2017 1st Quarter
Lesson 9, February 25-March 3, The Holy Spirit and the Church
Sunday, February 26
“For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” KJV, Ephesians 2:18-22, emphasis added.
“Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.” KJV, 1 Peter 2:6-8, emphasis added.
“Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” KJV, Matthew 21:42-44, emphasis added.
“All who have a vital connection with God are guided by his counsel. United in church capacity, they give themselves to do Christ’s work. If we will open the door to Jesus, he will come in and abide with us; our strength will always be reinforced by his actual representative, the Holy Spirit.
“But whenever the church unites with it a man who is without earnestness and sanctified moral purpose, it has a hindrance that weakens moral power, and turns souls away from faith and love and trust in God. Whenever anything is encountered that is contrary to his mind, such a one will reveal his true spirit. In councils he does unlawful acts, pronounces unjust sentences; and through his influence, decisions are made that are entirely contrary to God’s will and ways. Thus he proves himself disloyal to God. He has neglected to follow the rules which Christ has given, and he works according to the principles of the world. If others sit by and let these things pass, God charges the sin upon them also….
“He who loves God and his fellow men as he loves himself will practise no robbery toward God or man. All who live out the law of God will on all occasions maintain the strictest integrity. If men are in living communion with the only true God, they will have the presence of a living Saviour. Such men will be a blessing to the church. Christians who cherish love toward their brethren, and manifest confidence in them, greatly strengthen them. We are to be complete in him who gave his life for us.” (Ellen White, Review and Herald, February 23, 1897, emphasis added.)
“The love of Christ is a golden chain that binds finite, human beings who believe in Jesus Christ to the Infinite God. The love that the Lord has for His children passeth knowledge. No science can define or explain it. No human wisdom can fathom it.
“Selfishness and pride hinder the pure love that unites us in spirit with Jesus Christ. If this love is truly cultivated, finite will blend with finite, and all will center in the Infinite. Humanity will unite with humanity, and all will be bound up with the heart of Infinite Love. Sanctified love for one another is sacred. In this great work Christian love for one another—far higher, more constant, more courteous, more unselfish, than has been seen—preserves Christian tenderness, Christian benevolence, and politeness, and enfolds the human brotherhood in the embrace of God, acknowledging the dignity with which God has invested the rights of man.” (Ellen White, Our High Calling, 173, emphasis added.)