2017 1st Quarter
Lesson 1, December 31-January 6, The Spirit and the Word
Sabbath, December 31
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” KJV, 2 Timothy 3:16, 17.
The Scriptures are given for the purpose of revealing the coming Redeemer so that we might recognize Him when He came as an Atoning Sacrifice, where He went as our High Priest, and when He comes again as our King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and Judge of Judges.
While Jesus was on earth, He had to deal with the contradiction of sinners, unbelievers who had not the love of God in them. Note how Jesus describes their spiritual condition even as He explains the purpose of the Scriptures which speak of Him.
“But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. I receive not honour from men. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” KJV, John 5:36-43, emphasis added.
“The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; According to all that thou desiredst of the Lord thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. And the Lord said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.” KJV, Deuteronomy 18:15-19, emphasis added.
We must understand the conditions of partnership with God in order to avoid the same predicament of the Jewish leaders in Christ’s time upon the earth. We must have His Word abiding in our hearts, for only then may we believe and obey, and have the assurance that the love of God abides in us.
“As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” KJV, John 15:9-11, emphasis added.
“Today a great work is to be done. The Holy Spirit is to work through human agencies. A partnership between God and the workers must be maintained. Man works because God works in him; all the efficiency and power is of God. Yet God has so arranged that all the responsibility rests with the human instrument. These are the appointed conditions of partnership. Men are required to move among men, doing a divine work. God designs that they shall have power from on high, but if they fail to seek for this power, if they neglect to improve the facilities which God has provided whereby they may reach the highest standard, they fail to uplift fallen humanity.” (Ellen White, Review and Herald, November 4, 1902, emphasis added.)