Author Topic: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 12--4th Quarter 2017--Overcoming Evil With Good  (Read 2387 times)

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Wally

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Lesson 12 December 16-22





Overcoming Evil With Good 













Commentary in Navy                  Inspiration in Maroon






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 12--4th Quarter 2017--Overcoming Evil With Good
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2017, 04:55:08 PM »

Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study: Romans 12, 13.

Memory Text: “Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2

However much Paul is seeking to disabuse the Romans of their false notions of the law, he also calls all Christians to a high standard of obedience. This obedience comes from an inward change in our heart and mind, a change that comes only through the power of God working in a person surrendered to Him.

Amen! Obedience comes from the power of an indwelling Savior. He takes possession of the mind and heart if we will let Him have "entire" control. If we make a full heart surrender, then we will render obedience. The heart is cleansed and holy. The motives will be right, even if the actions are wrong. This is the moral perfection which comes at conversion.

Where is the problem then? It is not being taught what it means to be fully surrendered. It is not being taught that when we sin, we are not fully surrendered to Jesus. Somehow it is believed that we can be surrendered to Jesus and still sin a known sin.  :(   Impossible. Sin reveals a separation between man and God. It is not good enough to surrender, then take back control of the heart and mind. It is only through being reconciled to God that we can obey the law of God from the heart, a heart fully surrendered to Jesus.

As long as we remain dead to self, we will not sin. It is Christ, not I that has power to resist sin. If we let our minds wander away from Christ, then we will sin because in and of ourselves we have no power to resist the smallest temptation. If we are surrendered to Christ, then the promise that we shall not be tempted beyond what we can bear is ours to claim. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." 1 Cor. 10:13. This is a conditional promise and does not apply to anyone who is not fully surrendered to Christ.


Romans contains no hint that this obedience comes automatically. The Christian needs to be enlightened as to what the requirements are; he or she must desire to obey those requirements; and, finally, the Christian should seek the power without which that obedience is impossible.

It depends on what is meant by "automatically." The promise we quoted says that we will be given power to overcome sin IF we are converted. Is it automatic? Yes, it will happen if the condition is met. That part is automatic. But, that does not mean we do not have to do our part. We will do our part which is immeasurably small if we are fully surrendered. We make the effort and God supplies the power.

It is good that the lesson is attempting to explain what conversion is. But, let us explain in more detail. The "Christian" makes a profession of serving Christ, but unless he is filled with the Holy Spirit, he is none of His (Romans 8:9 ). We must be born again of the Spirit (John 3). The flesh is evil and will remain evil until the second coming of Christ. Evil flesh cannot do any good thing from the heart unless the heart is fully surrendered to Jesus. As to understanding the law, yes, one must understand it before he can keep it. So, when we sin what we know to be sin, then we are guilty and under condemnation. This means we do not have salvation because if we sin, we do not have Christ abiding in the heart. The heart is then back to its carnal state. If we have Christ, we have life. If we do not have Christ, we do not have life. "He that hath the Son hath life; [and] he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." 1 John 5:12.


What this means is that works are part of the Christian faith. Paul never meant to depreciate works; in chapters 13 to 15 he gives them strong emphasis. This is no denial of what he has said earlier about righteousness by faith. On the contrary, works are the true expression of what it means to live by faith. One could even argue that because of the added revelation after Jesus came, the New Testament requirements are more difficult than what was required in the Old. New Testament believers have been given an example of proper moral behavior in Jesus Christ. He and no one else shows the pattern we are to follow. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in” [not Moses, not Daniel, not David, not Solomon, not Enoch, not Deborah, not Elijah] “Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5).

What requirements? For salvation? The plan of salvation and its requirements are the same today as they were in the days of Adam, Solomon. Abraham, Peter, and Paul. Works are not required, but a full heart surrender is required. When this happens, then obedience is guaranteed if we remain fully surrendered. Those who abide in Christ and Christ in them through the Holy Spirit will not crucify Christ afresh by sinning a known sin. They will not be tempted beyond that they can bear. "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother." 1 John 3:9,10.

The standard doesn’t - can’t! - get higher than that.

Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, December 23.

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

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 12--4th Quarter 2017--Overcoming Evil With Good
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2017, 08:23:17 AM »
Sunday December 17

Your Reasonable Service


With chapter 11, the doctrinal part of the book of Romans ends. Chapters 12 through 16 present practical instruction and personal notes. Nevertheless, these concluding chapters are extremely important because they show how the life of faith is to be lived.

For starters, faith is not a substitute for obedience, as if faith somehow nullifies our obligation to obey the Lord. The moral precepts are still in force; they are explained, even amplified in the New Testament. And no indication is given, either, that it will be easy for the Christian to regulate his or her life by these moral precepts. On the contrary, we’re told that at times it could be difficult, for the battle with self and with sin is always hard (1 Pet. 4:1). The Christian is promised divine power and given assurance that victory is possible, but we are still in the world of the enemy and will have to fight many battles against temptation. The good news is that if we fall, if we stumble, we are not cast away but have a High Priest who intercedes in our behalf (Heb. 7:25).

Amen!  But, let us understand where Jesus is when we fall (sin a known sin). Where is Jesus when we are converted, which means we are fully surrendered to Him. We have a new heart that has been cleansed from sin. Jesus' representative, the Holy Spirit, lives in the heart. He who hath the Son hath life. So, Jesus abides in the heart of all who have given Him the whole heart. But, if we sin, the Spirit is not in the heart any longer. He has been grieved away. Where is Jesus when we sin? He does not leave us, nor cast us away, but neither is He in the heart. Thus, we do not have Jesus, thus we do not have eternal life (salvation). And, we have no power to resist temptation to sin. Where is Jesus? He is standing at the door of the heart. What is He doing there? And what is He waiting for? We do not physically die. Why not? The wages of sin is death? Because while Jesus is waiting for us to come to repentance, He is mediating for more time for us to decide whom we are going to serve.

Sinning a known sin reveals we are separated from God. Then the promise that we shall not be tempted beyond what we can bear is not ours to claim. We must abide in Christ and He in us in order for this promised to be active. When we allow the mind to wander away from Christ, we have no power to resist sinning. We cannot walk on water unless we are fully surrendered. We need Jesus all the time in order to resist sin all the time.


Read Romans 12:1.

   I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. 


How does the analogy presented here reveal how we as Christians are to live?

Holy? How can that be since we live in sinful evil flesh?  Or will we interpret "holy" to be something entirely different from what it means? This is what false teachers do. They twist the meaning so that we believe we are rich when in fact we are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked, lost. This is a reasonable service. Why? Because Christ has provided a remedy for our sin sick souls. He will cleanse us from sin, if we will love Him supremely.


How does Romans 12:2 fit in with this?

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 


When are we "transformed"? What does it mean to have a renewed mind? What, again we find the word perfect. Shall we interpret it to mean something God does not mean?


In Romans 12:1, Paul is alluding to Old Testament sacrifices. As, anciently, animals were sacrificed to God, so now Christians ought to yield their bodies to God - not to be killed but as living sacrifices dedicated to His service.

Yes, those who profess to be Christians ought to. But, those who are Christians will obey God and give Him the whole heart and mind. The result in seen in obedience to all of the commands of God that he understands. More than this, when the Spirit comes into the heart, He brings with Him all of the fruits of the Spirit, not one is missing.


In the time of ancient Israel, every offering brought as a sacrifice was examined carefully. If any defect was discovered in the animal, it was refused, for God had commanded that the offering be without blemish. So, Christians are bidden to present their bodies “a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.” In order to do this, all their powers must be preserved in the best possible condition. Although none of us are without blemish, the point is that we are to seek to live as spotlessly and as faithfully as we can.

Let us see the Scripture to make such an astounding statement. It is true we live in fallen evil flesh. Don't we all understand we will not have holy flesh until the second coming, and that will be by God's grace. But, what of all the commands to be holy, to be perfect? What, shall we ignore them or interpret them away? God forbid! It is the heart and the mind that are perfect and holy and the motives of the truly converted Christian are perfect. I am going to do something very dangerous, for many will think that it is only those who are the 144,000 that are perfect, and without spot or blemish. This is not true, but to make the point that the lesson errs, I will quote Scripture. "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still." Rev 22:11. "That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish." Ephesians 5:27. "Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy." Jude verse 24. This last verse is a promise for you and me today if we will give Jesus the whole heart.

“Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2). In this way the Apostle describes (Christian) progress; for he addresses those who already are Christians. The Christian life does not mean to stand still, but to move from that which is good to that which is better.” - Martin Luther, Commentary on Romans, pp. 167, 168. What does it mean to move from the good to the better in the Christian life?

We just want to keep pulling down what happens when one makes a full surrender of the whole heart to Christ. Why is this? Because we want to excuse sin, when there is no excuse for sin. Jesus gave us a remedy that we might not sin. "He addresses those who are already Christians." It is good counsel for Christians, but even better for those who are not fully surrendered to Christ, and who have not been transformed. As converted Christians, we must continue to be transformed daily. "I die daily." 

What does it mean to move from good to better? Luther has an interesting way of putting, it, but how much better to come from inspired counsel. "And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come." Mark 4:26-29. At each stage of development, the plant is perfect. If put under a microscope, it would be seen to be so. Being perfect does not mean mature. In the Christian life, each stage is perfect if the Christian remains fully surrendered. Even one of the fruits of the Spirit are seen in the life, not one is missing. Then how can there be growth if all is already perfect?

Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance are all there at the moment of conversion. Can there be any more? Yes, we can become more patient, we can be more gentle. We can endure more pain. The fruit will become more abundant as the Christian gains experience and knowledge. The Sabbath School lessons on Jobe missed the mark. There was nothing that taught of this Christian experience in the whole quarter. Listen to Paul as he explains in the Book of Romans: "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.

Jesus learned obedience through the things He suffered, so shall if we will abide in Him and He in us. Jesus was always perfect, yet He grew in His strength of obedience. He was not ready for Calvary at age 12.

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

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 12--4th Quarter 2017--Overcoming Evil With Good
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2017, 07:42:35 AM »
Monday December 18

To Think Soberly

We have talked a great deal this quarter about the perpetuity of God’s moral law and have stressed again and again that Paul’s message in the book of Romans is not one that teaches that the Ten Commandments are done away with or somehow made void by faith.

Yet, it’s easy to get so caught up in the letter of the law that we forget the spirit behind it. And that spirit is love - love for God and love for one another. While anyone can profess love, revealing that love in everyday life can be a different matter entirely.

Precisely.  And this is where the rubber meets the road. Why? Because we do not have salvation if we do not love God supremely and our neighbor as our self. If we love God, will we break any of the first four commands? If we love our neighbor, will we break any of the last six? No. Think about it.

And if we do not love God and our neighbor, then we are not fully surrendered to Christ. The lesson has taught us that if we sin, break of the commandments, we retain our justification (salvation), we do not. Why must we understand this? Because if we allow sinning into the life of the professing Christian, then how does the unrepentant sinner know when he lost His hold on Christ? One of the reasons why the church remains in a Laodicean condition is because it is thought one may sin and retain their justification. Therefore, they believe they are saved when in fact they are not. Such a deception!

If one murders someone, then do they still retain eternal life? Of course not, not until they truly repent. One does not have Christ in the heart when they murder. Neither do they have Christ in the heart when they are angry without just cause. Neither do they have Christ when they are proud. When Moses struck the Rock, he did not have eternal life, He did not have Christ. Therefore, He was not justified, not matter who teaches otherwise. It is "another gospel" that says one may retain salvation when they sin a known sin. We must be fully surrendered to Christ in order to have life. As Jesus put it, we must be born again of the Spirit. He must be in the heart. When we sin, where is Jesus? He does not forsake us, He stands at the door of the heart, calling us back to Himself.


Read Romans 12:3-21.

12:3   For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 
 12:4   For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 
 12:5   So we, [being] many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 
 12:6   Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, [let us prophesy] according to the proportion of faith; 
 12:7   Or ministry, [let us wait] on [our] ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 
 12:8   Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, [let him do it] with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness. 
 12:9   [Let] love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 
 12:10   [Be] kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; 
 12:11   Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 
 12:12   Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; 
 12:13   Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. 
 12:14   Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 
 12:15   Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 
 12:16   [Be] of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. 
 12:17   Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 
 12:18   If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 
 12:19   Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 
 12:20   Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 
 12:21   Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. 
 

How are we to reveal love for others?

As in 1 Corinthians 12 and 13, Paul exalts love after dealing with the gifts of the Spirit. Love (Greek agape) is the more excellent way. “God is love” (1 John 4:8 ). Therefore, love describes the character of God. To love is to act toward others as God acts and to treat them as God treats them.

Paul here shows how that love is to be expressed in a practical manner. One important principle comes through, and that is personal humility: a willingness of a person “not to think of himself more highly than he ought” (Rom. 12:3), a willingness to “give preference to one another in honor” (Rom. 12:10, NASB), and a willingness not to “be wise in your own opinion” (Rom. 12:16, NKJV). Christ’s words about Himself, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart” (Matt. 11:29), catch the essence of it.

Of all people, Christians should be the most humble. After all, look at how helpless we are. Look at how fallen we are. Look at how dependent we are, not only upon a righteousness outside of ourselves for salvation but also on a power working in us in order to change us in ways we never can change ourselves. What have we to brag of? What have we to boast of? What have we in and of ourselves to be proud about? Nothing at all. Working from the starting point of this personal humility - not only before God but before others - we are to live as Paul admonishes us to in these verses.

Read Romans 12:18. How well are you applying this admonition in your own life right now? Might you need some attitude adjustments in order to do what the Word tells us here?

Is it possible to have an "attitude adjustment"? What if we do not have this attitude adjustment? Does our attitude have anything to do with salvation?  Is it possible to have salvation with a bad attitude? The Quarterly has been teaching for many years that we retain our salvation when we have a bad attitude (sin).

Tuesday December 12, 2017

Although we have to be careful of thinking that every time we fall we are out of salvation, or that we aren’t saved unless we are perfect....

Think about what is being taught. That when we fall (sin), we are still in a saved state. This is the most prominent teaching in Christian churches today. It is the "Evangelical" gospel, which is no gospel at all. We must first learn that a bad attitude does not come from one in whom Christ dwells. When Jesus takes possession of the heart, the Holy Spirit lives there. And when we are born of the Spirit, we manifest all of the fruits of Spirit, not one is missing. What does Jesus have to say about such bad fruit when seen in a person's life? "Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit." Matt. 7:17,18. 

It is true we will live in fallen flesh till Jesus returns, but this is no excuse for sin (a bad attitude). When the heart is wholly given to Christ, it is cleansed from all sin. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9.

Let us love God with the whole heart continually. If we fall, Jesus does not forsake us, but neither is He in the heart of those who sin a known sin. Where is He then? He is standing at the door of the heart, knocking.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 12--4th Quarter 2017--Overcoming Evil With Good
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2017, 07:56:23 AM »
Tuesday December 19

The Christian and the State


Read Romans 13:1-7.

 13:1   Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 
 13:2   Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 
 13:3   For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 
 13:4   For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to [execute] wrath upon him that doeth evil. 
 13:5   Wherefore [ye] must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 
 13:6   For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. 
 13:7   Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute [is due]; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. 


What basic principles can we take from this passage about the ways in which we are to relate to the civil power of government?

What makes Paul’s words so interesting is that he wrote during a time when a pagan empire ruled the world - one that could be incredibly brutal, one that was at its core corrupt, and one that knew nothing about the true God and would, within a few years, start a massive persecution of those who wanted to worship that God. In fact, Paul was put to death by that government! Yet despite all this, Paul was advocating that Christians be good citizens, even under a government like that?

Yes. And that’s because the idea of government itself is found throughout the Bible. The concept, the principle of government, is God-ordained. Human beings need to live in a community with rules and regulations and standards. Anarchy is not a biblical concept.

That being said, it doesn’t mean that God approves of all forms of government or how all governments are run. On the contrary. One doesn’t have to look too far, either in history or in the world today, to see some brutal regimes. Yet even in situations like these, Christians should, as much as possible, obey the laws of the land. Christians are to give loyal support to government so long as its claims do not conflict with the claims of God. One should consider very prayerfully and carefully - and with the counsel of others - before embarking on a path that puts him or her in conflict with the powers that be. We know from prophecy that one day all of God’s faithful followers will be pitted against the political powers in control of the world (Revelation 13). Until then, we should do all that we can, before God, to be good citizens in whichever country we live.

“We are to recognize human government as an ordinance of divine appointment, and teach obedience to it as a sacred duty, within its legitimate sphere. But when its claims conflict with the claims of God, we must obey God rather than men. God’s word must be recognized as above all human legislation. . . .

“We are not required to defy authorities. Our words, whether spoken or written, should be carefully considered, lest we place ourselves on record as uttering that which would make us appear antagonistic to law and order. We are not to say or do anything that would unnecessarily close up our way.” - Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 69.


Amen! For some, this principle is very hard to follow. They see evil around every corner. They hear things that make them believe things that may or may not be true. If in response they make statements that do appear as antagonistic to government, it will come back to bite them. We know what is in front of us. We do not want to go out of our way to make the beast angry with us. Let us go about our business of presenting the gospel to all nations,  and people.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 12--4th Quarter 2017--Overcoming Evil With Good
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2017, 02:26:14 PM »
Wednesday December 20

Love One Another


“Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law” (Rom. 13:8 ). How are we to understand this text? Does it mean that if we love, we have no obligation, then, to obey the law of God?

As Jesus did in the Sermon on the Mount, Paul here amplifies the precepts of the law, showing that love must be the motivating power behind all that we do. Because the law is a transcript of the character of God, and God is love, to love, therefore, is to fulfill the law. Yet, Paul is not substituting some vague standard of love for the precisely detailed precepts of the law, as some Christians claim. The moral law is still binding, because, again, it is what points out sin - and who is going to deny the reality of sin? However, the law truly can be kept only in the context of love. Remember, some of those who brought Christ to the cross then ran home to keep the law!

The author of the lesson has brought reproach upon "perfection" when teaching obedience to the law and perfection of Christian character.

Tuesday December 12
"Although we have to be careful of thinking that every time we fall we are out of salvation, or that we aren’t saved unless we are perfect...."

But, in listening to Jesus on the Mount, here we learn of the perfection which is required, a perfect heart. The sermon on the mount did not remove any requirements regarding law, but extended the requirement to reach beyond what appears as outward obedience to having a perfect motive. That is the commandments must be obeyed from the heart. And, as the lesson is pointing out, this means that it is done with love for God and our fellow man. The perfection God requires to enter heaven, is a perfect heart, one that has been cleansed by the blood of Christ, and in which the Holy Spirit has taken up residence. There is no evil in the heart, and the life is filled with the fruits of the Spirit, not one is missing. "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." Desire of Ages, pg 676.

The righteousness of Christ will not cover one unconfessed or unforsaken sin. This means that we are not saved until we repent of an unknown sin. In other words, when we fall we do not possess salvation because we do not have Christ enthroned upon the heart.

When we love Jesus supremely, we do not sin against Him. There is perfection when we surrender to Jesus. "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.  Ephesians 5:25-27.


Which commandments did Paul cite as examples that illustrate the principle of love in law-keeping? Why these in particular? Rom.  13:9, 10.

 13:8   Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 
 13:9   For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if [there be] any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 
 13:10   Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love [is] the fulfilling of the law. 


Interestingly, the factor of love was not a newly introduced principle. By quoting Leviticus 19:18, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,” Paul shows that the principle was an integral part of the Old Testament system. Again Paul appeals to the Old Testament to support his gospel preaching. Some argue from these texts that Paul is teaching that only the few commandments mentioned here are in effect. If so, does this mean, then, that Christians can dishonor their parents, worship idols, and have other gods before the Lord? Of course not.

The ten commandments and all of the moral laws (judgments and statutes), hand on the two great commandments; Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and thy neighbor as thyself. Why is this? Because the two great commands are love. Which command can you break and then say you love God and your neighbor? The commandments are a transcript of God's character. Fallen man cannot keep any of the commands, for they must be kept from the heart (right motive). Only when we are reconciled with God (converted) can we keep the law of love. We are selfish when we are separated from God. This is why we must die to self daily. "I die daily."

We cannot walk on water unless we are vitally connected to Christ. When we take our eyes and mind off of Christ, we fall just as did Peter. Jesus does not forsake us, He stands at the door of the heart calling us back to Him when we sin. That does not mean we retain our salvation when we are not abiding in Him. We do not. We are no better off than the Evangelicals who say they have life when they sin, because they say they "believe." Why do some Seventh-day Adventists say they have life when they sin a known  sin? What is the difference?


Look at the context here. Paul is dealing with how we relate to one another. He is dealing with personal relationships, which is why he specifies the commandments that center on these relationships. His argument certainly shouldn’t be construed as nullifying the rest of the law. (see Acts 15:20, 1 Thess. 1:9, 1 John 5:21). Besides, as the New Testament writers point out, by showing love to others, we show our love to God (Matt. 25:40; 1 John 4:20, 21).

Think about your relationship with God and how it is reflected in your relationships with others. How big a factor is love in those relationships? How can you learn to love others the way God loves us? What stands in your way of doing just that?

Needing to be converted. Why resist His love? Let Jesus have the whole heart. But, can you trust someone you don't know? No you will not. We must first learn of Him who gave all for us before we will give Jesus the whole heart. He is faithful if we will make a full surrender to Him. He will not leave us nor forsake us if we will love Him as He first loves us. It is by beholding His love that we are transformed in character (2 Cor. 3:18).

We are reading a chapter a day in the Desire of Ages. Join with us as we spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Christ. You will be blessed! Desire of Ages  Audio also.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 12--4th Quarter 2017--Overcoming Evil With Good
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2017, 04:36:53 PM »
Thursday December 21

Now Is Our Salvation


“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed” (Rom. 13:11).

As we have stated all quarter, Paul had a very specific focus in this letter to the Romans, and that was to clarify for the church at Rome - especially the Jewish believers there - the role of faith and works in the New Covenant context. The issue was salvation and how a sinner is deemed righteous and holy before the Lord. To help those whose whole emphasis had been on law, Paul put the law in its proper role and context. Although, ideally, Judaism even in Old Testament times was a religion of grace, legalism arose and did a lot of damage. How careful we as a church need to be that we don’t make the same mistake.

Amen! And the second heresy we need to be careful about is that of allowing the unconverted to believe they are born again. Many have never been taught that if we have no the Spirit, we are none of His. "   But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His." Romans 8:9. In fact, many believe, because they have been taught, that when they sin, they are still saved. And, that one is "deemed righteous" instead of being righteous. What does the believer believe happens in the life of the Christian when Christ "imparts" His righteousness to the repentant Christian? All have been thoroughly taught about the "imputed righteousness", but many remain ignorant as to the "imparted righteousness."

God looks upon the heart. He wants the whole heart. And, when we give it to Him, though it be as scarlet, He cleanses it as white as snow. We may have pure hearts."Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation." Psalm 24:3-5.


Read Romans 13:11-14.

 13:11   And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now [is] our salvation nearer than when we believed. 
 13:12   The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 
 13:13   Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 
 13:14   But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to [fulfil] the lusts [thereof]. 
 


What event is Paul talking about here, and how should we be acting in anticipation of that event?

The first thing that comes to mind is that the Investigative Judgment began over 170 years ago. Jesus went into the Most Holy Place in heaven to begin the work of judgment and to prepare a people to stand without a Mediator. The Jews only wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, we have been for over 170. It is high time we awake out of our sleep. Many are, and others are not. The parable of the ten virgins is applicable to the church today. Let us awake and do the work entrusted to us as a people. What must we do in order to be saved? The answer is in verse 14. We must first "put on the Lord Jesus Christ" that we make not provision for the flesh. As Paul taught, we are to keep the flesh (body) under. When we allow Christ to have the whole heart, then we have power to keep the old man dead. The flesh cannot sin when we are reconciled with our Lord. This is what it means to have the law written upon the heart. It is a new heart and mind that are empowered by God to keep from sin.

Yes, I know this is thought to be heresy, but let us pay attention to Scripture and trust not in the arm of flesh.

 3:1   Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 
 3:2   Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 
 3:3   And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. 
 3:4   Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 
 3:5   And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. 
 3:6   Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 
 3:7   Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 
 3:8   He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 
 3:9   Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 
 3:10   In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. 


How fascinating that Paul was talking here to the believers, telling them to wake up and get it together because Jesus was coming back. The fact that this was written almost two thousand years ago doesn’t matter. We must always live in anticipation of the nearness of Christ’s coming. As far as we all are concerned, as far as our own personal experiences go, the Second Coming is as near as the potential for our own death. Whether next week or in 40 years we close our eyes in death, and whether we sleep only four days or for 400 years - it makes no difference to us. The next thing we know is the second coming of Jesus. With death always potentially just around the corner for any of us, time is indeed short, and our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.

Although Paul doesn’t deal much in the book of Romans with the Second Coming, in the Thessalonian and the Corinthian letters he covers it in much more detail. After all, it’s a crucial theme in the Bible, especially in the New Testament. Without it and the hope it offers, our faith is really meaningless. After all, what does “justification by faith” mean without the Second Coming to bring that wonderful truth to complete fruition?

If you knew for certain that Jesus was coming next month, what would you change in your life, and why? If you believe you need to change these things a month before Jesus comes, why shouldn’t you change them now? What is the difference?

How  do we know if we need to change? Why is the law the "school master"? Why does it point us to Jesus? Have we learned the lesson found in Romans seven? That we are captive the law of sin? We cannot help but sin, unless we are fully surrendered to Christ? Then we are set free from the law of sin and death. Free from sinning. What an original thought? Read Romans seven, the experience of an unconverted Saul. Then, Read Romans eight, the experience of a converted Christian who walks in the Spirit, not in the flesh.

Now, re-read the last verse in today's lesson that the author was silent on. Why no commentary on verse 14? Is it important?

"But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

If we want to be in heaven, if we want to prepare ourselves so we can given glory to God, then we must "make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." Do you believe you can not fulfil the lusts of your flesh? How so? Peter agrees with Paul. Peter says the very same thing, to put on Christ. "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." If we  become partakers of Christ's divine nature (put on Christ), we will escape the lust within (the flesh).

How do we put on Christ? We learn of Him so that we by faith believe Him. Do you believe His promises? Then how about the one quoted in 1 Peter? Do you really believe Jesus or have you trusted in man so that you do not believe Christ will give you power to escape the corruption within? Do you doubt Jesus can keep you from sinning, even though He has promised it to all who will give Him the whole heart? "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it]." 1 Cor. 10:13.


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

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 12--4th Quarter 2017--Overcoming Evil With Good
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2017, 04:53:14 PM »
Friday December 22

Further Thought: “In the Bible the will of God is revealed. The truths of the Word of God are the utterances of the Most High. He who makes these truths a part of his life becomes in every sense a new creature. He is not given new mental powers, but the darkness that through ignorance and sin has clouded the understanding is removed. The words, ‘A new heart also will I give you,’ mean, ‘A new mind will I give you.’ A change of heart is always attended by a clear conviction of Christian duty, an understanding of truth. He who gives the Scriptures close, prayerful attention will gain clear comprehension and sound judgment, as if in turning to God he had reached a higher plane of intelligence.” - Ellen G. White, My Life Today, p. 24.

“The Lord . . . is soon coming, and we must be ready and waiting for His appearing. Oh, how glorious it will be to see Him and be welcomed as His redeemed ones! Long have we waited, but our hope is not to grow dim. If we can but see the King in His beauty we shall be forever blessed. I feel as if I must cry aloud: ‘Homeward bound!’ We are nearing the time when Christ will come in power and great glory to take His ransomed ones to their eternal home.” - Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, p. 253.

Discussion Questions:

    In class, go over the question at the end of Thursday’s study. What were the answers that people gave, and how did they justify them?

    The question of how we are to be good citizens and good Christians can be very complicated at times. If someone were to come to you seeking advice about standing for what he or she believed was God’s will - even though it would put him or her in conflict with the government - what would you say? What counsel would you give? What principles should you follow? Why is this something that we should proceed on only with the utmost seriousness and prayerful consideration? (After all, not everyone thrown into the lions’ den emerges unscathed.)

    What do you think is harder to do: to keep strict adherence to the letter of the law or to love God and love others unconditionally? Or could you argue that this question presents a false dichotomy? If so, why?

After reading Romans seven, which is harder, to be Saul before he knew he was condemned or after when we tried to keep the commandments with the right motive? Before, when he thought he was saved, he thought he was keeping the law, blameless. How about you? Is it easier being a Laodicean or finding out you are not, and not knowing how to be converted?

If you have awakened out of sleep and find that you are condemned, but have been unsuccessful at gaining the victory over sin, then read 2 Cor. 3:18. Now, put that verse in the context of what Jesus told a Laodicean in His day, Nicodemus, and with the counsel He gave in regards to eating His flesh and drinking His blood. Jesus made it very clear that we are to feed upon the Word which was made flesh. Man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.

If we want to have victory over sin, we must be born again of the Spirit. Unless we are fully surrendered to Jesus, the Spirit will not come into the heart. And, if we have not His Spirit, we are none of His (Romans 8:9 ).

    As we near the end of this quarter, talk about in class what you have learned from the book of Romans that helps us to understand why the Reformation was so important. What did Romans teach us about what we believe and why we believe it?

It is true that the "Protestant" reformation is important. It taught that the Bible is to be the source of our truth. Did we not know this before studying the Book of Romans? And, yes we are justified by grace through faith. It was important in the days of Paul, in the days of Luther, and in 1888 when the church had taught the law, the law, the law until she was as dry as the hills of Gilboa. Today, it is just as important to know we are justified by grace through faith. But, now we have to deal with the predominant heresy in the professing Christian churches, that man is saved in sin. That is he may sin a known sin and retain his justification. So, when we study the Book of Romans, we today have much that reveals the great deception to be what it is, a great heresy. Unless we keep the commandments of God, we are not His. We are not saved by keeping the commandments, we are saved by grace, then we keep the all of the commandments to the degree with know them. But, more than this, we reveal all of the fruits of the Spirit, not one is missing.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church remains in a Laodicean condition. This is a lost condition. But, it is not hopeless for individuals in the church. First, the church will see revival and reformation. It is a promise as we read in Ezekiel 36 and 37. And, for the individuals in the church, the solution is given by Christ after He rebukes the "lukewarm".

 3:17   Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 
 3:18   I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 
 3:19   As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 
 3:20   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. 
 3:21   To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 


What a blessing to see the "straight testimony" written in Scripture right before our eyes. God loves us and tells us what to do in order to be transformed that we might have the power of an indwelling Savior to overcome sin! Let us buy of Him gold tried in the fire, faith that works by His love, white raiment, His character, and eye salve, which if ask for, we may have the Holy Spirit that our blindness disappear!! Jesus stands at the door of many who have resisted His love when if they would cease doing so, they would have peace that passes all understanding. What a deal!!! We given Him our sin polluted hearts, He cleanses them and takes our sin upon Himself! We are then treated as He deserves and He was treated as we deserve. What a God we serve!!

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

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 12--4th Quarter 2017--Overcoming Evil With Good
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2017, 08:40:23 PM »
As we share the gospel of grace, we do so knowing the time is short. Jesus is coming soon. He is waiting for a people who will fear God and give glory to Him, that is who will represent Him in character. Romans 13:11 says it is high time to awake out of sleep. Amen!

It is high time that we were awake out of sleep, that we seek the Lord with all the heart, and I know He will be found of us. I know that all heaven is at our command. Just as soon as we love God with all our hearts and our neighbor as ourselves, God will work through us. How shall we stand in the time of the latter rain? Who expects to have a part in the first resurrection? You who have been cherishing sin and iniquity in the heart? You will fail in that day.

Well, now, there is a class who will come off conquerors. Is it those who cherish sin and iniquity in the heart? No; these cannot stand in that day. There are many temptations coming from Satan, and if we are not deceived it will be because we have a knowledge of the truth. If they do not fall under the miracles of Satan, if they are not led astray by Satan’s miracles, they will fall by the wrath of God. Do not be discouraged and think that He will never pardon, because He says that though your sins are as scarlet He will make them as snow. The God of heaven offers every inducement for you to come and submit to the refining process. Shall we not come?

The love of Christ in the heart will do more to convert sinners than all the sermons you can preach. What we need is to get the love of Christ, that we may study the Bible and know what sayeth the scriptures. The word will be unfolded through the ceaseless ages of eternity. Now, brethren, we might as well tear away the rubbish from the doors of our hearts now, just now, and let us be getting ready for the judgment, for we have no time to waste.  1888 pg 162.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.