2017 1st Quarter
Lesson 6, February 4-10, The Holy Spirit and Living a Holy Life
Sunday, February 5
No doubt we are saved by faith. But we must understand that a living faith works by love. So, while we are saved by faith, we are not judged by our faith. We are judged by our works to determine if our faith is genuine.
“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:” KJV, 1 Peter 1:13-17, emphasis added.
Note that God is no respecter of persons when it comes to outward appearances. He knows the secret motives of the heart, and in the day of judgment hypocrites will be exposed for what they are regardless of skin color, financial status, or any other power of influence one may exert in this life.
“It is our work to direct souls to the living oracles. We must present to them sound doctrine, even the faith once delivered to the saints. We must show them the truth in its beauty that they may be led to renounce error. We must instruct them in faith, love, obedience, and hope, that through much prayer they may grow up ‘an holy temple in the Lord.’ The day of Judgment will test every man’s work. Let us so build that our work may endure the fiery trial.
“Says Paul: ‘Let a man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful.’ To be faithful stewards of the mysteries of God, we must not shrink from giving needed warning and reproof. Though the hearts of men may be uplifted in pride, and they may refuse to be warned, we still have done our duty. Those who reject reproof may be men who are honored by the world; but their wisdom is foolishness with God. In his own time, he will expose the vanity of their speculations, and bring to naught their counsels.
“A man of strict fidelity is a valuable steward, though he may not possess as great accomplishments as do some others. One who seeks to advance the truth for the glory of God and the good of souls, without respect of persons and regardless of his own ease, interest, or honor,—such a man should be highly esteemed, though he may not possess learning or eloquence. He is God’s nobleman. In the sight of Heaven, he presents the highest type of manhood.
“When the judgment shall sit, and the books shall be opened, there will be many astonishing disclosures. Men will not then appear as they appear to the human eyes and finite judgments. Secret sins will then be laid open to the view of all. Motives and intentions which have been hidden in the dark chambers of the heart will be revealed. Designing ambitions, selfish purposes, will be seen where the outward appearance told only of a desire to honor God and to do good to men. What revelations will then be made. Men of pure motives and true and noble purpose may now be slighted, neglected, slandered, and despised; but they will then appear as they are, and will be honored with the commendation of God. Hypocritical, ambitious teachers may now be admired and exalted by men; but God, who knows the secrets of the heart will strip off the deceptive covering, and reveal them as they are. Every hypocrite will be unmasked, every slandered believer will be justified, and every faithful steward of God will be approved and rewarded.” (Ellen White, Review and Herald, January 1, 1884, emphasis added.)