Bible Study Guides – Justification by Faith – Forgiveness

November 18 – 24, 2018

Key Text

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).

Study Help: The Signs of the Times, February 14, 1895; Ibid., July 29, 1913.


“Repentance, as well as forgiveness, is the gift of God through Christ. It is through the influence of the Holy Spirit that we are convicted of sin and feel our need of pardon.” Faith and Works, 38.



  • What does God offer us through the redemption Jesus Christ accomplished, and for what aim? Ephesians 1:7; Acts 26:17, 18.

Note: “Jesus knows the circumstances of every soul. You may say, I am sinful, very sinful. You may be; but the worse you are, the more you need Jesus. He turns no weeping, contrite one away. … He bids every trembling soul take courage. Freely will He pardon all who come to Him for forgiveness and restoration. …

“The souls that turn to Him for refuge, Jesus lifts above the accusing and the strife of tongues. No man or evil angel can impeach these souls. Christ unites them to His own divine-human nature.” The Desire of Ages, 568.

“The object of the Great Teacher is the restoration of the image of God in the soul.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 436.



  • What life changing consequences are in store for those whom God forgives? Romans 8:28–30.

Note: “The work of redemption involves consequences of which it is difficult for man to have any conception. ‘Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him’ (1 Corinthians 2:9). 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). Great as is the shame and degradation through sin, even greater will be the honor and exaltation through redeeming love. To human beings striving for conformity to the divine image there is imparted an outlay of heaven’s treasure, an excellency of power, that will place them higher than even the angels who have never fallen.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 162, 163.



  • In the parable of the prodigal son, what can we learn of the forgiving love of God toward us? Luke 15:20–23.

Note: “In the parable there is no taunting, no casting up to the prodigal of his evil course. The son feels that the past is forgiven and forgotten, blotted out forever. And so God says to the sinner, ‘I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins’ (Isaiah 44:22). ‘I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more’ (Jeremiah 31:34). ‘Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon’ (Isaiah 55:7). ‘In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found’ (Jeremiah 50:20).

“What assurance here, of God’s willingness to receive the repenting sinner!” Christ’s Object Lessons, 204, 205.

“Christ came to this world to prove the falsity of this [Satanic] statement [that there is no forgiveness with God], to show that God is love, that like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him. Follow the Saviour from the manger to the cross, mark His life of unselfish ministry, His agony in the garden, and His death on the cross; and know that with God there is plenteous forgiveness. He abhors sin, but with a love that passes knowledge He loves the sinner.” The Review and Herald, January 19, 1911.

  • What must be really believed in order to be overcomers? Mark 2:5.

Note: “Here is where thousands fail; they do not believe that Jesus pardons them personally, individually. They do not take God at His word. It is the privilege of all who comply with the conditions to know for themselves that pardon is freely extended for every sin. Put away the suspicion that God’s promises are not meant for you. They are for every repentant transgressor. Strength and grace have been provided through Christ to be brought by ministering angels to every believing soul. None are so sinful that they cannot find strength, purity, and righteousness in Jesus, who died for them. He is waiting to strip them of their garments stained and polluted with sin, and to put upon them the white robes of righteousness; He bids them live and not die.” Steps to Christ, 52, 53.



  • When a sinner is forgiven, what must he also do? What is the measure of forgiveness? Luke 11:4; Matthew 6:15.

Note: “Nothing can justify an unforgiving spirit. He who is unmerciful toward others shows that he himself is not a partaker of God’s pardoning grace. …

“It is true that he may once have received forgiveness; but his unmerciful spirit shows that he now rejects God’s pardoning love. He has separated himself from God, and is in the same condition as before he was forgiven. He has denied his repentance, and his sins are upon him as if he had not repented.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 251.

“[Matthew 6:14, 15 quoted.] He who is unforgiving cuts off the very channel through which alone he can receive mercy from God. We should not think that unless those who have injured us confess the wrong we are justified in withholding from them our forgiveness. It is their part, no doubt, to humble their hearts by repentance and confession; but we are to have a spirit of compassion toward those who have trespassed against us, whether or not they confess their faults. However sorely they may have wounded us, we are not to cherish our grievances and sympathize with ourselves over our injuries; but as we hope to be pardoned for our offenses against God we are to pardon all who have done evil to us.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 113, 114.

  • To what extent should we forgive those who have offended us? Luke 17:3, 4.
  • How did Jesus forgive even those who were responsible for His death? Luke 23:34.

Note: “Jesus was earning the right to become the advocate of men in the Father’s presence.

“That prayer of Christ for His enemies embraced the world. It took in every sinner that had lived or should live, from the beginning of the world to the end of time. Upon all rests the guilt of crucifying the Son of God. To all, forgiveness is freely offered.” The Desire of Ages, 745.



  • In addition to forgiveness, what further process will God do for the one who confesses his sins? 1 John 1:9.

Note: “God’s forgiveness is not merely a judicial act by which He sets us free from condemnation. It is not only forgiveness for sin, but reclaiming from sin. It is the outflow of redeeming love that transforms the heart. David had the true conception of forgiveness when he prayed, ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me’ (Psalm 51:10). And again he says, ‘As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us’ (Psalm 103:12).” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 114.

  • Since God has saved us by His grace and given us the Holy Spirit, how shall we respond in our daily life? Titus 3:3–8.

Note: “He [Paul] bids Titus to instruct the church that while they should trust to the merits of Christ for salvation, divine grace, dwelling in their hearts, will lead to the faithful performance of all the duties of life.” The Sanctified Life, 87.



1     Why can we only obtain forgiveness of sin through Jesus? Why was it necessary for Him to partake of our fallen human nature?

2    How can we encourage those who are erring and discouraged?

3    What should we remember when we are tempted to believe that we cannot come back to God after we have sinned?

4    How should we treat those who have offended us? What happens to us if we refuse to forgive others?

5    What will take place in the heart of those who receive God’s forgiveness?

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

Bible Study Guides – Justification by Faith – The Call to Repentance

November 11 – 17, 2018

Key Text

“Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:31).


Study Help: The Signs of the Times, February 14, 1895; Ibid., July 29, 1913.


“Calling and justification are not one and the same thing. Calling is the drawing of the sinner to Christ, and it is a work wrought by the Holy Spirit upon the heart, convicting of sin, and inviting to repentance.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 390.



  • What are we called to do in order that our sins may be forgiven by God? Acts 2:38.
  • What will always accompany true repentance, and how will it affect the heart and life? 2 Corinthians 7:9, 10.

Note: “Repentance includes sorrow for sin and a turning away from it. We shall not renounce sin unless we see its sinfulness; until we turn away from it in heart, there will be no real change in the life.” Steps to Christ, 23.

“We often sorrow because our evil deeds bring unpleasant consequences to ourselves; but this is not repentance. Real sorrow for sin is the result of the working of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit reveals the ingratitude of the heart that has slighted and grieved the Saviour, and brings us in contrition to the foot of the cross. By every sin Jesus is wounded afresh; and as we look upon Him whom we have pierced, we mourn for the sins that have brought anguish upon Him. Such mourning will lead to the renunciation of sin.” The Desire of Ages, 300.



  • How does David’s prayer illustrate the nature of true repentance? Psalm 51:1–4, 10–13.

Note: “David saw the enormity of his transgression; he saw the defilement of his soul; he loathed his sin. It was not for pardon only that he prayed, but for purity of heart. He longed for the joy of holiness—to be restored to harmony and communion with God.” Steps to Christ, 25.

  • What does the Bible teach about the source of true repentance? Romans 2:4.

Note: “We can no more repent without the Spirit of Christ to awaken the conscience than we can be pardoned without Christ.

“Christ is the source of every right impulse. He is the only one that can implant in the heart enmity against sin. Every desire for truth and purity, every conviction of our own sinfulness, is an evidence that His Spirit is moving upon our hearts.” Steps to Christ, 26.

  • How can we obtain this kind of repentance? Matthew 11:28; Acts 5:31.

Note: “The living oracles do not teach that the sinner must repent before he can heed the invitation of Christ: ‘Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’ (Matthew 11:28). Men must come to Christ because they see Him as their Saviour, their only helper, that they may be enabled to repent; for if they could repent without coming to Christ, they could also be saved without Christ. It is the virtue that goes forth from Christ that leads to genuine repentance. … Repentance is as much the gift of Christ as is forgiveness, and it cannot be found in the heart where Jesus has not been at work. We can no more repent without the Spirit of Christ to awaken the conscience, than we can be pardoned without Christ. Christ draws the sinner by the exhibition of His love upon the cross, and this softens the heart, impresses the mind, and inspires contrition and repentance in the soul.” The Review and Herald, April 1, 1890.



  • What are the conditions of obtaining forgiveness established in the word of God? Proverbs 28:13.

Note: “The conditions of obtaining mercy of God are simple and just and reasonable. The Lord does not require us to do some grievous thing in order that we may have the forgiveness of sin. We need not make long and wearisome pilgrimages, or perform painful penances, to commend our souls to the God of heaven or to expiate our transgression; but he that confesseth and forsaketh his sin shall have mercy.” Steps to Christ, 37.

  • When we have offended our brother or sister, whom have we also offended? What should teach us our duty toward our brother or sister? Matthew 25:40; 1 Peter 4:8.

Note: “Confess your sins to God, who only can forgive them, and your faults to one another. If you have given offense to your friend or neighbor, you are to acknowledge your wrong, and it is his duty freely to forgive you. Then you are to seek the forgiveness of God, because the brother you have wounded is the property of God, and in injuring him you sinned against his Creator and Redeemer.” Steps to Christ, 37.

  • To whom are we to confess our sins? How must confession of sin be made? Psalm 32:5; Matthew 5:23, 24.

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

“Sin of a private character is to be confessed to Christ, the only mediator between God and man. For ‘if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous’ (1 John 2:1). Every sin is an offense against God and is to be confessed to Him through Christ. Every open sin should be as openly confessed.” Gospel Workers, 216.



  • When the Lord asked Adam and Eve concerning their sin, how did their response imply that it was not really their fault? Genesis 3:12, 13.

Note: “After Adam and Eve had eaten of the forbidden fruit, they were filled with a sense of shame and terror. At first their only thought was how to excuse their sin and escape the dreaded sentence of death. When the Lord inquired concerning their sin, Adam replied, laying the guilt partly upon God and partly upon his companion: ‘The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.’ The woman put the blame upon the serpent, saying, ‘The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat’ (Genesis 3:12, 13). Why did You make the serpent? Why did You suffer him to come into Eden? These were the questions implied in her excuse for her sin, thus charging God with the responsibility of their fall.” Steps to Christ, 40.

  • What is a common temptation for a person found in transgression, and why does this attitude render such a confession ineffectual? Job 9:20; Luke 16:15.

Note: “The spirit of self-justification originated in the father of lies and has been exhibited by all the sons and daughters of Adam. Confessions of this order are not inspired by the divine Spirit and will not be acceptable to God. True repentance will lead a man to bear his guilt himself and acknowledge it without deception or hypocrisy.” Steps to Christ, 40.

  • How specifically did Paul acknowledge his sin? What humble attitude did he take after his conversion? Acts 26:10, 11.

Note: “The examples in God’s word of genuine repentance and humiliation reveal a spirit of confession in which there is no excuse for sin or attempt at self-justification. Paul did not seek to shield himself; he paints his sin in its darkest hue, not attempting to lessen his guilt. He says, [Acts 26:10, 11 quoted]. He does not hesitate to declare that ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief’ (1 Timothy 1:15).” Steps to Christ, 41.



  • What does God ask us to give Him, and what does this involve? Proverbs 23:26; Luke 14:33.

Note: “God requires the entire surrender of the heart, before justification can take place.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 366.

“In giving ourselves to God, we must necessarily give up all that would separate us from Him. Hence the Saviour says, ‘Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple’ (Luke 14:33). Whatever shall draw away the heart from God must be given up. Mammon is the idol of many. The love of money, the desire for wealth, is the golden chain that binds them to Satan. Reputation and worldly honor are worshiped by another class. The life of selfish ease and freedom from responsibility is the idol of others. But these slavish bands must be broken. We cannot be half the Lord’s and half the world’s. We are not God’s children unless we are such entirely.” Steps to Christ, 44.

  • Why was the prayer of the publican for mercy heard? Luke 18:13, 14.

Note: “The prayer of the publican was heard because it showed dependence reaching forth to lay hold upon Omnipotence. Self to the publican appeared nothing but shame. Thus it must be seen by all who seek God. By faith—faith that renounces all self-trust—the needy suppliant is to lay hold upon infinite power.

“No outward observances can take the place of simple faith and entire renunciation of self. But no man can empty himself of self. We can only consent for Christ to accomplish the work.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 159.



1     What two things does true repentance include?

2    How is repentance a gift we receive rather than something we must do?

3    What must we do in order to obtain the forgiveness for our sins?

4    What shows that a truly repentant person will make no excuse for sin?

5    What must we be willing to give up in order to receive justification?

Bible Study Guides – Justification by Faith – The Faith That Justifies

November 4 – 10, 2018

Key Text

“Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God” (James 2:21–23).

Study Help: Selected Messages, Book 1, 377–382.


“The faith that justifies always produces first true repentance, and then good works, which are the fruit of that faith.” Our High Calling, 52.



  • What imbalanced view in the presentation of faith and works did the servant of the Lord seek to correct?

Note: “I was attending a meeting, and a large congregation were present. In my dream you were presenting the subject of faith and the imputed righteousness of Christ by faith. You repeated several times that works amounted to nothing, that there were no conditions. The matter was presented in that light that I knew minds would be confused, and would not receive the correct impression in reference to faith and works, and I decided to write to you. You state this matter too strongly. There are conditions to our receiving justification and sanctification, and the righteousness of Christ. I know your meaning, but you leave a wrong impression upon many minds. While good works will not save even one soul, yet it is impossible for even one soul to be saved without good works.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 377.

  • What light may we receive from the Scripture regarding the conditions for eternal life? Matthew 19:16, 17, 20, 21.



  • How does Paul explain that the casual faith of God’s professed followers is not enough? Romans 10:2, 3. What kind of faith do they need? Verse 10.

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.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 391.

“Imputation of the righteousness of Christ comes through justifying faith, and is the justification for which Paul so earnestly contends.” Ibid., 397.

  • What shows whether we have only casual faith or a justifying faith? James 2:18.

Note: “While he [the believer] is justified because of the merit of Christ, he is not free to work unrighteousness. 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. 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. The expression of the countenance reveals their experience, and men take knowledge of them that they have been with Jesus and learned of Him. Christ and the believer become one, and His beauty of character is revealed in those who are vitally connected with the Source of power and love. Christ is the great depositary of justifying righteousness and sanctifying grace.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 398.

“There are many who have a legal, casual faith. They have nominally accepted Christ as the Saviour of the world, but they have no evidence in their hearts that He is their personal Saviour, that He has forgiven their sins, that they have a living connection with God, the source of all light. You cannot teach others of Jesus and His righteousness, you cannot portray His matchless love, and the fullness of His grace, you cannot picture Him as the Christian’s all in all, as the comforter and guide of man, unless your own heart is filled with His love. You will not be able to present God as a God of compassion and love unless you can say, ‘I have tasted and know that the Lord is good.’ ” The Signs of the Times, September 2, 1889.



  • When is a sinner justified by faith? In what condition should the soul be kept? Acts 16:30, 31.

Note: “You have confessed your sins, and in heart put them away. You have resolved to give yourself to God. Now go to Him, and ask that He will wash away your sins and give you a new heart.” Steps to Christ, 49.

“As the penitent sinner, contrite before God, discerns Christ’s atonement in his behalf, and accepts this atonement as his only hope in this life and the future life, his sins are pardoned. This is justification by faith. Every believing soul is to conform his will entirely to God’s will, and keep in a state of repentance and contrition, exercising faith in the atoning merits of the Redeemer and advancing from strength to strength, from glory to glory.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1070.

  • How does the apostle Paul describe the faith that makes justification possible? Galatians 5:6.

Note: “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.

  • What will this faith do for the one who possesses it? Matthew 21:21.

Note: “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. His faith is not a dead faith, but a faith that works by love, and leads him to behold the beauty of Christ, and to become assimilated to the divine character.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 391, 392.



  • What proves that Abraham possessed not only a casual faith but a justifying faith? James 2:21–23.

Note: “The apostle James saw that dangers would arise in presenting the subject of justification by faith, and he labored to show that genuine faith cannot exist without corresponding works. The experience of Abraham is presented. ‘Seest thou,’ he says, ‘how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect’ (James 2:22)? Thus genuine faith does a genuine work in the believer. Faith and obedience bring a solid, valuable experience.

“There is a belief that is not a saving faith. The Word declares that the devils believe and tremble. The so-called faith that does not work by love and purify the soul will not justify any man. … Abraham believed God. How do we know that he believed? His works testified to the character of his faith, and his faith was accounted to him for righteousness.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 936.

  • What clear instruction did Jesus often repeat, even to those that had revealed that they have been justified by faith? John 5:14.

Note: “The faith which avails to bring us in vital contact with Christ expresses on our part supreme preference, perfect reliance, entire consecration. This faith works by love and purifies the soul. It works in the life of the follower of Christ true obedience to God’s commandments; for love to God and love to man will be the result of vital connection with Christ.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 334.

“As God works in the heart, and man surrenders his will to God, and cooperates with God, he works out in the life what God works in by the Holy Spirit, and there is harmony between the purpose of the heart and the practice of the life. Every sin must be renounced as the hateful thing that crucified the Lord of life and glory, and the believer must have a progressive experience by continually doing the works of Christ. It is by continual surrender of the will, by continual obedience, that the blessing of justification is retained.” Ibid., 397.



  • What was the merchantman ready to sacrifice in order to obtain the true pearl? What is represented by the true pearl? Matthew 13:45, 46.

Note: “The righteousness of Christ, as a pure, white pearl, has no defect, no stain. No work of man can improve the great and precious gift of God. It is without a flaw. In Christ are ‘hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge’ (Colossians 2:3).” Christ’s Object Lessons, 115.

  • Why don’t many find this great pearl, the righteousness of Christ? Revelation 3:17.

Note: “There are some who seem to be always seeking for the heavenly pearl. But they do not make an entire surrender of their wrong habits. They do not die to self that Christ may live in them. Therefore they do not find the precious pearl. They have not overcome unholy ambition and their love for worldly attractions. They do not take up the cross and follow Christ in the path of self-denial and sacrifice. Almost Christians, yet not fully Christians, they seem near the kingdom of heaven, but they cannot enter there. Almost but not wholly saved, means to be not almost but wholly lost.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 118.



1     While we are not saved by our works, what will be seen in the life of one who is justified by faith?

2    What shows the difference between real faith and a nominal faith?

3    What will genuine faith do for its possessor?

4    What important relationship exists between faith and works?

5    What is a great danger for those who seem to be Christians?

Bible Study Guides – Justification by Faith

October 28 – November 3, 2018

Key Text

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).

Study Help: Selected Messages, Book 1, 389–398.


“The light given me of God places this important subject above any question in my mind. Justification is wholly of grace and not procured by any works that fallen man can do.” Faith and Works, 20.



  • On what condition only can the sinner be justified? Acts 16:31; Galatians 3:11; Romans 3:28; Romans 4:20–25.

Note: “When God pardons the sinner, remits the punishment he deserves, and treats him as though he had not sinned, He receives him into divine favor, and justifies him through the merits of Christ’s righteousness. The sinner can be justified only through faith in the atonement made through God’s dear Son, who became a sacrifice for the sins of the guilty world. No one can be justified by any works of his own. He can be delivered from the guilt of sin, from the condemnation of the law, from the penalty of transgression, only by virtue of the suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 389.

  • Faith is the condition upon which God forgives and justifies the sinner. How does it operate? Matthew 15:22–28; Mark 9:20–24.

Note: “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.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 366, 367.



  • How was righteousness imputed to Abraham? What merit do works have in procuring justification? Genesis 15:1, 5, 6.

Note: “Let the subject be made distinct and plain that it is not possible to effect anything in our standing before God or in the gift of God to us through creature merit. Should faith and works purchase the gift of salvation for anyone, then the Creator is under obligation to the creature. Here is an opportunity for falsehood to be accepted as truth. If any man can merit salvation by anything he may do, then he is in the same position as the Catholic to do penance for his sins. Salvation, then, is partly of debt, that may be earned as wages. If man cannot, by any of his good works, merit salvation, then it must be wholly of grace, received by man as a sinner because he receives and believes in Jesus. It is wholly a free gift. Justification by faith is placed beyond controversy. And all this controversy is ended, as soon as the matter is settled that the merits of fallen man in his good works can never procure eternal life for him.

“The light given me of God places this important subject above any question in my mind. Justification is wholly of grace and not procured by any works that fallen man can do.” Faith and Works, 19, 20.

  • Based on the experience of Abraham, how is righteousness imputed to the sinner? Romans 4:1–8.

Note: “Righteousness is obedience to the law. The law demands righteousness, and this the sinner owes to the law; but he is incapable of rendering it. The only way in which he can attain to righteousness is through faith. By faith he can bring to God the merits of Christ, and the Lord places the obedience of His Son to the sinner’s account. Christ’s righteousness is accepted in place of man’s failure, and God receives, pardons, justifies, the repentant, believing soul, treats him as though he were righteous, and loves him as He loves His Son. This is how faith is accounted righteousness; and the pardoned soul goes on from grace to grace, from light to a greater light. He can say with rejoicing, ‘Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life’ (Titus 3:5–7).” Selected Messages, Book 1, 367.



  • What happened on the way when the Lord was going to Jairus’ home? Mark 5:22–27.

Note: “As He [the Great Physician] was passing, she [a poor woman diseased with an issue of blood] reached forward, and succeeded in barely touching the border of His garment. But in that moment she knew that she was healed. In that one touch was concentrated the faith of her life, and instantly her pain and feebleness gave place to the vigor of perfect health. …

“The Saviour could distinguish the touch of faith from the casual contact of the careless throng. Such trust should not be passed without comment. He would speak to the humble woman words of comfort that would be to her a wellspring of joy—words that would be a blessing to His followers to the close of time. …

“He gave no opportunity for superstition to claim healing virtue for the mere act of touching His garments. It was not through the outward contact with Him, but through the faith which took hold on His divine power, that the cure was wrought.” The Desire of Ages, 343–347.

  • What made the difference between the casual touches of the common people within the multitude and the touch of the sick woman on His garment? Mark 5:28–34.

Note: “The wondering crowd that pressed close about Jesus realized no accession of vital power from the contact. But when the poor, suffering woman, who for twelve years had been an invalid, in her great need put forth her hand and touched the hem of His garment, she felt the healing virtue. Hers was the touch of faith, and Christ recognized that touch. He knew that virtue had gone out from Him. … The faith which avails to bring us in vital contact with Christ expresses on our part supreme preference, perfect reliance, entire consecration. This faith works by love and purifies the soul. It works in the life of the follower of Christ true obedience to God’s commandments; for love to God and love to man will be the result of vital connection with Christ.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 334.



  • What kind of response did the paralytic make to the command of the Lord? What can we learn from his example? John 5:1–9.

Note: “From the simple Bible account of how Jesus healed the sick, we may learn something about how to believe in Him for the forgiveness of sins. Let us turn to the story of the paralytic at Bethesda. The poor sufferer was helpless; he had not used his limbs for thirty-eight years. Yet Jesus bade him, ‘Rise, take up thy bed, and walk’ (John 5:8). The sick man might have said, ‘Lord, if Thou wilt make me whole, I will obey Thy word.’ But, no, he believed Christ’s word, believed that he was made whole, and he made the effort at once; he willed to walk, and he did walk. He acted on the word of Christ, and God gave the power. He was made whole.” Steps to Christ, 50. [Emphasis author’s.]

  • What example of the man restored to health should be followed by us? Mark 11:24.

Note: “In like manner you are a sinner. You cannot atone for your past sins; you cannot change your heart and make yourself holy. But God promises to do all this for you through Christ. You believe that promise. You confess your sins and give yourself to God. You will to serve Him. Just as surely as you do this, God will fulfill His word to you. If you believe the promise—believe that you are forgiven and cleansed—God supplies the fact; you are made whole, just as Christ gave the paralytic power to walk when the man believed that he was healed. It is so if you believe it.

“Do not wait to feel that you are made whole, but say, ‘I believe it; it is so, not because I feel it, but because God has promised.’…

“There is a condition to this promise—that we pray according to the will of God. But it is the will of God to cleanse us from sin, to make us His children, and to enable us to live a holy life. So we may ask for these blessings, and believe that we receive them, and thank God that we have received them. It is our privilege to go to Jesus and be cleansed, and to stand before the law without shame or remorse. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit’ (Romans 8:1).” Steps to Christ, 51. [Emphasis author’s.]



  • In order to receive faith, where must we look? For what purpose is it given? Hebrews 12:2; John 6:29.

Note: “While the sinner cannot save himself, he still has something to do to secure salvation. ‘Him that cometh to Me,’ says Christ, ‘I will in no wise cast out’ (John 6:37). But we must come to Him; and when we repent of our sins, we must believe that He accepts and pardons us. Faith is the gift of God, but the power to exercise it is ours. Faith is the hand by which the soul takes hold upon the divine offers of grace and mercy.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 431. [Emphasis author’s.]

  • How does Paul explain faith? What further explanation is given by the Spirit of Prophecy? Hebrews 11:1–3.

Note: “Faith is not the ground of our salvation, but it is the great blessing—the eye that sees, the ear that hears, the feet that run, the hand that grasps. It is the means, not the end. If Christ gave His life to save sinners, why shall I not take that blessing? My faith grasps it, and thus my faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. Thus resting and believing, I have peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1073.



1     What is necessary to be justified?

2    How may it be shown that justification is not obtained by works?

3    What lesson may we learn from the experience of the woman among the people crowding around Jesus?

4    What enabled the sick man to receive the blessing and will also enable us to receive blessings?

5    How may we receive and benefit from faith?

Recipe – Rosemary Potatoes and Tea

Rosemary Tea

1-2 tsp. fresh rosemary chopped (or 1 Tbsp. dried). Pour 1 cup of boiling water over leaves and steep for 5-10 minutes. Strain and drink tea.


Rosemary Potatoes

Cut the amount of potatoes you want in half or quarters and place in a bowl. Pour on some olive oil, salt, garlic (2–3 minced cloves) and fresh, chopped rosemary. Toss until the potatoes are well coated. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and spread out into 1 layer; roast in the oven for at least 1 hour at 400 degrees or until browned and crisp. Turn them a couple of times for even baking.

Food – Rosemary, the Boost You May Need

Rosemary was traditionally used to help alleviate muscle pain, improve memory, boost the immune and circulatory system, and promote hair growth. Rosemary is a perennial plant (it lives more than 2 years). Dr. Keith Scott, in his book states the following:

“The leaves of this hardy Mediterranean plant are used to flavor a variety of dishes and beverages, and are added to some cosmetics. … It has gained an important place in traditional medicine, including its use as an antiseptic and as a treatment for respiratory problems, stomach cramps and arthritic pain. Rosemary is also believed to enhance the memory.”

Medicinal Properties

Cancer Rosemary contains significant quantities of several antioxidants which exhibit potent anti-tumourigenic properties.
Cardiovascular Disease and Blood Lipids Like oregano, rosemary has cardioprotective, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, and two of its compounds directly prevent the formation of atheromatous plaques in the arteries.
Alzheimer’s Disease Rosmarinic acid has shown promising preventive and, in some cases, therapeutic effects against Alzheimer’s disease. Although its mechanisms are not fully understood, rosmarinic acid prevents the deposition of amyloid plaque in the brain.
Toxins Rosemary has specifically been shown to protect the liver from damage by environmental toxins. More broadly, potent antioxidants present in rosemary, such as rosmarinic acid and caffeic acid, are effective scavengers of free-radical toxins and assist in the prevention of inflammatory diseases, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Allergies The traditional use of rosemary as a treatment for respiratory problems has now been validated by clinical studies investigating its anti-allergenic properties. These have demonstrated that rosemary is an effective therapy for hay fever and asthma-causing allergies.

Rosemary Tea

1-2 tsp. fresh rosemary chopped (or 1 Tbsp. dried). Pour 1 cup of boiling water over leaves and steep for 5-10 minutes. Strain and drink tea.

Rosemary Potatoes

Cut the amount of potatoes you want in half or quarters and place in a bowl. Pour on some olive oil, salt, garlic (2–3 minced cloves) and fresh, chopped rosemary. Toss until the potatoes are well coated. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and spread out into 1 layer; roast in the oven for at least 1 hour at 400 degrees or until browned and crisp. Turn them a couple of times for even baking.

Children’s Story – The Lamp in the Window

Swish-swish!” went the rain. “Boom-boom!” crashed the thunder. And all round the car the wind whistled and moaned. Rudy crouched down in the back seat. “Is it much farther to Grandmother’s?” he asked.

Daddy, who was driving very slowly, answered, “I don’t think so, but I’m not certain just where we are.”

Rudy blinked as he tried to see out into the rainy darkness. “Can’t you see by the headlights?” he asked.

“Not in this downpour!” exclaimed Mother, wiping the windshield in front of her with her handkerchief. “I can’t even see the ditches.”

“I can see them all right.” Daddy shifted gears cautiously. “I’m just hoping we don’t slide into one.”

“Me, too,” added Rudy. How he wished he was safe inside Grandmother’s warm kitchen.

Rudy and his parents lived in the United States, but they had come to England to surprise his grandmother with a visit. At the airport they had rented a car to drive into the country to Grandmother’s house, but they hadn’t counted on the rainstorm that was almost making them lose their way.

Thinking about his grandmother made Rudy hungry. “Wouldn’t a big bowl of Grandmother’s potato soup taste good!” he exclaimed.

“It certainly would,” Mother agreed, but an extra-loud crash of thunder muffled her words.

The thunder was followed by a brilliant flash of lightening that made Rudy duck his head. What happened next neither Daddy, Mother, nor Rudy knew exactly. Rudy didn’t feel the car turn, but when he looked up he could see the fence posts right up against the front headlights.

“Daddy, is there a fence in the middle of the road?” Rudy cried.

“No,” said Daddy, rolling down a window. “We skidded. The car is sitting crosswise in the road.”

“Can you turn around?” asked Mother.

“I can try,” answered Daddy. He began backing up, but the car wheels spun in the soft mud, round and round. The car rocked back and forth for a while, then the engine stopped.

“It’s no use,” said Daddy. “We’re on high center. The wheels have sunk down to the axles in the mud. We’ll have to walk the rest of the way to Grandmother’s.”

Rudy looked into the rainy blackness and swallowed hard. “How can we see to walk?” he managed to ask.

“I have the flashlight,” said Daddy. “We can follow the road. I don’t think it’s much farther.”

Rudy buttoned his coat and stepped out of the car into the rain and mud. Daddy took his left hand and Mother took his right.

“Just follow me,” said Daddy, “and keep your head down. That way the rain won’t beat into your face.”

For a while Rudy kept his head down, but soon he looked up to see where they were walking. In the beam of the flashlight he could see an open field.

Puzzled, he stopped. “Daddy!” he cried suddenly. “There’s no field near Grandmother’s house, is there?”

Daddy stopped walking too. “No, son, there isn’t,” he said in a tired voice. “We’ve missed the road some way.”

For a moment Rudy stood listening to the storm around him and his parents. Then he asked, “Daddy, don’t you think we should pray? Maybe Jesus will help us get to Grandmother’s house.”

“Yes, I think He will.” Daddy turned off the flashlight and put it in his coat pocket so that he could fold his hands.

Then he began his prayer. “Jesus, my family and I are lost. Without Your help, we will never be able to reach my mother’s house tonight. Please allow Your lamp to guide us.”

Soon after Daddy had finished his prayer the rain slowed to a heavy mist and the wind died.

“We can see better now,” said Daddy, “and the rain won’t beat in our faces so badly.”

Rudy found he could walk better, too, without having to hold his head down. He tried to see through the darkness beyond the beam of Daddy’s flashlight, and presently he saw an orange-colored glare.

“Daddy, I see a light!” Rudy cried happily.

“I see it, too,” said Mother. “I think it is a light from a window, but it looks a little strange.”

Daddy was laughing at Mother’s bewilderment. “It’s Grandmother’s kerosene lamp,” he explained. “She always turns the electricity off during a storm, but it is odd that we can see the lamp so plainly.”

Everyone walked faster now, and in a few minutes they were happily inside Grandmother’s warm kitchen. The first thing Rudy saw after he had greeted his grandmother was the kerosene lamp sitting on a chair by the window.

“We saw your lamp, Grandmother!” he told her excitedly.

His grandmother looked at the lamp and shook her head in a puzzled way. “It is strange,” she said, “but about ten minutes ago I was sitting here reading when all of a sudden I had a feeling that maybe someone needed to see my lamp. So I moved it from the table and put it on that chair by the window.”

Daddy and Mother and Rudy looked at one another. Then Daddy smiled. “That must have been about the time we were praying.”

“And you asked Jesus to be our lamp to guide us to Grandmother’s house,” Rudy added, remembering every word of Daddy’s prayer.

There were happy tears in Grandmother’s eyes as she listened, and she repeated a verse from the Psalms, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105).

Grandmother looked at Daddy and added softly, “Jesus heard your prayer and told me to move my lamp.”

“He certainly did,” agreed Daddy, “so let’s all thank Him right now.”

What a happy moment it was as everyone knelt to thank Jesus for the kerosene lamp in the window that had brought the family safely out of the storm.

Heaven, Please! Helena Welch, 48–53.

Life Sketches – The Love of the Truth

Every year the state of this world seems to decline. Many wonder how much longer it can be sustained. Will nations continue in their present state or will there be a transition into another world-wide kingdom? Bible prophecy predicts the future of the nations of our world.

After Paul and Silas had been beaten,  placed in prison, and finally delivered by the Lord in the city of Philippi, they went to Thessalonica, a significant city where a large church had been raised up. Recorded in the Bible are two letters that Paul wrote to the Thessalonians.

We are told in Acts 17:1–4 that, “When they (Paul and Silas) had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. Then Paul, as his custom was, went into them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, ‘This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.’ And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas.”

Many of the people there had formerly been Greeks, idol worshippers, and philosophers, but had become Christians. The evidence that primarily induced these Jews and Greeks to see the light of truth was when Paul showed them from Old Testament prophecies what was predicted in regard to the Messiah. He was to come as a poor man. He would be despised and rejected by the Jews and finally killed. (See Isaiah 53; Psalm 22.)  Every prediction about the Messiah was fulfilled in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. He was crucified to pay the price of the sins of the world. He was resurrected on the third day. He ascended to heaven and He is coming back to this world someday to establish a universal kingdom.

The evidence proved there was only One whom that could be. Jesus Christ perfectly fulfilled every prophecy of the Messiah. He was born at the right place, Bethlehem, according to Micah 5:2. He came at exactly the right time, predicted in Daniel 9. He came in His ministry to the right region. Isaiah predicted that He would go to Galilee, and He died in the way predicted in Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22. He was resurrected, and He led captivity captive (Psalm 68:18). When Paul preached all of these things, many people became Christians and were convinced not only of fulfilled prophecy, but believed what was predicted for the future.

The apostles taught that in the future, Christ would come again the second time and establish a universal kingdom. The early Christian church believed that. However, in the city of Thessalonica, just as in other cities, there were Jews who didn’t believe what Paul preached, and they raised an insurrection in the city and caused Paul to be taken out of town.

It says in Acts 17 that they made an assault on Jason’s house, and they took security from Jason (verses 5, last part, 9). In the meantime, Paul had escaped, and they went to another town by the name of Berea. The apostle says concerning the Bereans in verse 11, “These 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.” They were commended for not just taking man’s word but searched the Scriptures to see if Paul’s words were truth.

Paul used the same teaching technique as Jesus. Speaking to the two disciples on the way to Emmaus Jesus said, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:25–27). His life, His death, and His resurrection all fulfilled Old Testament prophecy concerning the Messiah. Verse 44 says, “Then He said to them, ‘These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.’ ”

In the first chapters of the book of Acts, you will find that the apostle Peter followed the same technique, showing from the Old Testament that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah. Paul showed the people that it was impossible for them to explain the Passover without Christ as revealed in the Old Testament, and how the brazen serpent that was lifted up by Moses in the wilderness was a symbol of Jesus Christ lifted up upon the cross. He taught them that all of the Jewish religious services and ceremonies would be valueless if they should reject the Saviour, whom the ceremonies represented. Paul taught that Jesus Christ was the key that unlocked the meaning of the Old Testament and gave access to its rich treasures.

Paul showed the people in Thessalonica that the expectation of the Jews in regard to the Messiah coming as a ruler was not according to prophecy. The Old Testament predicted that He would come as a humble person, He would be poor, He would be rejected, He would be despised and killed. Then he showed them that at some time in the future, Jesus would return to this world a second time in power, and great glory, and that He would establish His kingdom upon the earth and would subdue all authority and all the rulership of the nations.

The Second Coming of Christ was very prominent in all the apostles’ teaching. They had received this information, not only from the Lord Himself in person (see Matthew 24; Luke 17), they also received it from the angels who were present when the Lord ascended to heaven. In Acts 1:9–11, it says, “Now when He [Jesus] had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.’ ”

One of the foundational doctrines of the apostolic Christian church was that someday Jesus would return to this world in the clouds of heaven, just as He went. In fact, it is stated that not only will He return, but He will return in the glory of the Father, and the glory of His angels with Him. It will be an event that will be witnessed by the entire world.

Revelation 1:7 says, “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him.” They will mourn because they are not prepared to meet their Maker. They are scared. This is one of the most detailed accounts anywhere in the Bible of exactly what will happen when Jesus returns to this world.

Paul said, “I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we (the believers) who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:13–18).

When a Christian dies, it is different from those who have no hope of eternal life. For the Christian there is hope, for death is a temporary sleep. When Jesus returns, those who believe on Him will be raised again to life and be given eternal life. However, Paul, in the same letter says what is going to happen to those who are not ready for the Lord to come. He says, “Concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:1–3).

However, the Thessalonians expected Jesus’ return in their lifetime; so a second letter was written in which Paul tried to make very clear their misunderstanding so that they would not be confused in their faith. Disappointment often results in unbelief. It is very important that our faith be based only on what the word of God says, and not on what we think or hope will happen.

“It is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble (persecute) you and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed” (2 Thessalonians 1:5–10).

These things that the apostle Paul taught made a deep impression on the minds of the people, but, there were still some who got confused, expecting to happen during their lifetime what Paul had predicted. Their confusion made it necessary for him to explain some things more clearly, which is a very great help to us, so that we understand exactly what he was trying to teach them. Paul went on to point out that he didn’t teach them that the Day of the Lord was going to happen in their lifetime, as they thought.

Some people today are confused, thinking that the apostle thought that the second coming of Christ would occur in the first century A.D. The apostles did not believe that. Peter did not believe it and Paul did not believe it. Peter predicts what would happen after his death, and Paul makes it very clear that they were not to expect the Day of the Lord to occur in their day.

Notice what Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 2:1–5: “Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away (that is, the apostasy) comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God (that is, the antichrist). Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?”

Paul reminds them that when he was with them he told them that the Day of the Lord would not come unless there had first, in the Christian church, come a tremendous apostasy, a falling away, from the truth.

Notice what Paul told the Ephesians: “Therefore take heed to yourselves (the elders of the church at Ephesus) and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure (after Paul’s death) savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.

“Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves” (Acts 20:28–30).

Notice that Paul here is talking to the clergy, the elders of the church, and he says that from among the clergy or leaders of the Christian church, there would rise up men who would speak perverse things, and draw the disciples after themselves.

He then admonishes them, “Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears” (verse 31). This is prominent in the writings of Paul, and not only Paul but both the apostles John and Peter predicted the very same thing (1 John 2; 2 Peter 2). They predicted that a great apostasy would develop in the Christian church after the time of the apostles.

Paul, writing about it to the Thessalonians said, “Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:5–10).

Do you love the truth, friend? Do you want to know the truth of God and follow it and obey it? If you love the truth, you will find it for God will reveal it to you and you will be saved. But what will happen if you don’t love the truth? Paul says, “For this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie” (verse 11). The lie, of course, is the idea that you can be saved while you are living a lawless life. The mystery of lawlessness is the idea that you can be lawless, a breaker of God’s law, and still receive eternal life. The Bible says, “… that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (verse 12).

But why is it that people do not believe the truth? Jesus told the Jews it was because they “had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:12). How is it with you? Do you love truth and do you want to follow the truth of the Bible or are you living a life of pleasure in unrighteousness?

All who have pleasure in unrighteousness will be deceived. “All unrighteousness is sin” (1 John 5:17). “Sin is breaking God’s law” (1 John 3:4, literal translation.) Since all unrighteousness is sin, and sin is breaking God’s law, what does it mean to have pleasure in unrighteousness? It means to have pleasure in sin. This prophecy in the Bible predicts that those who have pleasure in sin will be deceived, because they did not love the truth and will not be ready for the coming of the Lord.

O friend, which way will it be for you? Will you be one of those who loves the truth, and obeys it or will you be one of those who has pleasure in unrighteousness and is deceived? 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 – Clean Forgot

When I was growing up, there were six of us in my family, four children and two adults. I can remember on Saturday evenings when it would be bath time. Now back then we had one tub. Mama would fill it up with bubbles and then the cleanest child would take his bath first, after mom and dad of course. Then it would go right down to the dirtiest—which were usually my brothers! Tub baths always felt so good. Then we would put on clean clothing. Oh, what a delight! We all survived those ‘good old days.’ It always feels good to be clean. I am sure you will find the following quotations very interesting and informative about cleanliness.

“A great amount of suffering might be saved if all would labor to prevent disease, by strictly obeying the laws of health. Strict habits of cleanliness should be observed. Many, while well, will not take the trouble to keep in a healthy condition. They neglect personal cleanliness, and are not careful to keep their clothing pure. Impurities are constantly and imperceptibly passing from the body, through the pores, and if the surface of the skin is not kept in a healthy condition, the system is burdened with impure matter. If the clothing worn is not often washed and frequently aired, it becomes filthy with impurities which are thrown off from the body by sensible and insensible perspiration. And if the garments worn are not frequently cleansed from these impurities, the pores of the skin absorb again the waste matter thrown off. The impurities of the body, if not allowed to escape, are taken back into the blood and forced upon the internal organs. Nature, to relieve herself of poisonous impurities, makes an effort to free the system. This effort produces fevers and what is termed disease. But even then, if those who are afflicted would assist nature in her efforts by the use of pure, soft water, much suffering would be prevented. But many, instead of doing this, and seeking to remove the poisonous matter from the system, take a more deadly poison into the system, to remove a poison already there.” Counsels on Health, 61.

“Most persons would receive benefit from a cool or tepid bath every day, morning or evening. Instead of increasing the liability to take cold, a bath, properly taken, fortifies against cold, because it improves the circulation; the blood is brought to the surface, and a more easy and regular flow is obtained. The mind and the body are alike invigorated. The muscles become more flexible, the intellect is made brighter. The bath is a soother of the nerves. Bathing helps the bowels, the stomach, and the liver, giving health and energy to each, and it promotes digestion.” The Ministry of Healing, 276.

“If every family realized the beneficial results of thorough cleanliness, they would make special efforts to remove every impurity from their persons and from their houses, and would extend their efforts to their premises. Many suffer decayed vegetable matter to remain about their premises. They are not awake to the influence of these things. There is constantly arising from these decaying substances an effluvium that is poisoning the air. By inhaling the impure air, the blood is poisoned, the lungs become affected, and the whole system is diseased. Disease of almost every description will be caused by inhaling the atmosphere affected by these decaying substances.

“Families have been afflicted with fevers, some of their members have died, and the remaining portion of the family circle have almost murmured against their Maker because of their distressing bereavements, when the sole cause of all their sickness and death has been the result of their own carelessness. The impurities about their own premises have brought upon them contagious diseases and the sad afflictions which they charge upon God. Every family that prizes health should cleanse their houses and their premises of all decaying substances.” Counsels on Health, 62.

“Every form of uncleanliness tends to disease. Death-producing germs abound in dark, neglected corners, in decaying refuse, in dampness and mold and must. No waste vegetables or heaps of fallen leaves should be allowed to remain near the house to decay and poison the air. Nothing unclean or decaying should be tolerated within the home. In towns or cities regarded perfectly healthful, many an epidemic of fever has been traced to decaying matter about the dwelling of some careless householder.

“Perfect cleanliness, plenty of sunlight, careful attention to sanitation in every detail of the home life, are essential to freedom from disease and to the cheerfulness and vigor of the inmates of the home.” The Ministry of Healing, 276.

Remember to keep clean inside and outside your home, including yourself!

Question & Answer: How did Jesus prepare His disciples for His death and resurrection?

Several Scriptures reveal that Jesus told them how He would be treated but they could not accept His words.

“From that time forth Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, ‘Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You.’ But He turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offence to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men’ ” (Matthew 16:21–23).

“Now Jesus, going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples aside on the road and said unto them, Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man shall be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again” (Matthew 20:17–19).

See also: Mark 8:31–33; Mark 9:31, 32; Luke 9:21, 22; 18:31–34.

Further comment:

“Before His crucifixion the Saviour explained to His disciples that He was to be put to death and to rise again from the tomb, and angels were present to impress His words on minds and hearts. But the disciples were looking for temporal deliverance from the Roman yoke, and they could not tolerate the thought that He in whom all their hopes centered should suffer an ignominious death. The words which they needed to remember were banished from their minds; and when the time of trial came, it found them unprepared. The death of Jesus as fully destroyed their hopes as if He had not forewarned them. So in the prophecies the future is opened before us as plainly as it was opened to the disciples by the words of Christ. The events connected with the close of probation and the work of preparation for the time of trouble, are clearly presented. But multitudes have no more understanding of these important truths than if they had never been revealed. Satan watches to catch away every impression that would make them wise unto salvation, and the time of trouble will find them unready.” The Great Controversy, 594.

“… Jesus was carefully opening to His disciples the sufferings through which He must pass—that He would be crucified and that He would rise again the third day. But their understanding seemed dull, and they could not comprehend what He told them.” Early Writings, 161.