Think about this: before sin, there was no need of grace because there was nothing to forgive, nothing to pardon, nothing to cover. It’s the same with judgment. Before sin, there was nothing to judge, nothing to condemn, nothing to be punished. Both grace and judgment arise, at least in a human context, only because of humanity’s sin.1
Read Genesis 3, the account of the Fall. In what ways are both themes, that of judgment and grace, revealed?
Satan succeeded in bringing sin [...]
The theme of judgment, divine judgment, runs through the entire Bible. And contrary to common beliefs, judgment is not contrary to salvation or to the gospel. Indeed, both themes are woven together in Scripture from Genesis through Revelation.1
And no wonder. Judgment and salvation reflect twin aspects of God’s character: His justice and grace. Thus, we should not pit the idea of judgment against the idea of salvation any more than we should pit the idea of God’s justice against His [...]
Read for This Week’s Study: 1 Cor. 3:13; 2 Cor. 5:10; Genesis 3, 6; John 3:17–21; Rev. 14:6, 7.
“For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14).
Key Thought: God’s judgment is as pervasive in the Bible as is the theme of salvation; in fact, the two teachings are intricately entwined.
A soldier stood next to an old man about to be executed. He was guilty of being the “wrong” race and religion, nothing more. [...]
“Oh, how inefficient, how incapable I am of expressing the things which burn in my soul in reference to the mission of Christ! . . . I know not how to speak or trace with pen the large subject of the atoning sacrifice. I know not how to present subjects in the living power in which they stand before me. I tremble for fear lest I shall belittle the great plan of salvation by cheap words.”—Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 3, p. [...]
I was a typical Soviet youth—ambitious and skeptical. When the Soviet Union broke up, I opened my own business.
One day Natasha, my wife, met a woman who invited us to evangelistic meetings sponsored by Adventists. I had heard of Adventists and believed that they were honest people. So when Natasha came home from the first meeting excited about what she heard, I agreed to go to the meetings with her.
As I listened to the speaker, my youthful skepticism melted [...]
Nothing is more destructive to our grasp of the atonement of Christ than the sentimentality that sometimes passes for Christianity in our day (all in the attempt to make the gospel conform to modern thinking). However, we must ever humbly acknowledge that anything we say about God can never do God justice, especially when we consider the atonement. We must avoid the temptation to reduce Jesus’ death on the cross to merely an “example of selfless love.” It was certainly [...]
Despite the astounding miracle of Christ’s incarnation, His profound teaching, and the miracles He performed, these are not the central focus of Christ’s life. Instead, what dominates the thinking of Jesus is the giving of His life. As miraculous as His birth and ministry were, the great mission of Christ’s life was His death.1
In the four Gospels, we find Jesus endeavoring to prepare His disciples for His coming death. However, their devotion to Jesus, coupled with their hope for a [...]
On the famous road to Emmaus, Jesus taught the two despairing disciples about the atonement from “Moses and all the prophets” (Luke 24:27). What prophetic materials might Jesus have included in His study of the Atonement? 1
It’s very likely that among the prophets Jesus would have referred to, Isaiah was one.
Read Isaiah 53, which describes the “suffering Servant.” Describe the details included there that help you more fully grasp the amazing atonement of Christ.
Though so much exists in this chapter, one point stands [...]
When is the first promise of salvation given, and what does it mean? Gen. 3:15. 1
The language here is striking. Adam and Eve have sinned. Now the great controversy is announced to them through the strong language of “enmity” between two opposing sides. This is a precious promise for human hearts now attracted to sin. We are also assured that this major conflict will not be eternal, for the head of the enemy will one day be crushed. In these verses, not [...]
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). What is this text saying to us? 1
At the cross, in the most humiliating, inconceivable manner imaginable, God triumphs over and shames the enemy. Love, justice and compassion fuse in a singular dynamic act. God forgives sinners by paying in Himself the price of sin and absorbing into His own suffering Self the penalty of that sin. On Calvary, God reveals how extremely [...]