Sabbath, May 22, 2004
“And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness.” Isaiah 35:8.
“Thy way is in the sea, and Thy path in the great waters, and Thy footsteps are not known. Thou leddest Thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.” Psalm 77:19, 20.
“Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way.” Proverbs 15:10.
• To emphasize the need of faith in Jesus as an essential step that leads to the way of redemption.
• To understand how we may be freed from the slavery of sin and condemnation.
• To become more sanctified daily through constant communion with Jesus.
• To discover the value of our talents and spiritual gifts in order to develop them use them for the benefit of the church.
ACCEPTANCE OF JESUS
1. What should be our sincere wish if we want to meet the Lord and remain in an intimate relationship with Him?
Jeremiah 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
2. What is the only way of truth that leads us to life?
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
“There are many who seem to feel that they have a great work to do themselves before they can come to Christ for His salvation. They seem to think that Jesus will come in at the very last of their struggle, and give them help by putting the finishing touch to their lifework. It seems difficult for them to understand that Christ is a complete Saviour, and able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him. They lose sight of the fact that Christ Himself is ‘the way, the truth, and the life.’ “ – Selected Messages, vol. 3, p. 181.
“Many are losing the right way, in consequence of thinking that they must climb to heaven, that they must do something to merit the favor of God. They seek to make themselves better by their own unaided efforts. This they can never accomplish. Christ has made the way by dying our Sacrifice, by living our Example, by becoming our great High Priest. He declares, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life’ (John 14:6). If by any effort of our own we could advance one step toward the ladder, the words of Christ would not be true.” – Faith and Works, p. 102.
THE WAY OF FAITH
3. With what do the steps to heaven begin with?
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
James 1:6-8 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
4. How can we be saved from condemnation, and how do we go about receiving the white garment of justification?
Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
Romans 8:1-4 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
“Pardon and justification are one and the same thing. Through faith, the believer passes from the position of a rebel, a child of sin and Satan, to the position of a loyal subject of Christ Jesus, not because of an inherent goodness, but because Christ receives him as His child by adoption. The sinner receives the forgiveness of his sins, because these sins are borne by his Substitute and Surety.… Thus man, pardoned, and clothed with the beautiful garments of Christ’s righteousness, stands faultless before God.” – Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1070.
5. What are the signs that assure us that have made this experience?
John 10:1-10 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
John 8:32, 36 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Romans 6:16-18 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
“But while God can be just, and yet justify the sinner through the merits of Christ, no man can cover his soul with the garments of Christ’s righteousness while practicing known sins, or neglecting known duties. God requires the entire surrender of the heart, before justification can take place; and in order for man to retain justification, there must be continual obedience, through active, living fait that works by love and purifies the soul.” – Faith and Works, p. 100.
SANCTIFICATION AND LIFE IN JESUS
6. After justification by faith, what other gift does the Lord give to those who belong to Him?
1 Corinthians 1:30But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
“No man receives holiness as a birthright, or as a gift from any other human being. Holiness is the gift of God through Christ. Those who receive the Saviour become sons of God. They are His spiritual children, born again, renewed in righteousness and true holiness. Their minds are changed. With clearer vision they behold eternal realities. They are adopted into God’s family, and they become conformed to His likeness, changed by His Spirit from glory to glory. From cherishing supreme love for self, they come to cherish supreme love for God and for Christ.…
“Accepting Christ as a personal Saviour, and following His example of self-denial–this is the secret of holiness.” – Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1117.
HOW CAN YOU PERSONALLY GAIN THE VICTORY OVER YOUR SINS?
7. What blessing and sign does the Lord give to His beloved children for the benefit of the church?
1 Corinthians 12:4- 11 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
Matthew 25:14, 15 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
“To every man is given his work; not one is excused. Each has a part to act according to his capacity; and it devolves upon the one who presents the truth to carefully and prayerfully learn the ability of all who accept the truth, and then to instruct them and lead them along, step by step, letting them realize the burden of responsibility resting upon them to do the work that God has for them to do.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 397.
VICTORY THROUGH JESUS
8. What does God promise to those who remain steadfast in the way that leads to holiness until the end?
2 Timothy 4:7, 8 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
Revelation 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
9. What will be the joyful song sung and the garment worn by the overcomers?
Revelation 15:2, 3 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.
Revelation 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
• Have you been freed from the slavery of sin and experienced peace and joy in the Lord?
• By taking as your example the life of Jesus, have you progressed in the way of holiness?
• Do you know what your spiritual gifts are and how to use them wisely to be a blessing for the church?
• Have you considered what will happen to those who don’t use the gifts that have been entrusted to them and don’t bring forth fruits?