Inside Story: The Newspaper Ad
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Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

Alexei scanned the classified ads of his local newspaper in Siberia, Russia.

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

He wanted to be sure that his ad for home improvements was attractive and his prices competitive. His eyes fell on the religious section of classified ads. The ads there offered to tell people’s fortunes or read their palms. So many ads for Satan, and not one for Christ, Alexei thought. He grabbed a paper and scribbled the words, “I will tell you about [...]

Thursday: Confession’s Healing Power
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Image © Janet Hyun from GoodSalt.com

Confession lances the boil of guilt and allows the poisonous pus of sin to drain. Confession is healing in many ways.

Image © Janet Hyun from GoodSalt.com

It opens our hearts to receive God’s grace. Through confession we accept the forgiveness that Christ freely offers us from the Cross. Confession is healing because it allows us to receive grace. Confession also breaks down barriers between us and other people. It heals relationships.

Read Psalm 32:1-8. What does this teach us about confession and [...]

Wednesday: True and False Repentance Contrasted
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Image © Providence Collection from GoodSalt.com

There are some very specific examples in the Bible of people who sought repentance but were not forgiven by God. They wept.

Image © Providence Collection from GoodSalt.com

They were sorrowful. They confessed their sin but were not forgiven.

Read the accounts of Pharaoh, Balaam, Esau, and Judas in Exodus 12:29-32, Numbers 22:32-35, Hebrews 12:17, and Matthew 27:4. What common thread do you see running through each story in regard to repentance and/or confession?

One phrase in Hebrews 12:17, NKJV , sums it up well. Speaking of Esau, the passage says [...]

Tuesday: True Repentance and Confession
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What spiritual principles do we learn from Leviticus 5:5; 1 John 1:9; Isaiah 1:16-18; and Acts 26:19-20 regarding the nature of true repentance and confession?

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Genuine repentance is always accompanied by confession of specific sins. The Holy Spirit does not give us vague feelings of guilt. He convicts us of our definite shortcomings.

“True confession is always of a specific character, and acknowledges particular sins. They may be of such a nature as to be brought before God only; they may be [...]

Monday: True Repentance Defined
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Image © David Sorensen from GoodSalt.com

How does the apostle Paul describe true repentance? 2 Cor. 7:9-11.

Repentance is a God-initiated sorrow for sin. It also includes a decision to forsake whatever specific sins that the Holy Spirit brings to mind (Ezek. 14:6, Zech. 1:4). Genuine repentance does not lead Christians into a state of deep depression because of their sinful natures or deeds. “Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation” (2 Cor. 7:10, NKJV). It leads us, instead, to focus on Jesus’ righteousness, not our sinfulness. It produces a “diligence” in [...]

Sunday: Repentance: God’s Gift
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

During the weeks before Pentecost, the disciples earnestly sought God in prayer.

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Acts 1:14 says that they were in “one accord in prayer and supplication.” This experience of “one accord” reveals a strong unity and harmony among Christ’s followers that would not have been possible without repentance and confession. Prayer and confession prepared them for what was going to come.

Read Acts 5:30-32. What important points can we take from what Peter said here?

Peter makes two critical points. [...]

Sabbath:Confession and Repentance: The Conditions of Revival
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Read for This Week’s Study: Acts 5:30-32, 2 Cor. 7:9-11, Lev. 5:5, 1 John 1:9, Heb. 12:17, Ps. 32:1-8.

Memory Text: “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy”(Proverbs 28:13, NKJV).

Throughout Scripture, both repentance and confession have prepared the way for spiritual revival. God has always prepared His people to do a great work for Him by leading them to godly sorrow for their sins. Once we acknowledge our sins and confess them, we are on track to [...]

Further Study: Obedience: The Fruit of Revival
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“At the entrance gate of the path that leads to everlasting life God places faith, and He lines the whole way with the light and peace and joy of willing obedience. The traveler in this way keeps ever before him the mark of his high calling in Christ. The prize is ever in sight. To him God’s commands are righteousness and joy and peace in the Holy Spirit.”-Ellen G. White, In Heavenly Places, p. 183.

“The promise of the Holy Spirit is [...]

Inside Story: A New Leaf
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Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

Danilo paced the floor in anger. What right does Mom have to send me away? he asked himself. She hasn’t been here for me for years.

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

Danilo’s parents had divorced when he was 5. He and his brother lived with his father, who drank heavily. By the time Danilo was12, he was drinking, too. Then friends offered him cocaine, and soon he was hooked. He started selling cocaine to pay for his own drugs. When his mother found [...]

Thursday: Spirit-Led Obedience
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The Holy Spirit played a major role in every aspect of Jesus’ life. He was “conceived of the Holy Spirit” (NKJV) at birth and “anointed . . . with the Holy Spirit and with power” (NKJV) at baptism-the birth of His ministry (Matt. 1:20; 3:16-17; Acts 10:34-38). Throughout Christ’s life, He was obedient to the Father’s will (John 8:29, Heb. 10:7).

Read Philippians 2:5-8. What aspects of a life filled with the Holy Spirit appear in this specific description of Jesus?

He who was “in the form,” [...]