Sunday: The Gospel in the Old Testament
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For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith (Heb. 4:2, NIV).

This verse is startling in its implications. Foremost is that the gospel, not simply good news but the good news, was preached in the Old Testament. Second, it was preached then just as in New Testament times. There is no hint that there […]

Sabbath: The Everlasting Gospel
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Read for This Week’s Study: Heb. 4:2; Ps. 130:3-4; Luke 15:11-32; Rom. 3:24-26; Heb. 10:1-4; Rev. 14:12.

Memory Text: The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you (Jeremiah 31:3, NKJV).

In our study of James, we have looked at a number of issues connected with the gospel and made some comparisons with other biblical authors. It is not always easy to understand clearly […]

Inside Story: Under Arrest! Part 1
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Giovanni Zaldivar

My pastor was planning to hold evangelistic meetings. He printed some invitation cards for members to give their friends to remind them of the meetings. He urged everyone to invite their families, friends, and neighbors, and we young people of the church wanted to be included.

At that time Cuba’s government was more strict about religion than it is now. People could attend church and worship God, but the government didn’t want churches trying to convert people to their […]

Friday: Further Study: Prayer, Healing, Restoration
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Further Study: Read Ellen G. White, Prayer for the Sick, p. 225-233, in The Ministry of Healing;Snares of Satan, p. 518-523, in The Great Controversy.

“Christ . . . asks us to become one with Him for the saving of humanity. Freely ye have received, He says,freely give. Matt. 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. […]

Thursday: Restoration and Forgiveness
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Image © Darrel Tank from GoodSalt.com

God’s Spirit worked through Elijah to restore the relationship between Israel and Himself. But most of Elijah’s work was not on Mount Carmel. That was just the beginning! He carried it forward in small villages and homes and in training future spiritual leaders through the schools of the prophets to multiply his work of revival and reform.

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Read James 5:19-20. How does the work described here compare with the work done by Elijah, John […]

Wednesday: Models of Prayer
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Read James 5:17-18. What do we learn about prayer from Elijah’s example? How is it connected with healing, forgiveness, and restoration?

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These verses illustrate the assurance given at the end of James 5:16: the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much (NASB). Elijah was a righteous man and even translated to heaven, but he was not superhuman. He had the same passions and feelings that we have. The fact that God heard […]

Tuesday: Healing for the Soul
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

More important than the healing of the body is the healing of the soul. Our purpose is not, after all, to make people healthier sinners but to point them to the eternal life found in Jesus. Perhaps that is why the only clear reference to healing in the passage for this week is our memory text in James 2:16, which moves away from the hypothetical situations dealt with in verses 13-15. The word for healing in this verse (iaomai) can […]

Monday: Prayer for the Sick
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Read James 5:14-15. What are the essential elements James prescribes for anointing the sick, and what important spiritual components are found in these texts?

The fact that the sick person calls for the elders of the church to come and anoint him or her with oil in the name of the Lord and pray expresses the spiritual desire of the individual and the collective conviction that divine intervention is needed for healing (Mark 6:13). The reference to the forgiveness of sins […]

Sunday: The Essential Christian Toolkit
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Read James 5:13. What interesting contrast is he presenting here? How do we apply these admonitions to our own experiences?

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Though dealing with two different things (suffering, cheerfulness), James links them with prayer and praise: pray when you are suffering, praise when you are cheerful. The two practices are not that different from each other, however, because many biblical psalms of praise are also prayers, and James begins the epistle urging readers to consider […]

Sabbath: Prayer, Healing, and Restoration
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Read for This Week’s Study: James 5:13-20; 1 John 5:14; 1 Cor. 15:54; Heb. 12:12-13; John 8:43-45; Prov. 10:12.

Memory Text: Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much (James 5:16, NASB).

People are fascinated by the miraculous and the magical. They often are drawn to such things as spectacles or matters of curiosity and nothing more. So, when […]