Tuesday: The Ordinance of Humility
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Image © Erik Stenbakken from GoodSalt.com

It’s hard to imagine the pain that must have been going on in the heart of Jesus as He – about to face the Cross, the greatest humiliation possible – saw the jealousy and infighting among His own disciples over who would be the greatest in His kingdom. Read Luke 22:24-27 (see also Matt. 18:1, 20:21). What crucial truth … [Click to read more …]

Monday: Baptism
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Image © Ain Vares from GoodSalt.com

The New Testament uses several images to describe what baptism means. First, baptism symbolizes a spiritual union with Christ (Rom. 6:3-8), involving participation in His suffering, death, and resurrection, as well as the renunciation of one’s former lifestyle. In this way, baptism is linked with repentance and the forgiveness of sin (Acts 2:38); the new birth and … [Click to read more …]

Sunday: Naming the Sacred Rites
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During the early stages of the Christian church, believers in the eastern part of the church, where Greek was the common language, used the word mysterion, ‘mystery’, to describe Christian sacred rites. In the West, where Latin predominated, the term employed was sacrament (Latin, ‘sacramentum”). A sacramentum was an oath that a Roman soldier swore, declaring his obedience to the commander’s … [Click to read more …]

Sabbath: The Church: Rites and Rituals
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Read for This Week’s Study: Matt. 28:19-20; Rom. 6:3-8; Matt. 26:26-28; John 13:1-17; 1 Cor. 11:24-26. Memory Text: “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’” (Acts 2:38, NKJV). Key Thought: God has instituted ordinances that, … [Click to read more …]

Further Study: The Church: In Service to Humanity
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Read Raoul Dederen, “The Church,” pp. 538-581, in Raoul Dederen (ed.), Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology; Ellen G. White, “‘Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me,’” pp. 361-364, in Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers; “The Church the Light of the World,” pp. 455-467, in Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5. “If a man is sanguine of his … [Click to read more …]

Inside Story: A Changed Heart
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Fourteen-year-old Veresa [veh-REH-sah] listened as the doctor spoke to his parents. “Veresa has a hole in his heart. But surgery can repair his heart and help him live a normal life.” Veresa tried not to worry about the surgery; he just wanted to be well. Veresa’s surgery was a success. His parents couldn’t stay with … [Click to read more …]

Thursday: Governance of the Church
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Governance means getting things done. This is true of general social life, and it is also true of church life. Governance also involves organization, which means the organizing of things into a functioning, coherent whole with rules, regulations, and structures designed to facilitate a task at hand. Authority is also critical to governance. At the … [Click to read more …]

Wednesday: Unity of the Church
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Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com

The church-depicted as the “called out” of God, the “people of God,” the “body of Christ” and the “temple of the Holy Spirit” – is fitted for service or mission. Unity is essential to the church because without it the church cannot successfully accomplish its mission. It is no wonder that the issue of unity … [Click to read more …]

Tuesday: The Mission of the Church
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Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

The church as ‘the body of Christ’ means that the church is to do what Christ would do if He were still on the earth ‘bodily’. It is for this reason that the church as an ‘assembly’ has been called out. The church does not simply have a mission; the church is mission. Read Matthew 28:19-20. How does … [Click to read more …]

Monday: Nature of the Church: Part 2
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Image © Rolf Jansson from GoodSalt.com

Besides the word ecclesia itself, the New Testament describes the church with several images that further explain its nature and function. Today we will look at just two crucial concepts regarding the church: the church as the people of God and the church as the body of Christ. 1. The “people of God” as a concept is applied … [Click to read more …]