Lesson 12 – Personal Examination

Lesson 12 – Personal Examination2016-11-27T17:37:06+00:00

Sabbath, September 16, 2006

INTRODUCTION

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13.

MEANS FOR A BETTER PERSONAL EXAMINATION

1. To whom does the law speak? According to the inspired word, is there anyone who is not guilty before God?
Romans 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
Psalm 53:3 Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

“The whole world stands condemned before the great moral standard of righteousness. In the great day of judgment every soul that has lived on the earth will receive sentence in accordance as to whether his deeds have been good or evil in the light of the law of God. … Sinners will stand condemned before the cross, with its mysterious Victim bowing beneath the infinite burden of human transgression. How quickly will be swept away every subterfuge, every lying excuse.” –S.D.A. Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1069.

2. To what extent can the law help us, and what are its limitations?
Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
James 1:23-25 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

“The law has no power to pardon the transgressor, but it points him to Christ Jesus, who says to him, I will take your sin and bear it Myself, if you will accept Me as your substitute and surety. Return to your allegiance, and I will impute to you My righteousness.” –S.D.A. Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1109.

APPLICATION OF THE WORD

3. What benefit does the psalmist see in one’s constantly meditating upon the law?
Psalms 1:1-3 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

“The word describes the blessed man as one meditating day and night upon the truths of God’s word. We all are to feast upon the word of God. The relation of the word to the believer is a vital matter. Appropriating the word to our spiritual necessities is the eating of the leaves of the tree of life that are for the healing of the nations. Study the word, and practice the word, for it is your life.” –Counsels on Sabbath School Work, p. 44.

“The Bible is its own expositor. Scripture is to be compared with scripture. The student should learn to view the word as a whole, and to see the relation of its parts.” –Education, p. 190.

4. What should always follow the study of God’s word?
Luke 11:28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

“The Bible is the best book in the world for giving intellectual culture. Its study taxes the mind, strengthens the memory, and sharpens the intellect more than the study of all the subjects that human philosophy embraces. …

“Guard jealously your hours for prayer, Bible study, and self-examination. Set aside a portion of each day for a study of the Scriptures and communion with God. Thus you will obtain spiritual strength, and will grow in favor with God.” –Gospel Workers, p. 100.

HUMAN INCAPACITY TO OBEY GOD

5. What did the nation of Israel promise to God at the foot of Mount Sinai?
Exodus 19:8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord.
Exodus 24:3, 7 And Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do… And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.

6. Yet what happened just a few weeks later? What did they fail to realize when they promised to be faithful to God’s commandments?
Exodus 32:1, 4 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him… And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

“The people did not realize the sinfulness of their own hearts, and that without Christ it was impossible for them to keep God’s law; and they readily entered into covenant with God. Feeling that they were able to establish their own righteousness, they declared, ‘All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.’ Exodus 24:7. They had witnessed the proclamation of the law in awful majesty, and had trembled with terror before the mount; and yet only a few weeks passed before they broke their covenant with God, and bowed down to worship a graven image.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 371, 372

JUSTIFICATION NOT OBTAINED BY THE LAW

7. Although one may have good intentions, what is the inevitable result when a person tries to obey God’s holy requirements in his own strength?
Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

“The law reveals to man his sins, but it provides no remedy. While it promises life to the obedient, it declares that death is the portion of the transgressor. The gospel of Christ alone can free him from the condemnation or the defilement of sin. He must exercise repentance toward God, whose law has been transgressed, and faith in Christ, his atoning sacrifice. Thus he obtains ‘remission of sins that are past,’ and becomes a partaker of the divine nature.”
–The Great Controversy, pp. 467, 468.

8. How is this failure called in the Scriptures?
1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

THOUGHT QUESTIONS

• How often do I go with repentant heart to the feet of Jesus, to confess Him my sins calling them by their name and to be justified by the blood of Jesus?
• What in me the thought that I am justified by faith and by grace?

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