“Satan knows that those who ask God for pardon and grace will obtain it; therefore he presents their sins before them to discourage them. Against those who are trying to obey God, he is constantly seeking occasion for complaint. Even their best and most acceptable service he seeks to make appear corrupt. By countless devices, the most subtle and the most cruel, he endeavors to secure their condemnation.
“In his own strength, man cannot meet the charges of the enemy. In sin-stained garments, confessing his guilt, he stands before God. But Jesus, our Advocate, presents an effectual plea in behalf of all who by repentance and faith have committed the keeping of their souls to Him. He pleads their cause, and by the mighty arguments of Calvary, vanquishes their accuser. His perfect obedience to God’s law has given Him all power in heaven and in earth, and He claims from His Father mercy and reconciliation for guilty man. To the accuser of His people He declares: ‘The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan. These are the purchase of My blood, brands plucked from the burning.’ And to those who rely on Him in faith, He gives the assurance, ‘Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.’ Zechariah 3:4.”—Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, pp. 586, 587.
- Read the Ellen G. White quote above. How does this help us to understand the great truth which is salvation by grace alone? In moments of great personal discouragement about our own faults and shortcomings, how can we draw comfort and hope from these words? How can we learn to make this wonderful truth a source of strength that helps us not to turn away from the Lord in utter despair over our own sense of unworthiness? Instead, how can we make this wonderful truth the source of our determination to continue to love God and to keep all of His commandments?
- As a class, go over the final question in Thursday’s study. Why is that such an easy trap to fall into? At the same time, what potential dangers are there when we make our religion into nothing but a kind of social service? How do we strike the right balance?
- However difficult some parts of the book of Zechariah may be (and some parts are difficult), what practical lessons about Christian living can you take from it?