After enduring inhuman suffering at the hand of Satan, Job cries out: “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5, 6). What does this response tell us about God’s holiness in contrast to human sinfulness? In what ways is the gospel being preached in Job’s reaction to what he experienced? 1
The prophet Ezekiel, whom God graciously sends to Israel (even though they are [...]
What is the first time the concept of “holiness” (from the same root often translated “sanctified”) is mentioned in Scripture? Gen. 2:3. How significant is the fact that the first thing deemed holy in the Bible is time?1
This text gives us our first understanding of holiness. It shows that something, in this case time, is “set apart” from that which is around it. The seventh day itself is no different from any other 24-hour, sunset-to-sunset period; what makes it different, “holy,” is that [...]
Ellen White gets it! She understands the twenty-first-century heart-cry to know and experience God, to do something meaningful and enduring in life, and to grapple with issues of poverty, alienation, health, education, diversity, inclusiveness, integrity and eternity.
Yet she’s dead.
The principles she espoused transcend time and are more pertinent and applicable than ever.
Yes, there are myriad books today on health, spirituality, life balance and eschatology. But the reason I believe Ellen White cuts through the nebulous maze of conflicting theories and [...]
Even a superficial study of church history makes it clear that it’s all too easy to develop ideas about God and then to worship these ideas instead of God Himself, the God revealed in the Bible. As the skeptic Voltaire quipped: “God made man in His image, and man has returned the compliment.” We may not even realize that we have an incomplete or even false understanding of God.1
Thus, we must return to Scripture and compare our thinking about God [...]
“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” Genesis 2:1-3
The Sabbath is an illustration on how the Lord makes us holy. [...]
Read for This Week’s Study: Matt. 11:10; Mark 1:2; Gen. 2:3; Job 42:5, 6; Luke 5:1–11; Luke 4:31–36; Isa. 6:1–3; Rev. 4:8, 9.
“Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the Lord our God is holy” (Psalm 99:9).
Key Thought: Scripture gives much attention to God’s holiness. What does this holiness tell us about what God is like and what it means to the plan of salvation?
One of the foundational assumptions of all biblical writers is that the God of heaven exists. None ever express [...]
What is your attitude toward obedience?
a. I’ll do what I want. I don’t care what God wants me to do.
b. If God will give me what I want first, then I’ll give Him what He wants.
c. I’ll give God what He wants first, with faith that He’ll give me what I want.
d. I’ll give God what He wants, regardless of what He gives me. 1
I think most of us hover between c and d, right? Well, I do anyway. The [...]
How do grace and judgment work together? Here’s how inspiration reveals it.
“While Jesus is pleading for the subjects of His grace, Satan accuses them before God as transgressors. The great deceiver has sought to lead them into skepticism, to cause them to lose confidence in God, to separate themselves from His love, and to break His law. Now he points to the record of their lives, to the defects of character, the unlikeness to Christ, which has dishonored their Redeemer, [...]
Roseline lives in a village in northwestern Haiti. She felt rich, for she owned three cows. But she also felt grateful to God for her wealth and had dedicated one of her cows to God. Now the cow was about to give birth, and Roseline would give the calf to the Lord.
One day after finishing her morning devotions, Roseline went to tend to her cows. But her dedicated cow was missing. She walked up and down the path calling [...]
The world totters on the brink of moral collapse.1
The Judge of All is about to pass judgment on those who have refused to acknowledge Him as their Leader Eternal.
“Is there anyone else,” He calls out, “anyone else who wants to be free from the burden of sin?”
A few people struggle towards Him. The rest slink away.
“Not fair!” roars the enemy. “Condemn all or condemn none!”
“I won’t do that,” the Judge of All replies. “All who come to Me will be saved.”
The enemy [...]
Key Thought: Justice demands the death penalty for our sins. Yet grace through the suffering of Christ on our behalf delivers us from death if we accept it.
[Teaching Plan for "The God of Grace and Judgment" January 25, 2012]
1. Have a volunteer read Ecclesiastes 12:13,14.
A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. What does it mean to fear God? Are we to be afraid of God and the [...]
“Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known”(Matt. 10:26).1
Looking around at the world, we shouldn’t have a problem understanding the idea of judgment and condemnation. One doesn’t have to be a believing Christian to realize that something is radically wrong with humanity. Who can’t see what a royal mess, even disaster, we’ve made of things? Maybe we cry so hard at birth because, instinctively, we know what’s [...]