Lesson 5 Study Helps

July 27 - Aug 2

Growing in Grace

Memory Text: (Eph 3:16-17 NIV) I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, {17} so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,

"Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright ©

1973,1978 & 1984 by the International Bible Society: Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House."


Sabbath Afternoon

(Rev 14:6-14 NIV) Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth--to every nation, tribe, language and people. {7} He said in a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water." {8} A second angel followed and said, "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries." {9} A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: "If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, {10} he, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. {11} And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name." {12} This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus. {13} Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them." {14} I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one "like a son of man" with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.


The Growing Seed, Part One

(Mark 4:26-29 NIV) He also said, "This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. {27} Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. {28} All by itself the soil produces grain--first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. {29} As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come."

(John 3:1-8 NIV) Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. {2} He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him."

{John 3:3-8} In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." {4} "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!" {5} Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. {6} Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. {7} You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' {8} The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

(1 John 3:1-3 NIV) How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. {2} Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. {3} Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.

(Rom 6:12-16 NIV) Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. {13} Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. {14} For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. {15} What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! {16} Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey--whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

(1 John 3:9 NIV) No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.

(1 John 5:18 NIV) We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him.


The Growing Seed, Part Two

(Zec 4:6 NIV) So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty.

Christ's Object Lessons, p. 67

First the Blade, Then the Ear - The wheat develops "first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear." The object of the husbandman in the sowing of the seed and the culture of the growing plant is the production of grain. He desires bread for the hungry, and seed for future harvests. So the divine Husbandman looks for a harvest as the reward of His labor and sacrifice. Christ is seeking to reproduce Himself in the hearts of men; and He does this through those who believe in Him. The object of the Christian life is fruit bearing--the reproduction of Christ's character in the believer, that it may be reproduced in others. The plant does not germinate, grow, or bring forth fruit for itself, but to "give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater." Isa. 55:10. So no man is to live unto himself. The Christian is in the world as a representative of Christ, for the salvation of other souls.

Christ's Object Lessons, p. 67 (continued)

There can be no growth or fruitfulness in the life that is centered in self. If you have accepted Christ as a personal 68 Saviour, you are to forget yourself, and try to help others. Talk of the love of Christ, tell of His goodness. Do every duty that presents itself. Carry the burden of souls upon your heart, and by every means in your power seek to save the lost. As you receive the Spirit of Christ--the Spirit of unselfish love and labor for others--you will grow and bring forth fruit. The graces of the Spirit will ripen in your character. Your faith will increase, your convictions deepen, your love be made perfect. More and more you will reflect the likeness of Christ in all that is pure, noble, and lovely.

(Gal 5:13-26 NIV) You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature ; rather, serve one another in love. {14} The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." {15} If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. {16} So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. {17} For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. {18} But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. {19} The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; {20} idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions {21} and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. {22} But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, {23} gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. {24} Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. {25} Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. {26} Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

(Dan 7:14 NIV) He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

(Dan 7:27 NIV) Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.'

(Rev 11:15 NIV) The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever."


The Growing Seed, Part Three

Christ's Object Lessons, pp. 67 - 68 (see p. 2-3 this lesson)

(Isa 55:10-12 NIV) As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, {11} so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

(Acts 9:36-42 NIV) In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas ), who was always doing good and helping the poor. {37} About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. {38} Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, "Please come at once!" {42} Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them. {40} Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, "Tabitha, get up." She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. {41} He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called the believers and the widows and presented her to them alive. {42} This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.

(Luke 21:2-4 NIV) He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. {3} "I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. {4} All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on."

(Deu 14:29 NIV) so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.

(Deu 27:19 NIV) "Cursed is the man who withholds justice from the alien, the fatherless or the widow." Then all the people shall say, "Amen!"

(Mark 12:40 NIV) They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely."

(James 1:27 NIV) Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

(Psa 94:6 NIV) They slay the widow and the alien; they murder the fatherless.

(Isa 1:23 NIV) Your rulers are rebels, companions of thieves; they all love bribes and chase after gifts. They do not defend the cause of the fatherless; the widow's case does not come before them.

(Mal 3:5 NIV) "So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me," says the LORD Almighty.

(Exo 22:22 NIV) "Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan.

(Deu 24:17 NIV) Do not deprive the alien or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge.

(Deu 26:12 NIV) When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied.

(Deu 24:19-21 NIV) When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. {20} When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the alien, the fatherless and the widow. {21} When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the alien, the fatherless and the widow.


A Small Beginning, Part One

(Mark 4:31-32 NIV) It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. {32} Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade."


A Small Beginning, Part Two

(Mark 4:30-32 NIV) Again he said, "What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? {31} It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. {32} Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade."

(John 14:26 NIV) But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

(Dan 4:12 NIV) Its leaves were beautiful, its fruit abundant, and on it was food for all. Under it the beasts of the field found shelter, and the birds of the air lived in its branches; from it every creature was fed.

(Ezek 17:23 NIV) On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches.

(Ezek 31:6 NIV) All the birds of the air nested in its boughs, all the beasts of the field gave birth under its branches; all the great nations lived in its shade.

(Phil 3:20 NIV) But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,


(1 Ki 17 NIV) Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, "As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word." {2} Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah: {3} "Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan.

{1 Kin 17:4-24} You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there." {5} So he did what the LORD had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. {6} The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. {7} Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. {8} Then the word of the LORD came to him: {9} "Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food." {10} So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, "Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?" {24} As she was going to get it, he called, "And bring me, please, a piece of bread." {12} "As surely as the LORD your God lives," she replied, "I don't have any bread--only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it--and die." {13} Elijah said to her, "Don't be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. {14} For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD gives rain on the land.'" {15} She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. {16} For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah. {17} Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. {18} She said to Elijah, "What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?" {19} "Give me your son," Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. {20} Then he cried out to the LORD, "O LORD my God, have you brought tragedy also upon this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?" {21} Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried to the LORD, "O LORD my God, let this boy's life return to him!" {22} The LORD heard Elijah's cry, and the boy's life returned to him, and he lived. {23} Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, "Look, your son is alive!" {24} Then the woman said to Elijah, "Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth."

(Mat 16:5-12 NIV) When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. {6} "Be careful," Jesus said to them. "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees." {7} They discussed this among themselves and said, "It is because we didn't bring any bread." {8} Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, "You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? {9} Do you still not understand? Don't you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? {10} Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? {11} How is it you don't understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees." {12} Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

(Luke 21:1-4 NIV) As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. {2} He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. {3} "I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. {4} All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on."

Christ's Object Lessons, pp. 62 - 69, 76 -79 & 80 - 89 (not included with lesson help)

Steps to Christ, pp. 67 - 75 & 77 - 83 (not included with lesson help)

The Desire of Ages, pp. 167 - 177 (not included with lesson help)

Steps to Christ, pp. 80 - 81

The Work and the Life - If you will go to work as Christ designs that His disciples shall, and win souls for Him, you will feel the need of a deeper experience and a greater knowledge in divine things, and will hunger and thirst after righteousness. You will plead with God, and your faith will be strengthened, and your soul will drink deeper drafts at the well of salvation. Encountering opposition and trials will drive you to the Bible and prayer. You will grow in grace and the knowledge of Christ, and will develop a rich experience. The spirit of unselfish labor for others gives depth, stability, and Christlike loveliness to the character, and brings peace and happiness to its possessor. The aspirations are elevated. There is no room for sloth or selfishness. Those who thus exercise the Christian graces will grow and will become strong to work for God. They will have clear spiritual perceptions, a steady, growing faith, and an increased power in prayer. The Spirit of God, moving upon their spirit, calls forth the sacred harmonies of the soul in answer to the divine touch. Those who thus devote themselves to unselfish effort for the good of others are most surely working out their own salvation. The only way to grow in grace is to be disinterestedly doing the very work which Christ has enjoined upon us--to engage, to the extent of our ability, in helping and blessing those who need the help we can give them. Strength comes by exercise; activity is the very condition of life. Those who endeavor to maintain Christian life by passively accepting the blessings that come through the means of grace, and 81 doing nothing for Christ, are simply trying to live by eating without working. And in the spiritual as in the natural world, this always results in degeneration and decay. A man who would refuse to exercise his limbs would soon lose all power to use them. Thus the Christian who will not exercise his God-given powers not only fails to grow up into Christ, but he loses the strength that he already had. The church of Christ is God's appointed agency for the salvation of men. Its mission is to carry the gospel to the world. And the obligation rests upon all Christians. Everyone, to the extent of his talent and opportunity, is to fulfill the Saviour's commission. The love of Christ, revealed to us, makes us debtors to all who know Him not. God has given us light, not for ourselves alone, but to shed upon them. If the followers of Christ were awake to duty, there would be thousands where there is one today proclaiming the gospel in heathen lands. And all who could not personally engage in the work, would yet sustain it with their means, their sympathy, and their prayers. And there would be far more earnest labor for souls in Christian countries. We need not go to heathen lands, or even leave the narrow circle of the home, if it is there that our duty lies, in order to work for Christ. We can do this in the home circle, in the church, among those with whom we associate, and with whom we do business. The greater part of our Saviour's life on earth was spent in patient toil in the carpenter's shop at Nazareth. Ministering angels attended the Lord of 82 life as He walked side by side with peasants and laborers, unrecognized and unhonored. He was as faithfully fulfilling His mission while working at His humble trade as when He healed the sick or walked upon the storm-tossed waves of Galilee. So in the humblest duties and lowliest positions of life, we may walk and work with Jesus.

(Eph 3:16-17 NIV) I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, {17} so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,

(Eph 3:18-19 NIV) may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, {19} and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

(Mat 13:31-32 NIV) He told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. {32} Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches."