.
6 Whom has the Lord promised to guide into judgment? What invitation does the Lord extend to the weary? Give an illustration of how God cares for His people.
note: “It is not the will of God that His people should be weighed down with care. But our Lord does not deceive us. He does not say to us, ‘Do not fear; there are no dangers in your path.’ He knows there are trials and dangers, and He deals with us plainly. He does not propose to take His people out of a world of sin and evil, but He points them to a never-failing refuge.” Steps to Christ, 122, 123.
See Psalm 25:9; Psalm 55:22; Matthew 11:28–30; Psalm 77:20; Deuteronomy 1:30, 31, 33.
7 What is the greatest personal victory we can gain? What will be considered in the Judgment? What kind of words should we speak? What manner of conversation should characterize Christians? In what kind of speech should Christians never indulge?
note: “God calls upon you to yield pride and stubbornness, and to let His peace rule in your hearts. A meek and quiet spirit must be cherished. Carry Christ’s meekness with you in all your labors. An excited temper and cutting censure will not impress the people or gain their sympathy. If we have the truth, we can afford to be calm and unexcited. Our language should be modest and elevated. The spirit you have cherished within has left its impression upon the countenance. Christ, enthroned in the soul-temple, will efface that fretful, peevish, unhappy look; and as the cloud of witnesses look upon a man reflecting the image of Christ, they will realize that he is surrounded by a pleasant atmosphere. The world will see that amid storms of abuse he stands unmoved, like the lofty cedar. That man is one of God’s heroes. He has overcome himself.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 348.
See Proverbs 16:32; 14:29; Matthew 12:36, 37; Proverbs 15:1, 2; Ephesians 4:29; Colossians 4:6; Ephesians 5:3, 4.
8 What admonition has the Lord given to parents? What instruction is given children concerning their duty toward their parents? How only can the young live a Christian life? What great work is to be wrought in homes before the Lord comes?
note: “A house with love in it, where love is expressed in words and looks and deeds, is a place where angels love to manifest their presence, and hallow the scene by rays of light from glory. There the humble household duties have a charm in them. . . .” Testimonies, vol. 2, 417.
See Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21; Exodus 20:12; Colossians 3:20; Proverbs 1:8; 13:1; Ecclesiastes 11:10; 12:1; Psalm 119:9, 11; Malachi 4:5, 6.
9 Who meets with the people of God when they assemble for worship? How reverently do the heavenly beings worship? What instruction is given to believers concerning modesty of apparel? What should we bring when we come into the Lord’s sanctuary?
note: “When the worshipers enter the place of meeting, they should do so with decorum, passing quietly to their seats. . . . Common talking, whispering, and laughing should not be permitted in the house of worship, either before or after the service. Ardent, active piety should characterize the worshipers.
“If when the people come into the house of worship, they have genuine reverence for the Lord and bear in mind that they are in His presence, there will be a sweet eloquence in silence. The whispering and laughing and talking which might be without sin in a common business place should find no sanction in the house where God is worshiped. The mind should be prepared to hear the word of God, that it may have due weight and suitably impress the heart.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 492.
See Matthew 18:20; Isaiah 6:1–4; 1 Timothy 2:8–10; 1 Peter 3:3, 4; Psalm 96:8; 1 Chronicles 16:29.
10 What warnings are given especially for those living in the last days? On whom are we invited to cast our burdens?
note: “Men are rushing on in the chase for gain and selfish indulgence as if there were no God, no heaven, and no hereafter. In Noah’s day the warning of the flood was sent to startle men in their wickedness and call them to repentance. So the message of Christ’s soon coming is designed to arouse men from their absorption in worldly things. It is intended to awaken them to a sense of eternal realities, that they may give heed to the invitation to the Lord’s table.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 228.
See Luke 21:34; 1 Timothy 6:9–11; 1 John 2:15, 16; Luke 14:33; 1 Peter 5:7.
11 To whom does all in the world belong? Relate the parable of the talents. What lesson does it contain for each of us? What did Jesus state was the greatest commandment of the law?
note: “Many are inquiring, ‘How am I to make the surrender of myself to God?’ You desire to give yourself to Him, but you are weak in moral power, in slavery to doubt, and controlled by the habits of your life of sin. . . . What you need to understand is the true force of the will. . . . The power of choice God has given to men; it is theirs to exercise. You cannot change your heart, you cannot of yourself give to God its affections; but you can choose to serve Him. You can give Him your will; He will then work in you to will and to do according to His good pleasure. Thus your whole nature will be brought under the control of the Spirit of Christ; your affections will be centered upon Him, your thoughts will be in harmony with Him.” Steps to Christ, 47.
See 1 Chronicles 29:10–14; Romans 11:36; Matthew 25:14–30; 22:35–40.
12 By what illustration did Jesus show the place His people occupy in the world? Repeat the gospel commission. Where are we to sow seed?
note: “The spirit of Christ is a missionary spirit.” The Great Controversy, 70.
“A true missionary spirit will be imparted to those who seek earnestly to know God and Jesus Christ, whom He hath sent. The Lord lives and reigns. Young men, go forth into the places to which you are directed by the Spirit of the Lord. Work with your hands, that you may be self-supporting, and as you have opportunity proclaim the message of warning.” Medical Ministry, 322.
See Matthew 5:13–16; 28:18–20; Ecclesiastes 11:1, 6; Isaiah 32:20.
These lessons are reprinted from Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, 1912.