Author Topic: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 7--2nd Quarter 2017--Servant Leadership  (Read 1212 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 38514
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Lesson 7        May 6–12





Servant Leadership




Commentary in Navy                  Inspiration in Maroon





Sabbath Afternoon


Read for This Week’s Study: 1 Pet. 5:1–10, Acts 6:1–6, Jer. 10:21, Matt. 20:24–28, Prov. 3:34, Rev. 12:7–9.

Memory Text: “Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

Studies of growing churches almost always highlight the importance of effective leadership. This leadership takes its vision from God and His Word and provides opportunity for everybody in the congregation to exercise his or her own spiritual gifts in pursuit of the gospel commission.

But church leadership is highly challenging. Volunteers, who often give of their time even though they already are busy, largely run churches. Members can “vote with their feet” by ceasing to attend if something happens that they cannot support. Furthermore, an effective Christian leader also must be deeply spiritual. And we shouldn’t forget that Peter is writing to churches that are experiencing persecution. The church leader is particularly vulnerable at such times. Who, then, is equipped for this task?

In 1 Peter 5:1–10, Peter addresses the matter of Christian leadership on the local church level.

 5:1   The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 
 5:2   Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight [thereof], not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 
 5:3   Neither as being lords over [God's] heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 
 5:4   And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. 
 5:5   Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all [of you] be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 
 5:6   Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 
 5:7   Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 
 5:8   Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 
 5:9   Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. 
 5:10   But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle [you]. 


In these verses, he writes about some of the crucial characteristics needed, not just in the local leaders but in members, as well. His words are as relevant for us today as they were then.

The question was asked "Who, then, is equipped for this task" of leadership?  Let's begin with who is not. The first qualification of leadership is conversion, true conversion. If one is not filled with the fruits of the Holy Spirit, then how can he be an example to the church, or be in unity with those who are born again of the Spirit? It would be like asking those in rebellion to be in unity with those who are converted. It is not going to happen. There must first be unity of Spirit before there can be unity of doctrine.

The Bible tells us to "Lay hands suddenly on no man." 1 Timothy 5:22. A leader must be very patient and have experience that enables him to be an example of correct doing and able to teach "milk" and "meat". How can one teach others what he has not learned himself? He cannot.

Today, we have many perplexities in the church because we have selected many unconsecrated elders. "The new birth is a rare experience in this age of the world. This is the reason why there are so many perplexities in the churches. Many, so many, who assume the name of Christ are unsanctified and unholy. They have been baptized, but they were buried alive. Self did not die, and therefore they did not rise to newness of life in Christ. Vol 6, Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary; pg 1075. The same condition exists in the church today, and as we read, it is not restricted to church leadership. Unconsecrated elders have baptized many who did not die to self.

We also see an example of what not to do in the attitude of the apostles towards Judas and the leaders in Israel. "The disciples had been much disappointed that Jesus had not tried to secure the co-operation of the leaders in Israel. They felt that it was a mistake not to strengthen His cause by securing the support of these influential men. If He had repulsed Judas, they would, in their own minds, have questioned the wisdom of their Master. The after history of Judas would show them the danger of allowing any worldly consideration to have weight in deciding the fitness of men for the work of God. The co-operation of such men as the disciples were anxious to secure would have betrayed the work into the hands of its worst enemies.  Desire of Ages, pg 294.


* Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, May 13.

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

  • Servant
  • Posts: 38514
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 7--2nd Quarter 2017--Servant Leadership
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2017, 08:06:47 AM »
Sunday May 7

Elders in the Early Church



Look up the following texts: Acts 6:1–6, 14:23, 15:6, 1 Tim. 5:17, 1 Pet. 5:2.

  6:1   And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. 
 6:2   Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples [unto them], and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. 
 6:3   Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. 
 6:4   But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. 
 6:5   And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:

 14:23   And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed. 

 15:6   And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. 

 5:17   Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. 

 5:2   Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight [thereof], not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;   


What insights do these verses give us regarding the challenges facing the early church and the role of its leaders?

A large group of people becoming believers and joining the church is a great blessing from God. Yet, as the experience of the earliest Christians illustrates, rapid growth can bring problems.

For instance, Acts 1–5 documents the leading of the Holy Spirit and the conversion of many to Christianity. Acts 6:1–6 shows the result: the group became too big for its leadership, and it needed to put structures in place in order to manage the day-to-day functions of the church.

We are thankful for the structure we have in the organized church. It is dependent upon converted church members in the local church. Each church has the responsibility for selecting a consecrated delegate to elect conference leaders. If we have unconsecrated conference leaders, it is because we have unconsecrated delegates electing them. We are not a hierarchy. Like America, leadership is a reflection of the people who have the power to elect them. Both systems are representative and dependent upon educated and moral members.


The issue that brought this weakness in organizational structure to a head was a complaint of discrimination. The Greek-speaking group complained that its widows were neglected in the daily distribution of food. As a response, a group of people, the deacons, were especially appointed to assist the 12 apostles with the management of the church’s resources.

It is true that the early church was led by the Holy Spirit in a special way. But even then there was a need to set up church structures. One key group of church leaders needed very early was the elders, who were established for each local congregation. In fact, appointing elders to lead these newly formed groups of Christians was something that Paul and Barnabas did as they went to places that had yet to hear about Jesus (Acts 14:23).

Elders were given many different roles in early Christianity. As leaders of their local community, from time to time they acted as instructors in teaching new converts. They preached, and they ensured that the necessary things were done for the well-being of the community (Acts 15:6, 1 Tim. 5:17, 1 Pet. 5:2).

Local elders elected by the congregation are largely responsible for the spirituality of the church. They ought to be the teachers in the church.


What are ways that you can learn to work better with the leaders in your local church, even when you don’t always agree on things?

There is a large difference between elders then and elders now. Yes, the church was not perfect even then. But, it was not in a Laodicean condition. Many who were baptized were converted. Today, many are not. Many elders both local and ordained are not in a converted state. Many were not truly converted when baptized or ordained. This is why there are so many perplexities and even rebellion existing in the church today. We know this is not a new problem. The situation existed when the prophet was in the church, only today it is much worse in many divisions. I don't like repeating this truth, but until we acknowledge the condition of the church, see our personal need of revival and the necessity of studying for ourselves, we must present the truth.

"The new birth is a rare experience in this age of the world. This is the reason why there are so many perplexities in the churches. Many, so many, who assume the name of Christ are unsanctified and unholy. They have been baptized, but they were buried alive. Self did not die, and therefore they did not rise to newness of life in Christ. Vol 6, Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary; pg 1075.


If anyone wants to object, please do so.




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

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 698
  • Following the Lamb
Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 7--2nd Quarter 2017--Servant Leadership
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2017, 06:50:14 PM »
Monday May 8

The Elders


Read 1 Peter 5:1–4.
1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock.
4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.


What attitudes should leaders bring to their roles in the church? How can these principles apply to any of us, regardless of our role?

Elders are more than leaders; they are to be godly men who rule their own houses well, and who reflect Christ in life and conversation. We see this clearly in 1 Timothy 3:1-7:

1 This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.


Elders (i.e., bishops) are to be appointed in every church to serve in a teaching role, and a lot of teaching is how one lives. We cannot give what we do not have. Jesus must be enthroned within the heart of each elder, and when Jesus is in the heart, there will be evidence: the fruits of the Spirit without one missing, and a life in harmony with every known statute as one follows the light God reveals.

However, all of us (regardless of our role) who have the Bible and can read the beautiful revelation of the loveliness of Jesus in The Desire of Ages can also be a witness of Christ's sufferings--that is, we can appreciate the infinite sacrifice made for us and share with others what we know. We have the hope of receiving a crown someday, but more importantly, we share the joy of knowing Jesus personally in our experience even now! We can accept different roles in the church and each one can be willing to give Bible studies--and do so with a willingness because we love Jesus and His church. But the role of the elder is specific and should be prayerfully considered from Scripture. Our heart surrender to Christ is what enables Him to work through us to bless others. Leaders are called to a high standard, and the pastor especially, because the congregation will seldom rise higher than its leaders. How thankful we can be that our continual focus needs to be Jesus Christ and His loveliness of character!


Peter begins his instructions to elders by observing that he himself is a fellow elder. He then notes two things about himself: he is a witness of the suffering of Christ, and he is expecting to share in the glory to be revealed. In saying this, Peter highlights the first characteristic that should be found within an elder: an elder should understand the importance of what Christ has suffered in our behalf and what great hope He offers us.

Peter likens the role of an elder to a shepherd tending the flock of God. His comparing a church to sheep suggests that, like sheep, members can sometimes go off on their own. Thus, they need the shepherd to guide them back to the group and to help them work in harmony with it. The elder also should function as a humble example of how a Christian needs to act.
What warning do we find here for those who are shepherds?

Jer. 10:21: "For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the Lord: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered."
Ezek. 34:8–10:
8 As I live, saith the Lord God, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock;
9 Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord;
10 Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.
Zech. 11:17: "Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened."


To be unfaithful as an elder or a pastor, to be one who does not seek for the lost sheep as did Jesus, is a fearful thing. We need Jesus in order to do any good thing--may we cleave to Him and realize how much we need His divine grace to faithfully help the flock to grow in Christ. God will require a more strict account of those who have accepted the role of shepherds to His flock, who are teachers in word and doctrine: "My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation" (James 3:1). Woe to those who preach the teachings of man in place of the word of God, or who do not seek to guide the sheep in the light of the word of God, to see their continual need of Christ and their lost (Laodicean) condition if they are not continually abiding in Christ, beholding HIs loveliness of character, and surrendered Him. Yet the shepherds can only give what they experience. How well it would be for every pastor and elder to heed these words of encouragement and entreaty:

"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} What a different experience might be found in the Seventh-day Adventist Church if this were the experience of every pastor, elder, and teacher! Oh, let us pray that we may come to behold the One who is altogether lovely, and follow closely in His bloodstained path of suffering and joy for the salvation of souls!


An important role of Christian leadership is to work with the people in the church as patiently as shepherds must work with their sheep. Elders must gently bring them together for worship and for sharing the message of Jesus with those who need to know Him and the salvation found in Him.

Peter also observes that elders should exercise oversight willingly and not under compulsion. It is not always easy to find people willing to take on the challenges of leading out in the church. This is particularly evident around nominating committee time. For a church to function well, there are a number of distinct roles that need to be filled. There are reasons that many people are reluctant to take on leadership roles. Some of these roles require a considerable investment of time, and people suitable for such roles already might have many commitments. Others may feel that they are not prepared well enough to take on the role. But Peter’s word is that if asked, we should willingly take on leadership if it is at all possible.

There are times when women are asked to serve as elders. Should they accept this role and simply be willing? There is more than being willing, there must also be prayerful study as to whether one meets the biblical qualifications of an elder. There have been godly women who have studied the biblical qualifications of elder and have seen that it is a role that God appointed for men to hold as leaders in word and doctrine. Women can serve in many roles in the church, but God does not sanction in His word the establishment of women ruling over men. We need to let the Bible and prayerful reflection upon the fitness of one's character be considered in the time that nominating committees do their work for the Lord. Praise God for godly men who are willing to serve as elders; praise God also for godly women who are willing to serve in capacities in harmony with the word of God.

May the Holy Spirit mightily move upon those who are even around this time in the process of nominating leaders for the next year or two in their local churches. May we pray that God will lead at a local level, that in turn godly leaders will be appointed at each level in the church. The difficulties in the church are largely a result of local leaders not being converted or consecrated. Let us pray earnestly for revival and reformation, that each member and leader may have a constant connection with Jesus, revealing His character to a world that is perishing for want of such a revelation.
"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

  • Servant
  • Posts: 38514
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 7--2nd Quarter 2017--Servant Leadership
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2017, 08:11:05 AM »

Tuesday May 9

Servant Leadership



Read 1 Peter 5:3 and Matthew 20:24–28.

5:3   Neither as being lords over [God's] heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 

 20:24   And when the ten heard [it], they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. 
 20:25   But Jesus called them [unto him], and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 
 20:26   But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 
 20:27   And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 
 20:28   Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. 


What crucial principles of Christian leadership are found in these texts?

The principles of God's kingdom are diametrically opposed to the principles by which the heathen live. Until the heart is made new, it is selfish and lives for self. Then, leaders are corrupt and rule over others for their own benefit. So, in the church it will be unless one is born again of the Spirit. When converted, there is a radical transformation of character. Then, filled with the fruits of the Spirit, the leader is a servant to others.


In Greek, the key word in 1 Peter 5:3 is katakurieuontes. The same word also is found in Matthew 20:25 and means to “exercise dominion” or to “lord it” over someone. Thus, the instruction to elders given in 1 Peter 5:3 might be translated, “Do not lord it over those in your charge” (NRSV), and reflects the words of Jesus in Matthew 20:25.

Matthew 20:20–23 provides the context for the sayings of Jesus in Matthew 20:24–28. The mother of James and John had approached Jesus with the request that, when Jesus came into His kingdom, one son should sit at His right side and the other at His left.

“Jesus bears tenderly with them, not rebuking their selfishness in seeking preference above their brethren. He reads their hearts, He knows the depth of their attachment to Him. Their love is not a mere human affection; though defiled by the earthliness of its human channel, it is an outflowing from the fountain of His own redeeming love. He will not rebuke, but deepen and purify.”—Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 548.

Jesus explains that this position of honor is one that is granted by the Father, not Him. But then He goes on to explain that a key difference between His kingdom and those of the Gentile nations is the type of leader that will emerge in His kingdom. Those who wish to lead in the kingdom where Jesus is King must become servants because the leaders in Jesus’ kingdom will be like Jesus. “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Matt. 20:28.

Thus, Peter is calling church leaders to the same ideal: the surrender and self–denial seen in Jesus must be revealed in them, as well.

And it will, if they will die to self daily and remain in connection with Christ.

Read Philippians 2:4–8.

2:4   Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 
 2:5   Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 
 2:6   Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 
 2:7   But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 
 2:8   And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 

How does what Paul says here coincide with what Peter wrote? More important, how can we do the things that we are called to in these verses?

The answer is found in verse five. "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." What does this mean? Christ cannot be here with us all. He has become one with humanity and is bound by His human body. Unlike our Father and the Holy Spirit who can be everywhere. So, how can we have the mind of Christ?

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

  • Servant
  • Posts: 38514
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 7--2nd Quarter 2017--Servant Leadership
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2017, 08:11:51 AM »

Wednesday May 10

Clothed With Humility



Society was very stratified in the ancient world in which Peter lived. The ruling elite had what today might be called a “commanding presence.” Around them were clustered people of lower rank, and the lowest rank of all belonged to a slave. Humility was the proper attitude of those of lower rank toward those of a higher one. The Greek word for humility carries the meaning of “lowly,” “insignificant,” “weak,” and “poor.” It describes people without status and power in society. In the world outside of Judaism and Christianity, the word humble was associated with those of low status, and to act humbly would not necessarily have been commended as appropriate conduct of free people.

Read 1 Peter 5:5–7.

5:5   Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all [of you] be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 
 5:6   Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 
 5:7   Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 


Given the context and time in which they lived, what is so remarkable about what Peter wrote here?

In the Bible, humility is seen in a different light from how it was seen in the times and culture in which Peter lived. Peter quotes Proverbs 3:34 from the Septuagint (the Greek Old Testament), a verse that is also quoted in James 4:6. In the Old Testament, part of God’s work in history is to lay low the high and mighty (Isa. 13:11, 23:9, Job 40:11).

One’s proper attitude toward God is humility. “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time” (1 Pet. 5:6). Humility, rather than pride, should characterize the Christians’ relationships, not only with God but one another (1 Pet. 5:5).

Christians, even Christian leaders, are aware that they are sinners saved by God’s grace. In this most important sense, then, we are all equals, and before the cross we should all be humbled. And this humility must be revealed in our relationship with others, especially those over whom we have charge. Sure, anyone could be humble before God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. Also, it’s relatively easy to be humble before those who are above us, who have power over us, and who are “higher” in status than we are. The true test comes when we reveal humility toward those who are “under” us, who have no power over us. That’s the kind of humility Peter is talking about here.

What is it about the cross and what it represents that should always help keep us humble?

The cross gives us a true picture of the character of our God. When we see Him, what is there to glory in? We have a true standard by which to measure our own character. If this does not reveal who we are, then what hope is there? It is when we understand how evil we are by nature that we look for help to change. There is no hope in self. We must look for help outside of ourselves. Read Romans seven as Paul tells of his experience prior to conversion when he learned he was a lost sinner with no power to keep the law. He ended up in the "pigpen" with no answer until after he prayed this prayer: "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Romans 7:24.

How long did it take for "Saul" to get an answer to his prayer? How was his prayer answered?

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

  • Servant
  • Posts: 38514
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 7--2nd Quarter 2017--Servant Leadership
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2017, 08:06:57 AM »

Thursday May 11

Like a Roaring Lion



As we have seen already, Peter wrote against the backdrop of persecution. The great-controversy theme wasn’t just abstract theology to his readers; they were experiencing it in a way that many of us have not, at least for now.
Read 1 Peter 5:8–10 and Revelation 12:7–9.

5:8   Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 
 5:9   Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. 
 5:10   But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle [you]. 

 12:7   And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 
 12:8   And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 
 12:9   And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 


What do these texts teach us about the origin of evil and the work of Satan in our world?

His work is to deceive and injure. But, God take His work and uses it for the good of all who will abide securely in Christ. Suffering is for our good and God's glory. We ought not think it strange when fiery trials come upon us. "And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." Romans 5:3-5.

The book of Revelation reveals that Christians play a part in a cosmic battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil. In Revelation, the forces of good are led by Jesus, who is the Word of God, the King of kings, and Lord of lords (Rev. 19:13, 16). The forces of evil are led by the devil, also called Satan and pictured as a dragon (Rev. 12:7–9; 20:7, 8 ). Though popular media and even some Christians deny the reality of Satan, the fact is that the devil is a powerful being who has only evil intentions for us. Yet, the good news is that the devil will ultimately be destroyed at the end (Rev. 20:9, 10).

Peter does not diminish the danger the devil represents. The devil is like a roaring lion that is looking to devour all whom he can (1 Pet. 5:8 ). Peter points out, too, that his readers can see the power of the devil in their own present suffering. Yet, this suffering will end in eternal glory (1 Pet. 5:10).
Read 1 Peter 5:10 again. What is Peter saying to us there?

"After that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle [you]." Suffering is good for us and it will glorify God IF we will remain in a converted state being filled with the Holy Spirit. And, the "perfection" is already there if we are abiding in Christ. This does not mean we cannot be made more perfect. Consider that when we have suffered and He makes us perfect, we still may be made more perfect. Satan has twisted this truth to make it appear God does not make us perfect, thus many attempt to make it appear sin is acceptable. There is no excuse for sin. Jesus has provided a remedy. And, Jesus is an example of perfection allowing for additional growth. "   Though he were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered." Hebrews 5:8.Jesus was always perfect, yet He "learned obedience" as He grew.


Though we don’t know the exact nature of their trials, what we can see is the hope that Peter expresses. Yes, the devil is real. The battle is real, and our sufferings are real. But the “God of all grace” has defeated the devil. So whatever we are suffering, if we remain faithful—even unto death (see Heb. 11:13–16)—victory is assured, thanks to Jesus.

How can we learn to hold on in faith, enduring to the end, regardless of what comes our way?

The answer is always the same, we need to hold on to Jesus. We need to feed upon Jesus. We need to drink His blood and eat His flesh. He is the Manna which came down from heaven. Man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

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

  • Servant
  • Posts: 38514
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 7--2nd Quarter 2017--Servant Leadership
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2017, 08:29:38 AM »


Friday May 12

Further Thought: A great example of the servant leadership of Jesus is found in His behavior at the Last Supper. At that time, Jesus was fully conscious of who He was (the Son of God) and that He was about to return to His Father (John 13:1). After the meal He washed the feet of the disciples. He then said, “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you” (John 13:14, 15). Each time the followers of Jesus wash one another’s feet, they not only reenact this scene, but they remind each other that to be a leader in Jesus’ kingdom one must become as a servant. No doubt, for the rest of their lives, especially after they better understood just who Jesus really was, the disciples remembered this act of humility on the part of their Master. No doubt, too, it was in Peter’s mind when he called on church elders not to lord it over others but to be “clothed in humility.”

Yes, it was quite a lesson. The God of heaven washed their filthy feet. They would not wash His. Not one was filled with the Holy Spirit. But, self died in all except Judas after He washed their feet. If we want to be servants to others, we must first die to self. The lesson given by the foot washing was to know that grace has power to transform the character at the moment. But, grace does not last. We must feed upon grace continually if we truly want to be servants as is Christ.

It was not long before all who were willing servants after having their feet washed, deserted Jesus. Peter even denied Him.  Being evil by nature requires we cling to Christ in order to be able to serve others. We need Christ continually, not just every now and then. We must be filled with the Holy Spirit in order to serve others unselfishly.


“In consenting to become man, Christ manifested a humility that is the marvel of the heavenly intelligences. The act of consenting to be a man would be no humiliation were it not for the fact of Christ’s exalted pre–existence. We must open our understanding to realize that Christ laid aside His royal robe, His kingly crown, His high command, and clothed His divinity with humanity, that He might meet man where he was, and bring to the human family moral power to become the sons and daughters of God.

“The meekness and humility that characterized the life of Christ will be made manifest in the life and character of those who ‘walk even as he walked.’ ”—Ellen G. White, Sons and Daughters of God, p. 81.


Discussion Questions:


Jesus began His ministry by confronting the devil. Weakened by 40 days of fasting, He was able to resist the devil’s temptations by quoting Scripture (Matt. 4:1–11; Mark 1:12, 13; Luke 4:1–13). What does this tell us about how we, too, can resist the devil in our own lives?

We can quote Scripture all day long, but if we are not fully surrendered to Jesus, we will not be able to resist the smallest temptation. It is by beholding Jesus, the Word made flesh, that we are transformed in character (2 Cor. 3:18). Thus the Word has power. But, many quote Scripture just as did Satan when contending with Jesus in the wilderness, and they have no power to do good. Many beat others over the head with Scripture, yet are far removed from being servant leaders.

   
What are examples you have seen of what appeared to be true humility in others? What can you learn from those examples?

How do they have such a character? How can they reflect the character of our God? Ask them if they really know Jesus personally. Ask them how they know Jesus so well. If they are truly converted and truly are servants, then it is because they have spent much time with Jesus. It is by beholding Him that they came to know Him.


In class, answer this question: Besides what Peter taught in the verses for this week, what are the qualities of a good Christian leader?

The world and God have different criteria for what is "good" leadership. True leadership understands one does not sacrifice truth in order to be just. Being fair does not mean one is not loving and kind. Often a true leader will suffer on account of others. Is this not what Jesus did for us? Are we the "strong" ones? Then ought not we bear with the infirmities of the weak? How many times have you suffered in order to not hurt someone else?

How might those qualities overlap with good qualities in secular leaders? How might they differ?

How would you answer the claim that Satan is not real but just a symbol of the evil found in human nature?

If one does not believe God is real, why argue about Satan? All are without an excuse for knowing God. "For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse." Romans 1:20. It is a matter of wanting to know truth. It is there for all who want to understand. Many do not want to know truth. We are seeking those who are looking for the truth.

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