Further Study: In Spirit and In Truth
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Further Study:

Read Ellen G. White, “God With Us,” pp. 19–26, in The Desire of Ages.

“Not by seeking a holy mountain or a sacred temple are men brought into communion with heaven. Religion is not to be confined to external forms and ceremonies. The religion that comes from God is the only religion that will lead to God. In order to serve Him aright, we must be born of the divine Spirit. This will purify the heart and renew the mind, giving us a new capacity for knowing and loving God. It will give us a willing obedience to all His requirements. This is true worship. It is the fruit of the working of the Holy Spirit.”—Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 189, emphasis supplied.

“One equal with God, acted as servant to His disciples. . . . He to whom every knee shall bow, He whom the angels of glory count it honor to serve, bowed down to wash the feet of those who called Him Lord.” —Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 649.

Discussion Questions:

   The religious leaders of Christ’s day claimed to know the Scriptures but were oblivious to the greatest miracle in history, the birth of the Messiah. Meanwhile, the wise men of the East came looking for Him in the right place at the right time. What significance does this story hold for us today as Christians, and as a church? How can we avoid the mistakes of the people in Christ’s day, as we see the prophecies of the last days being fulfilled?

  Talk about the deity of Christ, why that is so important to our faith and worship. What do we lose if we in any way make Christ anything other than fully God?

  Think again about Mary and what must have been going through her mind at this incredible turn of events. Think how much she didn’t understand and how hard some of this might have been for her (being pregnant without ever knowing a man certainly must have been stressful). And yet, even amid all this, she was able to praise the Lord and worship Him, despite so many unanswered questions, so many troublesome thoughts, so many unknowns. How can we learn to do the same: to worship and praise the Lord amid times of uncertainty and unknowns? In fact, why might that be of all times the best time to be wholeheartedly in an attitude of worship?

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Further Study: In Spirit and In Truth — 5 Comments

  1. Puzzling, very puzzling....

    The religious leaders of Christ’s day claimed to know the Scriptures but were oblivious to the greatest miracle in history, the birth of the Messiah. Meanwhile, the wise men of the East came looking for Him in the right place at the right time. What significance does this story hold for us today as Christians, and as a church? How can we avoid the mistakes of the people in Christ’s day, as we see the prophecies of the last days being fulfilled?

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    • We have at our fingertips, the prophecies in the Bible supported by the writings of Ellen G. White, fortelling and warning us as Seventh day Adventist Christians, to beware, to hold firm to our faith, to proclaim the gospel while we still can and to trust in God to carry us through.
      Many signs and wonders are unveiling now, accidents in the air on land and in sea are frequent now than ever before, crime on a much more varied and frightening level as perpetrators get more ruthless and creative, natural disasters are more vigourous and frequent now than ever before seen in our lifetime or even in the time of our grandparents... I could go on.
      As a Church (we the people make up the church) we need to wake up and see that we are in the very last days and hearken this time to the warnings ! Because we know that no good will come of our lives if we disobey God's commandments, we know that eternal death (the final death) will be the reward for rejecting the Saviour's sacrificial gift of giving His life to save us !
      We need to clean up our act and be proactive in ensuring that we play our part in telling the gospel and educating someone about Jesus Christ and leave the rest to the Holy Spirit to convert hearts. Let us not be bogged down with pride and wanting to be seen as Bible scholars when we speak, rather than just telling the word of God as it is- Jesus Christ died to save us from our sin and we can calim this gift by accepting Him as our Saviour through total surrender of our heart to Him.
      No more time wasting, live the life a Jesus Christ taught and lived it here on earth. Loving everyone is the key !
      Without putting self aside(which is one of the greatest hindrances to the human races development and maturity) and putting others first, in love, we would have missed the point of Jesus Christ coming to teach us this ultimate truth and sacrificing his own life so we( who are the guilty ones) can have eternal life through Him.
      Let us go out each day with a purpose to proclaim the Gospel, tell someone about what Jesus Christ has done for us and how they too can connect with Him !

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    • John 12:35 (New King James Version)

      Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going.

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  2. 'Imagine Jesus, after 40 full days of hunger, weariness, self-denial, and privation, now facing the open and blatant temptations of the devil. It is not hard to imagine just how beautiful all “the kingdoms of the world” in their “power” and their “glory” must have appeared to Jesus in this temptation.' --- from Bible Study guide for Monday Sep. 5,2011 by principal contributor Rosalie Haffner (Lee) Zinke

    Response: Be careful how you use your imagination ---
    'Never, in any way, leave the slightest impression upon human minds that a taint of, or inclination to corruption rested upon Christ, or that He in any way yielded to corruption. He was tempted in all points like as man is tempted, yet He is called that holy thing. It is a mystery that is left unexplained to mortals that Christ could be tempted in all points like as we are, and yet be without sin. The incarnation of Christ has ever been, and will ever remain a mystery. That which is revealed, is for us and for our children, but let every human being be warned from the ground of making Christ altogether human, such an one as ourselves: for it cannot be. The exact time when humanity blended with divinity, it is not necessary for us to know. We are to keep our feet on the rock, Christ Jesus, as God revealed in humanity. {13MR 19.1}
    I perceive that there is danger in approaching subjects which dwell on the humanity of the Son of the infinite God. He did humble Himself when He saw He was in fashion as a man, that He might understand the force of all temptations wherewith man is beset. {13MR 19.2}
    The first Adam fell: the second Adam held fast to God and His word under the most trying circumstances, and His faith in His Father's goodness, mercy, and love did not waver for one moment. "It is written" was His weapon of resistance, and it is the sword of the Spirit which every human being is to use. "Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me"--nothing to respond to temptation. Not one occasion has been given in response to His manifold temptations.

    -20-

    Not once did Christ step on Satan's ground, to give him any advantage. Satan found nothing in Him to encourage his advances.' --- EGW {13MR 19.3}'

    I don't think the kingdoms of the world appeared beautiful to Christ, they certainly don't appear beautiful to sinful me.

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    • "Never, in any way, leave the slightest impression upon human minds that... (an) inclination to corruption rested upon Christ..."

      I don't see how it could be much clearer than that!

      I love what you found to share, Kaaramel, and I hope that lots of people will read it. Personally, I'm convinced that the temptations of Christ (like those that are generally brought against the born-again Christian) were due to the pressure inherent in His circumstances.

      Jesus came to redeem the world by the sacrifice of Himself. So Satan takes advantage of His total physical (and probably emotional) weakness, at what could only seem to be an extremely low time in His life, in order to offer Him an easier way to apparently accomplish the same thing. (Incidentally, I don't believe that Satan was truly willing to turn the world over to Jesus in return for the demanded obeisance. He's the father of lies, remember?)

      Jesus could clearly see the forbidding prospects that lay ahead of Him. Yet His faith in the Father was complete, and He would not turn aside from the path of loyalty to the Father's will, as expressed in the Holy Scriptures. What a Man! What a God!

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