Monday: Judgment and Grace in Eden
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Sin of Adam and Eve

Think about this: before sin, there was no need of grace because there was nothing to forgive, nothing to pardon, nothing to cover. It’s the same with judgment. Before sin, there was nothing to judge, nothing to condemn, nothing to be punished. Both grace and judgment arise, at least in a human context, only because of humanity’s sin.1

Read Genesis 3, the account of the Fall. In what ways are both themes, that of judgment and grace, revealed?

Satan succeeded in bringing sin [...]

Sunday: Judgment Day
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

The theme of judgment, divine judgment, runs through the entire Bible. And contrary to common beliefs, judgment is not contrary to salvation or to the gospel. Indeed, both themes are woven together in Scripture from Genesis through Revelation.1

And no wonder. Judgment and salvation reflect twin aspects of God’s character: His justice and grace. Thus, we should not pit the idea of judgment against the idea of salvation any more than we should pit the idea of God’s justice against His [...]

Mulligans and Grace
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Friday’s section of “The God of Grace and Judgment” asks the question, “What’s the deadly spiritual trap of thinking that because we’re saved by grace, it doesn’t matter what we do? How can you protect yourself against falling into that deception?”

On the golf course we have another word for grace. It is called a “mulligan.” After you make a terrible shot, your partner may offer you a mulligan. You take another shot and the first shot does not count. It’s [...]

Sabbath: The God of Grace and Judgment
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gless04

Read for This Week’s Study: 1 Cor. 3:13; 2 Cor. 5:10; Genesis 3, 6; John 3:17–21; Rev. 14:6, 7.

Memory Text:

“For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14).

Key Thought: God’s judgment is as pervasive in the Bible as is the theme of salvation; in fact, the two teachings are intricately entwined.

A soldier stood next to an old man about to be executed. He was guilty of being the “wrong” race and religion, nothing more. [...]

By His Stripes
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Carrying the Cross

Marilyn Sewell, a Unitarian minister, made the following statement while interviewing Christopher Hitchens, a well-known atheist:

“The religion you cite in your book is generally the fundamentalist faith of various kinds. I’m a liberal Christian, and I don’t take the stories from the Scripture literally. I don’t believe in the doctrine of atonement 1 (that Jesus died for our sins, for example).”2

Wait! What? How is that possible? I mean, either you believe that Jesus died for your sins and you’re a [...]

Further Study: God as Redeemer
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“Oh, how inefficient, how incapable I am of expressing the things which burn in my soul in reference to the mission of Christ! . . . I know not how to speak or trace with pen the large subject of the atoning sacrifice. I know not how to present subjects in the living power in which they stand before me. I tremble for fear lest I shall belittle the great plan of salvation by cheap words.”—Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 3, p. [...]

Inside Story: Hope and a Future
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Alexander Grinev

I was a typical Soviet youth—ambitious and skeptical. When the Soviet Union broke up, I opened my own business.

One day Natasha, my wife, met a woman who invited us to evangelistic meetings sponsored by Adventists. I had heard of Adventists and believed that they were honest people. So when Natasha came home from the first meeting excited about what she heard, I agreed to go to the meetings with her.

As I listened to the speaker, my youthful skepticism melted [...]

03: God As Redeemer – Teaching Plan
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gless03

Key Thought: From the beginning the Bible points to the substitutionary death of Christ on the cross in order to redeem us from sin’s penalty of eternal destruction.

[Teaching Plan for "God as Redeemer" January 18, 2012]

1. Have a volunteer read Romans 1:16-18.

A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. If God’s righteousness is revealed by faith, why do so many hold onto unrighteousness and lies?
C. Personal Application: Have [...]

Thursday: The Cry on the Cross
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Nothing is more destructive to our grasp of the atonement of Christ than the sentimentality that sometimes passes for Christianity in our day (all in the attempt to make the gospel conform to modern thinking). However, we must ever humbly acknowledge that anything we say about God can never do God justice, especially when we consider the atonement. We must avoid the temptation to reduce Jesus’ death on the cross to merely an “example of selfless love.” It was certainly [...]

Wednesday: The Gospels and the Cross
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Despite the astounding miracle of Christ’s incarnation, His profound teaching, and the miracles He performed, these are not the central focus of Christ’s life. Instead, what dominates the thinking of Jesus is the giving of His life. As miraculous as His birth and ministry were, the great mission of Christ’s life was His death.1

In the four Gospels, we find Jesus endeavoring to prepare His disciples for His coming death. However, their devotion to Jesus, coupled with their hope for a [...]

God as Redeemer – Eternal Redeemer!
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Tampa Cross

As a Bible Worker in the beautiful Tampa Bay area, I work on the front lines of the battle between good and evil. Many times I have seen families and individuals appear to be overcome by Satan, and it has brought me to tears on many occasions, but then I pray and then remember the power of my Redeemer.

For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8

And he [...]

Tuesday: Salvation in Isaiah
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On the famous road to Emmaus, Jesus taught the two despairing disciples about the atonement from “Moses and all the prophets” (Luke 24:27). What prophetic materials might Jesus have included in His study of the Atonement? 1

It’s very likely that among the prophets Jesus would have referred to, Isaiah was one.

Read Isaiah 53, which describes the “suffering Servant.” Describe the details included there that help you more fully grasp the amazing atonement of Christ. 

Though so much exists in this chapter, one point stands [...]