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JimB

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The Desire of Ages--54--The Good Samaritan
« on: March 10, 2016, 06:48:03 PM »
Chap. 54 - The Good Samaritan


Listen to  The Good Samaritan

 






     In the story of the good Samaritan, Christ illustrates the nature of true religion. He shows that it consists not in systems, creeds, or rites, but in the performance of loving deeds, in bringing the greatest good to others, in genuine goodness.   
     As Christ was teaching the people, "a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted Him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" With breathless attention the large congregation awaited the answer. The priests and rabbis had thought to entangle Christ by having the lawyer ask this question. But the Saviour entered into no controversy. He required the answer from the questioner himself. "What is written in the law?" He said; "how readest thou?" The Jews still accused Jesus of lightly regarding the law given from Sinai; but He turned the question of salvation upon the keeping of God's commandments.   
     The lawyer said, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself." Jesus said, "Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live."   
     The lawyer was not satisfied with the position and works of the Pharisees. He had been studying the Scriptures with a desire to learn their real meaning. He had a vital interest in the matter, and had asked in sincerity, "What shall I do?" In his answer as to the requirements of the law, he passed by all the mass of ceremonial and ritualistic precepts. For these he claimed no value, but presented the two great principles on which hang all the law and the prophets. This answer, being commended by Christ, placed the Saviour on vantage ground with the rabbis. They could not condemn Him for sanctioning that which had been advanced by an expositor of the law.   
     "This do, and thou shalt live," Jesus said. He presented the law as a divine unity, and in this lesson taught that it is not possible to keep one precept, and break another; for the same principle runs through them all. Man's destiny will be determined by his obedience to the whole law. Supreme love to God and impartial love to man are the principles to be wrought out in the life.   
     The lawyer found himself a lawbreaker. He was convicted under Christ's searching words. The righteousness of the law, which he claimed to understand, he had not practiced. He had not manifested love toward his fellow man. Repentance was demanded; but instead of repenting, he tried to justify himself. Rather than acknowledge the truth, he sought to show how difficult of fulfillment the commandment is. Thus he hoped both to parry conviction and to vindicate himself in the eyes of the people. The Saviour's words had shown that his question was needless, since he had been able to answer it himself. Yet he put another question, saying, "Who is my neighbor?" 
     Among the Jews this question caused endless dispute. They had no doubt as to the heathen and the Samaritans; these were strangers and enemies. But where should the distinction be made among the people of their own nation, and among the different classes of society? Whom should the priest, the rabbi, the elder, regard as neighbor? They spent their lives in a round of ceremonies to make themselves pure. Contact with the ignorant and careless multitude, they taught, would cause defilement that would require wearisome effort to remove. Were they to regard the "unclean" as neighbors?   
     Again Jesus refused to be drawn into controversy. He did not denounce the bigotry of those who were watching to condemn Him. But by a simple story He held up before His hearers such a picture of the outflowing of heaven-born love as touched all hearts, and drew from the lawyer a confession of the truth.   
     The way to dispel darkness is to admit light. The best way to deal with error is to present truth. It is the revelation of God's love that makes manifest the deformity and sin of the heart centered in self.   
     "A certain man," said Jesus, "was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho; and he fell among robbers, which both stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance a certain priest was going down that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And in like manner a Levite also, when he came to the place, and saw him, passed by on the other side." Luke 10:30-32, R. V. This was no imaginary scene, but an actual occurrence, which was known to be exactly as represented. The priest and the Levite who had passed by on the other side were in the company that listened to Christ's words.   
     In journeying from Jerusalem to Jericho, the traveler had to pass through a portion of the wilderness of Judea. The road led down a wild, rocky ravine, which was infested by robbers, and was often the scene of violence. It was here that the traveler was attacked, stripped of all that was valuable, wounded and bruised, and left half dead by the wayside. As he lay thus, the priest came that way; but he merely glanced toward the wounded man. Then the Levite appeared. Curious to know what had happened, he stopped and looked at the sufferer. He was convicted of what he ought to do; but it was not an agreeable duty. He wished that he had not come that way, so that he need not have seen the wounded man. He persuaded himself that the case was no concern of his.   
     Both these men were in sacred office, and professed to expound the Scriptures. They were of the class specially chosen to be representatives of God to the people. They were to "have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way" (Hebrews 5:2), that they might lead men to understand God's great love toward humanity. The work they were called to do was the same that Jesus had described as His own when He said, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised." Luke 4:18.   
     The angels of heaven look upon the distress of God's family upon the earth, and they are prepared to co-operate with men in relieving oppression and suffering. God in His providence had brought the priest and the Levite along the road where the wounded sufferer lay, that they might see his need of mercy and help. All heaven watched to see if the hearts of these men would be touched with pity for human woe. The Saviour was the One who had instructed the Hebrews in the wilderness; from the pillar of cloud and of fire He had taught a very different lesson from that which the people were now receiving from their priests and teachers. The merciful provisions of the law extended even to the lower animals, which cannot express in words their want and suffering. Directions had been given to Moses for the children of Israel to this effect: "If thou meet thine enemy's ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again. If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him." Exodus 23:4, 5. But in the man wounded by robbers, Jesus presented the case of a brother in suffering. How much more should their hearts have been moved with pity for him than for a beast of burden! The message had been given them through Moses that the Lord their God, "a great God, a mighty, and a terrible," "doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger." Wherefore He commanded, "Love ye therefore the stranger." "Thou shalt love him as thyself." Deuteronomy 10:17-19; Leviticus 19:34.   
     Job had said, "The stranger did not lodge in the street: but I opened my doors to the traveler." And when the two angels in the guise of men came to Sodom, Lot bowed himself with his face toward the ground, and said, "Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night." Job 31:32; Genesis 19:2. With all these lessons the priest and the Levite were familiar, but they had not brought them into practical life. Trained in the school of national bigotry, they had become selfish, narrow, and exclusive. When they looked upon the wounded man, they could not tell whether he was of their nation or not. They thought he might be of the Samaritans, and they turned away.   
     In their action, as Christ had described it, the lawyer saw nothing contrary to what he had been taught concerning the requirements of the law. But now another scene was presented:   
     A certain Samaritan, in his journey, came where the sufferer was, and when he saw him, he had compassion on him. He did not question whether the stranger was a Jew or a Gentile. If a Jew, the Samaritan well knew that, were their condition reversed, the man would spit in his face, and pass him by with contempt. But he did not hesitate on account of this. He did not consider that he himself might be in danger of violence by tarrying in the place. It was enough that there was before him a human being in need and suffering. He took off his own garment with which to cover him. The oil and wine provided for his own journey he used to heal and refresh the wounded man. He lifted him on his own beast, and moved slowly along with even pace, so that the stranger might not be jarred, and made to suffer increased pain. He brought him to an inn, and cared for him through the night, watching him tenderly. In the morning, as the sick man had improved, the Samaritan ventured to go on his way. But before doing this, he placed him in the care of the innkeeper, paid the charges, and left a deposit for his benefit; and not satisfied even with this, he made provision for any further need, saying to the host, "Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee."   
     The story ended, Jesus fixed His eyes upon the lawyer, in a glance that seemed to read his soul, and said, "Which of these three, thinkest thou, proved neighbor unto him that fell among the robbers?" Luke 10:36, R. V.   
     The lawyer would not, even now, take the name Samaritan upon his lips, and he made answer, "He that showed mercy on him." Jesus said, "Go, and do thou likewise."   
     Thus the question, "Who is my neighbor?" is forever answered. Christ has shown that our neighbor does not mean merely one of the church or faith to which we belong. It has no reference to race, color, or class distinction. Our neighbor is every person who needs our help. Our neighbor is every soul who is wounded and bruised by the adversary. Our neighbor is everyone who is the property of God.   
     In the story of the good Samaritan, Jesus gave a picture of Himself and His mission. Man had been deceived, bruised, robbed, and ruined by Satan, and left to perish; but the Saviour had compassion on our helpless condition. He left His glory, to come to our rescue. He found us ready to die, and He undertook our case. He healed our wounds. He covered us with His robe of righteousness. He opened to us a refuge of safety, and made complete provision for us at His own charges. He died to redeem us. Pointing to His own example, He says to His followers, "These things I command you, that ye love one another." "As I have loved you, that ye also love one another." John 15:17; 13:34.   
     The lawyer's question to Jesus had been, "What shall I do?" And Jesus, recognizing love to God and man as the sum of righteousness, had said, "This do, and thou shalt live." The Samaritan had obeyed the dictates of a kind and loving heart, and in this had proved himself a doer of the law. Christ bade the lawyer, "Go, and do thou likewise." Doing, and not saying merely, is expected of the children of God. "He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked." 1 John 2:6.   
     The lesson is no less needed in the world today than when it fell from the lips of Jesus. Selfishness and cold formality have well-nigh extinguished the fire of love, and dispelled the graces that should make fragrant the character. Many who profess His name have lost sight of the fact that Christians are to represent Christ. Unless there is practical self-sacrifice for the good of others, in the family circle, in the neighborhood, in the church, and wherever we may be, then whatever our profession, we are not Christians.   
     Christ has linked His interest with that of humanity, and He asks us to become one with Him for the saving of humanity. "Freely ye have received," He says, "freely give." Matthew 10:8. Sin is the greatest of all evils, and it is ours to pity and help the sinner. There are many who err, and who feel their shame and their folly. They are hungry for words of encouragement. They look upon their mistakes and errors, until they are driven almost to desperation. These souls we are not to neglect. If we are Christians, we shall not pass by on the other side, keeping as far as possible from the very ones who most need our help. When we see human beings in distress, whether through affliction or through sin, we shall never say, This does not concern me.   
     "Ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness." Galatians 6:1. By faith and prayer press back the power of the enemy. Speak words of faith and courage that will be as a healing balsam to the bruised and wounded one. Many, many, have fainted and become discouraged in the great struggle of life, when one word of kindly cheer would have strengthened them to overcome. Never should we pass by one suffering soul without seeking to impart to him of the comfort wherewith we are comforted of God.   
     All this is but a fulfillment of the principle of the law,--the principle that is illustrated in the story of the good Samaritan, and made manifest in the life of Jesus. His character reveals the true significance of the law, and shows what is meant by loving our neighbor as ourselves. And when the children of God manifest mercy, kindness, and love toward all men, they also are witnessing to the character of the statutes of heaven. They are bearing testimony to the fact that "the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul." Psalm 19:7. And whoever fails to manifest this love is breaking the law which he professes to revere. For the spirit we manifest toward our brethren declares what is our spirit toward God. The love of God in the heart is the only spring of love toward our neighbor. "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" Beloved, "if we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us." 1 John 4:20, 12. 
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--54--The Good Samaritan
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2016, 05:31:28 AM »
Again Jesus refused to be drawn into controversy. He did not denounce the bigotry of those who were watching to condemn Him. But by a simple story He held up before His hearers such a picture of the outflowing of heaven-born love as touched all hearts, and drew from the lawyer a confession of the truth.   
     The way to dispel darkness is to admit light. The best way to deal with error is to present truth. It is the revelation of God's love that makes manifest the deformity and sin of the heart centered in self.
 

When my eyes finally fell on this and drove it's point home it was a new a thought to me. To not answer questions/objections/accusations directly was definitely not what I was use to doing. However, Christ is our example and it's easy to see now that doing this only gives them a reason to get defensive. Christ's ways are so much better.

      There are many who err, and who feel their shame and their folly. They are hungry for words of encouragement. They look upon their mistakes and errors, until they are driven almost to desperation. These souls we are not to neglect. If we are Christians, we shall not pass by on the other side, keeping as far as possible from the very ones who most need our help. When we see human beings in distress, whether through affliction or through sin, we shall never say, This does not concern me.   
     "Ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness." Galatians 6:1. By faith and prayer press back the power of the enemy. Speak words of faith and courage that will be as a healing balsam to the bruised and wounded one. Many, many, have fainted and become discouraged in the great struggle of life, when one word of kindly cheer would have strengthened them to overcome. Never should we pass by one suffering soul without seeking to impart to him of the comfort wherewith we are comforted of God.
 


The world would be a much better place if more of us practiced this counsel. This reminds me of a time I was handing out flyers on a Sabbath afternoon for some meetings coming up. We walked up to a house who had a barbeque going on. The people were friendly enough even after finding out what we were doing. However, they looked at us and told us that they use to go to church but they that they were too bad to go back. We encouraged them to come and left. It is sad to see people believe the lies that the enemy sometimes whispers but also sometime bellows into their ears.

By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--54--The Good Samaritan
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2016, 05:41:49 AM »
The lawyer was not satisfied with the position and works of the Pharisees. He had been studying the Scriptures with a desire to learn their real meaning. He had a vital interest in the matter, and had asked in sincerity, "What shall I do?" In his answer as to the requirements of the law, he passed by all the mass of ceremonial and ritualistic precepts. For these he claimed no value, but presented the two great principles on which hang all the law and the prophets. This answer, being commended by Christ, placed the Saviour on vantage ground with the rabbis. They could not condemn Him for sanctioning that which had been advanced by an expositor of the law.  {DA 497.4} 
    "This do, and thou shalt live," Jesus said. He presented the law as a divine unity, and in this lesson taught that it is not possible to keep one precept, and break another; for the same principle runs through them all. Man's destiny will be determined by his obedience to the whole law. Supreme love to God and impartial love to man are the principles to be wrought out in the life.  {DA 498.1} 


I have always found this story interesting. One of the religious leaders was not satisfied with what was being taught and was brave enough to ask such a question to Christ no less. There are some today that teach we have no part in "doing" anything to gain salvation. And this is true to a point. There is absolutely nothing we can do to earn or buy our way into salvation. However, there is something that we have to do. Respond to God's demonstrated love and make a full heart surrender to Christ. That is our small part in "doing" and Christ will do the rest in us by abiding in us.

Jesus also said "this do, and thou shalt live." Was Jesus teaching legalism? Hardly, because He knew that to truly love God supremely and your neighbor as yourself would be a demonstration of what God has done in the heart. It is the evidence that God is sitting on the throne of the heart.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--54--The Good Samaritan
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2016, 07:29:58 AM »
Amen, Jim.   If we listen to the answer Christ confirmed, we know that only those who keep the law will be saved. Not our words, but just what Jesus said. Now, if this be so, who can  be saved? It is true, and all can be saved if they will learn how it is they can keep the law. If we never learn how to keep the law, we will not be saved. There is something we must do in order to be saved. There is something we must do in order to be able to keep the law. It helps to start with knowing we cannot keep the law in and of ourselves. If we have not discovered this, then we need to prayerfully read the gospels. Jesus tells us what we must do. If we cease resisting His love, we would all be saved. But, where is the power to do this?

Let us read what Jesus said when asked what we must do to gain eternal life:

 As Christ was teaching the people, "a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted Him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" With breathless attention the large congregation awaited the answer. The priests and rabbis had thought to entangle Christ by having the lawyer ask this question. But the Saviour entered into no controversy. He required the answer from the questioner himself. "What is written in the law?" He said; "how readest thou?" The Jews still accused Jesus of lightly regarding the law given from Sinai; but He turned the question of salvation upon the keeping of God's commandments.   


Jesus' answer is as clear as day for "He turned the question of salvation upon the keeping of God's commandments." But, we cannot keep the law unless something happens first. Let us continue reading.

 The lawyer said,"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself." Jesus said, "Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live."  

By prayerfully studying the life of Christ, which we find in this most beautiful Book, we will hear the Words of Jesus and the reply from the the lawyer. "'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.' Jesus said, 'Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.'"   

Again, the question comes to our mind, what must I do in order to be able to keep the law of God? We just heard the answer from the lawyer and confirmed by Jesus. We must "love the Lord thy God with all they heart, and all thy soul, and with all they strength, and with thy mind; and thy neighbor as thy self." Thus, we forever know both that we must keep the commandments and we must love God supremely. If we do not, we do not have eternal life. Yet, many teach otherwise and deceive the church into believing they have life when they manifest a heart that does not love God supremely.

A new question arises in the mind of those who truly want to love God supremely, and his neighbor as himself. How can I love God supremely? I am evil by nature and can do no good thing as hard as I try. There is between God and me a large abyss. How can I reach God? From Genesis to Revelation we see over and over how it is that we can be reconciled with God. In Desire of Ages, we read it over and over. And, the answer is just what we must do in order to gain eternal life. Before we can keep the law, before we can love our neighbor, before we can love God supremely, we must learn of Him, so we will love Him. How is it that we can learn of Him who gave all for us?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--54--The Good Samaritan
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2016, 05:31:48 PM »
I love this chapter and how Jesus reveals His love and mission in the way He presented the story of the Good Samaritan. It thrills my soul to behold the loveliness of Jesus!

In the story of the good Samaritan, Jesus gave a picture of Himself and His mission. Man had been deceived, bruised, robbed, and ruined by Satan, and left to perish; but the Saviour had compassion on our helpless condition. He left His glory, to come to our rescue. He found us ready to die, and He undertook our case. He healed our wounds. He covered us with His robe of righteousness. He opened to us a refuge of safety, and made complete provision for us at His own charges. He died to redeem us. Pointing to His own example, He says to His followers, "These things I command you, that ye love one another." "As I have loved you, that ye also love one another." John 15:17; 13:34.   
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--54--The Good Samaritan
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2016, 06:24:58 AM »
Amen! What a God we serve!

     The Samaritan had obeyed the dictates of a kind and loving heart, and in this had proved himself a doer of the law. Christ bade the lawyer, "Go, and do thou likewise." Doing, and not saying merely, is expected of the children of God. "He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked." 1 John 2:6.   
     The lesson is no less needed in the world today than when it fell from the lips of Jesus. Selfishness and cold formality have well-nigh extinguished the fire of love, and dispelled the graces that should make fragrant the character. Many who profess His name have lost sight of the fact that Christians are to represent Christ. Unless there is practical self-sacrifice for the good of others, in the family circle, in the neighborhood, in the church, and wherever we may be, then whatever our profession, we are not Christians.   


The Samaritan, despite his false religion had a new heart filled with the love of God. He manifested the fruits of the Spirit. Are we walking in the light of God's love? Do we love Jesus and our neighbor as ourselves?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--54--The Good Samaritan
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2016, 11:52:23 AM »
Amen, Richard! You made a good point about the Samaritan's false religion--but that did not prevent the Holy Spirit from reaching His heart. There are many today outside of the Seventh-day Adventist Church who may not understand the truth for this time, but yet they show that Christ's Spirit has possession of their hearts! This can even be true in heathen lands!! We must remember that the fruit of the life is what God sees as to the condition of the heart!

We see this in Matthew 7:

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.


Let us behold the loveliness of Jesus today, and continually, so others may experience the blessing that God would have shine forth from our lives!!

In the story of the good Samaritan, Christ illustrates the nature of true religion. He shows that it consists not in systems, creeds, or rites, but in the performance of loving deeds, in bringing the greatest good to others, in genuine goodness. – {DA 497.1}

Only by the Holy Spirit is such an experience  possible, an experience in which all of the fruits of the Spirit are seen in the life – 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." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--54--The Good Samaritan
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2016, 04:19:00 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean. This answers the question as to what I must do in order to be saved. We must become as the "good Samaritan."  This ought not be a mystery. But, if we look back over world history, we see that for some reason, it has been kept from man since the fall. There is a battle raging all around us. We see the first signs on this earth in the Garden before the fall. The struggle continues. It is a matter of deception, deception about the character of God, and the character of man. Satan deceived Eve, and he continues to deceived almost the whole world. Yet, here this morning, we may have our eyes opened to the real battle. It is for your heart and my heart. If we wish to serve God and obtain eternal life, then read again what Pastor Sean posted. It is impossible to get good fruit off of a bad tree. If you have trusted in man, then you have been deceived. The Word means just what it says. There is more. You cannot get bad fruit from a good tree. What does that say about the person who manifests bad fruit? And what is the good fruit that is seen in the life of those who have eternal life? "Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance," not one is missing.

In today's reading, we find the Jews very interested in what one must do in order to have eternal life:

     As Christ was teaching the people, "a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted Him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" With breathless attention the large congregation awaited the answer.


As it was then, so it is today, there are difficulties in what is being taught in the church. Turn to Jesus and His Word if you want the truth. Do not trust in me or Pastor Sean. We are teaching the truth, but you cannot rely on another for your salvation or your understanding of truth. You must be as the faithful Bereans who after Paul taught them went home and compared what he taught with the Bible.

Listen to the Word of truth Jesus gave to Nicodemus. Study John chapter three. If you need help, at the beginning of this forum, you will find the chapter Nicodemus having  been stickied. It remains at the top of the page. If you wonder why it is there, it is because it will help you understand the gospel of grace. It is an inspired commentary on John chapter three, the discussion Jesus had with Nicodemus, a Laodicean. If you want to know the truth that you may follow it, then it is opened to you. We are running out of time. Jesus will have a  "glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish." 

It is left with us as to whether we shall be a part of God's plan to restore man to the glory in which he was  originally made. When we make a full surrender of self to Jesus, we are a part of the glorious church! Jesus wants the whole heart, not a piece of it. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself." Jesus said, "Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live."    This we can do today, by His grace.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--54--The Good Samaritan
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2016, 05:37:32 AM »
Amen, Richard! We can praise the Lord that God lays out truth to us in this chapter so clearly that none need err and fail to experience the gift of eternal life. We can give thanks that God plans to restore His image in us--and His image is self-sacrificing love which His Spirit imparts. True self-sacrificing love will ALWAYS be revealed in ALL of the fruits of the Sprit. The devil may seek to counterfeit many truths, but there is one thing he cannot perfectly counterfeit: Christian character. Those who become polished instruments in his hands to do "much good" (on the outside before men, like the Pharisees, lawyers, and scribes) will not be able to manifest genuine love with all of the fruits of the Spirit because they are bad trees--they are disconnected from the source of life, Christ. Unless one makes the entire surrender to Christ by beholding the loveliness of Jesus, it is impossible to reveal His Spirit. And what does the Scripture say if we have not His Spirit?

Romans 8:9 "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."

We are not experiencing salvation (eternal life, which begins now when we entirely surrender the heart for Jesus to recreate and make pure and holy by His Spirit) unless we have His Spirit. Without it we are dead branches, bad trees, and can do no good thing. Even the "good" that others may think we are doing will be polluted by selfishness. Only when Christ abides within is it possible to have a pure heart that performs good actions from right motives. This is the miracle of grace.

Today in our reading we see the power of deception in the Laodicean condition:

Job had said, "The stranger did not lodge in the street: but I opened my doors to the traveler." And when the two angels in the guise of men came to Sodom, Lot bowed himself with his face toward the ground, and said, "Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night." Job 31:32; Genesis 19:2. With all these lessons the priest and the Levite were familiar, but they had not brought them into practical life. Trained in the school of national bigotry, they had become selfish, narrow, and exclusive. When they looked upon the wounded man, they could not tell whether he was of their nation or not. They thought he might be of the Samaritans, and they turned away.   
    In their action, as Christ had described it, the lawyer saw nothing contrary to what he had been taught concerning the requirements of the law.


Interesting that Job is brought into this chapter today. As long as Job was connected to Christ, his actions were pure and unselfish. But as soon as Job took his eyes off Christ, even his "good works" became a stumbling block to himself and others, for he looked to them for assurance of salvation rather than to Christ. The point here in bringing Job into this chapter was to show that loving deeds are required by the law (as they will spring forth when the heart and soul is submerged in Christ).

Strikingly, the lawyer felt that what had been done by the Levite and priest in passing by the wounded man was just fine. This is amazing! So terrible is spiritual blindness, that when truth is brought right to the heart, the one who is blind sees not his true condition! Let us pray that Christ may revive and reform us by responding to the counsel of the True Witness if we are not abiding in Him and manifesting His Spirit in all we think, do, and say:

Revelation 3:14-21
14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
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:
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.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
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.
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.


May we see our continual need of Jesus, and today be in constant communion with Him, that the souls around us who are wounded by Satan we may minister unto, as through Christ the completeness of Christian character is attainable:

"Love is the basis of godliness. Whatever the profession, no man has pure love to God unless he has unselfish love for his brother. But we can never come into possession of this spirit by trying to love others. What is needed is the love of Christ in the heart. When self is merged in Christ, love springs forth spontaneously. The completeness of Christian character is attained when the impulse to help and bless others springs constantly from within—when the sunshine of heaven fills the heart and is revealed in the countenance." {COL 384.2}
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--54--The Good Samaritan
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2017, 05:34:17 AM »
The law of God is greatly misunderstood. While it is the character of our God, it also brings condemnation to the sinner. God is perfectly just and will not excuse sin. But, He is also loving and merciful. He will forgive sin when the sinner is repentant or the sin is unknown and the life has been fully surrendered to Jesus.

The law cannot save, but it must be kept if one wants to enter heaven. When one is transformed in character, filled with the Spirit, the law is written upon the heart. The repentant sinner is a partaker of God's divine nature because the Holy Spirit is in the heart. This is the fulfillment of the "everlasting covenant" God made in the hearing of Adam and Eve just after they sinned. He said He would give them enmity towards Satan and sin, an enmity which fallen man does not have.

When we are born again of the Spirit, what is our attitude towards sinners? We love them as Jesus loves us. We know the world is unfair. We know it was not fair for Christ to suffer and die in our place. In other words, because we were unfair, Christ suffered and died that we might become like Him in character, that we might bear with the infirmities of the weak. And, we will do that if Christ possesses the heart, fully.

     There are many who err, and who feel their shame and their folly. They are hungry for words of encouragement. They look upon their mistakes and errors, until they are driven almost to desperation. These souls we are not to neglect. If we are Christians, we shall not pass by on the other side, keeping as far as possible from the very ones who most need our help. When we see human beings in distress, whether through affliction or through sin, we shall never say, This does not concern me.   
     "Ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness." Galatians 6:1. By faith and prayer press back the power of the enemy. Speak words of faith and courage that will be as a healing balsam to the bruised and wounded one. Many, many, have fainted and become discouraged in the great struggle of life, when one word of kindly cheer would have strengthened them to overcome. Never should we pass by one suffering soul without seeking to impart to him of the comfort wherewith we are comforted of God. 
 

When we are converted Christians, we shall seek to help those who are unfair. We will love them even when they hurt us. This is the witness Jesus seeks in this world which is soon to perish.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--54--The Good Samaritan
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2017, 06:01:35 AM »
Amen, Richard! We need a new conversion every day--to take an advance step towards heaven as exemplified in how we cooperate with God in the work of saving and blessing those around us.

The angels of heaven look upon the distress of God's family upon the earth, and they are prepared to co-operate with men in relieving oppression and suffering. God in His providence had brought the priest and the Levite along the road where the wounded sufferer lay, that they might see his need of mercy and help. All heaven watched to see if the hearts of these men would be touched with pity for human woe.

Let us remember that when we are placed in a situation according to God's providence where we would be able to help someone, that we need not feel we are alone in that work. Angels are wiling to work with us, and well would it be to remember that how we treat others is not only a witness to this world, but to the onlooking universe! Let us learn of Christ and let His love flow forth to others today!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--54--The Good Samaritan
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2017, 07:23:23 AM »
When we see Jesus as He really is, and we see His character of selfless action for the good of others as the true expression of the law of God, we will realize that only the truth that is brought into practical life is truth that we actually live by. Profession without expression in the life is not saving faith, but is a fatal deception. We need Jesus to do the good we find in His word, and we need Him continually!

Job had said, "The stranger did not lodge in the street: but I opened my doors to the traveler." And when the two angels in the guise of men came to Sodom, Lot bowed himself with his face toward the ground, and said, "Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night." Job 31:32; Genesis 19:2. With all these lessons the priest and the Levite were familiar, but they had not brought them into practical life. Trained in the school of national bigotry, they had become selfish, narrow, and exclusive. When they looked upon the wounded man, they could not tell whether he was of their nation or not. They thought he might be of the Samaritans, and they turned away.   

Could it be that familiarity with spiritual things, when not practicing them, actually becomes a curse? This is what the Scripture says:

Matthew 10:15: "Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city." The cities that received great light, the people who had every opportunity for knowing the truth but did not practice it, were regarded by God as worse sinners than the sexually immoral of Sodom and Gomorrah. So it is today. If we are professedly Seventh-day Adventist Christians and yet fail to walk in the light we have, what can save us from the judgment that results from rejecting so great salvation, and shutting the door to others who need the light emanating from our life and example? We are not islands unto ourselves--our life and character is to bear witness that Jesus is in our hearts continually. How?

By beholding we become changed, and well would it be to spend a thoughtful hour upon Jesus' life and ministry, especially the closing scenes, for by meditating upon His love we shall have a stronger faith, deeper love, and a rich imbuing of His Spirit so we can do what He gives us to do out of heart flowing of grateful, tender love for all that heaven has done to send Jesus as our Good Samaritan to save us from the pit of sin where we were left to die. Praise God for the glorious character we see in Jesus of our Heavenly Father's love for us! Behold Him and surrender the whole heart--and you will be changed to reflect Him in mind and character! What a promise of His love!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--54--The Good Samaritan
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2017, 04:12:25 PM »
Man's destiny will be determined by his obedience to the whole law. Supreme love to God and impartial love to man are the principles to be wrought out in the life.  {DA 498.1} 

I know it looks like I am jumping out ahead of schedule. Although, we are reading on a schedule and in order we are not obligated to only discuss the day's current chapter. In studying for something else tonight I was reading this chapter in the DA and this one sentence caught my attention. I know what I hear in Sabbath School classes and from the pulpit. So I'm sure that if I were to repeat the part I bolded as they were my own words I would get an ear full from those around me. I can imagine the arguments now. But what is our destiny determined by? Our (individual) obedience to the whole law. Yes, we do it through Christ's strength in us as we abide in Him but we can actually obey the whole law.

This is why it's so dangerous to hear that from the pulpit that God's people will be sinning until Christ returns or the many other ways that sin is excused. How sad! If that is the case what is to stop Christ from saying.... "depart from me, ye workers of iniquity."
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--54--The Good Samaritan
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2017, 05:19:57 AM »
Amen, Jim. The whole Bible speaks to the power of grace to cleanse from sin. Romans 8 reveals the great deception which is keeping many blind to their continual need of Jesus. It is clearly seen in the Bible that love to God and man is the keeping of the law of God, all of it. If we love God we will not violate the first four of the commandments. If we love man, we will not break the last six of the commandments. And the rest of the moral law revealed in Scripture, as we come to understand it, we will also follow if we love God with the whole heart. If we do not, then we do not love God with the whole heart.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--54--The Good Samaritan
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2017, 04:21:56 AM »
We need Jesus as an abiding guest in our souls so we can go forth to seek and save the lost around us, for His mission becomes our mission when we fully surrender our hearts and minds to His renewing grace. Then we are one with Him in mind and character by experiencing the transforming work of grace wrought in us by beholding His loveliness!

"The lawyer's question to Jesus had been, 'What shall I do?' And Jesus, recognizing love to God and man as the sum of righteousness, had said, 'This do, and thou shalt live.' The Samaritan had obeyed the dictates of a kind and loving heart, and in this had proved himself a doer of the law. Christ bade the lawyer, 'Go, and do thou likewise.' Doing, and not saying merely, is expected of the children of God. 'He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.' 1 John 2:6." {The Desire of Ages, page 504, paragraph 1}   
     "The lesson is no less needed in the world today than when it fell from the lips of Jesus. Selfishness and cold formality have well-nigh extinguished the fire of love, and dispelled the graces that should make fragrant the character. Many who profess His name have lost sight of the fact that Christians are to represent Christ. Unless there is practical self-sacrifice for the good of others, in the family circle, in the neighborhood, in the church, and wherever we may be, then whatever our profession, we are not Christians."  {The Desire of Ages, page 504, paragraph 2}   

"Many, many have fainted and become discouraged in the great struggle of life, when one word of kindly cheer would have strengthened them to overcome. Never should we pass by one suffering soul without seeking to impart to him of the comfort wherewith we are comforted of God." {The Desire of Ages, page 504, paragraph 4}


May it be our prayer today to go and find souls who are "discouraged in the great struggle of life" and with love from Jesus, speak "one word of kindly cheer" to strengthen "them to overcome"! Pray for a divine appointment to bless another soul and see how God answers your prayer today! 
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--54--The Good Samaritan
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2017, 05:44:49 AM »
Amen Pastor Sean. You were impressed by the same quote I was going to post. What a beautiful and practical revelation of our Father's love for each of us. Such a simple yet profound illustration of what our attitude will be if we profess to be children of God. If we are truly connected to the Vine we will be doing the work of Christ. It will not be an effort or hardship. We will not have to weigh all the consequences. We will be compelled to do the right thing because Jesus dwells within and that is what He would do. Our motives will be pure and self sacrificing.

But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--54--The Good Samaritan
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2017, 09:41:35 PM »
Amen!

Good to have you back with us, Sister Dorine! 

When we love Jesus with the whole heart, then we will love others as He loves us. This is the fruit of conversion. Here we see the law as a positive, not a negative. To love God supremely and to love our neighbor as ourselves is to manifest the character of our Lord as revealed in the law of God. If we do not keep the law, then we do not love either God nor our neighbor.

Yet, Satan has stolen a march on Christianity by bringing into the church heresies that allow salvation when not loving God nor our neighbor with the whole heart.

How can we reject the Word of God and teach contrary to this?

    The lawyer said, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself." Jesus said, "Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live."   


This is not salvation by works. It is salvation by grace, because it is only by grace being taken into the heart that we can keep the commandments which is loving God and others with the whole heart.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--54--The Good Samaritan
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2017, 05:16:38 AM »
"Ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness." Galatians 6:1. By faith and prayer press back the power of the enemy. Speak words of faith and courage that will be as a healing balsam to the bruised and wounded one. Many, many, have fainted and become discouraged in the great struggle of life, when one word of kindly cheer would have strengthened them to overcome. Never should we pass by one suffering soul without seeking to impart to him of the comfort wherewith we are comforted of God.  

Sometimes it doesn't take much to encourage someone. Here she says that one kindly word might strengthen someone to overcome. The story is too long for here right now but I know of someone who was brought out of a deep depression by a smile. If we have Christ in our hearts it will be natural to desire to help others. Especially if they are suffering in a way that you've been through and then who else better to help them? Who else will understand them? If you have received freely then let's freely give back.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--54--The Good Samaritan
« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2017, 09:17:14 AM »
Amen, Jim! Jesus would have us think of others and their needs, because He chose to come to save us and exemplified His love in coming from heaven to be born our Brother, and then die as our Sacrifice!

I was reminded of how Jesus was treated when He came to our world, and to be honest I saw this story in a way I never had seen it before:

Luke 10:30 "And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead."

My mind thought of how Jesus came from the heavenly Jerusalem, came down to our world, and was treated with scorn, contempt, and left to die on the cross because of our sins--even the phrase "half dead" spoke to me, as Jesus' humanity died on the cross, but His divinity did not die. We can praise God that the story does not end there--He rose victorious on the third day and is our interceding High Priest making a way for us to be saved as we surrender to His winning, healing love. In considering the wounded man to be in some way a reflection of Jesus, I was reminded of Christ's own words:

Matthew 25:40 "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

If we leave people in need without compassion or help, we ought to see that person as though he or she was Jesus. Jesus was not treated well when He came to our earth. And yet we see how He treats us:

    "In the story of the good Samaritan, Jesus gave a picture of Himself and His mission. Man had been deceived, bruised, robbed, and ruined by Satan, and left to perish; but the Saviour had compassion on our helpless condition. He left His glory, to come to our rescue. He found us ready to die, and He undertook our case. He healed our wounds. He covered us with His robe of righteousness. He opened to us a refuge of safety, and made complete provision for us at His own charges. He died to redeem us. Pointing to His own example, He says to His followers, 'These things I command you, that ye love one another.' 'As I have loved you, that ye also love one another.' John 15:17; 13:34."  {The Desire of Ages, page 503, paragraph 6}

May His love melt our hearts to do the good we can where He has placed us, as by beholding we become changed!


"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--54--The Good Samaritan
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2018, 03:35:38 AM »
We have a wonderful Savior, who, in manifesting His loveliness of character toward us, in coming to bind up our wounds, has brought us comfort, healing, and salvation as we surrender our whole heart to Him. The way He has blessed and comforted us we are to impart. This Sabbath I am preaching a message entitled, "Wounded Healers"--reflecting upon how Christ, the one wounded and bruised for us, is able to have His blood and living water flow to our souls. We also, where we have been wounded and been comforted of God, are in turn able to share with others the healing that Christ has brought to us. In this way our wounds and trials, though painful, can become some of the greatest blessings of our lives, for through them God gives us opportunity to understand His character better and to share His love with others who are hurting in ways that we have been comforted by God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-7
3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.
7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

"Never should we pass by one suffering soul without seeking to impart to him of the comfort wherewith we are comforted of God." {The Desire of Ages, page 505, paragraph 0}
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}