Read for This Week’s Study: James 2:1-13; Mark 2:16; Lev. 19:17-18; Rom. 13:8-10; John 12:48.
Memory Text: For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment (James 2:13, NASB).
We know the story well; the question is, How well has it sunk in?
First a priest, then a Levite, going from Jerusalem to Jericho, encountered a man lying half dead in the road. Though both just finished their religious duties, neither was, apparently, able [...]
Medellín is a large city in the heart of Colombia. While the city has a reputation as the drug capital of the world, it is also known for its beauty, and its citizens are known for their hard work and love of learning.
Colombia Adventist University (Corporacion Universitaria Adventista, UNAC) is located in Medellín. Founded in 1937 as Industrial College Coloveno, it became Colombo-Venezuelan Institute in 1950 and Colombia Adventist University in 1981. UNAC offers undergraduate through doctoral level [...]
Further Study: Ellen G. White, The Test of Discipleship, p. 59-63, in Steps to Christ.
The law is God’s great moral looking glass. Man is to compare his words, his spirit, his actions with the Word of God.-Ellen G. White Comments, The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 935.
“Instead of releasing man from obedience, it is faith, and faith only, that makes us partakers of the grace of Christ, which enables us to render obedience.
As Jesus was in human nature, [...]
Friday’s section of this week’s Sabbath School lesson asks,
“What do you say to those who claim that because of the grace of Christ, they are free from the law? What do they often really mean by that, and how would you answer them?”
I have heard Christians tell me not to worry about keeping the law because we are no longer under the law. We are under grace. Funny thing is, they only tell me that when it comes to Sabbath keeping. [...]
What does it mean to keep oneself unspotted from the world? (James 1:27, NKJV). How could that even be possible? See also 1 John 2:15-16; 2 Pet. 1:4.
Some people seem to think that if only they could move far enough away from the world, they could avoid most of its temptations. Though there’s some truth to that, and we should try to avoid temptation as much as possible (especially those temptations we find hardest to resist), our problems and [...]
[Thought Questions for Being and Doing October 21, 2014]
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1. It’s not enough to be able to see and hear. Do you think it would be harder to follow Jesus if you were deaf? or blind? Didn’t have much intellectual understanding? Does a thorough knowledge of God and His plan of salvation earn you a place in His eternal kingdom? What did the apostle James say that Christians need to do to give them a firm and lasting relationship with God?
2. Your enemy. How [...]
Read James 1:26-27 and compare it to Matthew 25:35, Matt. 25:36, Matt.25:40 and Romans 12:9-18. In light of these passages, how would you define true Christianity?
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If Jesus, James, and Paul emphasize anything, it is the importance of being a useful Christian. By lovingthe least of these (Matt. 25:40), by taking the time to visit those most easily overlooked, by showing hospitality-in all these practical ways and more-we reveal Jesus’ love and become the [...]
Key Thought: When we are saved by grace, we will be doers of God’s Word, because we have placed our faith in Him. He leads us to become new in the Spirit.
[Lesson Plan for Being and Doing October 20, 2014]
1. Have a volunteer read James 1:22-24.
a. Ask class members to share a thought on what the most important point in this text is.
b. What is the difference between believing the Word and doing it? Are we partial doers of [...]
Read James 1:25. What does he say about the role of the law?
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James echoes the Psalms in calling God’s law perfect (Ps. 19:7) and a way of freedom (Ps. 119:45). But notice that the law in James cannot save us and certainly cannot cleanse us. It shows us God’s ideal, but it cannot make us follow that ideal any more than seeing a world-class athlete perform amazing feats could enable us to do [...]
Read James 1:22 again. The Greek says to be doers of the Word. How might the message have been different had James simply said, Do the word?
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James combines being and doing. He does not separate them, nor does he make one more important than the other. They are like two sides of the same coin, inseparable. We are to be doers. Furthermore, the tense of the Greek word for be here refers to [...]