Monday: The Moral Law Today
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Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

Most Christians claim that the Ten Commandments are God’s universal moral code.

Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

This view is seen, for instance, in various legal battles in the United States, in which Christians have sought to have the Ten Commandments posted in various public places, especially public schools. Years ago, Alabama was involved in a legal battle involving a state judge who refused to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from a courtroom, despite orders from a higher [...]

Sunday: God’s Laws and Regulations
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Image © Consuelo Udave from GoodSalt.com

The word torah is a commonly used Hebrew word in the Old Testament and is often translated as law.

Image © Consuelo Udave from GoodSalt.com

The New Testament uses the Greek, nomos, (law) to translate torah. Torah means ‘direction’ or ‘guidance’. Because the Bible is a record of God’s relationship with humans, law in the Bible generally refers to all of God’s instructions to His people. Because God Himself is good and righteous, and guides and instructs His people in goodness and righteousness, we rightly assume that His law [...]

Sabbath: The Law and the Gospel
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Read for This Week’s Study: Ps. 19:7-8; Exod. 23:1-9; 1 John 5:3; Rom. 3:19-20;Exod. 20:11-12; Deut. 5:15.

Memory Text: “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3-4, NKJV).

Key Thought: God’s entire moral law is what reveals our sin and, thus, our need for a Savior. The law and the gospel are, therefore, inseparable.

The law and character of God are central [...]

Going Through the Motions
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Baptism

Have you ever gotten home from work but you don’t remember driving there? You’re on auto-pilot. It happens whenever we’ve done something so many times that our brain doesn’t really have to engage in what we’re doing to make it happen. It’s almost like our muscles just take over – tying our shoes, playing a musical instrument, typing.

You can probably think of lots of things that have become like that for you. You’ve seen, or maybe you are one of [...]

Further Study: Church: Rites and Rituals
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Read The Ministerial Association of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, chapters 15-18, in Seventh-day Adventists Believe.

“Baptism is a most sacred and important ordinance, and there should be a thorough understanding as to its meaning. It means repentance for sin, and the entrance upon a new life in Christ Jesus. There should be no undue haste to receive the ordinance. Let both parents and children count the cost.” – Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 93.

“The Passover pointed [...]

Inside Story: Divine Appointment
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I was a troublemaker in my village in India.

My father had introduced me to alcohol when I was 9 years old, and it became an overpowering habit. I quit school and stole money to buy liquor. My family, my health, and my friends all suffered because of me.

I began spitting up blood. Frightened, I stopped drinking until the blood-spitting ended. Then I started drinking again. I was 23 years old and married. Our lives were miserable because of my addiction. [...]

09: The Church: Rites and Rituals – Thought Starters
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Image © Phil McKay from GoodSalt.com

[Thought questions for The Church: Rites and Rituals November 28, 2012]

Image © Phil McKay from GoodSalt.com

1. Baptism. How vivid is the memory of your baptism? Did you feel triumphant? courageous? curious? scared? What about the week after your baptism? Had the feelings faded? Did you ever leave the church or become lax in observing key  teachings of your church? If so, do memories of  your “wandering” experience linger with you today? Do they return to you whenever you observe a baptism? Is [...]

Thursday: Anticipation of the Second Advent
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“For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come” (1 Cor. 11:26).

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What great hope is presented here?

With these words we see how closely entwined the Second Coming and the Communion service are. That makes so much sense, too, because the Second Coming is, really, the culmination of what happened at the cross. One could argue that the biggest reason for the First Coming – [...]

Children and Baptism
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Baptism

Many times I have been asked, how old  a child should be before they can be baptized.

Many people are surprised to hear I was just seven when I was baptized. I still remember the night – I was lying in bed, thinking about the cross and Jesus’ love for me. I decided I wanted to be baptized. I went into my parents’ room, where they were sound asleep, and woke them up to tell them the news. They were very [...]

Magical Christianity
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wizardsmall

“Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Hephzibah. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel. …And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in [...]

Wednesday: The Lord’s Supper
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Image © Ain Vares from GoodSalt.com

Read Matthew 26:26-28.

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What meaning is evident in what Jesus is telling us to do here? Why is it important to see this in terms of symbols?

The Lord’s Supper replaces the Passover festival of the old covenant era. The Passover met its fulfillment when Christ, the Paschal Lamb, gave His life. Before His death, Christ Himself instituted the replacement, the great festival of the New Testament church under the new covenant. Just as the Passover festival [...]

09: Church Rites and Rituals – Teaching Plan
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Key Thought : Baptism, footwashing, and the Lord’s Supper are symbols of sharing Christ’s suffering, death, and life of commitment and service.

[Teaching plan for The Church: Rites and Rituals November 26, 2012]

1. Have a volunteer read Acts 2:38.

A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. Why is repentance necessary before a person is baptized? Is baby baptism a legitimate rite? Share your thoughts.
C. Personal Application: What do you [...]