SDA Sabbath School Lessons
Thursday July 4, 1996

Calvary, the center of the New Testament
(Gal. 6:14)

What is the central focus of the New Testament? Acts 4:8-12; 5:28-42.

The records of Christs's death and resurrection occupy between a quarter and a third of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) and half of John. These events constituted the heart of apostolic preaching. Christ's death and resurrection made salvation available to all humanity. They made possible His intercessory ministry in heaven, His pre-advent judgment ministry, and the eternal reward to be bestowed upon the faithful at His return.

What was the central focus of Paul's teaching? 1 Cor. 1:23;2:2;15:1-5; Gal. 3:1.

After the brilliant young rabbi had found the Saviour, every Scriptural truth took on new meaning. Paul now saw the Old Testament sanctuary services as foreshadowing the sacrificial, mediatorial, and judgment ministries of Jesus Christ. He saw salvation as God's gift, not the believer's achievement. He realized that sinful human beings can have the present assurance of salvation in Christ because of His grace, counted and bestowed. He saw works of obedience to God's law as flowing from hearts in tune with the Saviour, who bore the penalty for their sin. Paul looked forward longingly to the consummation of all the believer's hopes when Jesus will come the second time.

"The sacrifice of Christ as an atonement for sin is the great truth around which all other truths cluster. In order to be rightly understood and appreciated, every truth in the Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation, must be studied in the light that streams from the cross of Calvary."-Gospel Workers,p.315.

What is Christ's central role now that He has borne the penalty for sin? John 12:32

Since every biblical truth must be studied in the light of the cross, the most important focus in every sermon and Bible study should be Christ and His saving work. As we study some ofhte landmark truths of the Christian faith this quarter, we will discover Christ at the center of every message.