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Wally

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Lesson 3 April 8-14




A Royal Priesthood


So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--2nd Quarter 2017--A Royal Priesthood
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2017, 04:05:31 PM »
Commentary in Navy                  Inspiration in Maroon




Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study: 1 Pet. 2:1-3; Heb. 4:12; 1 Pet. 2:4-8; Isa. 28:16; Exod. 19:3-6; 1 Pet. 2:5,9, 10.

Memory Text: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.” 1 Pet. 2:9

Amen!! And as we study the Word, both from the Old and New Testaments, we find that even though we are called to be in a "royal priesthood", that does not do away with pastors, deacons, and elders. There is still church order, as there is order in the family. And, if we will look to Scripture, as we are being directed by Peter and our lessons, we shall come to better understand the character of our God and His plan for our salvation.

Immersed as he is in Jewish culture, religion, and history, Peter refers to the Christians he is writing to as a “holy nation, God’s own people.” By so doing, he is taking covenant language that the Old Testament uses to refer to ancient Israel, applying it here to the New Testament church.

And no wonder: Gentile believers in Jesus have been grafted into God’s covenant people. They are now partakers of the covenant promises, as well. “And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.” Rom. 11:17, 18.

Amen! And that root is Christ Jesus. I was just thinking about the Jews last night. As they partake of the Passover dinner today, they have no idea that the "root" is Christ Jesus, their Messiah whom their fathers put to death. They glory in their "traditions" that have perverted Bible truth. The lamb which they still eat on the Passover, they have no idea why it was sacrificed, nor why they eat it.

I then was led to look at modern day Israel and sorrow over her blindness also. But, both Jew and Seventh-day Adventist can rejoice in the promises of God which include those found in Ezekiel chapter 36:

 36:22   Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. 
 36:23   And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I [am] the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. 
 36:24   For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. 
 36:25   Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 
 36:26   A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 
 36:27   And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them]. 


Individually we both may claim these promises, but corporately, Israel of old has been forever cut off. But, not so with modern day Israel. God is pouring out a strong current of grace upon His church. It will see revival and reformation......soon!!


In the passages for this week, Peter points his readers to the sacred responsibility and high calling that they have as God’s covenant people, those who (using Paul’s language) have been grafted in to the olive tree. And among those responsibilities is the same as what ancient Israel had-proclaiming the great truth of the salvation offered in the Lord.

Amen!  And, not only proclaiming the gospel, but by reflecting it in our daily lives!



Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--2nd Quarter 2017--A Royal Priesthood
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2017, 04:05:36 PM »
Sunday April 9

Living as a Christian


First Peter 2:1 begins with “therefore,” meaning that what follows results from what came before. First Peter 1, we saw, was a tour de force in regard to what Christ has done for us and how we should respond to what He has done for us. In the next chapter, Peter picks up this theme and takes it further.

Read 1 Peter 2:1-3.

 2:1   Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 
 2:2   As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 
 2:3   If so be ye have tasted that the Lord [is] gracious. 


What is Peter telling us about how we should live?

Peter uses two separate images to show that Christians have a double duty. One is negative, in that some things are discarded; the other is a positive, in that we should seek to do something.

In his first image, Peter urges Christians to rid themselves of malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking (1 Pet. 2:1, NKJV). In doing this, Christians will conduct themselves differently than do many of those around them. Because they have discarded malice, they will not desire to harm others but, instead, will seek their good. Because Christians have discarded insincerity, they will not act to deceive others but will be straightforward and honest. Christians will not envy those who have more than they do. They will be content with their life and flourish where Providence has placed them. Nor will they make statements that deliberately damage another’s reputation.

The second image that Peter uses-that of a baby hungry for milk (1 Pet. 2:2)-provides the positive side of his instruction. Christian life is not merely a matter of giving up bad things. Such a life would be empty. No, it is a matter of seeking spiritual nourishment but with the same intensity that a hungry baby cries out for milk. He points readers to the source of that spiritual nourishment (see also Heb. 4:12, Matt. 22:29, 2 Tim. 3:15-17), the Word of God, the Bible. It is in the Word of God that we can grow spiritually and morally, because in it we have the fullest revelation possible, at least to us, of Jesus Christ. And in Jesus we have the greatest representation of the character and nature of the Holy God we are to love and serve.

How are these two ideas related to each other: that is, why would seeking spiritual nourishment from the Word help us lay aside the bad actions and attitudes that Peter is warning us about?

We so much appreciate the author of this quarter's lessons taking our study verse by verse. Often we do not get to feed upon all of the verses. At times we do not even study a Book, but a subject that human wisdom has thought up. But, not so this quarter. We get to feed upon the Word of God. And, what a blessing to see a correct interpretation of so many of these important truths!

What is the connection between these two ideas presented in the opening of chapter two? How can we obey God unless we have allowed Him to take possession of the heart? We cannot. We are evil by nature and can do no good thing. We are born selfish. We must be born again. As Jesus told Nicodemus, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." John 3:6,7. Sadly, too many do not agree. They think they have eternal life when walking in the flesh. Some think they are connected with God even before they are "born again."

Our lesson rightly connects our need of feeding upon the Word in order to not be selfish. Jesus put it this way in the Book of John:

 6:30   They said therefore unto him, What sign showest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? 
 6:31   Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. 
 6:32   Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 
 6:33   For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. 
 6:34   Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. 
 6:35   And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 


The Word was made flesh. As we study the Word, we see a revelation of Christ. As we read the Word to know Him, we will become like Him. It is a promise! "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Cor. 3:18.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--2nd Quarter 2017--A Royal Priesthood
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2017, 04:05:45 PM »
Monday April 10

The Living Stone


Read 1 Peter 2:4-8 (see also Isa. 28:16; Ps. 118:22; Isa. 8:14, 15).

 2:4   To whom coming, [as unto] a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, [and] precious, 
 2:5   Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 
 2:6   Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 
 2:7   Unto you therefore which believe [he is] precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 
 2:8   And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, [even to them] which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. 


What crucial truth is Peter referring to here? What is he saying to us about how we should act in response to Jesus?

After telling his readers to seek spiritual nourishment, Peter immediately directs their attention to Jesus Christ, the Living Stone, most likely a reference to the Jerusalem temple. In 1 Peter 2:4-8, he cites three Old Testament passages that highlight the significance of cornerstones, which represent the role of Jesus in His church. Peter is not alone in linking these verses to Jesus. Jesus Himself uses Psalm 118:22 at the conclusion of one of His parables (Matt. 21:42). Peter does likewise in Acts 4:11, in his speech to the Jewish leadership. And Paul uses Isaiah 28:16 in Romans 9:33.

Peter’s point is that even though Jesus was rejected and crucified, He was chosen by God to become the cornerstone of God’s spiritual house. Christians, then, are living stones that are built into this spiritual house. By using the terminology of the cornerstone and building blocks, Peter is presenting an image of the church. The church is founded upon Jesus but is made up of those who follow Him.

Amen! We are to become "living stones", a part of the "city of God", "New Jerusalem"! Upon which Jesus is the cornerstone of the foundation! And, what are these "spiritual sacrifices" we are to offer up to God?


Notice that becoming a Christian means that you become part of a Christian community, or local church. Just as a brick is to be built into a larger structure, so also Christians are not called to be followers of Jesus in isolation from others. A Christian who does not worship and work with other Christians to further the kingdom of God is a contradiction in terms. Christians are baptized into Christ, and by being baptized into Christ, they are baptized into His church.

Peter also talks about the function of the church. It is to form a “holy priesthood” (1 Pet. 2:5) that offers “spiritual sacrifices.” In the Hebrew Bible, the priests mediate between God and His people. The words of Peter and others in the New Testament often use the language of temple and priesthood to present the church as the living temple of God and His people as its priests. He is pointing to the Old Testament system of worship in order to reveal truths about how Christians should live and act today.

Read 1 Peter 2:5 again.

Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 


What does it mean to “offer up spiritual sacrifices”? How do Christians, as part of a community at worship, do that?

What are the "living stones" a part of? And for what purpose is the church in this world soon to perish? Is it not to reflect the glory of God in the midst of the growing darkness in the world? And what is this "glory of God"? It is His character. Then the "living stones" rightly fit together in His church will reflect His character.

The Lord Jesus is making experiments on human hearts through the exhibition of His mercy and abundant grace. He is effecting transformations so amazing that Satan ... stands viewing them as a fortress impregnable to his sophistries and delusions. They are to him an incomprehensible mystery. The angels of God ... look on with astonishment and joy, that fallen men, once children of wrath, are through the training of Christ developing characters after the divine similitude, to be sons and daughters of God, to act an important part in the occupations and pleasures of heaven.  HP 282.


These "living stones" are not just rough stones from the quarry. No, they are beautiful stones that have been polished by our Lord. He is smoothing off the rough edges and making His children a beautiful city. Another representation of His glory is found in Zechariah 9:16. "And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of His people: for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon His land."

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--2nd Quarter 2017--A Royal Priesthood
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2017, 04:05:51 PM »
Tuesday April 11

God’s Covenant People

Peter is writing very much from an Old Testament perspective. And central to this perspective is the idea of covenant, a theme so central to Jewish and Christian theology.

What is the covenant?

Which covenant? There are many. There are all of the covenants found in the Old Testament. Do any of them apply to me or God's church? There is the "new covenant". There is the "old covenant". There is the "oldest covenant". There is the Abrahamic covenant. There is the covenant made with Noah. There is the "first covenant", the "second covenant", and the "everlasting covenant." And many more. Which ones are of vital interest to my salvation?

“Covenant” (Hebrew, berit) is a word that describes a treaty or formal agreement between two parties. It could be made between two individuals (for example, Laban and Jacob in Genesis 31:44) or between two kings (for example, Solomon and Hiram in 1 Kings 5:12, where berit is translated as “league” in the KJV, and “treaty” in the NRSV). It could also be made between a king and his people, such as David and the elders of Israel (2 Sam. 5:3).

Prominent among these themes is the special covenant relationship that exists between God and His chosen people, the descendants of Abraham.

Read Genesis 17:1-4, Exodus 2:24, Exodus 24:3-8.

 17:1   And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I [am] the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. 
 17:2   And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. 
 17:3   And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, 
 17:4   As for me, behold, my covenant [is] with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. 

 2:24   And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 

 24:3   And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do. 
 24:4   And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. 
 24:5   And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the LORD. 
 24:6   And Moses took half of the blood, and put [it] in basins; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. 
 24:7   And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient. 
 24:8   And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled [it] on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words. 


What do these texts tell us about the covenant God made with Israel?

The first book of the Bible, Genesis, recounts how God made a covenant with Abraham (Gen. 15:9-21, 17:1-26). God “remembered” this covenant when He rescued His people from oppression in Egypt (Exod. 2:24). God renewed it at the time of Moses, when He gave the Ten Commandments and other laws to the children of Israel (Exod. 19:1-24:8; especially Exod. 24:3-8).

But the covenant promises were not unconditional. “The Lord covenanted that if they were faithful in the observance of His requirements, He would bless them in all their increase and in all the work of their hands.” - Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 574.

Indeed, the prophets repeatedly warned Israel of the dangers of disobedience to God’s law, often using language reminiscent of the covenant. It has been argued that with the possible exception of the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation, many prophecies in the Bible are conditional. That’s how central the idea of obedience is in regard to the covenant promises. The covenantal prophecies of blessing were conditional on obedience to God’s law, and prophecies of doom applied only to the disobedient.

What does it mean to you to be in a covenant relationship with God? What obligations does this covenant relationship place on you?

This is the all important question. We may benefit from knowing of the covenant promises made to Israel as a nation, or to Abraham or to others, but most important is the covenant God has made for you and me. What is that covenant? Not from human wisdom, but from Scripture?

When was this covenant made? Satan has stolen a march on the people of God. He has perverted the truth regarding this covenant. But, the light is shining brightly upon His people. They are awakening from a long sleep. What are the promises found in this covenant first given to humanity, and what are the conditions? We have many scholars studying the lessons with us. Let us hear from them the answer to this most important of all questions.


Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--2nd Quarter 2017--A Royal Priesthood
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2017, 04:05:56 PM »
Wednesday April 12

A Royal Priesthood


In the book of Exodus, chapter 19, the Lord said to Moses: “And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and [how] I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth [is] mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These [are] the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. ” (Exod. 19:3-6).

Here’s the gospel message, revealed millennia before the Cross: God redeems His people, saving them from sin and the bondage of sin, and then He commands them to love and obey Him as a special covenant people before Him and before the world.

This appears to be more like what Paul calls the "old covenant," not the "new covenant." This is not "milk," but "meat."


Read 1 Peter 2:5, 9, 10 and Exodus 19:6.

2:5   Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 
 2:9   But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 
 2:10   Which in time past [were] not a people, but [are] now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. 

19:6   And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These [are] the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.


What does Peter mean when he calls Christians a “royal priesthood” and “a holy nation” (1 Pet. 2:9)? What does this language say to us as Seventh-day Adventist Christians about our obligations?

"A holy nation" is a very high calling. Some have perverted this truth to change the meaning of "holy."

“Spiritual house,” “chosen generation,” “royal priesthood,” and “God’s own people” are all terms of honor that in the Bible describe the special relationship that God had with the descendants of Abraham. Now, in the context of the New Testament, in the context of Jesus and the Cross, Peter is using the same covenant language and applying it to members of the church. The covenant promises made to Israel have now been widened to include not just the Jews who believe in Jesus but Gentile believers, as well. Yes, through Jesus, Gentiles, too, can claim to be children of Abraham. “And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." Gal. 3:29. Through Christ, anyone, regardless of birth, can become part of this “royal priesthood.”

A holy nation? A royal priesthood? Applied to ourselves, what should terms like this mean in regard to the kind of lives we live, both as individuals and as a community? How can we better live up to this high calling?

Such a high calling!! It is impossible to live  a holy life apart from Christ. We must have Jesus. And, when we separate from Him, what do we do? We crucify Him afresh (Hebrews 6:6). How can we have Jesus continually? We must first be truly converted, then we must cling to Him. We must be filled with the Holy Spirit in order to be holy.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--2nd Quarter 2017--A Royal Priesthood
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2017, 08:16:06 PM »
Thursday April 13

Proclaiming the Praises

The parallels with the Old Testament church didn’t end with just salvation and our being called out and chosen by God. The question is, Called out and chosen for what? Peter quickly gives the answer.

Peter points out that this special relationship is for a purpose. Christians are to “shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Pet. 2:9). This is what ancient Israel was to do. God called them to be witnesses of Him to the world. God’s purpose was to bless the whole world through ancient Israel, His covenant people.

Read the following texts. What’s the one point that they all have in common?

Deut. 4:6: "Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people."

Deut. 26:18, 19: "And the Lord hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments; And to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the Lord thy God, as he hath spoken."

Isa. 60:1-3: "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising."

Zech. 8:23: "Thus saith the Lord of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you."


All these texts reveal God's purpose to bless us, that we may be a blessing. But there is a problem. Our natures are fallen and evil, and we cannot change them. Our hearts are impure, and we can do no good thing apart from the work of the gospel in the mind and heart to make us partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). Israel failed, as the people did not surrender their hearts to the Lord fully, and allow the marvelous work that God purposed for them to take place. The people looked to themselves. They trusted in their priests and teachers rather than studying the Bible to find a plain "Thus saith the Lord." We need a revival and a reformation in modern spiritual Israel, the Seventh-day Adventist Church. We remain as a church in a Loadicean condition--and Jesus knocks on the heart of each soul for entrance. Those who respond are saved from the perilous lukewarm state of feeling saved while living in sin. Will we let Him in our hearts? Let the revival and reformation begin with me--with you--today. The revival and reformation will come. Be of good courage. God's purposes cannot fail. But will you let His purpose be fulfilled in you? Jesus is preparing His jewels all around the globe to shine as lights for Him as the darkness of midnight spreads like a funeral pall over the earth. We need Jesus in the heart continually for the above promises to be fulfilled in our personal experience. We are not saved in groups. We must have Christ ourselves, and allow Him to give us victory over self, the world, the flesh, and the devil. How do we gain that? By beholding we become changed. The promise we read in Isaiah 60 spoke of the experience of how "His glory shall be seen upon thee." How is that? If we would spend a thoughtful hour contemplating the life of Christ, we would be changed into His image from glory to glory, from character to character. Join us in The Desire of Ages forum tomorrow as we read "The Victory" (Chapter 13), and please continue reading with us--there are so many blessings to be had in beholding the loveliness of Jesus!!

Ancient Israel, as the covenant people, had a mission to reach the world with the gospel, the salvation offered by the Lord. Christians have the same divine mission. They are called to share with others their experience and knowledge of God and what He has done for the world through Christ.

What is the gospel? Why are so many different gospels going out even in the Seventh-day Adventist Church? Why was a different gospel accepted by the Jews in the days of Christ? (That false gospel led them to crucify the Lord of glory, and fail to see that the Lamb of God had to die, causing them to look upon their sacrifices--their works--as that which saved them. Such a deception!)

We must go to the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy and apply what we read to ourselves, personally, individually. We are saved by grace through faith, and this means that the heart is cleansed from sin and the mind is renewed after the mind of Christ. We become partakers of the divine nature through the everlasting gospel, and Jesus having possession of the heart fills us with all of the fruits of the Spirit so that not one is missing, leading us into obedience to every known statute and a willingness to receive greater light as it shines. "But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." (Proverbs 4:18).

Let us continually behold Jesus that we may reflect His character. The gospel contemplates our complete recovery from the thralldom of sin, and it means that the soul is imbued with the divine energy to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil. When we know Jesus as it is our privilege to daily beohld Him, our lives will be lives of continual obedience. God so changes us IN MIND AND HEART that sin becomes hateful to us (EVEN WHILE WE RETAIN FALLEN, SINFUL FLESH)! The gospel is SUCH GOOD NEWS! And the true gospel leaves no compromise for sin. Sin separates us from God. The commission of a known sin silences the voice of the Holy Spirit and grieves Jesus so deeply that rather than remain in the heart when we choose another Master, He lets us choose the path of pain and sorrow. But no sooner does the soul choose to sin than JESUS KNOCKS TO ENTER THE HEART AGAIN! He does not want to let us go! "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me" (Revelation 3:20). When we have Jesus in the heart, we are experiencing the imputed and imparted righteousness of Christ. Look to Him and live!


Read 1 Peter 2:10. "Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy."

Why is this text so central to the whole mission and purpose of Christians?

We are sinful by nature, and unless God has mercy upon us (showing us His grace) there would be no hope for us. When we have truly believed how good God is, and we have surrendered to the revelation of the loveliness of Jesus, we find that we become partakers of the divine nature, so our fallen flesh is kept under. Then, He unites us with our brothers and sisters who have also made a full-heart surrender. Unity is the inevitable result of disparate individuals who were enemies of God and others becoming transformed children who love as God loves. This is the evidence of our discipleship--all the fruits of the Spirit in the life without one missing--and love is the root and source of all! We love because He loved us; we show mercy because we have been shown mercy! Marvelous truth! Marvelous experience when we appreciate ALL that Jesus is to us!

The world is steeped in sin, in death, in impending doom. But Jesus gave His life to save everyone from this destruction. As with Israel of old, the terms of honor are also terms of responsibility. Christians have an extraordinarily high status: that of the people of God. But this brings the responsibility to invite others to share in that high status. As 1 Peter 2:10 states, Christians now form their own people. They once were not a people, but have now received mercy to become a holy people (see Hosea 1, 2). In the Bible, “holy” usually has the meaning of set aside for the purpose of worship. Therefore, as a “holy” nation, Christians are to be separated from the world, a distinction seen in the kind of lives that they live. They are also to be like a fire on a cold night, which will draw others to its warmth. Christians are tasked with the responsibility of sharing with others the glorious salvation of which they have partaken.

We are called to be holy. What does that mean? It means being kept from sin by the power of grace, by having accepted the blood of Christ's sacrifice for us, and being renewed in mind and heart through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Holiness is possible to all who come to Jesus as they are and hunger and thirst for righteousness that they may be filled--surrendering ALL. There is nothing too hard for the Lord, and when we BEAR TESTIMONY of how Jesus took our unholy, profane, broken lives and transformed us to become "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4), how can we not make the service of Christ appear attractive as it really is? Jesus is so amazing, and the more we behold Him, the more we shall desire to speak to others of what a precious friend we have found in Jesus! This is a great responsibility, but it all starts with beholding and surrendering to the revelation of the loveless of Jesus! Let us look and live!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--2nd Quarter 2017--A Royal Priesthood
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2017, 06:12:25 AM »
Friday April 14

Further Thought: “The church is very precious in God’s sight. He values it, not for its external advantages, but for the sincere piety which distinguishes it from the world. He estimates it according to the growth of the members in the knowledge of Christ, according to their progress in spiritual experience.

“Christ hungers to receive from His vineyard the fruit of holiness and unselfishness. He looks for the principles of love and goodness. Not all the beauty of art can bear comparison with the beauty of temper and character to be revealed in those who are Christ’s representatives. It is the atmosphere of grace which surrounds the soul of the believer, the Holy Spirit working upon mind and heart, that makes him a savor of life unto life, and enables God to bless his work.” - Ellen, G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 298.


Amen! Grace is not just a word, it is the power that transforms the life, the character. But, it does no good unless received into the heart.


Discussion Questions:


    What is it like to be called out of darkness into “His marvelous light?”. What does that mean? If you were to explain this idea to someone who didn’t believe in Jesus, what would you say? What is the darkness? What is the light? And what is the difference between the two in the context of what Peter is talking about?

We come into the world in need of a transformation of nature. We must be born again of His Spirit, for that which is born of the flesh is flesh (John 3). When we are converted, it is then that we become partakers of God's divine nature. Yes, we still live in these vile bodies of fallen flesh, but the mind and bodyart are renewed by the presence of the Holy Spirit. Then we are given power to keep the flesh (body) under control. Thus, the darkened mind (darkness) is enlightened by the Goodness of God. The sinner is transformed and walks in the of light of God's love and glory


    “Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do [them]; for this [is] your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation [is] a wise and understanding people. For what nation [is there so] great, who [hath] God [so] nigh unto them, as the LORD our God [is] in all [things that] we call upon him [for]? And what nation [is there so] great, that hath statutes and judgments [so] righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?” (Deut. 4:5-8). In what ways do these words apply to us as Seventh-day Adventists and what we have been called by God to do because of all that we have been given?

We have been called of God to be His witnesses. Witnesses of what? Of His character. Satan has lied about who God is. And, professing Christians have been false witnesses. Even those who have tasted of His goodness have misrepresented Him. We have been given a true picture of His character. Read Desire of Ages and taste of His Goodness. To whom much is given, much is expected. We read in Scripture "Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.    And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee." Matthew 11:21-24.

Does this not apply to those today who have been given great light and not walked in it?


    Read 1 Peter 2:3.

If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 


What does Peter mean when he says, “If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”? How have you “tasted” of His grace?

We are given opportunity each day to taste of God's grace. We are counseled "It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour each day reviewing the life of Christ from the manger to Calvary. We should take it point by point, and let the imagination vividly grasp each scene, especially the closing ones of his earthly life. By thus contemplating his teachings and sufferings, and the infinite sacrifice made by him for the redemption of the race, we may strengthen our faith, quicken our love, and become more deeply imbued with the spirit which sustained our Saviour. If we would be saved at last, we must learn the lesson of penitence and faith at the foot of the cross. . . . Everything noble and generous in man will respond to the contemplation of Christ upon the cross.  GW92 246.

    Look around at your local church. What is it about your church, if anything, that makes it and you who are members of it appealing to those who know nothing about Seventh-day Adventists or about what we believe?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

colporteur

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--2nd Quarter 2017--A Royal Priesthood
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2017, 06:27:14 AM »
This week in the lesson quarterly they used the NKJV. In I Peter 2:9 the NKJV replaces " a peculiar people" with "his own special people." This fits right in with the ecumenical movement of the day. The ecumencial movement says that you are not peculiar , singular or different from the world just God's special people.

" There are many in the church who at heart belong to the world, but God calls upon those who claim to believe the advanced truth, to rise above the present attitude of the popular churches of today. Where is the self-denial, where is the cross-bearing that Christ has said should characterize his followers? The reason we have had so little influence upon unbelieving relatives and associates is that we have manifested little decided difference in our practices from those of the world. Parents need to awake, and purify their souls by practicing the truth in their home life. When we reach the standard that the Lord would have us reach, worldlings will regard Seventh-day Adventists as odd, singular, straight-laced extremists. "We are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men." {RH, January 9, 1894 par. 10}
It's easier to slow a fast horse down than to get a dead one going.

colporteur

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--2nd Quarter 2017--A Royal Priesthood
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2017, 06:44:50 AM »
Sunday April 9

Living as a Christian


First Peter 2:1 begins with “therefore,” meaning that what follows results from what came before. First Peter 1, we saw, was a tour de force in regard to what Christ has done for us and how we should respond to what He has done for us. In the next chapter, Peter picks up this theme and takes it further.

"Tour de force?"  What is that supposed to mean ?
It's easier to slow a fast horse down than to get a dead one going.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--2nd Quarter 2017--A Royal Priesthood
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2017, 07:20:54 AM »
Good morning, cp.  If you are French, or compete in bicycle racing, you would understand it means an amazing feat. I am sure we have some who are familiar with the French term, but for all who do not, it is good you asked. What Christ has done for us is more than an amazing feat. It is a revelation of His and our heavenly Father's love for us while we were yet sinners. Grace has power to transform sinners into saints. It is so very sad that so many will not avail themselves of this wonderful grace.


God's grace is a very expensive gift offered to the worst of us who have crucified our Lord. It was not easy for our heavenly Father to allow His innocent Son to come this dark spot in the universe, a helpless babe subject to the weakness of humanity to fight the battle of life as each child of humanity must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss! What love!!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

colporteur

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--2nd Quarter 2017--A Royal Priesthood
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2017, 09:57:13 AM »
 I am familiar with Tour de France but not Tour de Force.
It's easier to slow a fast horse down than to get a dead one going.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--2nd Quarter 2017--A Royal Priesthood
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2017, 07:21:28 PM »
Towards the end of Friday's lesson as it was studied there was a quote about how well it would be to spend a thoughtful hour each day contemplating Christ's life from Gospel Workers. I found the full statement and was blessed in reading it just now:

His ministry was nearly completed; He had only a few more lessons to impart. And that they might never forget the humility of the pure and spotless Lamb of God, the great and efficacious Sacrifice for man humbled Himself to wash the feet of His disciples. It will do you good, and our ministers generally, to frequently review the closing scenes in the life of our Redeemer. Here, beset with temptations as He was, we may all learn lessons of the utmost importance to us. It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour each day reviewing the life of Christ from the manger to Calvary. We should take it point by point and let the imagination vividly grasp each scene, especially the closing ones of His earthly life. By thus contemplating His teachings and sufferings, and the infinite sacrifice made by Him for the redemption of the race, we may strengthen our faith, quicken our love, and become more deeply imbued with the spirit which sustained our Saviour. If we would be saved at last we must all learn the lesson of penitence and faith at the foot of the cross. Christ suffered humiliation to save us from everlasting disgrace. He consented to have scorn, mockery, and abuse fall upon Him in order to shield us. It was our transgression that gathered the veil of darkness about His divine soul and extorted the cry from Him, as of one smitten and forsaken of God. He bore our sorrows; He was put to grief for our sins. He made Himself an offering for sin, that we might be justified before God through Him. Everything noble and generous in man will respond to the contemplation of Christ upon the cross. {4T 374.1}

May this be our experience is my prayer. Happy Sabbath to you all!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}