“The church is very precious in God’s sight. He values it, not for its external advantages, but for the sincere piety which distinguishes it from the world. He estimates it according to the growth of the members in the knowledge of Christ, according to their progress in spiritual experience.
Image © Stan Myers from GoodSalt.com
“Christ hungers to receive from His vineyard the fruit of holiness and unselfishness. He looks for the principles of love and goodness. Not all the beauty of art can bear comparison with the beauty of temper and character to be revealed in those who are Christ’s representatives. It is the atmosphere of grace which surrounds the soul of the believer, the Holy Spirit working upon mind and heart, that makes him a savor of life unto life, and enables God to bless his work.” – Ellen, G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 298.
- What is it like to be called out of darkness into “His marvelous light?” (NKJV). What does that mean? If you were to explain this idea to someone who didn’t believe in Jesus, what would you say? What is the darkness? What is the light? And what is the difference between the two in the context of what Peter is talking about?
- “‘Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess. Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the LORD our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him? And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day?’” (Deut. 4:5-8, NKJV). In what ways do these words apply to us as Seventh-day Adventists and what we have been called by God to do because of all that we have been given?
- Read 1 Peter 2:3. What does Peter mean when he says, “If indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious” (NKJV)? How have you “tasted” of His grace?
- Look around at your local church. What is it about your church, if anything, that makes it and you who are members of it appealing to those who know nothing about Seventh-day Adventists or about what we believe?