Thursday: Anticipation of the Second Advent
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“For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come” (1 Cor. 11:26). What great hope is presented here? With these words we see how closely entwined the Second Coming and the Communion service are. That makes so much sense, too, because the Second Coming is, … [Click to read more …]

Wednesday: The Lord’s Supper
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Read Matthew 26:26-28. What meaning is evident in what Jesus is telling us to do here? Why is it important to see this in terms of symbols? The Lord’s Supper replaces the Passover festival of the old covenant era. The Passover met its fulfillment when Christ, the Paschal Lamb, gave His life. Before His death, Christ … [Click to read more …]

Tuesday: The Ordinance of Humility
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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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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 …]

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 …]