Bible Study Guides – Justification by Faith – The Third Angel’s Message in Verity

December 23, 2018 – December 29, 2018

Key Text

“In their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God” (Revelation 14:5).

Study Help: The Faith I Live By, 209–215.


“Several have written to me, inquiring if the message of justification by faith is the third angel’s message, and I have answered, ‘It is the third angel’s message in verity.’ ” The Review and Herald, April 1, 1890.



  • What is the hope of the gospel, and how does this relate to the threefold message of Revelation 14:6–12? Colossians 1:23, 26–28.

Note: “Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 69.

  • What important doctrine was restored following the Second Advent Movement? Isaiah 56:1, 2; 58:12.

Note: “The Lord has sent us messages for this time to establish Christianity upon an eternal basis, and all who believe present truth must stand, not in their own wisdom, but in God; and raise up the foundation of many generations. These will be registered in the books of heaven as repairers of the breach, the restorers of paths to dwell in. We are to maintain the truth because it is truth, in the face of the bitterest opposition. God is at work upon human minds; it is not man alone that is working. The great illuminating power is from Christ; the brightness of His example is to be kept before the people in every discourse.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1152.



  • What gifts enable the sincere Advent believers to discern the special truths for these times? 1 Corinthians 12:28.

Note: “God is leading a people out from the world upon the exalted platform of eternal truth, the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. He will discipline and fit up His people. They will not be at variance, one believing one thing and another having faith and views entirely opposite, each moving independently of the body. Through the diversity of the gifts and governments that He has placed in the church, they will all come to the unity of the faith. If one man takes his views of Bible truth without regard to the opinion of his brethren, and justifies his course, alleging that he has a right to his own peculiar views, and then presses them upon others, how can he be fulfilling the prayer of Christ?” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 29, 30.

  • How does church unity affect our witness for the truth? John 13:35.

Note: “It is the unity in the church that enables it to exert a conscious influence upon unbelievers and worldlings.” That I May Know Him, 153.

“Our unity and love for one another are the credentials by which we testify to the world that God has sent His Son to save sinners.” This Day With God, 120.

  • What would have been possible if the believers had in full faith accepted the gift of the righteousness of Christ? Ephesians 4:13.

Note: “It is the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, which Jesus said He would send into the world, that changes our character into the image of Christ; and when this is accomplished, we reflect, as in a mirror, the glory of the Lord. That is, the character of the one who thus beholds Christ is so like His, that one looking at Him sees Christ’s own character shining out as from a mirror. Imperceptibly to ourselves, we are changed day by day from our own ways and will into the ways and will of Christ, into the loveliness of His character. Thus we grow up into Christ, and unconsciously reflect His image.” The Review and Herald, April 28, 1891.



  • What great scene was shown to the prophet Daniel, and when did it begin? How is the ministry of Christ associated with it? Daniel 7:9, 10, 13, 14; 1 John 2:1; Daniel 8:14.

Note: “[Daniel 7:13, 14 quoted.] The coming of Christ here described is not His second coming to the earth. He comes to the Ancient of Days in heaven to receive dominion and glory and a kingdom, which will be given Him at the close of His work as a mediator. It is this coming, and not His second advent to the earth, that was foretold in prophecy to take place at the termination of the 2300 days in 1844. Attended by heavenly angels, our great High Priest enters the holy of holies and there appears in the presence of God to engage in the last acts of His ministration in behalf of man—to perform the work of investigative judgment and to make an atonement for all who are shown to be entitled to its benefits.” The Great Controversy, 480.

  • If we have accepted Christ’s imputed righteousness and lived by the power of His imparted righteousness, what verdict will be given in the judgment? Ecclesiastes 12:14; Matthew 12:36, 37; Revelation 22:11.

Note: “All who have truly repented of sin, and by faith claimed the blood of Christ as their atoning sacrifice, have had pardon entered against their names in the books of heaven; as they have become partakers of the righteousness of Christ, and their characters are found to be in harmony with the law of God, their sins will be blotted out, and they themselves will be accounted worthy of eternal life. …

“Sins that have not been repented of and forsaken will not be pardoned and blotted out of the books of record, but will stand to witness against the sinner in the day of God. He may have committed his evil deeds in the light of day or in the darkness of night; but they were open and manifest before Him with whom we have to do. Angels of God witnessed each sin and registered it in the unerring records. Sin may be concealed, denied, covered up from father, mother, wife, children, and associates; no one but the guilty actors may cherish the least suspicion of the wrong; but it is laid bare before the intelligences of heaven. … Men may be deceived by those who are corrupt in heart, but God pierces all disguises and reads the inner life.” The Great Controversy, 483, 486.



  • What is revealed of the condition and character of those who have been sanctified during this sealing time? Revelation 14:1–5.

Note: “The spotless robe of Christ’s righteousness is placed upon the tried, tempted, yet faithful children of God. The despised remnant are clothed in glorious apparel, nevermore to be defiled by the corruptions of the world. Their names are retained in the Lamb’s book of life, enrolled among the faithful of all ages. They have resisted the wiles of the deceiver; they have not been turned from their loyalty by the dragon’s roar. Now they are eternally secure from the tempter’s devices.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 475.

  • What wonderful transaction takes place in the heavenly sanctuary during the judgment of the righteous dead and then the righteous living? Acts 3:19.

Note: “I saw that many were neglecting the preparation so needful and were looking to the time of ‘refreshing’ and the ‘latter rain’ to fit them to stand in the day of the Lord and to live in His sight. Oh, how many I saw in the time of trouble without a shelter! They had neglected the needful preparation; therefore they could not receive the refreshing that all must have to fit them to live in the sight of a holy God.” Early Writings, 71.

  • In what spiritual condition must we be when Jesus comes? Hebrews 12:14; 2 Peter 3:14; 1 John 3:2.

Note: “ ‘Be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless’ (2 Peter 3:14). This is the standard for which every Christian must strive, not in his own natural ability, but through the grace given him of Jesus Christ. Let us wrestle for the mastery over every sin, and be able to check every impatient, fretful expression.” Our High Calling, 235.

“Satan could find nothing in the Son of God that would enable him to gain the victory. He had kept His Father’s commandments, and there was no sin in Him that Satan could use to his advantage. This is the condition in which those must be found who shall stand in the time of trouble.” The Great Controversy, 623.



  • What solemn warning is given to guard God’s people from the deceptions of the last-day churches? What responsibility rests on those with this knowledge? Revelation 14:9–11; Ezekiel 33:2–4.

Note: “The third angel’s message is to be regarded as of the highest importance. It is a life and death question. The impression made by this message will be proportionate to the earnestness and solemnity with which it is proclaimed.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 980.

  • What is said of those who are overcomers and are thus prepared to meet Jesus at His second coming? Revelation 14:12.

Note: “God’s denominated people—those who on this earth have witnessed to their loyalty. Who are they? Those who have kept the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ; those who have owned the Crucified One as their Saviour.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 981.

“It is not enough to believe about Christ; we must believe in Him. The only faith that will benefit us is that which embraces Him as a personal Saviour; which appropriates His merits to ourselves. Many hold faith as an opinion. Saving faith is a transaction by which those who receive Christ join themselves in covenant relation with God. Genuine faith is life. A living faith means an increase of vigor, a confiding trust, by which the soul becomes a conquering power.” The Desire of Ages, 347. [Emphasis author’s.]



1     In what sense are we to be “repairers of the breach”?

2    Why is it so important to have unity in the church? How can we do this?

3    To have our sins blotted out, what condition must we be?

4    How can we reach the standard of character which God requires?

5    Why is it not enough to believe about Christ? What does this mean?


© 2017 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Justification by Faith – Complete in Christ

December 16, 2018 – December 22, 2018

Key Text

“And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:10).

Study Help: Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1, 27–37.


“Through faith in Christ, every deficiency of character may be supplied, every defilement cleansed, every fault corrected, every excellence developed.” Education, 257.



  • What has Jesus called us to be here in this world? Matthew 5:48.

Note: “God’s ideal for His children is higher than the highest human thought can reach. ‘Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect’ (Matthew 5:48). This command is a promise. The plan of redemption contemplates our complete recovery from the power of Satan. Christ always separates the contrite soul from sin. He came to destroy the works of the devil, and He has made provision that the Holy Spirit shall be imparted to every repentant soul, to keep him from sinning.” The Desire of Ages, 311.

  • In whose image are our lives to be perfectly conformed? Romans 8:29.

Note: “The ideal of Christian character is Christlikeness. As the Son of man was perfect in His life, so His followers are to be perfect in their life. Jesus was in all things made like unto His brethren. He became flesh, even as we are. He was hungry and thirsty and weary. He was sustained by food and refreshed by sleep. He shared the lot of man; yet He was the blameless Son of God. He was God in the flesh. His character is to be ours.” The Desire of Ages, 311.



  • What encouraging declaration is made after we have experienced forgiveness of sin and the new birth? Colossians 2:10.

Note: “Perfection through our own good works we can never attain. The soul who sees Jesus by faith, repudiates his own righteousness. He sees himself as incomplete, his repentance insufficient, his strongest faith but feebleness, his most costly sacrifice as meager, and he sinks in humility at the foot of the cross. But a voice speaks to him from the oracles of God’s word. In amazement he hears the message, ‘Ye are complete in Him” (Colossians 2:10). Now all is at rest in his soul. No longer must he strive to find some worthiness in himself, some meritorious deed by which to gain the favor of God.” Faith and Works, 107, 108.

  • Having been justified by faith, in what condition are we to continue to stand? Colossians 4:12, last part.

 Note: “The Lord Jesus acts through the Holy Spirit; for it is His representative. Through it He infuses spiritual life into the soul, quickening its energies for good, cleansing from moral defilement, and giving it a fitness for His kingdom. Jesus has large blessings to bestow, rich gifts to distribute among men. He is the wonderful Counselor, infinite in wisdom and strength; and if we will acknowledge the power of His Spirit, and submit to be molded by it, we shall stand complete in Him. What a thought is this! In Christ ‘dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him’ (Colossians 2:9, 10).” Our High Calling, 152.

  • As our Mediator, what does Jesus never cease to do for those who abide in Him by faith? Hebrews 7:25, last part.

 Note: “Jesus stands in the holy of holies, now to appear in the presence of God for us. There He ceases not to present His people moment by moment, complete in Himself. But because we are thus represented before the Father, we are not to imagine that we are to presume upon His mercy and become careless, indifferent, and self-indulgent. Christ is not the minister of sin. We are complete in Him, accepted in the Beloved, only as we abide in Him by faith.” Faith and Works, 107.



  • What essential truth must we understand in our efforts to please God? Philippians 2:12, 13.

Note: “He who is trying to reach heaven by his own works in keeping the law, is attempting an impossibility. Man cannot be saved without obedience, but his works should not be of himself; Christ should work in him to will and to do of His good pleasure. If a man could save himself by his own works, he might have something in himself in which to rejoice. The effort that man makes in his own strength to obtain salvation, is represented by the offering of Cain. All that man can do without Christ is polluted with selfishness and sin; but that which is wrought through faith is acceptable to God. When we seek to gain heaven through the merits of Christ, the soul makes progress. Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, we may go on from strength to strength, from victory to victory; for through Christ the grace of God has worked out our complete salvation.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 364.

  • Whose efforts and religious service failed to find acceptance with God, and why? Luke 18:11, 12.
  • By Whose merits are we enabled to stand before God? Hebrews 7:25; Revelation 8:3, 4.

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.



  • Abiding in Christ, with full assurance of our acceptance with God, what are we to do now? Hebrews 6:1.

Note: “We can never see our Lord in peace, unless our souls are spotless. We must bear the perfect image of Christ. Every thought must be brought into subjection to the will of Christ. As expressed by the great apostle, we must come ‘unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ’ (Ephesians 4:13). We shall never attain to this condition without earnest effort. We must strive daily against outward evil and inward sin, if we would reach the perfection of Christian character.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 148.

  • In our best efforts as believers to obey God, wherein lies our sufficiency to do so? 2 Corinthians 3:5.

Note: “Christ is our pattern, the perfect and holy example that has been given us to follow. We can never equal the pattern; but we may imitate and resemble it according to our ability.” Ye Shall Receive Power, 369.

“When it is in the heart to obey God, when efforts are put forth to this end, Jesus accepts this disposition and effort as man’s best service, and He makes up for the deficiency with His own divine merit.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 382.

“Jesus loves His children, even if they err. … He keeps His eye upon them, and when they do their best, calling upon God for His help, be assured the service will be accepted, although imperfect.” Ibid., Book 3, 195, 196.

  • As we go on to perfection, what does the Holy Spirit shed abroad in our heart? What will this lead us to do? Romans 5:5; 1 John 3:18.

Note: “The completeness of Christian character is attained when the impulse to help and bless others springs constantly from within.” The Acts of the Apostles, 551.

“Where faith is, good works appear. The sick are visited, the poor are cared for, the fatherless and the widows are not neglected, the naked are clothed, the destitute are fed. Christ went about doing good, and when men are united with Him, they love the children of God, and meekness and truth guide their footsteps.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 398.



  • How complete is the forgiveness of sins offered to the repenting sinner? 1 John 1:9.

Note: “Through the sacrifice made in our behalf, sins may be perfectly forgiven. Our dependence is not in what man can do; it is in what God can do for man through Christ. When we surrender ourselves wholly to God, and fully believe, the blood of Christ cleanses from all sin. The conscience can be freed from condemnation. Through faith in His blood, all may be made perfect in Christ Jesus. Thank God that we are not dealing with impossibilities. We may claim sanctification. We may enjoy the favor of God. We are not to be anxious about what Christ and God think of us, but about what God thinks of Christ, our Substitute. … The Lord shows, to the repenting, believing one, that Christ accepts the surrender of the soul, to be molded and fashioned after His own likeness.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 32, 33.

  • What assurance do we have of God’s ability to save us from the power of sin today? Jude 24; Philippians 1:6.

Note: “When Christ reigns in the soul, there is purity, freedom from sin. The glory, the fullness, the completeness of the gospel plan is fulfilled in the life. The acceptance of the Saviour brings a glow of perfect peace, perfect love, perfect assurance. The beauty and fragrance of the character of Christ revealed in the life testifies that God has indeed sent His Son into the world to be its Saviour.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 420.



1     Explain how “be ye therefore perfect” is both a command and a promise.

2    Why is Jesus’s mediation so important for us today?

3    What is needed for all our works to be acceptable to God today?

4    What does being perfect today mean for believers on a practical level?

5    How can we have perfect assurance of our salvation today?

Bible Study Guides – Justification by Faith – Righteousness for Today

December 9, 2018 – December 15, 2018

Key Text

“Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous” (1 John 3:7).

Study Help: Faith and Works, 91–94.


“Righteousness is right doing, and it is by their deeds that all will be judged. Our characters are revealed by what we do. The works show whether the faith is genuine.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 312.



  • To whom will righteousness be freely given? Matthew 5:6.

Note: “Righteousness is holiness, likeness to God, and ‘God is love’ (1 John 4:16). It is conformity to the law of God, for ‘all Thy commandments are righteousness’ (Psalm 119:172), and ‘love is the fulfilling of the law’ (Romans 13:10). Righteousness is love, and love is the light and the life of God. The righteousness of God is embodied in Christ. We receive righteousness by receiving Him.

“Not by painful struggles or wearisome toil, not by gift or sacrifice, is righteousness obtained; but it is freely given to every soul who hungers and thirsts to receive it.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 18.

  • Where are we to look in order to find righteousness? Isaiah 45:22–25.

Note: “In looking to ourselves for righteousness, by which to find acceptance with God, we look to the wrong place, ‘for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23). We are to look to Jesus; for ‘we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory’ (2 Corinthians 3:18). You are to find your completeness by beholding the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Faith and Works, 108.



  • How can we make the righteousness of Christ our own? Romans 3:24–26.

Note: “The grace of Christ is freely to justify the sinner without merit or claim on his part. Justification is a full, complete pardon of sin. The moment a sinner accepts Christ by faith, that moment he is pardoned. The righteousness of Christ is imputed to him.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1071.

“Christ looks at the spirit, and when He sees us carrying our burden with faith, His perfect holiness atones for our shortcomings. When we do our best, He becomes our righteousness.” Faith and Works, 102.

  • How is righteousness received? Romans 4:3–5.

Note: “Without the grace of Christ, the sinner is in a hopeless condition; nothing can be done for him; but through divine grace, supernatural power is imparted to the man and works in mind and heart and character. It is through the impartation of the grace of Christ that sin is discerned in its hateful nature and finally driven from the soul temple. It is through grace that we are brought into fellowship with Christ, to be associated with Him in the work of salvation. Faith is the condition upon which God has seen fit to promise pardon to sinners; not that there is any virtue in faith whereby salvation is merited, but because faith can lay hold of the merits of Christ, the remedy provided for sin. Faith can present Christ’s perfect obedience instead of the sinner’s transgression and defection. When the sinner believes that Christ is his personal Saviour, then according to His unfailing promises, God pardons his sin and justifies him freely. The repentant soul realizes that his justification comes because Christ, as his Substitute and Surety, has died for him, is his atonement and righteousness.” Faith and Works, 100, 101.

“The best efforts that man in his own strength can make are valueless to meet the holy and just law that he has transgressed; but through faith in Christ he may claim the righteousness of the Son of God as all-sufficient. … Genuine faith appropriates the righteousness of Christ, and the sinner is made an overcomer with Christ; for he is made a partaker of the divine nature, and thus divinity and humanity are combined.” Ibid., 93, 94.



  • What attitude should we have to those around us at home? Colossians 3:12, 13.

Note: “From every Christian home a holy light should shine forth. Love should be revealed in action. It should flow out in all home intercourse, showing itself in thoughtful kindness, in gentle, unselfish courtesy.” The Adventist Home, 37.

“Mutual kindness and forbearance will make home a Paradise and attract holy angels into the family circle.” Ibid., 422.

“Cultivate sympathy for others. Let cheerfulness, kindness, and love pervade the home. This will increase a love for religious exercises, and duties large and small will be performed with a light heart.” Ibid., 433.

  • What is a goal for every Christian? Matthew 5:14–16.

Note: “The first work of Christians is to be united in the family. Then the work is to extend to their neighbors nigh and afar off. Those who have received light are to let the light shine forth in clear rays. Their words, fragrant with the love of Christ, are to be a savor of life unto life.

“The more closely the members of a family are united in their work in the home, the more uplifting and helpful will be the influence that father and mother and sons and daughters will exert outside the home.” The Adventist Home, 37.



  • What attitude should we have toward others? Philippians 2:3.

Note: “It is not because we are righteous, but because we are dependent, faulty, erring, and helpless ourselves, that we must rely upon Christ’s righteousness, and not upon our own.” In Heavenly Places, 23.

  • What special regard should we have for one another in the faith? Romans 12:10.

Note: “As the members of a true family care for one another, ministering to the sick, supporting the weak, teaching the ignorant, training the inexperienced, so is ‘the household of faith’ (Galatians 6:10) to care for its needy and helpless ones. Upon no consideration are these to be passed by.” The Ministry of Healing, 201.

“We must obtain that measure of the grace of Christ that will enable us to dwell together in love and unity in this life, else we can never dwell together in the life to come.” This Day With God, 372.

“The closer we come to Christ, the nearer we shall be to one another. God is glorified as His people unite in harmonious action.” The Adventist Home, 179.

  • What is the evidence that we as church members have accepted Christ and are being sanctified? Ezekiel 20:12.

Note: “No other institution which was committed to the Jews tended so fully to distinguish them from surrounding nations as did the Sabbath. God designed that its observance should designate them as His worshipers. It was to be a token of their separation from idolatry, and their connection with the true God. But in order to keep the Sabbath holy, men must themselves be holy. Through faith they must become partakers of the righteousness of Christ. …

“As the Jews departed from God, and failed to make the righteousness of Christ their own by faith, the Sabbath lost its significance to them.” The Desire of Ages, 283.



  • How can we reflect Christ and His righteousness to those around us? John 15:4, 5.

Note: “By our words and deeds we may reveal the power of the truth to transform the character. We may each reveal that we depend on Christ’s righteousness, not upon our own manufactured righteousness. We may abide in Christ as the branch abides in the vine, having such a living connection with Him that it is a pleasure to work as He worked, to be a help and blessing to our brethren. We can work the works of Christ, doing those things that are pleasing in His sight.” The Ellen White 1888 Materials, 137, 138.

  • Which attribute of God should we seek to emulate in our dealings with others? Psalms 69:16.

Note: “We should be self-forgetful, ever looking out for opportunities, even in little things, to show gratitude for the favors we have received of others, and watching for opportunities to cheer others and lighten and relieve their sorrows and burdens by acts of tender kindness and little deeds of love. These thoughtful courtesies that, commencing in our families, extend outside the family circle help make up the sum of life’s happiness; and the neglect of these little things makes up the sum of life’s bitterness and sorrow. …

“It is impossible to be in union with Christ and yet be unkind to others and forgetful of their rights.” The Adventist Home, 428.



1     Where are we to look for our acceptance with God?

2    How does Jesus pardon the sinner? How complete is this pardon?

3    Where are we to begin our work as Christians, and what does this involve?

4    If we fail to live in love and unity with our brethren here, what hope do we have for our future life? How should we treat one another?

5          How can we show the love of God toward others? If we are unkind to others, what does this reveal?

Bible Study Guides – Justification by Faith – Sanctification

December 2, 2018 – December 8, 2018

Key Text

“As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:14–16).

Study Help: The Acts of the Apostles, 557–567.


“The work of transformation from unholiness to holiness is a continuous work. Day by day God labors for man’s sanctification, and man is to co-operate with Him by putting forth persevering efforts in the cultivation of right habits.” The Review and Herald, March 15, 1906.



  • What characteristic of God pervades heaven and must be in all who would enter His presence? 1 Peter 1:14–16.

Note: “The righteousness of God is absolute. This righteousness characterizes all His works, all His laws. As God is, so must His people be. The life of Christ is to be revealed in the lives of His followers. In all His public and private acts, in every word and deed, practical godliness was seen, and this godliness is to be seen in the lives of His disciples.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 198.

“He [God] cannot endure the presence of sin. It is the thing that His soul hates. … Holiness is the foundation of God’s throne; sin is the opposite of holiness; sin crucified the Son of God. If men could see how hateful sin is, they would not tolerate it, nor educate themselves in it. They would reform in life and character. Secret faults would be overcome. If you are to be saints in heaven, you must first be saints upon the earth.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 145.

  • What has been the purpose of God for man from the beginning? What do the Scriptures tell of the will of God for us? Ephesians 1:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:3.



  • What steps are enumerated in order to reach the goal of Christian perfection? Hebrews 6:1; Philippians 3:13, 14; 2 Peter 1:5–10.

Note: “The Scriptures plainly show that the work of sanctification is progressive. When in conversion the sinner finds peace with God through the blood of the atonement, the Christian life has but just begun. Now he is to ‘go on unto perfection;’ to grow up ‘unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ’ (Hebrews 6:1; Ephesians 4:13). Says the apostle Paul: ‘This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 3:13, 14). And Peter sets before us the steps by which Bible sanctification is to be attained: ‘Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance.’ ” The Great Controversy, 470.

“The way in which we are to work out our own salvation is plainly specified in the first chapter of Second Peter. Constantly we are to add grace to grace, and as we do this, God will work for us upon the plan of multiplication.” The Review and Herald, March 15, 1906.



  • While we have Christ’s righteousness imputed to us, how thoroughly is the work of sanctification to be carried out, and for what purpose? 1 Thessalonians 5:23.

Note: “Our sanctification is the work of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is the fulfillment of the covenant God has made with those who bind themselves up with Him, to stand with Him, His Son, and His Spirit in holy fellowship. Have you been born again? Have you become a new being in Christ Jesus? Then cooperate with the three great powers of heaven who are working in your behalf.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 908.

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



  • What is the goal of Bible sanctification? 1 Thessalonians 3:13.

Note: “By the word and the Spirit of God are opened to men the great principles of righteousness embodied in His law. And since the law of God is ‘holy, and just, and good’ (Romans 7:12), a transcript of the divine perfection, it follows that a character formed by obedience to that law will be holy. Christ is a perfect example of such a character. He says: ‘I have kept My Father’s commandments.’ ‘I do always those things that please Him’ (John 15:10; 8:29). The followers of Christ are to become like Him—by the grace of God to form characters in harmony with the principles of His holy law. This is Bible sanctification.” The Great Controversy, 469.

“The sanctification set forth in the Scriptures embraces the entire being—spirit, soul, and body.” Ibid., 473.

  • What will be the experience of the truly converted believer? What has such a believer done when he or she responds to the call for repentance? 1 Corinthians 15:57.

Note: “The Christian will feel the promptings of sin, but he will maintain a constant warfare against it. Here is where Christ’s help is needed. Human weakness becomes united to divine strength, and faith exclaims: ‘Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ’ (1 Corinthians 15:57).” The Great Controversy, 469, 470.

“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.” The Desire of Ages, 555, 556.

“None are living Christians unless they have a daily experience in the things of God and daily practice self-denial, cheerfully bearing the cross and following Christ. Every living Christian will advance daily in the divine life. As he advances toward perfection, he experiences a conversion to God every day; and this conversion is not completed until he attains to perfection of Christian character, a full preparation for the finishing touch of immortality.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 505.



  • What is the experience of the heart in which the work of sanctification is accomplished? Psalm 119:14–16.

Note: “All true obedience comes from the heart. It was heart work with Christ. And if we consent, He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses. The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service. When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will be a life of continual obedience. Through an appreciation of the character of Christ, through communion with God, sin will become hateful to us.” The Desire of Ages, 668.

  • What is the evidence of this sanctification? 1 John 2:3–6.

Note: “Righteousness within is testified to by righteousness without. He who is righteous within is not hard-hearted and unsympathetic, but day by day he grows into the image of Christ, going on from strength to strength. He who is being sanctified by the truth will be self-controlled, and will follow in the footsteps of Christ until grace is lost in glory.” The Review and Herald, June 4, 1895.



1     What does it mean to be holy?

2    Differentiate between imputed and imparted righteousness.

3    How is the work of sanctification accomplished?

4    What results from true sanctification?

5    What is evidence that the soul is sanctified?

Bible Study Guides – Justification by Faith – Born of God

November 25, 2018 – December 1, 2018

Key Text

“We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not” (1 John 5:18).

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 167–177.


“Those who know not what it is to have an experience in the things of God, who know not what it is to be justified by faith, who have not the witness of the Spirit that they are accepted of Jesus Christ, are in need of being born again.” Lift Him Up, 124.



  • What invitation does Jesus give to all? Matthew 11:28–30.

Note: “It is a mistake to think that you must come to repentance before you can come to Jesus. Come to Christ just as you are, and contemplate His love until your hard heart is broken.” The Review and Herald, September 3, 1901.

  • What was Nicodemus impressed to do and why? John 3:1, 2

Note: “Nicodemus had heard the preaching of John the Baptist concerning repentance and baptism, and pointing the people to One who should baptize with the Holy Spirit. He himself had felt that there was a lack of spirituality among the Jews, that, to a great degree, they were controlled by bigotry and worldly ambition. He had hoped for a better state of things at the Messiah’s coming. Yet the heart-searching message of the Baptist had failed to work in him conviction of sin. He was a strict Pharisee, and prided himself on his good works. He was widely esteemed for his benevolence and his liberality in sustaining the temple service, and he felt secure of the favor of God.” The Desire of Ages, 171.



  • According to Jesus, what must a person do before they can see the kingdom of heaven and why? John 3:3.

Note: “He [Nicodemus] was startled at the thought of a kingdom too pure for him to see in his present state.” The Desire of Ages, 171.

“No man can of himself understand his errors. ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?’ (Jeremiah 17:9). The lips may express a poverty of soul that the heart does not acknowledge. While speaking to God of poverty of spirit, the heart may be swelling with the conceit of its own superior humility and exalted righteousness. In one way only can a true knowledge of self be obtained. We must behold Christ. It is ignorance of Him that makes men so uplifted in their own righteousness. When we contemplate His purity and excellence, we shall see our own weakness and poverty and defects as they really are. We shall see ourselves lost and hopeless, clad in garments of self-righteousness, like every other sinner. We shall see that if we are ever saved, it will not be through our own goodness, but through God’s infinite grace.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 159.

  • How did Jesus explain this truth further to Nicodemus, and what did He mean by it? John 3:4–6.

Note: “Jesus continued: ‘That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6). By nature the heart is evil, and ‘who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one’ (Job 14:4). No human invention can find a remedy for the sinning soul. ‘The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.’ ‘Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies’ (Romans 8:7; Matthew 15:19). The fountain of the heart must be purified before the streams can become pure. He who is trying to reach heaven by his own works in keeping the law is attempting an impossibility. There is no safety for one who has merely a legal religion, a form of godliness. The Christian’s life is not a modification or improvement of the old, but a transformation of nature. There is a death to self and sin, and a new life altogether. This change can be brought about only by the effectual working of the Holy Spirit.” The Desire of Ages, 172.



  • What is promised to those who accept the gospel? Galatians 3:14.
  • Why is it impossible of ourselves to turn from a sinful life? Romans 8:7.

Note: “It is impossible for us, of ourselves, to escape from the pit of sin in which we are sunken. Our hearts are evil, and we cannot change them. ‘Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.’ ‘The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be’ (Job 14:4; Romans 8:7). Education, culture, the exercise of the will, human effort, all have their proper sphere, but here they are powerless. They may produce an outward correctness of behavior, but they cannot change the heart; they cannot purify the springs of life. There must be a power working from within, a new life from above, before men can be changed from sin to holiness. That power is Christ. His grace alone can quicken the lifeless faculties of the soul, and attract it to God, to holiness.

“The Saviour said, ‘Except a man be born from above,’ unless he shall receive a new heart, new desires, purposes, and motives, leading to a new life, ‘he cannot see the kingdom of God’ (John 3:3, margin).” Steps to Christ, 18.

  • While we cannot of ourselves change our sinful heart, what can we do? Joshua 24:15.

Note: “What you need to understand is the true force of the will. This is the governing power in the nature of man, the power of decision, or of choice. Everything depends on the right action 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. [Emphasis author’s.]



  • Who creates in us a new heart? John 3:7, 8.

Note: “The wind is heard among the branches of the trees, rustling the leaves and flowers; yet it is invisible, and no man knows whence it comes or whither it goes. So with the work of the Holy Spirit upon the heart. It can no more be explained than can the movements of the wind. A person may not be able to tell the exact time or place, or to trace all the circumstances in the process of conversion; but this does not prove him to be unconverted. By an agency as unseen as the wind, Christ is constantly working upon the heart. Little by little, perhaps unconsciously to the receiver, impressions are made that tend to draw the soul to Christ. These may be received through meditating upon Him, through reading the Scriptures, or through hearing the word from the living preacher. Suddenly, as the Spirit comes with more direct appeal, the soul gladly surrenders itself to Jesus. By many this is called sudden conversion; but it is the result of long wooing by the Spirit of God—a patient, protracted process.” The Desire of Ages, 172.

“The sinner may resist this love, may refuse to be drawn to Christ; but if he does not resist he will be drawn to Jesus; a knowledge of the plan of salvation will lead him to the foot of the cross in repentance for his sins, which have caused the sufferings of God’s dear Son.” Steps to Christ, 27.

  • To be created or “born again” is to receive a new heart—new desires, purposes, and motives. What must we feed upon to be born again? 1 Peter 1:23; 2:2.

Note: “When truth becomes an abiding principle in the life, the soul is ‘born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever’ (1 Peter 1:23). This new birth is the result of receiving Christ as the word of God. When by the Holy Spirit divine truths are impressed upon the heart, new conceptions are awakened, and the energies hitherto dormant are aroused to co-operate with God.” The Acts of the Apostles, 520.

  • What knowledge does God use to transform the mind of the believer? 2 Corinthians 4:6.



  • What must we realize for ourselves about Jesus in order to be changed? John 3:14, 15; 1:29.

Note: “Christ must be revealed to the sinner as the Saviour dying for the sins of the world; and as we behold the Lamb of God upon the cross of Calvary, the mystery of redemption begins to unfold to our minds and the goodness of God leads us to repentance. In dying for sinners, Christ manifested a love that is incomprehensible; and as the sinner beholds this love, it softens the heart, impresses the mind, and inspires contrition in the soul.” Steps to Christ, 26, 27.

  • When we surrender ourselves to Christ, what will take place? Ezekiel 36:26, 27.

Note: “As the sinner, drawn by the power of Christ, approaches the uplifted cross and prostrates himself before it, there is a new creation. A new heart is given him. He becomes a new creature in Christ Jesus. Holiness finds that it has nothing more to require. God Himself is ‘the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus’ (Romans 3:26). And ‘whom He justified, them He also glorified’ (Romans 8:30).” Christ’s Object Lessons, 163.

  • When we are born again, in what alone will we glory? Galatians 6:14.



1     What essential experience will Christ give all who come to Him?

2    What must you realize about yourself if you are to be born again?

3    Why do we find it so hard to do the right thing?

4    What must you feed upon if you are to experience the new birth?

5    What does God promise to do when we surrender all to Christ?

Recipe – Brussels Sprouts with Onions and Garlic


½ lb. Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, halved (or quartered)

1 yellow onion, diced or cut into strips

3 cloves garlic or more, minced



Place the onions and garlic in the bottom of a pan, and top with the Brussels sprouts.

Cook uncovered on medium heat until the onions begin to sizzle and steam.

Cover the pot; turn the stove down to very low and let cook for about 45-60 minutes.


Food – Brussels Sprouts – My Mini-Cabs

Even though these vegetables are called sprouts, actually they are a member of the cabbage family. I just call them mini-cabs because they look like little cabbages. These were first cultivated in Belgium and that is why they are called Brussels sprouts because Brussels is the capital of Belgium. AND when you read the following, you will want to always include these little mini-cabs into your diet also!

“Brussels sprouts contain a chemical called sinigrin, which suppresses the development of precancerous cells. It works by persuading the precancerous cells to commit suicide—a natural process called apoptosis—and so powerful is the effect that it’s entirely possible that the occasional meal of Brussels sprouts could help reduce the incidence of colon cancer.

“Brussels sprouts are high in isothiocyanates and sulforaphane, which are compounds known to help fight cancer by inhibiting cell proliferation, neutralizing carcinogens, and helping to detoxify nasty environmental toxins. Sulforaphane, a particularly potent member of the isothiocyanate family, increases the production of certain enzymes known as ‘phase-2 enzymes,’ which can ‘disarm’ damaging free radicals and help fight carcinogens. It’s believed that phase-2 enzymes may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. According to research from the Department of Urology at Stanford University published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, sulforaphane is the most potent inducer of phase-2 enzymes of any phyto-2 chemical known to date. And in a review article from the 11th Annual Research Conference on Diet, Nutrition, and Cancer from the American Institute of Cancer Research, the authors stated that ‘isothiocyanates are well-known protectors against carcinogenesis.’ ” The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S., 27.



Brussels Sprouts with Onions and Garlic


½ lb. Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, halved (or quartered)

1 yellow onion, diced or cut into strips

3 cloves garlic or more, minced


Place the onions and garlic in the bottom of a pan, and top with the Brussels sprouts.

Cook uncovered on medium heat until the onions begin to sizzle and steam.

Cover the pot; turn the stove down to very low and let cook for about 45-60 minutes.



Life Sketches – The Unknown God

Some people believe that everything has its origin in blind chance. Others believe that there exists an over-ruling providence, a living center of all government. Why it is that many intelligent people believe unproven theories?

While preaching the gospel on his missionary journey from Thessalonica to Berea, Paul found that the people in Berea were Bible students. He said, “These [people] were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). When people honestly desire to know what is right, they will check what they have been taught by the Scriptures and it will produce a result similar to that found in Berea. However, too many people today are just the opposite of the Bereans. They may not be able to controvert the doctrine that has been presented to them from the Bible, yet manifest the utmost reluctance to even investigate the evidence that has been presented in its favor.

Often the assumption is that even if it is the truth, it is really a matter of little consequence whether it is accepted as such, believing that if the faith and customs that they have was good enough for their fathers to follow, it is good enough for them. So why change? But the Lord has sent out His ambassadors with a message to the world, and will hold the people responsible for the manner in which they treat the words of His servants. God will judge us according to the light that we have had the opportunity to receive. It is our duty to investigate, like the Bereans, to see whether it is true or not.

Jesus said, “That servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more” (Luke 12:47, 48).

So much has been committed to the people of our generation. The Bible is more accessible to people in first world countries than it has ever been before. Are you taking advantage of this opportunity? The prophet Hosea delivers a strong warning: “My people [the Lord’s people] …  are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children” (Hosea 4:6).

If people today were like the Bereans and checked the Bible to find out the truth, there would be thousands of people loyal to God’s government and His law, where now there is only one. Many who profess to love God have no desire to change from error to truth and they cling to the pleasing fables that the Bible predicted would abound in the last days.

Error blinds the mind and leads from God, but the truth is light to the mind and life to the soul. Error cannot sanctify.

Paul left Berea to escape from the Jews and went to Athens, a city that was the metropolis of heathen religions and philosophy. There he spent a period of time alone. This city was completely different from Lystra where Paul had been stoned. Lystra was home to an ignorant, credulous populace, but in Athens, there were people who were famous for their intelligence and education. The city was adorned by the many statues of their gods and deified heroes from their history. There were poetry, paintings, architecture, and images all over town that represented the glory and popular worship of heathen deities.

The Bible says in Acts 17:16, 17, “Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols. Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there.”

A tremendous amount of money and wealth had been expended in producing all of the sculptures, shrines, and the vast gallery of art. The average person’s senses are taken in with pleasure at seeing such a spectacle of wealth—the beauty, the grandeur, and such beautiful displays of human workmanship. But when the apostle Paul looked on this city full of idols, he was stirred with jealousy for God, whom he saw dishonored on every side.

The second commandment, Exodus 20:4–6, which is also the second longest commandment of the ten, strictly prohibits any kind of idolatry. God hates idolatry. In Revelation, the Lord pronounces that there are going to be certain people who will not be able to enter the kingdom of heaven but will be left on the outside. It says, “Outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie” (Revelation 22:15).

In Athens, the people were intellectually great, but they were given over to idolatry. Paul perceived that this human art deified vice and made falsehood attractive and understood that the joy and splendor of these riches would never give eternal life. To him, all earthly pomp and glory was valueless if you failed to receive eternal life. Jesus said, “What will it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul” (Mark 8:36, literal translation)? Looking at the magnificence of the city and costly displays, Paul saw the seductive influence over the minds of those who were lovers of art and science. Paul had a job to do; he understood that he had been given a life mission just as Christ has given a commission to all of His followers (see Matthew 28:19, 20). That mission is to bear the tidings of salvation to people who had no intelligent understanding of God and His plans.

Paul was not in Athens to gratify a desire to see new things or have new experiences. He was there on a mission from God, and was grieved as he saw idolatry abound everywhere and sought to reason with the people. Paul realized that the religion of Athens, of which they made great boast, was of no value, because it was destitute of the knowledge of the true God. Like much of the religions of today, their religion consisted of art worship, beautiful music, a round of dissipating amusement and festivities, and religious rituals, but lacked the virtue of true goodness. Genuine religion of the heart and mind results in victory over the sinful nature, victory over sinful habits. (See Romans 6 and 8, John 8; 1 John 3.)

If your religion is merely intellectual and wanting in the realization of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in your life, it will not be able to raise you above the sinful desires of the sinful nature so that you can enjoy victory over sin and live in harmony with the law of God. Paul preached in Athens about the resurrection from the dead. With all their philosophy, they did not have any system of religion that could bring deliverance from death, and they knew it.

Paul gave one of the most scintillating and intellectually challenging discourses that you will find in all the Bible. He was in a very dangerous situation and knew that if he should make a direct attack on their religious beliefs, his life would be in danger. Paul used a very interesting technique here, and approached them with great tact as he exposed the futility of their religion. The Bible says, “Certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, ‘What does this babbler want to say?’ Others said, ‘He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods,’ because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection. And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, ‘May we know what this new doctrine is of which you speak? For you are bringing some strange things to our ears. Therefore we want to know what these things mean.’ For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing” (Acts 17:18–21).

Paul stood on the top of Mars Hill, at the most sacred place of the city, the Areopagus, and said to them, “ ‘Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious’ ” (verse 22). This was true; the city had all kinds of idols and shrines, religious paintings, and sculptures everywhere. He continued, “ ‘… for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you’ ” (verse 23).

He told them that they were already worshiping the unknown God, one they did not know that they honored with an idol, and that it is the God they didn’t know that he was going to tell them about.

Who is this unknown God? Paul said, He is “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands” (verse 24). There were many temples in that city, but Paul told them that the God of whom he spoke made the heavens, the earth, and everything in it, and does not need a man-made temple to dwell in.

In fact, Paul said in verse 25, first part, “Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything.” He’s not worshiped by objects of art or manmade sculptures or anything that can be made by our hands, “since He gives to all life, breath, and all things” (verse 25, last part).

Then Paul said in verse 26, concerning this God, “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth.” This is a very interesting statement. As human beings, we are tempted to have racial prejudice, political prejudice, religious prejudice, and national prejudice, but the apostle Paul says, that God has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth. We are all related to every other human being by blood.

O, friend, the Bible does not teach that we are to look down on some other nationality, some other race, or people of some other religion. All are created in the image of God, all are made of one blood, and therefore we should look at all others as brothers.

He says, “He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (verses 26, 27, literal translation). He challenged them to consider their purpose, to seek and find this Lord, the One who’s made heaven and earth, the One who gives to all life, and breath, and all things; He can’t be worshiped by something made by human hands, as though He needed anything, because He is the One that gives all, gives life, and breath, and everything they have.

“For in Him we live and move and have our being” (verse 28, first part).

Paul showed them that he was familiar with their religion and their heathen authors when he said to them, “As also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring’ ” (verse 28, last part).  He says, “Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising” (verse 29). He showed them that these idols they were worshiping were actually useless, because they were controlled by human power. They could only move as human beings moved them showing that those who worshiped them were in every way superior to what they worshiped. He appealed to them that they should not think that the divine nature is something like this. Man was created in the image of God and was blessed with intellectual power, a perfect and symmetrical body, so we should not think that God can be likened to something that man can make.

Finally, this very interesting excuse was given for their ignorance of the true God. “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent” (verse 30). O, friend, have you ever thought through that text? God has overlooked the time in your past life when, maybe, you didn’t know any better, but when you find out the truth, the Lord says that you need to repent; you need to change your mind. Also, we know from this verse that there is no human being that is infallible, because an infallible being does not need to repent, but it says, “God commands all men everywhere to repent.”

Repentance is one of the first steps toward being saved. It is one of the first steps in the plan of salvation. When John the Baptist came, he preached to the people that they should repent. When Jesus began to preach, He said to the people, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). When Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost he said, “Repent” (Acts 2:38).

When Peter preached to people who did not know the truth, he explained that there is a God in heaven who made everything and doesn’t need anything from us. We cannot do anything to add to His power or glory. He explained that in the time of their ignorance, God overlooked, but now He commands all men everywhere to repent.

Paul said, “God … now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained [Jesus Christ]. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30, 31).

God has appointed a day, a certain time in the future, when He is going to judge this whole world in righteousness.

O, friend, are you ready for the judgment? You will never be ready for the judgment unless you have repented of your sins. Have you surrendered your heart to the Lordship and sovereignty of Jesus Christ, or are you worshiping other gods? It may not be a god of gold or silver. It could be a philosophical god. Some people worship their own or other’s intellect, neglecting to worship the One who made it. There were few people who accepted the apostle Paul’s teaching and became Christians. The majority refused having too much confidence in their own philosophy.

The Bible says, “In the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21).

O, friend, it is the same today as it has been in all ages. Those who think that they are very wise do not accept the wisdom that comes from God alone.

How is it with you? Are you wise in your own sight, or are you willing to accept the knowledge of God that He has revealed in His word? The choice is yours.


(Unless appearing in quoted references or otherwise identified, Bible texts are from the New King James Version.)

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


Health Nugget – The Pathway of Smell

Do you appreciate your little nose?

“The nose is the smelling room of the body. It is more than a room—it is in reality a wonderful little house. It is three stories high and is made up of many curious rooms and winding stairs. Two doors, the nostrils, admit the air laden with odors to the waiting room or vestibule. Most of the air passes back through the hall on the first floor, some of it goes up stairs to the second floor and visits the various chambers, but the odors one and all make haste to reach the rooms on the third floor. In the walls of these upper rooms are thousands of delicate hair-like projections ready to be touched.

“These projections are like electric buttons in a house or a hotel. … The very gentlest touch of an odor on one of these hairs or “smell bodies” in the smell chamber of the nose, rings a bell in your office in the brain and tells you that a rose is waiting to be enjoyed or that you are in disagreeable or dangerous air … these little smell bodies, which are called olfactory cells, send different messages to the brain for different odors. …

“Every fragrant odor is healthful or full of health. It makes us breathe more deeply and thus brings more life into the blood, more vigor to the brain.

“Bad odors have just the opposite effect. They warn us of danger in the air and keep us from breathing gases and fumes that would poison us. How often in passing a factory or some other place where there is a bad smell you hold your nose shut to keep out the odor. At the same time you are keeping out bad air.

“You cannot smell any one odor very long at a time. If you do not heed the warning of a bad smell soon the warning will no longer be given. If you bury your nose in a fragrant bouquet or hold it close to the top of a bottle of perfume almost at once you cease to smell anything at all. If you keep smelling and smelling of some sweet flower your very eagerness destroys your pleasure. The odor cannot be constantly smelled. In three minutes or in a shorter time it will be gone. This is because the power of the smell cells is limited. You have been trying to make them work too hard. They are so built that they cannot overdo. If you wait a few moments and let them rest they will go to work again and you can again smell the flower, the perfume, the gas.

“In this the smell cells are like the taste buds. After one has been eating for half an hour the food does not taste as it did at first. The taste buds as well as the smell cells become tired and need a rest. The first mouthful has the keenest taste. The first whiff of an odor has the keenest smell.

“Just as the taste buds in the mouth stand, like sentinels, at the beginning of the food passage to see that nothing dangerous enters, so the smell cells stand, like sentinels, at the beginning of the breathing passage, guarding all the air we breathe.

“The air often carries other enemies besides bad odors. Just inside the doors of the nose, in the nostrils, are several little stiff hairs, that are placed there to keep out these enemies. They keep out flies and other insects as well as the dust. If dust or dirt or insect passes these guards it is caught by the moist walls of the nose.

“In many places, especially in some large cities the air is so full of dust that it forces its way past these sentinels through the nose into the throat and lungs where it often causes disease.

“If the air is very cold or very hot the front doors of the nose are partly closed by certain little muscles whose duty it is to keep watch and not let in any more cold air or hot air than it is safe to breathe. When these little muscles are holding the door shut it makes our noses look thin and ‘pinched.’ Notice this on a cold frosty morning. It is not Jack Frost that is pinching your nose but the little muscles in the tip of your nose that are shutting the doors to keep out Jack Frost. …

“Smell and Taste are good friends and work together. One helps the other. But smell helps taste more than taste helps smell.

“Sometimes you get up in the morning to find that you have a cold in the head. You try to breathe through your nose but cannot. You cannot smell. You sit down to breakfast but you cannot eat. The food does not taste good. You push back your plate and give up trying to eat. This is just what smell and taste were working for. Your cold will disappear sooner if you do not eat much, so they make eating uncomfortable and disagreeable. Every part of the body is all the time helping every other part to keep the living temple growing healthy and strong and beautiful.” Excerpts from The Story of a Living Temple, Frederick M. Rossiter, published by Forgotten Books 2012—originally published in 1902, 43–49.

Praise the Lord for the gift of a nose!

Question & Answer: How did Nero die?

The apostle Paul was tried before Nero, emperor of Rome.

“For a moment, heaven was opened to the guilty and hardened Nero, and its peace and purity seemed desirable. That moment the invitation of mercy was extended even to him. But only for a moment was the thought of pardon welcomed. Then the command was issued that Paul be taken back to his dungeon; and as the door closed upon the messenger of God, the door of repentance closed forever against the emperor of Rome. No ray of light from heaven was ever again to penetrate the darkness that enveloped him. Soon he was to suffer the retributive judgments of God.

“Not long after this, Nero sailed on his infamous expedition to Greece, where he disgraced himself and his kingdom by contemptible and debasing frivolity. Returning to Rome with great pomp, he surrounded himself with his courtiers and engaged in scenes of revolting debauchery. In the midst of this revelry a voice of tumult in the streets was heard. A messenger dispatched to learn the cause, returned with the appalling news that Galba, at the head of an army, was marching rapidly upon Rome, that insurrection had already broken out in the city, and that the streets were filled with an enraged mob, which, threatening death to the emperor and all his supporters, was rapidly approaching the palace.

“In this time of peril, Nero had not, like the faithful Paul, a powerful and compassionate God on whom to rely. Fearful of the suffering and possible torture he might be compelled to endure at the hands of the mob, the wretched tyrant thought to end his life by his own hand, but at the critical moment his courage failed. Completely unmanned, he fled ignominiously from the city and sought shelter at a countryseat a few miles distant, but to no avail. His hiding place was soon discovered, and as the pursuing horsemen drew near, he summoned a slave to his aid and inflicted on himself a mortal wound. Thus perished the tyrant Nero, at the early age of thirty-two.” The Acts of the Apostles, 496, 497.