“Genuine faith always works by love. When you look to Calvary it is not to quiet your soul in the nonperformance of duty, not to compose yourself to sleep, but to create faith in Jesus, faith that will work, purifying the soul from the slime of selfishness. When we lay hold of Christ by faith, our work has just begun. Every man has corrupt and sinful habits that must be overcome by vigorous warfare. Every soul is required to fight the fight of faith. If one is a follower of Christ, he cannot be sharp in deal, he cannot be hardhearted, devoid of sympathy. He cannot be coarse in his speech. He cannot be full of pomposity and self-esteem. He cannot be overbearing, nor can he use harsh words, and censure and condemn.
“The labor of love springs from the work of faith. Bible religion means constant work. ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ ‘Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure.’ We are to be zealous of good works; be careful to maintain good works. And the true Witness says, ‘I know thy works.’
“While it is true that our busy activities will not in themselves ensure salvation, it is also true that faith which unites us to Christ will stir the soul to activity (MS 16, 1890).”—Ellen G. White Comments, The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1111.
As a class, go over your answers to the last question from Thursday’s lesson. Which option did most people find easier, and why? What important truths does your answer suggest to you about what it means to fulfill the law?
Paul says that faith “works” through love. What does he mean?
Examine the idea of seeking to use your freedom in Christ to indulge in sin. Why is that so easy to do? When, however, people think that way, what trap is he or she falling into? (See 1 John 3:8.)
Freedom is one of Paul’s favorite words for defining the gospel. It includes both what Christ has done for us in freeing us from bondage to the world and also how we are called to live the Christian life. We need to be careful, however, that our liberty does not fall prey either to legalism or licentiousness. Christ did not set us free so that we could serve ourselves, but so that we might give our lives in ministry to our neighbors.