Further Study: Justification by Faith Alone
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future_study

“The danger has been presented to me again and again of entertaining, as a people, false ideas of justification by faith. I have been shown for years that Satan would work in a special manner to confuse the mind on this point. The law of God has been largely dwelt upon and has been presented to congregations, almost as destitute of the knowledge of Jesus Christ and His relation to the law as was the offering of Cain. I have [...]

Inside Story: Those Dreaded Adventists
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IS 10-21

Rudy Micelli grew up in a musical Christian family in Brazil. He’s sung praises to God since he was a child. Often he would pretend to sing along with a favorite recording, and as he grew older, singing for God became his passion.

While studying some religion classes, Rudy took a class on cults. There Rudy’s teacher warned of many cults, including the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. “Adventists perform blood rituals in their worship,” the teacher said. “They are dangerous and should [...]

Thursday: Does Faith Promote Sin?
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10-20

One of the main accusations against Paul was that his gospel of justification by faith alone encouraged people to sin (see Rom. 3:8,6:1). No doubt the accusers reasoned that if people do not have to keep the law to be accepted by God, why should they be concerned with how they live?

How does Paul respond to the accusation that a doctrine of justification by faith alone encourages sinful behavior? Gal. 2:17, 18. 

Paul responds to his opponents’ charges in the strongest terms possible: “God [...]

Wednesday: The Obedience of Faith
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10-19

Paul makes it clear that faith absolutely is foundational to the Christian life. It is the means by which we lay hold of the promises we have in Christ. But what is faith exactly? What does it involve?

What do the following texts teach us about the origin of faith? Gen. 15:5, 6; John 3:14–16; 2 Cor. 5:14, 15; Gal. 5:6. 

Genuine biblical faith is always a response to God. Faith is not some kind of feeling or attitude that humans one day decide to have because [...]

Tuesday: The Basis of Our Justification
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10-18

“And be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith” (Phil. 3:9, NKJV).

We should not assume Jewish Christians were suggesting that faith in Christ was not important; after all, they were all believers in Jesus. They all had faith in Him. Their behavior showed, however, that they felt faith was not sufficient by itself; it must be supplemented with obedience, [...]

Monday: Works of the Law
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10-17

Paul says three times in Galatians 2:16 that a person is not justified by “works of the law.” What does he mean by the expression “works of the law”? How do these texts (Gal. 2:16, 17; 3:2, 5, 10; Rom. 3:20, 28) help us understand his meaning?

Before we can understand the phrase “the works of the law,” we first need to understand what Paul means by the word law. The word law (nomos in Greek) is found 121 times in Paul’s letters. It can refer to a number [...]

Sunday: The Question of “Justification”
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10-16

In Galatians 2:15, Paul writes, “We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners” (ESV). What point do you think he was making? 

Paul’s words need to be understood in their context. In an attempt to win over his fellow Jewish Christians to his position, Paul starts with something they would agree with—the traditional distinction between Jews and Gentiles. Jews were the elect of God, entrusted with His law, and they enjoyed the benefits of the covenant relationship with Him. Gentiles, however, were [...]

Sabbath: Justification by Faith Alone
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10-15

Read for This Week’s Study:

Gal. 2:15–21; Eph. 2:12; Phil. 3:9; Rom. 3:10–20; Gen. 15:5, 6; Rom. 3:8.

Memory Text:

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20, ESV).

As we saw last week, Paul publicly confronted Peter in Antioch for the lack of consistency between the faith he advocated and [...]

Further Study: The Unity of the Gospel
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For further study on the issue of unity and diversity in the church, read Ellen G. White, “Investigation of New Light,” pp. 45, 47, in Counsels to Writers and Editors; “An Explanation of Early Statements,” p. 75, in Selected Messages, book 1; “Tactfulness,” pp. 117–119, in Gospel Workers; and “Manuscript Release 898,” pp. 1092, 1093, in1888 Materials, vol. 3.

“Even the best of men, if left to themselves, will make grave blunders. The more responsibilities placed upon the human agent, the higher his position to dictate and control, the more mischief he [...]

Inside Story: The Stranger
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IS - 10-15

Geraldo Makinano

I slumped onto a fallen tree in the thick forest to wait for my partner and fellow student missionary to catch up to me. We still had 20 miles to hike, and we were tired and thirsty.

Suddenly I realized that we were in rebel territory where soldiers roam searching for “the enemy.” They might shoot us before we could explain who we are. “Lord,” I whispered, “please protect us.” A few minutes later we started up the trail again. [...]