Bible Study Guides – Taking Hold of the Righteousness of Christ

November 22, 2014 – November 28, 2014

Key Text

“Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.” Proverbs 4:25–27.

Study Help: Steps to Christ, 77–83.


“Christ dwelling in our hearts by faith means the contemplation of Christ, beholding Christ, ever cherishing the dear Saviour as our very best and honored Friend, so that we would not in any action grieve and offend Him.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 387.


  • What is desperately needed in our experience today? Matthew 5:3–11; II Peter 1:5–11.

Note: “There is need today of such a revival of true heart religion as was experienced by ancient Israel. Repentance is the first step that must be taken by all who would return to God. No one can do this work for another. We must individually humble our souls before God and put away our idols. When we have done all that we can do, the Lord will manifest to us His salvation.” Conflict and Courage, 145.

  • How do we experience revival? Acts 3:19; Matthew 8:5–13.

Note: “We must rely wholly upon Christ. It will do you no good merely to talk of the righteousness of Christ; you must appropriate it by living faith. You should cultivate faith until faith is the language of your soul. May God help us to walk in the light as He is in the light.” The Review and Herald, July 2, 1889.


  • What does it mean to appropriate the righteousness of Christ? II Corinthians 5:21.

Note: “In order to meet the requirements of the law, our faith must grasp the righteousness of Christ, accepting it as our righteousness. Through union with Christ, through acceptance of His righteousness by faith, we may be qualified to work the works of God, to be colaborers with Christ.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 374.

“The only safeguard against evil is the indwelling of Christ in the heart through faith in His righteousness. It is because selfishness exists in our hearts that temptation has power over us. But when we behold the great love of God, selfishness appears to us in its hideous and repulsive character, and we desire to have it expelled from the soul. As the Holy Spirit glorifies Christ, our hearts are softened and subdued, the temptation loses its power, and the grace of Christ transforms the character.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 118.

  • How is appropriation different from presumption? James 2:19, 20.

Note: “Many concede that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world, but at the same time they hold themselves away from Him, and fail to repent of their sins, fail to accept of Jesus as their personal Saviour. Their faith is simply the assent of the mind and judgment to the truth; but the truth is not brought into the heart, that it might sanctify the soul and transform the character.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 389, 390.

“If you would stand through the time of trouble, you must know Christ, and appropriate the gift of His righteousness, which He imputes to the repentant sinner.” The Review and Herald, November 22, 1892.

“We must rely wholly upon Christ. It will do you no good merely to talk of the righteousness of Christ; you must appropriate it by living faith. You should cultivate faith until faith is the language of your soul.” Ibid., July 2, 1889.

“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.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 363, 364.


  • How are changes produced in our life? II Corinthians 10:5.

Note: “In order to be candidates for heaven we must meet the requirement of the law: ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself’ (Luke 10:27). We can do this only as we grasp by faith the righteousness of Christ. By beholding Jesus we receive a living, expanding principle in the heart, and the Holy Spirit carries on the work, and the believer advances from grace to grace, from strength to strength, from character to character. He conforms to the image of Christ, until in spiritual growth he attains unto the measure of the full stature in Christ Jesus. Thus Christ makes an end of the curse of sin, and sets the believing soul free from its action and effect.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 395.

“By dwelling upon the love of God and our Saviour, by contemplating the perfection of the divine character and claiming the righteousness of Christ as ours by faith, we are to be transformed into the same image.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 744.

“Christ dwelling in our hearts by faith means the contemplation of Christ, beholding Christ, ever cherishing the dear Saviour as our very best and honored Friend, so that we would not in any action grieve and offend Him.” Testimonies for Ministers and Gospel Workers, 387.

  • What is genuine faith? Hebrews 11:1.

Note: “The faith that is unto salvation is not a casual faith, it is not the mere consent of the intellect, it is belief rooted in the heart, that embraces Christ as a personal Saviour, assured that He can save unto the uttermost all that come unto God by Him. To believe that He will save others, but will not save you is not genuine faith; but when the soul lays hold upon Christ as the only hope of salvation, then genuine faith is manifested. This faith leads its possessor to place all the affections of the soul upon Christ; his understanding is under the control of the Holy Spirit, and his character is molded after the divine likeness.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 391.


  • What relationship is the result of faith that works by love? John 15:8. What actions result from faith? Hebrews 11:29–34; Proverbs 4:25–27; 16:3.

Note: “Can we conceive of a closer, more intimate relation to Christ than is set forth in the words: ‘I am the Vine, ye are the branches’? (John 15:5). The fibers of the branch are almost identical with those of the vine. The communication of life, strength, and fruitfulness from the trunk to the branches is unobstructed and constant. The root sends its nourishment through the branch. Such is the true believer’s relation to Christ. He abides in Christ and draws his nourishment from Him.

“This spiritual relation can be established only by the exercise of personal faith. This faith must express on our part supreme preference, perfect reliance, entire consecration. Our will must be wholly yielded to the divine will, our feelings, desires, interests, and honor identified with the prosperity of Christ’s kingdom and the honor of His cause, we constantly receiving grace from Him, and Christ accepting gratitude from us.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 229.

  • How are faith and love essential to one another? Galatians 5:6.

Note: “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.

“And what is it to believe? It is to fully accept that Jesus Christ died as our sacrifice; that He became the curse for us, took our sins upon Himself, and imputed unto us His own righteousness. Therefore we claim this righteousness of Christ, we believe it, and it is our righteousness. He is our Saviour. He saves us because He said He would. Are we going to go into all the explanations as to how He can save us? Do we have the goodness in ourselves that will make us better and cleanse us from the spots and stains of sin, enabling us then to come to God? We simply cannot do it.” Faith and Works, 70.


  • Explain our part in the plan of salvation. Matthew 7:7; Mark 9:24; Ephesians 2:8.

Note: “The soul temple is to be sacred, holy, pure, and undefiled. There must be a copartnership in which all the power is of God and all the glory belongs to God. The responsibility rests with us. We must receive in thoughts and in feelings, to give in expression. The law of the human and the divine action makes the receiver a laborer together with God. It brings man where he can, united with divinity, work the works of God. Humanity touches humanity. Divine power and the human agency combined will be a complete success, for Christ’s righteousness accomplishes everything. …

“If we do God’s will, we may accept large blessings as God’s free gift, but not because of any merit in us; this is of no value. Do the work of Christ, and you will honor God and come off more than conquerors through Him that has loved us and given His life for us, that we should have life and salvation in Jesus Christ.” Faith and Works, 26–28.

  • Can we expect the approval of God if we do not trust Him? Hebrews 11:6.

Note: “Satan is ready to steal away the blessed assurances of God. He desires to take every glimmer of hope and every ray of light from the soul; but you must not permit him to do this. Do not give ear to the tempter.” Steps to Christ, 53.


1 Where does a clear understanding of the penalty of transgression of God’s law bring the wayward soul?

2 How do we appropriate the righteousness of Christ?

3 How is change produced in our life?

4 Review the roles of faith and love in Christian growth and maturity.

5 Describe how the process of faith works.

Copyright © 2013 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Accepting Jesus

November 15, 2014 – November 21, 2014

Key Text

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16.

Study Help: Steps to Christ, 49–55.


“The law is an expression of God’s idea. When we receive it in Christ, it becomes our idea. It lifts us above the power of natural desires and tendencies, above temptations that lead to sin.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 235.


  • What is the only way to effectively fight the enemy? James 4:7–10.

Note: “It is not necessary for us deliberately to choose the service of the kingdom of darkness in order to come under its dominion. We have only to neglect to ally ourselves with the kingdom of light. If we do not co-operate with the heavenly agencies, Satan will take possession of the heart, and will make it his abiding place. The only defense against evil is the indwelling of Christ in the heart through faith in His righteousness. Unless we become vitally connected with God, we can never resist the unhallowed effects of self-love, self-indulgence, and temptation to sin. We may leave off many bad habits, for the time we may part company with Satan; but without a vital connection with God, through the surrender of ourselves to Him moment by moment, we shall be overcome. Without a personal acquaintance with Christ, and a continual communion, we are at the mercy of the enemy, and shall do his bidding in the end.” The Desire of Ages, 324.

  • How does Christ dwell in my heart? John 14:23.


  • What parable describes the danger of not inviting Christ to come into our heart and of not uniting with Him? Matthew 12:43–45.

Note: “The parable of the man from whom an evil spirit had been cast out, who did not fill the soul with the love of Christ, illustrates the necessity of not only emptying the heart, but of supplying the vacuum with a divine occupant. The demon desired to return to the heart from which he had been expelled. He came, and though it was swept and garnished, he found it still empty, and entered in with seven other spirits more evil than himself, so that the last state of the man was worse than the first. The man in this parable refused to do the work of Satan; but the trouble with him was that after the heart was swept and garnished, he failed to invite the presence of the heavenly guests. It is not enough to make the heart empty; we must have the vacuum filled with the love of God. The soul must be furnished with the graces of the Spirit of God. We may leave off many bad habits, and yet not be truly sanctified, because we do not have a connection with God. We must unite with Christ.” The Review and Herald, January 24, 1893.

  • What will Jesus do if we welcome Him into our heart? Jude 24; Revelation 3:20.

Note: “We must be emptied of self. But this is not all that is required; for when we have renounced our idols, the vacuum must be supplied. … As you empty the heart of self, you must accept the righteousness of Christ. Lay hold of it by faith; for you must have the mind and spirit of Christ, that you may work the works of Christ. If you open the door of the heart, Jesus will supply the vacuum by the gift of His Spirit, and then you can be a living preacher in your home, in the church, and in the world. You can diffuse light, because the bright beams of the sun of righteousness are shining upon you. Your humble life, your holy conversation, your uprightness and integrity, will tell to all around that you are a child of God, an heir of heaven, that you are not making the world your dwelling place, but that you are a pilgrim and a stranger here, looking for a better country, even a heavenly, living with an eye single to the glory of God.” The Review and Herald, February 23, 1892.


  • How can we, sinful humans, become sons and daughters of God? John 1:12, 13.

Note: “Divine sonship is not something that we gain of ourselves. Only to those who receive Christ as their Saviour is given the power to become sons and daughters of God. The sinner cannot, by any power of his own, rid himself of sin. For the accomplishment of this result, he must look to a higher Power. John exclaimed, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29). Christ alone has power to cleanse the heart. He who is seeking for forgiveness and acceptance can say only—‘Nothing in my hand I bring; Simply to Thy cross I cling.’ But the promise of sonship is made to all who ‘believe on His name’ (John 1:12). Everyone who comes to Jesus in faith will receive pardon.” [Emphasis author’s.] Sons and Daughters of God, 12.

  • How can we receive righteousness from God? John 3:16; Mark 9:24; Romans 1:16, 17.

Note: “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.

“Christ has made a way of escape for us. He lived on earth amid trials and temptations such as we have to meet. He lived a sinless life. He died for us, and now He offers to take our sins and give us His righteousness. If you give yourself to Him, and accept Him as your Saviour, then, sinful as your life may have been, for His sake you are accounted righteous. Christ’s character stands in place of your character, and you are accepted before God just as if you had not sinned.

“More than this, Christ changes the heart. He abides in your heart by faith. You are to maintain this connection with Christ by faith and the continual surrender of your will to Him; and so long as you do this, He will work in you to will and to do according to His good pleasure.” Steps to Christ, 62, 63.


  • What does God promise to do for those who accept Christ as their righteousness? Ezekiel 11:19, 20; Matthew 5:8.

Note: “The religion of Christ transforms the heart. It makes the worldly-minded man heavenly-minded. Under its influence the selfish man becomes unselfish because this is the character of Christ. The dishonest, scheming man becomes upright, so that it is second nature to him to do unto others as he would have others do unto him. The profligate is changed from impurity to purity. He forms correct habits, for the gospel of Christ has become to him a savor of life unto life.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 345.

  • How do we know that the words of Jesus, “Go, and sin no more,” mean more than forgiveness? John 5:14; I John 1:9.

Note: “The religion of Christ means more than the forgiveness of sin; it means taking away our sins, and filling the vacuum with the graces of the Holy Spirit. It means divine illumination, rejoicing in God. It means a heart emptied of self, and blessed with the abiding presence of Christ. 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, 419, 420.

  • What is the evidence of having my sins forgiven? Luke 7:47; Matthew 7:16–20; Galatians 5:22, 23.

Note: “When the Lord speaks forgiveness to the repenting soul, he is full of ardor, full of love to God, full of earnestness and energy, and the life-giving Spirit which he has received cannot be repressed. Christ is in him, a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” The Review and Herald, May 5, 1896.


  • Why did the delivered demoniacs seek to remain with Jesus? Psalms 16:11; 51:11; Luke 8:35.

Note: “They [the restored demoniacs] desire the companionship of their Deliverer. In His presence they feel secure from the demons that have tormented their lives and wasted their manhood.” The Ministry of Healing, 98.

“Whenever men reject the Saviour’s invitation, they are yielding themselves to Satan. Multitudes in every department in life, in the home, in business, and even in the church, are doing this today. It is because of this that violence and crime have overspread the earth, and moral darkness, like the pall of death, enshrouds the habitations of men. Through his specious temptations Satan leads men to worse and worse evils, till utter depravity and ruin are the result. The only safeguard against his power is found in the presence of Jesus. Before men and angels Satan has been revealed as man’s enemy and destroyer; Christ, as man’s friend and deliverer. His Spirit will develop in man all that will ennoble the character and dignify the nature.” The Desire of Ages, 341.

  • Why did Mary sit at Jesus’ feet? Luke 10:38, 39. What beauty in Christ’s character attracted her? Isaiah 40:11; 41:13; 42:3; Ezekiel 34:11, 15, 16, 23, 30, 31.

Note: “Jesus would teach His children that they must seize every opportunity to gain that knowledge which will make them wise unto salvation.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 359.


1 What can we do to fight evil in ourselves?

2 What happens to anyone who does not actively accept Jesus?

3 How do we accept Jesus?

4 What are the certain results of being fully forgiven by God?

5 Why is the beauty of Christ so attractive to the heart of the sinner?

Copyright © 2013 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Character as a Sweet Fragrance

November 8, 2014 – November 14, 2014

Key Text

“Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of His knowledge by us in every place.” II Corinthians 2:14.

Study Help: Messages to Young People, 417–424.


“Character is power. The silent witness of a true, unselfish, godly life carries an almost irresistible influence. By revealing in our own life the character of Christ we co-operate with Him in the work of saving souls.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 340.


  • What attribute of God is the ground for our salvation, and how has it been manifested? Ephesians 2:8, 9; Romans 5:20, 21.

Note: “In the matchless gift of His Son, God has encircled the whole world with an atmosphere of grace as real as the air which circulates around the globe. All who choose to breathe this life-giving atmosphere will live and grow up to the stature of men and women in Christ Jesus.” Steps to Christ, 68.

  • What happens to those who respond to the drawing power of God’s grace? John 12:32; Ephesians 2:10.

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.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 163.


  • When those living under the sacrificial laws offered a burnt sacrifice, what made the aroma a “sweet savor,” or “sweet fragrance” unto God? Exodus 29:18; Ephesians 5:2.

Note: “His [Christ’s] offering is complete, and as our Intercessor He executes His self-appointed work, holding before God the censer containing His own spotless merits and the prayers, confessions, and thanksgiving of His people. Perfumed with the fragrance of His righteousness, these ascend to God as a sweet savor. The offering is wholly acceptable, and pardon covers all transgression.” The Signs of the Times, February 14, 1900.

  • What does God use to manifest the knowledge of Himself as a sweet fragrance to those who are in ignorance of Christ? II Corinthians 2:14.

Note: “Every soul is surrounded by an atmosphere of its own—an atmosphere, it may be, charged with the life-giving power of faith, courage, and hope, and sweet with the fragrance of love. Or it may be heavy and chill with the gloom of discontent and selfishness, or poisonous with the deadly taint of cherished sin. By the atmosphere surrounding us, every person with whom we come in contact is consciously or unconsciously affected.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 339.

  • What is required of us that our life may be accepted as a “sweet savor” unto God? Ezekiel 20:41; Romans 12:1, 2.

Note: “God despises a dead offering; He requires a living sacrifice, with intellect, sensibilities, and will fully enlisted in His service. Every distinctive faculty should be devoted to this work—our feet swift to move at the call of duty, our hands ready to act when work is to be done, our lips prepared to speak the truth in love, and show forth the praise of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. We should continue this consecration, not taking anything from the altar; for this is sacrilege. When His people thus consecrate themselves in sincerity and humility, they are accepted of God; and they become to Him a sweet-smelling savor, diffusing a rich fragrance throughout all the earth.” The Review and Herald, February 5, 1884.


  • Explain how our influence may be a “sweet fragrance” for life unto some while, at the same time, it may be an influence for death unto others. II Corinthians 2:15, 16; I Corinthians 1:18; I Peter 2:7.

Note: “[The effect of our influence upon others] is a responsibility from which we cannot free ourselves. Our words, our acts, our dress, our deportment, even the expression of the countenance, has an influence. Upon the impression thus made there hang results for good or evil which no man can measure. Every impulse thus imparted is seed sown which will produce its harvest. It is a link in the long chain of human events, extending we know not whither. If by our example we aid others in the development of good principles, we give them power to do good. In their turn they exert the same influence upon others, and they upon still others. Thus by our unconscious influence thousands may be blessed.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 339, 340.

  • How is it possible for the savor of our influence to become a stink unto death to those around us? Ecclesiastes 10:1.

Note: “But never should it be forgotten that influence is no less a power for evil. To lose one’s own soul is a terrible thing; but to cause the loss of other souls is still more terrible. That our influence should be a savor of death unto death is a fearful thought; yet this is possible.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 340.

  • How careful should we be in choosing our close companions? Why? I Corinthians 6:14, 15; Ephesians 5:11; I Corinthians 5:6.

Note: “There are mysterious links that bind souls together, so that the heart of one answers to the heart of another. One catches the ideas, the sentiments, the spirit, of another. This association may be a blessing or a curse. The youth may help and strengthen one another, improving in deportment, in disposition, in knowledge; or, by permitting themselves to become careless and unfaithful, they may exert an influence that is demoralizing.” Messages to Young People, 411.


  • How did Christ illustrate the value of the saving influence that God’s people are to have upon the world? What warning did He give in doing so? Matthew 5:13. (Compare Matthew 8:12.)

Note: “By these words of Christ [“ye are the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13)] we gain some idea of what constitutes the value of human influence. It is to work with the influence of Christ, to lift where Christ lifts, to impart correct principles, and stay the progress of the world’s corruption. It is to diffuse the grace which Christ alone can impart. It is to uplift, to sweeten, the lives and characters of others by the power of a pure example united with earnest faith and love. God’s people are to exercise a reforming, preserving power in the world. They are to counterwork the destroying, corrupting influence of evil.” In Heavenly Places, 239.

  • How only can we manifest a saving influence upon the world? Ephesians 5:2.

Note: “The saving salt, the savor of the Christian, is the love of Jesus in the heart, the righteousness of Christ pervading the soul. If the professor of religion would keep the saving efficacy of his faith, he must ever keep the righteousness of Christ before him, and have the glory of God for his rearward. Then the power of Christ will be revealed in life and character.” The Bible Echo and Signs of the Times, February 15, 1892.

“There is nothing in us of ourselves by which we can influence others for good. If we realize our helplessness and our need of divine power, we shall not trust to ourselves. We know not what results a day, an hour, or a moment may determine, and never should we begin the day without committing our ways to our heavenly Father. His angels are appointed to watch over us, and if we put ourselves under their guardianship, then in every time of danger they will be at our right hand. When unconsciously we are in danger of exerting a wrong influence, the angels will be by our side, prompting us to a better course, choosing our words for us, and influencing our actions. Thus our influence may be a silent, unconscious, but mighty power in drawing others to Christ and the heavenly world.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 341, 342.


  • What promised gift of Christ has enabled men and women in all ages to be a faithful witness for Christ? Acts 1:8.

Note: “From the Day of Pentecost to the present time, the Comforter has been sent to all who have yielded themselves fully to the Lord and to His service. To all who have accepted Christ as a personal Saviour, the Holy Spirit has come as a counselor, sanctifier, guide, and witness. The more closely believers have walked with God, the more clearly and powerfully have they testified of their Redeemer’s love and of His saving grace.” The Acts of the Apostles, 49.

  • How will our influence be instrumental in finishing this work of preaching the “everlasting gospel” to the world? Matthew 25:4; Revelation 18:1.

Note: “Character is power. The silent witness of a true, unselfish, godly life carries an almost irresistible influence. By revealing in our own life the character of Christ we co-operate with Him in the work of saving souls. It is only by revealing in our life His character that we can cooperate with Him. And the wider the sphere of our influence, the more good we may do. When those who profess to serve God follow Christ’s example, practicing the principles of the law in their daily life; when every act bears witness that they love God supremely and their neighbor as themselves, then will the church have power to move the world.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 340.


1 How may I breathe in the spiritual atmosphere that surrounds the earth?

2 Why is the spirit of sacrifice essential to imparting the knowledge of God?

3 Explain the difference between being a savor of life or a savor of death.

4 What is required in my own heart to be a savor of life?

5 What power will enable the church to move the world?

Copyright © 2013 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guide – The Righteousness of Christ Revealed in His Law

November 2, 2014 – November 8, 2014

Key Text

“Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God: not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.” II Corinthians 3:3.

Study Help: Steps to Christ, 43–48.


“The glory that shone on the face of Moses was a reflection of the righteousness of Christ in the law.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 237.


  • What did Moses see in beholding God’s glory? Exodus 33:18, 19; 34:5–7.

Note: “God requires perfection of His children. His law is a transcript of His own character, and it is the standard of all character. This infinite standard is presented to all that there may be no mistake in regard to the kind of people whom God will have to compose His kingdom. The life of Christ on earth was a perfect expression of God’s law, and when those who claim to be children of God become Christlike in character, they will be obedient to God’s commandments. Then the Lord can trust them to be of the number who shall compose the family of heaven.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 315.

  • What was the mission of Jesus as it related to the law of God? Psalm 40:8; Isaiah 42:21; II Corinthians 4:6.

Note: “It was to manifest this [God’s] glory that He [Christ] came to our world. To this sin-darkened earth He came to reveal the light of God’s love—to be ‘God with us’ (Matthew 1:23).” The Desire of Ages, 19.


  • What happens when we come to understand that Christ is the law of God revealed in human flesh? II Corinthians 5:17.

Note: “By beholding we become changed, morally assimilated to the One Who is perfect in character. By receiving His imputed righteousness, through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, we become like Him. The image of Christ is cherished, and it captivates the whole being.

“Beholding Christ for the purpose of becoming like Him, the seeker after truth sees the perfection of the principles of God’s law, and he becomes dissatisfied with everything but perfection. Hiding his life in the life of Christ, he sees that the holiness of the divine law is revealed in the character of Christ, and more and more earnestly he strives to be like Him. A warfare may be expected at any time, for the tempter sees that he is losing one of his subjects. A battle must be fought with the attributes which Satan has been strengthening for his own use. The human agent sees what he has to contend with—a strange power opposed to the idea of attaining the perfection that Christ holds out. But with Christ there is saving power that will gain for him victory in the conflict.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1098.

“Could all see Christ before the throne, waiting for their prayers, waiting for them to surrender their will, to cease their rebellion and come back to their allegiance to God, in deep penitence they would pray the Father to forgive their transgression of His law, and forgive them for the influence they have exercised in causing others to disregard the law of Jehovah. The confederacies of the enemy’s army are triumphing in their delay.” Our Father Cares, 266.

  • How is our character changed? Hebrews 12:2. What action is required of us by comparing Numbers 21:8 with John 3:14, 15? John 6:37, 54–56.

Note: “To Moses, the character of God was revealed as His glory. In like manner, we behold the glory of Christ by beholding His character. …

“Why, then, is there manifested in the church so great a lack of love, of true, elevated, sanctified, ennobling sympathy, of tender pity and loving forbearance? It is because Christ is not constantly brought before the people. His attributes of character are not brought into the practical life. Men and women are not eating of the Bread that cometh down from heaven.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 9, 296, 297.


  • What is the difference between the “ministration of condemnation” and the “ministration of righteousness”? II Corinthians 3:1–3, 6–9.

Note: “The fallen race of Adam can behold nothing else in the letter of this covenant [of God’s holy law] than the ministration of death; and death will be the reward of everyone who is seeking vainly to fashion a righteousness of his own that will fulfill the claims of the law.” The Signs of the Times, September 5, 1892.

“Not once has Christ stated, that His coming destroyed the claims of God’s law. On the contrary, in the very last message to His church, by way of Patmos, He pronounces a benediction upon those who keep His Father’s law: ‘Blessed are they that do His commandments’ (Revelation 22:14).” Ibid., July 29, 1886.

  • How does Paul describe the veil of ignorance of the Jews who rejected Christ? Romans 9:31, 32; 10:3.
  • Describe how the veil can be taken away. II Corinthians 3:13–16.

Note: “It was the light of the glory of the gospel of Christ, who was the foundation of the sacrificial system, that shone in the face of Moses. [II Corinthians 3:7, 8 quoted.] When the reality, the full blaze of midday light, should come, the dim glory which was but an earnest of the latter, should be done away, swallowed up in the greater glory.” The Signs of the Times, August 25, 1887.

“The ritual service was of no value, unless connected with Christ by living faith. Even the moral law fails of its purpose, unless it is understood in its relation to the Saviour. Christ had repeatedly shown that His Father’s law contained something deeper than mere authoritative commands. In the law is embodied the same principle that is revealed in the gospel. The law points out man’s duty and shows him his guilt. To Christ he must look for pardon and for power to do what the law enjoins.” The Desire of Ages, 608.


  • How was the character of God as revealed in His law more completely and perfectly manifested through the life of Christ? II Corinthians 3:9–11. What should this cause us to consider as we seek to abide by God’s law?

Note: “As a people, we have preached the law until we are as dry as the hills of Gilboa that had neither dew nor rain. We must preach Christ in the law, and there will be sap and nourishment in the preaching that will be as food to the famishing flock of God. We must not trust in our own merits at all, but in the merits of Jesus of Nazareth. Our eyes must be anointed with eye-salve. We must draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to us, if we come in His own appointed way.” The Review and Herald, March 11, 1890.

“The law itself would have no glory, only that in it Christ is embodied.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 237.

“Jesus was a living illustration of the fulfillment of the law, but His fulfilling it did not mean its abolition and annihilation. In fulfilling the law, He carried out every specification of its claims.” The Signs of the Times, March 14, 1895.

  • How does the “epistle of Christ” become more glorious than when God’s moral law was written in tables of stone only? Jeremiah 31:31–33; II Corinthians 3:3.

Note: “Paul desires his brethren to see that the great glory of a sin-pardoning Saviour gave significance to the entire Jewish economy. He desired them to see also that when Christ came to the world, and died as man’s sacrifice, type met antitype.

“After Christ died on the cross as a sin offering, the ceremonial law could have no force. Yet it was connected with the moral law, and was glorious. The whole bore the stamp of divinity, and expressed the holiness, justice, and righteousness of God. And if the ministration of the dispensation to be done away was glorious, how much more must the reality be glorious, when Christ was revealed, giving His life-giving, sanctifying Spirit to all who believe?” Selected Messages, Book 1, 237, 238.


  • What happens when our attention is focused on the glory of God? I Corinthians 15:49; Romans 12:2.

Note: “In representing Christ we represent God to our world. … Are we reflecting in the church and before the world the character of Jesus Christ?” Selected Messages, Book 3, 170.

  • What happens when someone receives the righteousness of the law in Christ? Romans 8:4, 9–13. Describe the power that changes the heart and the affections. Matthew 13:33.

Note: “[Christ] uses leaven to illustrate the gospel of the kingdom. With this leaven, the word of God, true goodness, righteousness, and peace are introduced. This brings the entire affections into conformity to the mind and will of God. Wherever it goes, the leaven of truth makes a change in mind and heart. The entire character is transformed. All who will receive into the heart the truth as it is in Jesus, will reveal its leavening power. When the kingdom of heaven is established in the heart, the whole character is conformed to the character of Christ; for the truth is a life-giving principle. The power of God is working, like the leaven, to subdue the entire being. Even the thoughts are brought into captivity to the will of Christ. ‘If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new’ (II Corinthians 5:17).” The Review and Herald, September 21, 1897.


1 When you look into the law of God, what do you see?

2 What was the mission of Christ in relation to the law of God?

3 How is the greater glory of the work of God to affect us today?

4 What happens when we see Christ in the law of Ten Commandments?

5 What takes place in your heart when you are focused on the glory of God?

Copyright © 2013 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Our Need for God’s Law

October 26, 2014 – November 1, 2014

Trusting in the Love of Jesus

Key Text

“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” Galatians 3:24.

Study Help: Steps to Christ, 57–65.


“The glory of Christ is revealed in the law, which is a transcript of His character, and His transforming efficacy is felt upon the soul until men become changed to His likeness.” The Review and Herald, April 22, 1902.


  • Who is the law of God made for, and for what purpose? How many have come under its condemnation? I Timothy 1:8–10; Romans 3:19, 23.
  • Why are our own efforts in keeping God’s law not enough to justify us before God? How only can we keep the law? Romans 3:20; 7:7; Philippians 4:13.

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.


  • What is the schoolmaster referred to in Galatians? Galatians 3:21–25.

Note: “What law is the schoolmaster to bring us to Christ? I answer: Both the ceremonial and the moral code of ten commandments.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 233.

  • What work does the law as a schoolmaster do, and for what purpose? Romans 10:4. Compare the way the word “end” (Greek, telos, purpose, or goal, or end in view) is used in James 5:11 and I Peter 1:9.

Note: “As the sinner looks into the great moral looking glass, he sees his defects of character. He sees himself just as he is, spotted, defiled, and condemned. But he knows that the law cannot in any way remove the guilt or pardon the transgressor. He must go farther than this. The law is but the schoolmaster to bring him to Christ. He must look to his sin-bearing Saviour.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 213.

  • What relationship exists between the “schoolmaster” and faith in Jesus? Romans 5:1; 3:31; 8:3, 4.

Note: “The law reveals sin to us, and causes us to feel our need of Christ and to flee unto Him for pardon and peace by exercising repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 234.

“Only by faith in Christ can the sinner be cleansed from guilt and be enabled to render obedience to the law of his Maker.” The Acts of the Apostles, 425.

“The law and the gospel are in perfect harmony. Each upholds the other. In all its majesty the law confronts the conscience, causing the sinner to feel his need of Christ as the propitiation for sin. The gospel recognizes the power and immutability of the law. ‘I had not known sin, but by the law,’ Paul declares (Romans 7:7). The sense of sin, urged home by the law, drives the sinner to the Saviour. In his need man may present the mighty arguments furnished by the cross of Calvary. He may claim the righteousness of Christ; for it is imparted to every repentant sinner.” The Review and Herald, April 22, 1902.


  • What was God’s purpose in giving His law to Israel at Sinai, and what is the condition for life under this law? Exodus 20:20; Leviticus 18:5; Romans 10:5.

Note: “When the law was proclaimed from Sinai, God made known to men the holiness of His character, that by contrast they might see the sinfulness of their own. The law was given to convict them of sin, and reveal their need of a Saviour. It would do this as its principles were applied to the heart by the Holy Spirit. This work it is still to do. In the life of Christ the principles of the law are made plain; and as the Holy Spirit of God touches the heart, as the light of Christ reveals to men their need of His cleansing blood and His justifying righteousness, the law is still an agent in bringing us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith.” The Signs of the Times, March 29, 1910.

  • Why did Israel fail to keep God’s law even though they professed great zeal for it? Romans 10:3.

Note: “Israel had not perceived the spiritual nature of the law, and too often their professed obedience was but an observance of forms and ceremonies, rather than a surrender of the heart to the sovereignty of love.” Reflecting Christ, 67.

  • What are the “better promises” upon which the new covenant was established? Hebrews 8:6; Jeremiah 31:33, 34.

Note: “The ‘new covenant’ was established upon ‘better promises’ Hebrews 8:6—the promise of forgiveness of sins and of the grace of God to renew the heart and bring it into harmony with the principles of God’s law. …

“The same law that was engraved upon the tables of stone is written by the Holy Spirit upon the tables of the heart. Instead of going about to establish our own righteousness we accept the righteousness of Christ. His blood atones for our sins. His obedience is accepted for us. Then the heart renewed by the Holy Spirit will bring forth ‘the fruits of the Spirit’ (Galatians 5:22, 23). Through the grace of Christ we shall live in obedience to the law of God written upon our hearts. Having the Spirit of Christ, we shall walk even as He walked.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 372.


  • What is the only genuine measurement of character? James 2:8–12.

Note: “The law of God is the only genuine standard for the measurement of character. Christ displayed to the world by His life and teaching, by His divine character, what obedience to the law means. He was man’s example; but man cannot set up a standard for himself. Man is ignorant of the infinite purity of God, and without divine enlightenment he cannot appreciate the holy exactions of the law of God. While he is ignorant of the uncompromising character of God’s law, he is unconcerned about his defective, sinful character. He fears nothing, he has no disquietude, because he measures himself by a false standard.” The Review and Herald, November 18, 1890.

  • What will determine whether God’s character is revealed in our thoughts and actions? Matthew 22:36–40; Romans 13:10.

Note: “Only he whose heart is filled with compassion for fallen man, who loves to a purpose, revealing that love by the performance of Christ-like deeds, will be able to endure the seeing of Him who is invisible. He who loves not those for whom the Father has done so much knows not God.

“Theology is valueless unless it is saturated with the love of Christ. True Christianity diffuses love through the whole being. It touches every vital part—the brain, the heart, the helping hands, the feet—enabling men to stand firmly where God requires them to stand, lest the lame be turned out of the way. The burning, consuming love of Christ for perishing souls is the life of the whole system of Christianity.” The Signs of the Times, May 10, 1910.

  • What will be seen in the life of those who have genuine faith in Christ? James 1:22–27.

Note: “Faith works by love and purifies the soul. Faith buds and blossoms and bears a harvest of precious fruit. 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.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 398.


  • What attitude did Christ manifest towards the law of God? Matthew 5:17–20.

Note: “Jesus was a living illustration of the fulfillment of the law, but His fulfilling it did not mean its abolition and annihilation. In fulfilling the law, He carried out every specification of its claims.” The Signs of the Times, March 14, 1895.

“In His teachings, Christ showed how far-reaching are the principles of the law spoken from Sinai. He made a living application of that law whose principles remain forever the great standard of righteousness—the standard by which all shall be judged in that great day when the judgment shall sit, and the books shall be opened.” God’s Amazing Grace, 141.

  • What shows that Christ was a living demonstration to humanity of the law of God? I Peter 2:21, 22; John 15:10; I John 2:6.

Note: “The glory of Christ is His character, and His character is an expression of the law of God. He fulfilled the law in its every specification, and gave to the world in His life a perfect pattern of what it is possible for humanity to attain unto by cooperation with divinity. In His humanity Christ was dependent upon the Father, even as humanity is now dependent upon God for divine power in attaining unto perfection of character.” The Signs of the Times, December 12, 1895.


1 On whose promises was the old covenant founded?

2 On whose promises was the new covenant founded?

3 Who is it that makes us obedient to God?

4 Are we operating under the old covenant today if we depend on our own promises rather than on God’s promises?

5 What led the heroes of the Bible to see their need of Jesus?

Copyright © 2013 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Recipe – Rutabagas Fries


garlic Powder

Olive Oil



Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

  1. Peel rutabagas and slice into ¼” rounds or cut into strips – they will cook a little faster in strips but watch them carefully or they will burn.
  2. Spray with oil and sprinkle a little salt and place on a nonstick baking sheet.
  3. Cook about 12 minutes, turning twice. Done when golden brown and tender.

Immediately sprinkle with garlic powder and paprika. Add a little salt at the end as well.

Food – Rutabagas, What are They?

Rutabagas, commonly called swede, turnip, yellow turnip, or neep, are a root vegetable that originated as a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. Years ago they were considered one of the more common vegetables. Everyone knew what they were and most people liked them. My childhood memory is Mother putting them into stews or cooking them before mashing them together with potatoes. Yum! I can still taste it. Always choose small to medium rutabagas with firm skin. Once they grow over four inches in diameter they are usually tough and woody and not as sweet as the smaller ones.

Rutabagas are not exactly a nutrition powerhouse, but they do come with a high pedigree for potassium and a good recommendation for vitamin C. They are also a source of magnesium, folate, calcium and phosphorus and a single serving provides about 12% of the daily value of fiber.


Raw—Peel with a vegetable peeler because they are often waxed. Slice and enjoy as a snack. Chop, dice, or grate into salads. Work well grated in coleslaw or carrot salad.

Baking—Cut peeled rutabagas into 1/4-inch slices. Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle generously with water. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F. for 20 to 30 minutes or until tender.

Boiling—Place whole rutabaga in boiling water and cook until tender, about 25 to 35 minutes. For sliced rutabagas cook 7 to 10 minutes.

Steaming—Whole or cut rutabaga can be steamed over boiling water for 25 to 35 minutes.

Stir-fry—Thinly slice rutabaga and fry with onions until crisp and tender, about 6 to 7 minutes.

Freezing—Cut rutabagas into strips or slices and blanch for 2 minutes in boiling water before freezing. Rutabagas can be cooked and/or pureed before freezing.

Storage—Rutabagas keep well and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 to 3 weeks. Unrefrigerated they will keep for about a week.

Lord’s Prayer Series – Who Is Our Father?

In order to know our proper relationship to our fellow men on earth, we must first learn our proper relationship to those who dwell in another place, which the Bible calls heaven.

The Bible makes it very clear that there are many other intelligences in the universe besides human beings that are wiser and stronger than those living on earth. In Revelation 12:12, it says, “Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”

Notice, it says, “rejoice, heavens, and you that dwell in them!” So, there are other intelligences that dwell in heavenly places. In the very last chapter (22) of the book of Revelation, it says in verse 16, “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”

There are not only angels of heaven, but there are angels who have fallen from heaven, who left their first estate. You can read about that in II Peter 2, and also in the book of Jude. Jesus talked about these evil spirits. In fact, there are many conversations between Christ and evil spirits recorded in the gospels. “Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.’ And He said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.’ ” Luke 10:17–19.

We see that there are both good and evil spirits. The angels of heaven, God’s angels, are spoken of like this in Hebrews 1:14: “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?”

There are angels of God who are attempting to help you to walk up the narrow way and to be saved at last. There are also evil spirits that in the last days will succeed in deceiving almost the entire world. We read in Revelation 16:13, 14, “I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs [miracles], which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”

Above all of these spirits, both the good and evil spirits, there is a spirit that rules over them. One of the most important and one of the most wonderful sermons of Jesus is recorded in John 4. Incidentally, this most wonderful sermon was given to an audience of one who was an outcast in her city, the woman at the well of Samaria.

Jesus spoke to her about true worship, where we should worship, and how we should worship. He told her, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is a Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23, 24.

We have just read that there are many spirits in the universe. There are good spirits and evil spirits that have fallen and are in this world rebelling against the government of God, but there is one Spirit that is above them all. Jesus said, “God is a Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”

How do you worship God? It is necessary to worship Him in spirit, which is with your heart and with your emotions, with your feelings, and also with truth, with your intellect, following all that the Bible teaches. When Jesus was on earth one of the aspects of worship that He practiced daily was prayer. Jesus was a man of prayer. The Bible says that sometimes He prayed all night. Once after He had finished praying, “It came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught His disciples.’ ” Luke 11:1. In response to this request, Jesus gave to His disciples what we call today, “The Lord’s Prayer.”

There are millions of people around the world today who repeat the Lord’s Prayer, either morning or evening, or sometimes several times a day. Unfortunately, there are many who have learned the words and repeat it without thinking or realizing what they are really saying. We will consider here the first phrase, the first short sentence of the Lord’s Prayer in Luke 11:2–4 KJV.

The opening address is, “Our Father Who art in heaven …” If your prayer is going to be effective, your prayer needs to be addressed to your Father in heaven. This identifies your heavenly Father as the object of true worship, the One Whom you worship and the One Whom you are addressing.

There are people today who pray to all sorts of things. Some people pray to saints; others pray to famous people who have died; and some people pray to angels. But the Bible does not teach any of these manners of prayer. Jesus did not teach His disciples to pray to angels or to saints. He taught them to pray to our Father in heaven.

This salutation, when you think about it eliminates all other gods as undeserving of worship, leaving no room for the worship of any creature or any other being. Today in our rebellious world there are many gods and many lords and much false religion. The apostle Paul said this in I Corinthians 8:5, 6, first part: “For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things.”

Paul recognized that there are many gods and many lords, but those are all false gods except one. We as Christians have only one God, one Lord. There is only one true God Who only is to be worshiped by all created beings. In the Bible we are strictly forbidden to worship anyone or anything else. This is so important that in the second commandment, which happens to be the second longest commandment, we are told not to worship anyone or anything else.

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” Exodus 20:4–6.

The second commandment emphatically forbids the worship of any other god, saints, or angels, or any creature, even pronouncing a curse on those who do this. Angels of God will not allow any human being to worship them.

In Revelation 22:8, 9 the apostle John records that he was overcome with the glorious things that he saw: “Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. Then he said to me, ‘See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.’ ” Revelation 19:10. So, we are forbidden in the Bible to worship any other God. We are not to worship any angels and we are certainly not to worship any human being.

One time at God’s direction the apostle Peter went to see a man by the name of Cornelius who had not yet heard the gospel. He had just been told by an angel that he was to send for a man called Peter who would tell him what he and his household needed to know to have eternal life. When Peter came in to talk to Cornelius, he was overjoyed that in his presence was the man that he had been told would come to him and teach him. The Bible says that Cornelius fell down to worship before Peter but what happened?

The Bible says, “As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter lifted him up, saying, ‘Stand up; I myself am also a man.’ ” Acts 10:25, 26.

Notice that the apostle Peter would not allow a human being to worship him. An angel of God would not allow anyone to worship him. The Bible pronounces a curse on anyone who worships the creature instead of the Creator. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

“Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, Who is blessed forever. Amen.

“For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, [and] sexual immorality … .” Romans 1:18–29.

Notice the curse that is pronounced on those who worship the creature instead of the Creator. And God gives them over to a debased mind, and they become filled with all unrighteousness and do those things that Paul says are worthy of death (verse 32).

In heaven, everybody worships the Creator. Revelation 4:10, 11 describes a worship scene in heaven. “The twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: ‘You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.’ ”

Here is revealed God’s right to be worshiped, because He is the Creator Who created all things and it is by His will they exist. It is His power to create that makes the eternal Father worthy of worship and adoration by the heavenly universe.

Something else that we need to understand about God is that He is not part of the creation that He created. He is separate from His creation. We understand from the very first sentence in the Lord’s Prayer, which says, “Our Father Who art in heaven …” We understand from this statement that God is not a part of the creation of this world, but rather, His dwelling place is in heaven, a distinct and separate place from where we live. Heaven is just as real as the earth, but it is a different place. For that reason we cannot obtain the help that we need and desire by looking to the earth. Rather, we must look to heaven to find the Source of blessing and all the things that we need.

In the Bible times there were people who understood this very clearly and explained it in explicit language. Notice what John the Baptist said: “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.” John 3:27.

He clearly understood that you cannot receive anything unless God permits it or allows it. Notice what the apostle James says about this very same subject in his book: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” James 1:17.

Because it is impossible to obtain the help that we need from this world we need to look to heaven to receive the blessings. This statement, “Our Father Who art in heaven,” expresses at one and the same time, both God’s nearness and His distance from us. God is near us because the apostle Paul says in Acts 17:27, 28, “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; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’”

At the same time, the expression, “Our Father Who art in heaven,” expresses the fact of His distance from us. Notice what it says about this in Ecclesiastes 5:2: “Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; therefore let your words be few.”

Again, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest? For all those things My hand has made, and all those things exist,’ says the Lord.” Isaiah 66:1, 2.

So, the Lord says you build Me a temple, you build Me a church, you build Me a house, but I made all those things that you made for Me. I made them Myself. Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. We should never forget that the God we worship is as high above us as the heavens are above the earth. Therefore we must not be guilty of thinking or addressing Him as an equal. This was the cause of the fall of Lucifer.

Isaiah 14 describes the desire of Lucifer’s heart and the cause of his fall. He wanted to be God Himself, though the Bible is very clear that no creature can ever become God. Lucifer wanted this position. Isaiah 14 says, “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ ” Isaiah 14:12–14.

Lucifer wanted to be like God. He wanted to be equal with God. Unfortunately, this same desire, this same spirit, has been manifested millions of times among the descendants of Adam and Eve. For this same reason Eve fell. The devil, impersonating a serpent, said to her if she would eat the fruit of this forbidden tree she could be like God (Genesis 3:45). She fell for that idea and people have been falling for it ever since. They want to be their own God, in charge of their own lives. They do not want to look to heaven for help but want to control their own affairs.

God understands this feeling and He rebukes it in His Word. “These things you have done, and I kept silent; you thought that I was altogether like you; but I will rebuke you, and set them in order before your eyes.” Psalm 50:21.

The Lord says, “You think that I’m just like you, but I’m not.” The expression, “Our Father Who art in heaven …” is the very foundation of the whole Lord’s Prayer. It conveys to us God’s tender regard for us. And it should also convey our feelings toward Him. The first utterance of this model prayer brings the worshiper to the house of God and the gate of heaven where all of His temporal and spiritual needs can be supplied. However, not every person in the world can truthfully pray it and honestly claim God as their Father.

God wants to be your Father; He wants you to become His child. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right [or the authority] to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” John 1:12.

Friend, have you been given the right to become a child of God so that you might truthfully call Him Father. Jesus would like to adopt you into His family if you will accept Him as the Saviour and Lord of your life. And when that happens, then you will be given the authority to become God’s child and you will be able to say, without telling a lie, “Our Father Who art in heaven.”

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

Health – Juicing or Blending

God has provided an abundance of delicious fruits, vegetables and nuts to nourish man. Nothing could be more appealing than sitting down to a bowl of fruit salad with the vibrant colors and textures of the different berries and fruits or a fresh vegetable salad with such a variety of vegetables that are all different, yet complementary to each other.

However, for various reasons many are not able to enjoy these delicacies in their natural form. Some people have trouble masticating their food and do not receive its full nutrient value. Others are suffering illness or recovering from illness and need some concentrated nutrients that are easily digested. Others may just want to give their diet a boost. In these cases both juicing and blending have their place. In our household we do both.

Juicing, which requires a juice extractor, strips away the fiber, leaving just the essential minerals and vitamins. The nutrients from this juice are absorbed into the system within about 20 minutes because there is no fiber to deal with. For anyone who is ill or recovering from an illness, this is a great way to receive nourishment into the body quickly to build up the immune system. People who have bowel or digestion issues also benefit greatly through juicing because they receive the much needed nutrients which their bodies cannot receive by eating foods that contain fiber. Many of the natural healing programs require from one to ten glasses of juice each day to build up the immune system so that it can battle disease.

Blending requires a high speed blender to process the different vegetables and greens. The high speed of the blender helps break down the cell walls of the food to such a degree that the protein and other nutrients are made more available for the body’s use. These blended salads are much more substantial and filling than juice, allowing you to receive all of the nutrients along with the fiber, making a delicious “green drink” depending on your choice of vegetables or fruits.

See the excerpts in the table from Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s newsletters on the advantages of blending your salad as opposed to eating it.

What are the advantages of eating a blended salad as opposed to eating a regular salad?

By Dr. Fuhrman

All plants are composed of cells whose walls consist mainly of cellulose, which is a type of carbohydrate. A plant-based diet (one rich in fruits and vegetables) contains a large amount of cellulose. Humans do not have the enzyme capable of breaking down cellulose, so we cannot utilize cellulose as an energy source. If we eat cellulose-rich, raw greens without thoroughly masticating them, we lose much of the food value.

To get as many nutrients as possible into your bloodstream, the plant walls must be broken open to release the nutrients inside the cell. When we simply chew a salad, about seventy to ninety percent of the cells are not broken open. Blending raw, leafy greens guarantees that a higher percentage of nutrients will be absorbed into your bloodstream for your body to use.

Healthy Times Newsletter No. 8 • July 2003

By Dr. Fuhrman

The greatest benefit of blending is the increased absorption of important nutrients. By just chewing your food you absorb about 15–25% of the nutrients, but blending makes your body able to absorb up to 95%!

I am very thankful that Dr. Fuhrman has made this interesting information available. Depending upon your health needs or the health needs of your family, juicing or blending your foods is an option and may help to nourish and/or strengthen the immune system. (In fact, as I stated earlier, I do both in our home.) A strengthened immune system is a real blessing to have in this time in which we live because of the variety of health issues, which are increasing. God supplies us with good foods and we need to use them in such a way that our bodies may absorb all of the nutrients possible and prosper in good health.

Question & Answer – After He arose, why did Jesus ascend to heaven before appearing to His disciples?

Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” John 20:17.

Few people understand or notice the significance of what Jesus did.

“Jesus refused to receive the homage of His people until He had the assurance that His sacrifice was accepted by the Father. He ascended to the heavenly courts, and from God Himself heard the assurance that His atonement for the sins of men had been ample, that through His blood all might gain eternal life. The Father ratified the covenant made with Christ, that He would receive repentant and obedient men, and would love them even as He loves His Son. Christ was to complete His work, and fulfill His pledge to ‘make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir’ (Isaiah 13:12). All power in heaven and on earth was given to the Prince of Life, and He returned to His followers in a world of sin, that He might impart to them of His power and glory.

“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.” The Desire of Ages, 790.

That covenant, the plan of salvation that was made between the Father and the Son, was now ratified.

“The plan of salvation had been laid before the creation of the earth; for Christ is ‘the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world’ (Revelation 13:8); yet it was a struggle, even with the King of the universe, to yield up His Son to die for the guilty race. But ‘God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life’ (John 3:16).” Patriarchs and Prophets, 63.

God the Father and the Son had previously made a covenant, the plan of salvation. After Jesus rose from the tomb the first thing He wanted to do was to go to His Father for His approval. He then revisited His disciples, bringing gifts to empower them for their mission.