Wednesday: Principalities and Powers: Part 2
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Image © Rolf Jansson from GoodSalt.com

As we saw, the word translated as principalities could refer to world rulers or supernatural powers that attempt to exercise control over human life.

Image © Rolf Jansson from GoodSalt.com

Another Greek word that is used in conjunction with the word principalities (archai) is the word stoicheia, which literally means elements, or elementary substances or principle. The contexts in which stoicheia is used reveal other aspects of this fallen world from which we have been redeemed by Christ’s victory on the cross.

Given the context of what we [...]

Tuesday: Principalities and Powers: Part 1
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

The Bible pictures our world as being under the dominion of evil forces seeking to control and to ultimately destroy us.

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

The great controversy is, of course, the result of the Lord’s work against these powers. The great news is that, after the Cross, victory against them is assured, even though the battle continues to rage. The conflict is dramatic, cosmic, and fierce, but the victory belongs to God, a victory in which we can [...]

Monday: Slaves Set Free
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Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

When we understand redemption as freedom from a form of enslavement that required external assistance, we may conclude that sinful humanity is bound by a power or influence stronger than itself.

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The question that needs to be answered is, by what power or agency has sinful humanity been so bound?

Study Romans 6:12-23. Notice that in verses 18, 20, and 22, Paul speaks about freedom. What is the context of this freedom? What is Paul talking about [...]

Sunday: The Redemption
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Image © Janet Hyun from GoodSalt.com

Christianity is a religion of redemption, in which people are saved from the devastation of sin through what someone else − in this case, Jesus − has done for them.

Image © Janet Hyun from GoodSalt.com

Thus, the Christian religion may be distinguished from a religion of law, where one may rectify his or her doom by one’s own efforts at doing good works. We need this redemption because, according to the Bible, people without Christ are enslaved to sin (John 8:34) and [...]

Sabbath: Growing in Christ
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Read for This Week’s Study: Isa. 35:10, Mark 10:45, Rom. 6:12-23, Eph. 6:12, Col. 1:16, Gal. 4:1-11, Col. 2:15.

Memory Text: Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it (Colossians 2:15, NKJV).

Key Thought: Christ’s victory on the cross defines the scope of the victory into which the Christian may grow.

The amendment to the church’s fundamental beliefs, voted at the fifty-eight General Conference Session (in 2005), was titled Growing in Christ. When the statement is analyzed, the following significant points become evident Jesus has [...]

Further Study: Salvation: The Only Solution
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Read Ellen G. White, “‘God With Us,’” pp. 19-29, in The Desire of Ages;

Ivan T. Blazen, “Salvation,” pp. 271-313, in Raoul Dederen (ed.), Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology.

“The plan for our redemption was not an afterthought, a plan formulated after the fall of Adam. It was a revelation of ‘the mystery which hath been kept in silence through times eternal’ (Rom. 16:25, R.V.). It was an unfolding of the principles that from eternal ages have been the foundation of God’s throne. . . . [...]

Thursday: The Experience of Salvation: Part 2
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

The experience of justification places within the life of the believer spiritual realities that initiate change in the person’s life.

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

In justification, the sinner is forgiven (Luke 7:47, Eph. 1:7, Rom. 4:7), acquitted of the charges of sin and reckoned righteous (Rom. 5:16, 18; Rom. 8:1), and given the gift of a new life (Eph. 2:1-5, 2 Cor. 5:17).

The foundation of this new experience is the reality that, no matter our past, no matter our sins, no matter how faulty and wrong we [...]

Wednesday: Experience of Salvation: Part 1
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

The sinner is justified and reconciled on the objective basis of Christ’s atoning sacrifice for all (Rom. 5:6-10). The provision that God has made for the justification and reconciliation of humankind to Himself through the death of Christ needs, however, to be brought into the experience of the believer. It is not enough to just have a theoretical knowledge about justification. We need to experience what it means for ourselves.

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Acts 2:36-38 and Acts 3:19 [...]

Tuesday: God’s Provision: Part 2
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Image © Janet Hyun from GoodSalt.com

Throughout salvation history, starting with the first gospel promise

Image © Janet Hyun from GoodSalt.com

(Gen. 3:15), through the early sacrificial system (Gen. 4:4), the covenant with Abram (Gen. 12:1-3), and then the Israelite sanctuary service (Exod. 25:8)-everything was to point to, and climax in, the life, death, resurrection, and heavenly ministry of Jesus Christ, God’s ultimate provision to solve the sin problem.

The seriousness of the sin problem can, perhaps, be best understood only when we grasp just what it took-the Cross-in order for [...]

Monday: God’s Provision: Part 1
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Image © John Baker from GoodSalt.com

The effects of sin did not wait for a “grace-period.”

Image © John Baker from GoodSalt.com

The results of sin were immediate and needed immediate attention. It was necessary, therefore, for some kind of provision to be in place when sin manifested itself. Ellen White expressed it so clearly: “As soon as there was sin, there was a Saviour. Christ knew that He would have to suffer, yet He became man’s substitute. As soon as Adam sinned, the Son of God [...]