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Wally

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SDA Sabbath School Lesson 1--4th Quarter 2018--Creation and Fall
« on: September 28, 2018, 03:27:21 PM »






Our Unity in Christ







Commentary in Navy                  Inspiration in Maroon








The church is God’s family on earth: serving, studying, and worshiping together. Looking to Jesus as its leader and Redeemer, the church is called to take the good news of salvation to all people.

Number 14 of the Fundamental Beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church states, in part: “The church is the community of believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. In continuity with the people of God in Old Testament times, we are called out from the world; and we join together for worship, for fellowship, for instruction in the Word, for the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, for service to all mankind, and for the worldwide proclamation of the Gospel.” - Seventh-day Adventists Believe (Boise, Idaho: Pacific Press© Publishing Association, 2005) p. 163.

But what do we mean by church? Who belongs to the church? The answer to these questions depends in part on our definition of the church.

A church is certainly the local community of believers in Jesus who obey the Lord and who assemble themselves for worship and service. They can meet in house churches or in larger congregations (Rom. 16:10, 11). By church we also mean the building in which Christians assemble. But this is hardly the best definition of the church. The church is about people, not about buildings.

In the New Testament, the church sometimes is referred to as the group of believers in a particular geographical area. So, when Paul addressed the church in Galatia, he referred to many local congregations in towns and villages in that region (Gal. 1:2; see also 1 Pet. 1:1). By church we sometimes also mean a group of people who belong to a particular denomination or who call themselves by a particular name given for their beliefs and heritage.

Yet, all these definitions are incomplete. The church is the people of God all over the earth. And though Christ has faithful followers in various denominations (many of whom will in the final crisis join God’s remnant [Rev. 18:1-4]), this quarter we are going to focus on our church, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and what unity in Christ means to us.

Fundamental Belief 14, called Unity in the Body of Christ, states: “The church is one body with many members, called from every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. In Christ we are a new creation; distinctions of race, culture, learning, and nationality, and differences between high and low, rich and poor, male and female, must not be divisive among us. We are all equal in Christ, who by one Spirit has bonded us into one fellowship with Him and with one another; we are to serve and be served without partiality or reservation. Through the revelation of Jesus Christ in the Scriptures we share the same faith and hope and reach out in one witness to all. This unity has its source in the oneness of the triune God, who has adopted us as His children.” - Seventh-day Adventist Believe, p. 201.

The purpose of this series of Bible study lessons is to provide biblical instruction on the topic of Christian unity for us as Seventh-day Adventists, who, now, as always, face challenges to that unity, and will until the end of time.

However, in the Scriptures we find numerous insights and instructions on how to live God’s gift of oneness in Christ. Those insights, those instructions about living out and expressing in our church the unity we have been given, are the focus of this quarter.

Denis Fortin is a professor of theology at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan. Since joining the Theological Seminary faculty in 1994, Fortin has served also as director of the Master of Divinity program (1999-2001), associate dean (2000-2004), chair of the Department of Theology and Christian Philosophy (2006), and until recently, dean (2006-2013).
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

Wally

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 1--4th Quarter 2018--Creation and Fall
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2018, 03:28:23 PM »
 Lesson 1 September 29-October 5





Creation and Fall




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 1--4th Quarter 2018--Creation and Fall
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2018, 09:44:09 PM »
Professor Fortin is a leader and teacher of pastors. Let us pray that his lessons this quarter will establish that unity in God's church is established upon Bible truth.

God is leading a people out from the world upon the exalted platform of eternal truth, the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. He will discipline and fit up His people. They will not be at variance, one believing one thing, and another having faith and views entirely opposite; each moving independently of the body. Through the diversity of the gifts and governments that He has placed in the church, they will all come to the unity of the faith. If one man takes his views of Bible truth without regard to the opinion of his brethren, and justifies his course, alleging that he has a right to his own peculiar views, and then presses them upon others, how can he be fulfilling the prayer of Christ? And if another and still another arises, each asserting his right to believe and talk what he pleases, without reference to the faith of the body, where will be that harmony which existed between Christ and His Father, and which Christ prayed might exist among His brethren?
 
Though we have an individual work and an individual responsibility before God, we are not to follow our own independent judgment, regardless of the opinions and feelings of our brethren; for this course would lead to disorder in the church. It is the duty of ministers to respect the judgment of their brethren; but their relations to one another, as well as the doctrines they teach, should be brought to the test of the law and the testimony; then, if hearts are teachable, there will be no divisions among us. Some are inclined to be disorderly, and are drifting away from the great landmarks of the faith; but God is moving upon His ministers to be one in doctrine and in spirit.
 
It is necessary that our unity today be of a character that will bear the test of trial.... We have many lessons to learn, and many, many to unlearn. God and Heaven alone are infallible. Those who think that they will never have to give up a cherished view, never have occasion to change an opinion, will be disappointed. As long as we hold to our own ideas and opinions with determined persistency, we cannot have the unity for which Christ prayed.  CET 203.
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 1--4th Quarter 2018--Creation and Fall
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2018, 09:57:17 PM »
 Lesson 1 September 29-October 5


Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study: Gen. 1:26, 27; 1 John 4:7, 8, 16; Gen. 3:16-19; Gen. 11:1-9; Gal. 3:29; Deut. 7:6-11.

Memory Text: And He brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and He said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the LORD; and He counted it to him for righteousness. Genesis 15:5, 6

The story of God’s people starts with the creation of humans and their tragic fall into sin. Any attempt at understanding the nature of unity in the church must begin with God’s original plan at the Creation and then the need for restoration after the Fall.

The first chapters of the Bible reveal that God intended for humanity to remain one family. Unfortunately, this unity was severed after the tragedy of sin. In sin alone the roots of disunity and division arose, more of disobedience’s foul consequences. We get a hint of this division in the immediate interaction between Adam and Eve when God first approached them after they ate of the forbidden tree (see Gen. 3:11). Hence, among all else that the plan of salvation will accomplish, the restoration of this original unity is one crucial goal, as well.

Abraham, the father of God’s people, became a key player in God’s plan of salvation. Abraham is depicted in Scripture as the great example of “righteousness by faith” (see Rom. 4:1-5), the kind of faith that unites God’s people with each other and with the Lord Himself. God works through people to restore unity and to make His will known to lost humankind.

Amen!!  And this unity can only be found in those who are united with Christ through the Holy Spirit having taken possession of the whole heart. One must be reconciled to God, fully surrendered in heart and mind in order to be united with others who are likewise converted from sin to righteousness. Those who are partakers of God's divine nature are united with all who are likewise dead to self and living unto Christ.   


Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, October 6.
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 1--4th Quarter 2018--Creation and Fall
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2018, 10:19:20 PM »
Sunday         September 30

Love as a Foundation of Unity


A clear message flowing out of the Creation story in Genesis 1 and 2 is the overall harmony that existed at the end of the week of Creation. God’s final words that all was “very good” (Gen. 1:31) refer not only to aesthetic beauty but also to the absence of any element of evil or discord when God finished making this world and the humans who were to populate it. God’s original purpose in Creation included the harmonious coexistence and interdependent relationship of all life forms. It was a beautiful world created for the human family. All was perfect and worthy of its Creator. God’s ideal and original purpose for the world was one of harmony, unity, and love.

Amen! Can this harmony, unity, and love be restored this side of heaven? We do not believe in holy flesh, so how can there be this love, and unity on this dark planet which Satan calls home?


Read Genesis 1:26, 27.

 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 
 1:27   So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 


What do these verses teach about human uniqueness in contrast to the rest of the earthly creation as depicted in Genesis 1 and 2?

Genesis says that God created humankind in His image, something not said about anything else in the Genesis creation account. “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness. …’ So God created man in His own image; in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” Gen. 1:26, 27. Although theologians have debated for centuries the exact nature of this image, and the nature of God Himself, many passages of Scripture present God’s nature as love.

Amen! More passages present the character of God as love and just. Satan has twisted the truth to misrepresent His character as not being both just and merciful. God is both fair and loving.


Read 1 John 4:7, 8, 16.

 4:7   Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 
 4:8   He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 
 4:16   And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 


How can these verses help us to understand how we were originally created and how this could have impacted the original unity found at the Creation?

I see in verse 16 that in order to have this love that God has, we now need to dwell in God and He in us. If we do not love Jesus supremely, then He does not dwell in us and we in Him.


God is love, and because humans also can love (and in ways that the rest of the earthly creation certainly can’t), to be created in His image must include the ability to love. Yet, love can exist only in relationship with others. Thus, whatever else being made in the image of God entails, it must entail the capacity to love, and to love deeply.

This was indeed true when God created Adam, but not so after Adam sinned. He could no longer love unselfishly. Fallen human nature is evil and can do no good thing unless he be converted by loving God with all of his heart, mind, soul, and strength. Then we will not only have the ability to love those who love us, but those who despitefully use us. This is the greatest of all miracles!! 

Jesus put it this way when talking to Nicodemus: "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit." We must be born again of the Spirit in order to love as Jesus loves. Living in the flesh all is contaminated by selfishness.

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 1--4th Quarter 2018--Creation and Fall
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2018, 10:37:23 PM »
Monday          October 1

The Consequences of the Fall

The consequences of the Fall were enormous. The disobedience of Adam and Eve started the rupture of a harmonious interdependence between all life forms. Even worse, it started the disunity, discord, and divisions among human beings that exist even today. The disharmony is seen immediately in how Adam and Eve sought to put the blame for the Fall on others (Gen. 3:12, 13). Things have become only worse since.

Read Genesis 3:16-19 and Genesis 4:1-15.

 3:16   Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. 
 3:17   And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat [of] it all the days of thy life; 
 3:18   Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 
 3:19   In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou [art], and unto dust shalt thou return.

 4:1   And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. 
 4:2   And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 
 4:3   And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. 
 4:4   And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 
 4:5   But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. 
 4:6   And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 
 4:7   If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee [shall be] his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. 
 4:8   And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. 
 4:9   And the LORD said unto Cain, Where [is] Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: [Am] I my brother's keeper? 
 4:10   And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. 
 4:11   And now [art] thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; 
 4:12   When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. 
 4:13   And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment [is] greater than I can bear. 
 4:14   Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, [that] every one that findeth me shall slay me. 
 4:15   And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.   


Yes, it has only gotten worse. At the flood, God repented of having made man. Notice that things are so bad that it is impossible for some to understand what verse 3:16 means. "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee." Just in case some sincere seekers of truth would be misled, God inspired Paul to comment on this also as to why he would not allow a woman to usurp the authority of a man. "But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety." 1 Tim. 2:12-15.


What in these verses reveal the results of sin and its impact on the harmonious world God had created?

We see the curse God put on man and on woman. We see murder between brothers.


Adam’s disobedience became the source of many events and consequences that over time affected all of God’s creation. The natural world itself began to suffer from the consequences of sin. Human relationships also were affected. Cain and Abel, two brothers who should have loved and cared for each other, were estranged because one wished to follow his own selfish inclinations instead of following God’s prescribed mode of worship. This estrangement resulted in violence and death. Cain’s reaction, however, was more directed at God than at Abel. He felt angry toward God (Gen. 4:5), and this anger led to resentment toward Abel. Disobedience further ruptured human relationships.

“And God saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” Gen. 6:5, 6.
This evil ultimately led to the Flood and to the incredible devastation of God’s original creation left in the Flood’s wake. But even then God did not give up on the human race but left a remnant, Noah and his family, to start again.

After the Flood, God gave a promise to Noah and his family. The rainbow in the sky would always remind them of His care and promises, of His kindness and mercy (Gen. 9:12-17, Isa. 54:7-10). God instituted a covenant with Noah and reinstated His original plan to have a united human family faithful to Him and His Word.

What are the ways that sin brings disharmony? What choices can you make right now to help restore harmony among those whom your choices can impact in a powerful way?

The answer is always the same. We need to make a whole heart surrender to Christ. In order to do this, we need to know Him. We need to trust Him with all we are and all we have. There is no other hope of restoring anyone to true unity with another.

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

Glen

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 1--4th Quarter 2018--Creation and Fall
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2018, 09:00:26 PM »
Lesson 1 September 29-October 5


Sabbath Afternoon

...this unity can only be found in those who are united with Christ through the Holy Spirit having taken possession of the whole heart. One must be reconciled to God, fully surrendered in heart and mind in order to be united with others who are likewise converted from sin to righteousness. Those who are partakers of God's divine nature are united with all who are likewise dead to self and living unto Christ.

Unity is the sure result of Christian perfection. The Sanctified Life, p. 85.1
...Jesus...will live through (YOU), giving (YOU) the inspiration of His sanctifying Spirit, imparting to (YOUR) soul a vital transfusion of Himself. Sabbath-School Worker 02-01-96.03  ...as the blood is in the body, and circulate there as a vitalizing power... 7T 189.02

Glen

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 1--4th Quarter 2018--Creation and Fall
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2018, 09:11:51 PM »
Can this harmony, unity, and love be restored this side of heaven? We do not believe in holy flesh, so how can there be this love, and unity on this dark planet which Satan calls home?

The three great powers of heaven pledge Themselves to furnish the Christian with all the assistance he requires. The Spirit changes the heart of stone to the heart of flesh. And by partaking of the Word of God, Christians obtain an experience that is after the divine similitude. When Christ abides in the heart by faith, the Christian is the temple of God. Christ does not abide in the heart of the sinner, but in the heart of him who is susceptible to the influences of heaven.
Reflecting Christ, p. 107.3

The light that shines forth from the life of the true Christian testifies to his union with Christ. Self is hidden from view, and Christ is revealed.…
Reflecting Christ, p. 107.4

God's purpose for [us] is that [we] shall live a life that will make others better—a life which will show that Christ is formed within, the hope of glory. It is His purpose that [we] shall be able to say with the apostle Paul, “I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Galatians 2:20). In perfect content, resting in the love of Christ, trusting the Redeemer and Life-giver to work out for [us] the salvation of [our] soul, [we] will know, as [we] draw nearer and still nearer to Him, what it means to endure the seeing of Him who is invisible.... The contentment that Christ bestows is a gift worth infinitely more than gold and silver and precious stones....
Reflecting Christ, p. 107.5

Our lives are pure only when we are under the control of God, and happy only when we hold communion with Him. The luster possessed by those who have gained the richest experience is but the reflection of the light of the Sun of Righteousness. He who lives nearest to Jesus shines the brightest.
The Signs of the Times, August 16, 1905.

Christ died to purchase salvation for us. He was raised for our justification, and He ever lives to make intercession for us. His life and death bring salvation to every believing child of God. By His death we are reconciled to God; by His life, as it is wrought out in our life, we shall be saved....
ST June 17, 1903, par. 12


It is by"Holy Spirit" possession of fallen flesh that we are more than conquerors... Romans 8:37
...Jesus...will live through (YOU), giving (YOU) the inspiration of His sanctifying Spirit, imparting to (YOUR) soul a vital transfusion of Himself. Sabbath-School Worker 02-01-96.03  ...as the blood is in the body, and circulate there as a vitalizing power... 7T 189.02

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 1--4th Quarter 2018--Creation and Fall
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2018, 10:35:04 AM »
Tuesday         October 2

Further Disunity and Separation


Read Genesis 11:1-9.

 11:1   And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. 
 11:2   And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. 
 11:3   And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. 
 11:4   And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top [may reach] unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. 
 11:5   And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 
 11:6   And the LORD said, Behold, the people [is] one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 
 11:7   Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. 
 11:8   So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. 
 11:9   Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. 


What happened here that makes the problem of separation and disunity worse?

God did not create disunity. It began when Adam fell. They were only unified in their battle against God. There is a lesson for us today. We cannot unify what God could not. He confounded the language and we ought not work against Him by attempting to unify those who are not one with Him. All cultures are not equal. There may be some good aspects of some cultures, but man is evil by nature and must be reconciled to God in order to create the unity God wants. The heritage of America was Protestant, thus we had a foundation of individual liberty. But, that does not mean that all is well in America. It is not. We are no longer a Protestant nation.

When we work towards a "big tent" in the the church we are working against what God did in confounding the language. Only those whose hearts are fully surrendered to Christ ought to be brought into His church. When others are brought in, they will do as did the builders of the tower, they will conspire together to bring down the church of God. Satan will give them much truth, but they are opposed to truth and God and all who are filled with His Spirit.

Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and often is impossible to cure. God has a church, an organized church which today has in it, apostasy and rebellion. It will see revival and reformation. But, not all will be converted.


The next events chronicled by the Bible after the Flood are the construction of the Tower of Babel, the confusion of languages, and then the dispersion of people, who so far had spoken one language. Perhaps attracted by the beauty of the land between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris, and the fertility of the soil, some of the descendants of Noah decided to build themselves a city and a high-towered structure in the land of Shinar, today’s southern Iraq (Gen. 11:2).

Archaeology has shown that Mesopotamia was a densely populated region from earliest historical times. Among these people were the Sumerians, who are credited with inventing the art of writing on clay tablets. They built well-constructed houses and were masters in the production of jewelry, tools, and household utensils. Excavations have also uncovered many tower-like temples dedicated to the worship of various deities.

The descendants of Noah who settled in the land of Shinar soon forgot the God of Noah and the promises He had made to never again destroy the world by a flood. Building the Tower of Babel was a monument to their superior wisdom and skills. Their desire for renown and reputation, to “make a name for ourselves” (Gen. 11:4), was one motive for this building project. “According to the divine purpose, men were to have preserved unity through the bond of true religion. When idolatry and polytheism broke this inner spiritual bond, they lost not only unity of religion but also the spirit of brotherhood. A project such as the tower, to preserve by outward means the inward unity which had been lost, could never succeed.” - The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 1, pp. 284, 285.  (not everything from the SDA Commentary is inspired)

The fall of Adam and Eve shattered the unity of the human race and God’s original plan. It resulted in confusion regarding worship; the widespread dissemination of evil and immorality over the earth; and ultimately the separation of humanity into many different cultures, languages, and races that often have been at odds with one another since.

Yes, cultures are at odds with each other because there can be no unity unless they give up their culture and accept the culture of Christ.


What are practical steps we can take to help heal the divisions of race, culture, and language that hurt us even in the church?

That is a very good question that needs to be answered. Today, in and out of the church we see "diversity" being exalted. In society it is worshiped and must be accepted and is being protected by law. The church ought to be blind to this Satanic ritual. Away with the creation of racial differences in our churches. You see no such evil here at Remnant Online. We don't encourage photos of each other so that race is not the basis of judgment, but character determines our respect for each other. What someone says and how they say it is the revelation of who we are. It is character that Jesus wants to see in us. He did not create the differences in us. It was the evil fallen nature that brought about disunity. The only solution is Christ. We must set aside our cultures and become a reflection of Christ if we want unity. The false gospels hinder this process and keep us blind to our lost condition and our constant need of Christ.
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 1--4th Quarter 2018--Creation and Fall
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2018, 11:05:58 PM »
Wednesday          October 3

Abraham, Father of God’s People


The three great monotheistic world religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, look to Abraham as their father. For Christians, this association is a spiritual relationship. When called to leave his country in Mesopotamia, Abraham was told that in him “all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 12:3, NKJV; see also Gen. 18:18, 22:18). The blessing came through Jesus.

Read Hebrews 11:8-19, Romans 4:1-3, and Galatians 3:29. What elements of Abraham’s faith do these texts mention, and how do they relate to the idea of Christian unity? That is, what can be found in these texts that can help us today to understand what a crucial component of Christian unity should be?

As father of all believers, Abraham gives us some of the basic elements central to Christian unity. First, he practiced obedience. “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going” (Heb. 11:8, NKJV). Second, he had hope in the promises of God. “By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Heb. 11:9, 10, NKJV). Third, he believed that God would give him a son and that one day his descendants would be as numerous as the stars. On the basis of this response, God justified him by faith (Rom. 4:1-3). Fourth, he trusted in God’s plan of salvation. The greatest test to Abraham’s faith came when God asked him to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Moriah (Gen. 22:1-19, Heb. 11:17-19).

The Old Testament describes Abraham as a friend of God (2 Chron. 20:7, Isa. 41:8 ). His life of faith, his unwavering obedience, and his confidence in God’s promises make him an example of what our Christian lives should be now.

Think about your actions and words over the next few days. In what ways can you seek to make sure that whatever you say or do reflects the reality of your faith?

The answer is always the same, we need Jesus all the time. If we love Him with the whole heart, then we will reflect His character.
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 1--4th Quarter 2018--Creation and Fall
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2018, 11:08:07 PM »

Thursday         October 4

God’s Chosen People


In calling Abraham to be His servant, God chose for Himself a people to represent Him to the world. This calling and election was an act of God’s love and grace. God’s call to Israel was central to His plan for the restoration of all humanity after the devastation and disunity caused by the Fall. Sacred history is the study of God’s work toward this restoration, and a major component of that plan was the covenant nation of Israel.

According to Deuteronomy 7:6-11, why did God call Israel His people? Why did He choose the descendants of Abraham as His people?

God’s love for humankind is at the center of the election of Israel as His people. God made a covenant with Abraham and his descendants in order to preserve the knowledge of God through His people and to bring about the redemption of humanity (Ps. 67:2). Yet, it is a supreme act of love that made God choose Israel. The descendants of Abraham had nothing to boast about to claim God’s unmerited love. “The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples” (Deut. 7:7, NKJV).

It is a strange reversal of values that God uses to select His people. While humans look at power, wisdom, and self-confidence to select leaders, God does not choose the strong and mighty to serve Him but those who sense or acknowledge their weakness, folly, and nothingness, that no one might glory before Him (1 Cor. 1:26-31).

Yet, look at the privilege that was theirs: “God desired to make of His people Israel a praise and a glory. Every spiritual advantage was given them. God withheld from them nothing favorable to the formation of character that would make them representatives of Himself.

“Their obedience to the law of God would make them marvels of prosperity before the nations of the world. He who could give them wisdom and skill in all cunning work would continue to be their teacher, and would ennoble and elevate them through obedience to His laws. If obedient, they would be preserved from the diseases that afflicted other nations, and would be blessed with vigor of intellect. The glory of God, His majesty and power, were to be revealed in all their prosperity. They were to be a kingdom of priests and princes. God furnished them with every facility for becoming the greatest nation on the earth.” - Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 288.

What parallels can we find between what God did for ancient Israel, and the calling He had for them, and what He has done for us, and the calling He has for us as Seventh-day Adventists? Bring your answers to class on Sabbath.

We are modern day Israel, not because we are any better at keeping law then were the Jews. We are His chosen people because He has entrusted us with His sacred oracles. And He has done so for the very same reason He did for Israel of Old. Sadly we have misrepresented Him just as did the Jews.
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 1--4th Quarter 2018--Creation and Fall
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2018, 11:15:45 PM »
Friday         October 5

Further Thought: Ellen G. White, “The Creation”, pp. 44-51, and “The Call of Abraham”, pp. 125-131, in Patriarchs and Prophets.

God’s original purpose in the creation of humanity is also reflected in the institutions of the family (Gen. 2:21-24) and the Sabbath. The Sabbath was intended for all humanity, as Jesus clearly indicated in Mark 2:27, 28. In fact, its universal nature is seen in the Genesis account itself, when God set aside the seventh day, not only before the calling out of Israel as His covenant people but even before the introduction of sin. What a powerfully unifying force the Sabbath could have been if all people had kept it. It was the day of rest God intended to remind the descendants of Adam and Eve of their common bond to Him and to one another. “The Sabbath and the family were alike instituted in Eden, and in God’s purpose they are indissolubly linked together. On this day more than on any other, it is possible for us to live the life of Eden. It was God’s plan for the members of the family to be associated in work and study, in worship and recreation, the father as priest of his household, and both father and mother as teachers and companions of their children.” - Ellen G. White, Child Guidance, p. 535.

Discussion Questions:

    How does the Genesis account of the creation of the woman from the side of Adam reveal the close and intimate bond that should exist between a husband and wife? What does that tell us about why, all through the Bible, God uses the imagery of a husband and wife as an example of the kind of closeness He seeks with His people?

    Although the story of the Tower of Babel tells us that human ethnic and linguistic diversity were not part of God’s original plan for humanity, how can we transcend such natural divisions today? How can the church still experience unity and harmony even if it is made up of people of many nations and languages?

The answer is always the same and very simple. We need love Jesus with all we are and all we have, then we will others no matter what language they speak, or even if they are the enemy.


    What are some of the parallels you found between the calling of ancient Israel and our calling as Seventh-day Adventists? More important, what lessons can we learn from them that should help us to be faithful to our divine calling in Christ?

Summary: God’s original plan at Creation intended for humanity to live harmoniously and in unity as one family. The disobedience of our first parents caused an interruption in God’s plan. Yet, God called Abraham to establish a people through whom He can keep alive the promise of restoration that is found only in Christ.
 
If the church were to teach what it means to be "in Christ" then many would see their lost condition and turn to Christ for forgiveness of sin.
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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  • Posts: 39874
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 1--4th Quarter 2018--Creation and Fall
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2018, 11:22:56 PM »
Can this harmony, unity, and love be restored this side of heaven? We do not believe in holy flesh, so how can there be this love, and unity on this dark planet which Satan calls home?


Our lives are pure only when we are under the control of God.....
The Signs of the Times, August 16, 1905.

Amen, Brother Glen. This is the only way we can love and unity on this wicked planet. We must be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.