SDA Sabbath School Lessons
Sabbath afternoon July 6, 1996

The Message of Faith Permeates the Scriptures

THE MESSAGE OF FAITH PERMEATES THE SCRIPTURES. The first gospel promise (Gen. 3:14) implies that if the Seed of the woman is accepted by faith, salvation will be readily available. Abraham was saved by faith. Not only was his faith "reckoned [counted, imputed] ... as righteousness" (Gen. 15:6, RSV), he became the father of the faithful and the example of faith to all future generations.

God repeatedly invited Israel to live by faith in Him and in the coming Messiah. The New Testament teaching of the law written on the heart reiterates Moses' message to his contemporaries. (Compare Deut. 30:11-14 with Rom. 10:6-10.) The New Testament emphasis upon circumcision of the heart was taught throughout the Old Testament period. (Compare Deut. 10:16; 30:6; Jer. 4:4; Rom. 2:28, 29.) Paul's teaching of justification by faith reflects the injunction of Habakkuk 2:4, "the righteous shall live by his faith" (RSV).

This lesson follows the good news Jesus gave to Nicodemus. He emphasized five important aspects of the life of faith: (1) the Cross; (2) forgiveness; (3) righteousness counted; (4) righteousness bestowed; (5) works.