Sabbath, October 10, 2015
“Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” Romans 3:24-26. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8.
Unable to stand
1. What illustration do the Scriptures give of man’s nature? If the Lord were to deal with him according to his ideas and behavior, would a person be able to stand?
Psalm 103:14; 130:3 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust…. 130:3If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?
“Our heavenly Father requires no more nor less than He has given us ability to do. He lays upon His servants no burdens that they are not able to bear. ‘He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust.’ Psalm 103:14. All that He claims from us we through divine grace can render.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 362.
“Now when you can no longer be active, and infirmities press upon you, all that God requires of you is to trust Him. Commit the keeping of your soul to Him as unto a faithful Creator. His mercies are sure, His covenant is everlasting. Happy is the man whose hope is in the Lord his God, who keepeth truth forever. Let your mind grasp the promises and hold to them. If you cannot call to mind readily the rich assurance contained in the precious promises, listen to them from the lips of another. What fullness, what love and assurance are found in these words from the lips of God Himself, proclaiming His love, His pity and interest in the children of His care.” –Selected Messages, book 2, p. 231.
Divine treasures to discover
2. Completely different from man’s nature, what is God’s character? Because He is so gracious, how does He deal with our shortcomings and with us?
Exodus 34:6, 7 And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
Psalm 103:10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
“It was when Moses was hidden in the cleft of the rock that he beheld the glory of God. It is when we hide in the riven Rock that Christ will cover us with His own pierced hand, and we shall hear what the Lord saith unto His servants. To us as to Moses, God will reveal Himself as ‘merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.’ Exodus 34:6, 7.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 162.
“The Lord is full of compassion for His suffering ones. What sins are too great for His pardon? He is merciful, and as such is infinitely more ready and more pleased to pardon than to condemn. He is gracious, not looking for wrong in us; He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are but dust. In His boundless compassion and mercy He heals all our backslidings, loving us freely while we are yet sinners, withdrawing not His light, but shining on us for Christ’s sake.” –Selected Messages, book 2, p. 231.
The plan of redemption
3. Because of His love and mercy, what did He establish before the foundation of the world? What appeared in the fullness of time?
Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.
Galatians 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.
“In heaven’s council the hour for the coming of Christ had been determined. When the great clock of time pointed to that hour, Jesus was born in Bethlehem…. Providence had directed the movements of nations, and the tide of human impulse and influence, until the world was ripe for the coming of the Deliverer….” –The Desire of Ages, p. 32.
“We ourselves owe everything to God’s free grace. Grace in the covenant ordained our adoption. Grace in the Saviour effected our redemption, our regeneration, and our exaltation to heirship with Christ. Let this grace be revealed to others.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 250.
The high price paid by mercy
4. What high price was paid to redeem man from his iniquity? How far will the Lord remove every confessed transgression?
Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
Micah 7:19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
“In giving His only-begotten Son to die for sinners, God has manifested to fallen man love that is without a parallel.” –Selected Messages, book 1, p. 311.
“ ‘Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted.’ Let this thought be kept uppermost. In labor for the erring, let every eye be directed to Christ. Let the shepherds have a tender care for the flock of the Lord’s pasture. Let them speak to the erring of the forgiving mercy of the Saviour. Let them encourage the sinner to repent, and believe in Him who can pardon. Let them declare, on the authority of God’s word, ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ 1 John 1:9. All who repent have the assurance, ‘He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.’ Micah 7:19.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 806.
Grace and justification
5. What other blessing is granted by grace to all who have faith in Jesus? In addition to forgiveness, what does justification encompass?
Romans 3:24; 4:16, first part Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:… 4:16Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed;…
“Abundant grace has been provided that the believing soul may be kept free from sin; for all heaven, with its limitless resources, has been placed at our command. We are to draw from the well of salvation. Christ is the end of law for righteousness to everyone who believeth. In ourselves we are sinners; but in Christ we are righteous. Having made us righteous through the imputed righteousness of Christ, God pronounces us just, and treats us as just. He looks upon us as His dear children. Christ works against the power of sin, and where sin abounded, grace much more abounds. ‘Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.’ Romans 5:1, 2.” –Selected Messages, book 1, p. 394.
Grace and salvation
6. What will be the final result of the Lord’s grace? Therefore, what can the redeemed look forward to?
Ephesians 2:8, 7 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:… 7That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Titus 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
“Ample provision has been made for all who sincerely, earnestly, and thoughtfully set about the work of perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Strength and grace have been provided through Christ, to be brought by ministering angels to the heirs of salvation. None are so low, so corrupt and vile, that they cannot find in Jesus, who died for them, strength and purity and righteousness, if they will put away their sins, turn from their course of iniquity, and with full purpose of heart seek the living God. He is waiting to take away their stained garments, polluted by sin, and to put upon them the pure robe of His righteousness, to bid them live and not die. In Him, as branches of the Living Vine, they may flourish. Their boughs will not wither nor be fruitless. If they abide in Him, they can draw nourishment from Him, be imbued with His spirit, walk as He walked, overcome as He overcame, and be exalted to His own right hand.” –Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, p. 140.
A gracious invitation
7. Having this wonderful certainty, what is everyone invited to do? What is possible through the blood of Christ?
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Psalm 86:5 For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.
Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.
“The conditions of obtaining mercy of God are simple and just and reasonable. The Lord does not require us to do some grievous thing in order that we may have the forgiveness of sin. We need not make long and wearisome pilgrimages or perform painful penances, to commend our souls to the God of heaven or to expiate our transgression; but he that confesseth and forsaketh his sin shall have mercy. This is a precious promise, given to fallen man to encourage him to trust in the God of love and to seek for eternal life in His kingdom.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 635.
“With the trusting faith of a little child, we are to come to our heavenly Father, telling Him of all our needs. He is always ready to pardon and help. The supply of divine wisdom is inexhaustible, and the Lord encourages us to draw largely from it.” –Sons and Daughters of God, p. 121.
For additional study
“The redemption of the soul is precious. Christ has paid an infinite price for our salvation, and no one who appreciates the value of this great sacrifice or the worth of the soul will despise God’s offered mercy because others choose to do so.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 162.
“Grace is unmerited favor, and the believer is justified without any merit of his own, without any claim to offer to God. He is justified through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, who stands in the courts of heaven as the sinner’s substitute and surety. But while he is justified because of the merit of Christ, he is not free to work unrighteousness.” –Selected Messages, book 1, p. 398.