Memory Text: “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16, NKJV).
Key Thought: Anyone can call himself or herself a Christian. What, though, does that mean in practical terms?
What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?” (James 2:14, NLT).
The Bible emphasizes ‘sound doctrine’; but this emphasis is in the context of holy living (1 Tim. 1:10, Titus 2:1-5) in order to point out that the true goal of biblical teaching is an ethical life that is manifested in obligations to others. In fact, if you look carefully at those texts in Timothy and Titus, they link sound doctrine with correct living as if correct living itself is sound doctrine!
The Christian is saved in order to be God’s agent for the salvation and good of others amidst the great controversy between good and evil. To be “so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good,” however much a cliché, does represent a reality that Christians need to avoid. Certainly, heaven is our ultimate home, but for now we’re still on earth, and we need to know how to live while here.
This week we’ll look at how some practical ‘hands on’ Christianity should be manifest in our lives.
Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, December 15.