2017 1st Quarter
Lesson 9, February 25-March 3, The Holy Spirit and the Church
Monday, February 27
“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” KJV, 1 Corinthians 12:13, emphasis added.
“The apostle exhorts his brethren to manifest in their lives the power of the truth which he had presented to them. By meekness and gentleness, forbearance and love, they were to exemplify the character of Christ and the blessings of His salvation. There is but one body, and one Spirit, one Lord, one faith. As members of the body of Christ all believers are animated by the same spirit and the same hope. Divisions in the church dishonor the religion of Christ before the world and give occasion to the enemies of truth to justify their course. Paul’s instructions were not written alone for the church in his day. God designed that they should be sent down to us. What are we doing to preserve unity in the bonds of peace?” (Ellen White, Vol. 5, Testimonies for the Church, 239, emphasis added.)
“Harmony and union existing among men of varied dispositions is the strongest witness that can be borne that God has sent his Son into the world to save sinners. It is our privilege to bear this witness. Our characters must be molded in harmony with his character, our wills must be surrendered to his will.” (Ellen White, Review and Herald, November 12, 1908, Art. A, emphasis added.)
“From eternal ages it was God’s purpose that every created being, from the bright and holy seraph to man, should be a temple for the indwelling of the Creator. Because of sin, humanity ceased to be a temple for God. Darkened and defiled by evil, the heart of man no longer revealed the glory of the divine One. But by the incarnation of the Son of God, the purpose of heaven is fulfilled. God dwells in humanity, and through saving grace the heart of man becomes again his temple.
“God designed that the temple at Jerusalem should be a continual witness to the high destiny open to every soul. But the Jews had not understood the significance of the building they regarded with so much pride. They did not yield themselves as temples for the divine Spirit. The courts of the temple at Jerusalem, filled with the tumult of unholy traffic, represented all too truly the temple of the heart, defiled by the presence of sensual passion and unholy thoughts. In cleansing the temple from the world’s buyers and sellers, Jesus announced his mission to cleanse the heart from the defilement of sin,—from the earthly desires, the selfish lusts, the evil habits that corrupt the soul. ‘The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap: and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver.'” (Ellen White, Review and Herald, December 31, 1908, emphasis added.)
“We are to be consecrated channels, through which the heavenly life is to flow to others. The Holy Spirit is to animate and pervade the whole church, purifying and cementing hearts. Those who have been buried with Christ in baptism are to rise to newness of life, giving a living representation of the life of Christ. Upon us is laid a sacred charge. The commission has been given us: ‘Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always even unto the end of the world.’ Matthew 28:19, 20, margin. You are dedicated to the work of making known the gospel of salvation. Heaven’s perfection is to be your power.” (Ellen White, Vol. 9, Testimonies for the Church, 20, 21, emphasis added.)