Sabbath, September 23, 2017
“While we know Christ in one sense, that He is the Saviour of the world, it means more than this. We must have a personal knowledge and experience in Christ Jesus, an experimental knowledge of Christ, what He is to us, and what we are to Christ. That is the experience that everyone wants. Now, I cannot have it for any of you, nor can you have it for me. The work that is to be done for us, is to be through the manifestation of the Holy Spirit of God upon human minds and human hearts. The heart must be purified and sanctified.” –This Day with God, p. 213.
Promises of salvation
1. What wonderful promise did the Lord give centuries ago to fill human hearts with joy and hope?
Isaiah 49:6; 56:1 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth…. 56:1Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.
“God has spoken in the plainest language upon every subject that affects the salvation of the soul.” –Selected Messages, book 1, p. 162.
“In the words, ‘I am the light of the world,’ Jesus declared Himself the Messiah. The aged Simeon, in the temple where Christ was now teaching, had spoken of Him as ‘a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel.’ Luke 2:32. In these words he was applying to Him a prophecy familiar to all Israel. By the prophet Isaiah, the Holy Spirit had declared, ‘It is too light a thing that Thou shouldest be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give Thee for a light to the Gentiles, that Thou mayest be My salvation unto the end of the earth.’ Isaiah 49:6, R.V. This prophecy was generally understood as spoken of the Messiah, and when Jesus said, ‘I am the light of the world,’ the people could not fail to recognize His claim to be the Promised One.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 465.
Redeemer of the world
2. Through whom does the Lord accomplish the great work of redemption? How did Jesus express this when He spoke about His mission in the world?
Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
John 12:47; 3:17 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world…. 3:17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
“Christ came to bring salvation within the reach of all. Upon the cross of Calvary He paid the infinite redemption price for a lost world. His self-denial and self-sacrifice, His unselfish labor, His humiliation, above all, the offering up of His life, testifies to the depth of His love for fallen man. It was to seek and to save the lost that He came to earth. His mission was to sinners, sinners of every grade, of every tongue and nation. He paid the price for all, to ransom them and bring them into union and sympathy with Himself. The most erring, the most sinful, were not passed by; His labors were especially for those who most needed the salvation He came to bring. The greater their need of reform, the deeper was His interest, the greater His sympathy, and the more earnest His labors. His great heart of love was stirred to its depths for the ones whose condition was most hopeless and who most needed His transforming grace.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 603.
“It is when Christ is received as a personal Saviour that salvation comes to the soul.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 556.
Redeemed by His blood
3. What is more precious than gold and silver, by which we are redeemed?
Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.
1 Peter 1:18, 19 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.
“It is now the day of His salvation. The light from the cross of Calvary is now shining forth in clear, bright rays, revealing Jesus, our Sacrifice for sin. As you read the promises which I have set before you, remember they are the expression of unutterable love and pity. The great heart of infinite Love is drawn toward the sinner with boundless compassion. ‘We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.’ Yes, only believe that God is your helper. He wants to restore His moral image in man. As you draw nigh to Him with confession and repentance, He will draw nigh to you with mercy and forgiveness. We owe the Lord everything. He is the author of our salvation. As you work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, ‘it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.’ ” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 634.
Salvation from sin
4. From what infectious, deadly malady do we find healing, because of the redeeming grace of Jesus Christ?
Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
1 John 3:5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
“Christ ‘gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.’ Titus 2:14. He made an offering so complete that through His grace every one may reach the standard of perfection. Of those who receive His grace and follow His example it will be written in the book of life, ‘Complete in Him–without spot or stain.’ ” –In Heavenly Places, p. 7.
“The infinite mercy and love of Jesus, the sacrifice made in our behalf, call for most serious and solemn reflection. We should dwell upon the character of our dear Redeemer and Intercessor. We should seek to comprehend the meaning of the plan of salvation. We should meditate upon the mission of Him who came to save His people from their sins. By constantly contemplating heavenly themes our faith and love will grow stronger.” –Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, p. 406.
Free from condemnation
5. Despite all the mistakes and sins we commit in life, from what does the Lord free us in His great mercy?
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
“It is the privilege of everyone so to live that God will approve and bless him. It is not the will of our heavenly Father that we should be ever under condemnation and darkness. There is no evidence of true humility in going with the head bowed down and the heart filled with thoughts of self. We may go to Jesus and be cleansed, and stand before the law without shame and remorse. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’ Romans 8:1.” –The Great Controversy, p. 477.
Saved from death
6. Besides the stain of sin and subsequent condemnation, from what frightening end will the Lord free every individual who comes to Him?
Psalm 49:15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me.
Hosea 13:14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.
1 Corinthians 15:54, 55 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
“Christ claims all those as His who have believed in His name. The vitalizing power of the Spirit of Christ dwelling in the mortal body binds every believing soul to Jesus Christ. Those who believe in Jesus are sacred to His heart; for their life is hid with Christ in God….
“What a glorious morning will the resurrection morning be! What a wonderful scene will open when Christ shall come to be admired of them that believe! All who were partakers with Christ in His humiliation and sufferings will be partakers with Him in His glory. By the resurrection of Christ from the dead every believing saint who falls asleep in Jesus will come forth from his prison house in triumph. The resurrected saint will proclaim, ‘O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?’ 1 Corinthians 15:55….
“Jesus Christ has triumphed over death and rent the fetters of the tomb, and all who sleep in the tomb will share the victory; they will come forth from their graves as did the Conqueror….” –Selected Messages, book 2, pp. 271, 272.
He will return and save His children
7. In view of all these blessings, to what wonderful event does every child of God direct his attention and hope?
Isaiah 25:9 And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
John 10:10, last part, 28 … I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly…. 28And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
“Jesus is coming … in the glory of the Father, and with all the retinue of holy angels with Him, to escort Him on His way to earth. All heaven will be emptied of the angels. The waiting saints will be looking for Him, and gazing into heaven, as were the ‘men of Galilee’ when He ascended from the Mount of Olivet. Then, those only who are holy, those who have followed fully the meek Pattern will, with rapturous joy, exclaim as they behold Him, ‘Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us.’ And they will be changed ‘in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump,’ that wakes the sleeping saints, and calls them forth from their dusty beds, clothed with glorious immortality, shouting, Victory! Victory! over death and the grave.” –Sons and Daughters of God, p. 360.
For additional study
“We cannot earn salvation, but we are to seek for it with as much interest and perseverance as though we would abandon everything in the world for it.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 117.
“What a representation is here given! ‘My salvation is near to come’–that great salvation wrought out for each soul through Jesus Christ, the salvation for which the prophets have inquired and searched diligently. Our Lord is soon to come to us in mercy and compassion and love. We must go forth to receive Him as a welcome guest.” –Loma Linda Messages, p. 87.
“The more we contemplate the character of Christ, and the more we experience of His saving power, the more keenly shall we realize our own weakness and imperfection, and the more earnestly shall we look to Him as our strength and our Redeemer. We have no power in ourselves to cleanse the soul temple from its defilement; but as we repent of our sins against God, and seek pardon through the merits of Christ, He will impart that faith which works by love and purifies the heart. By faith in Christ and obedience to the law of God we may be sanctified, and thus obtain a fitness for the society of holy angels and the white-robed redeemed ones in the kingdom of glory.” –The Sanctified Life, p. 83