2017 1st Quarter
Lesson 10, March 4-10, The Holy Spirit, the Word, and Prayer
Thursday, March 9
“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man…”. KJV, Ephesians 3:14-16, emphasis added.
“Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” KJV, Acts 2:38.
“Not by seeking a holy mountain or a sacred temple are men brought into communion with heaven. Religion is not to be confined to external forms and ceremonies. The religion that comes from God is the only religion that will lead to God. In order to serve Him aright, we must be born of the divine Spirit. This will purify the heart and renew the mind, giving us a new capacity for knowing and loving God. It will give us a willing obedience to all His requirements. This is true worship. It is the fruit of the working of the Holy Spirit. By the Spirit every sincere prayer is indited, and such prayer is acceptable to God. Wherever a soul reaches out after God, there the Spirit’s working is manifest, and God will reveal Himself to that soul. For such worshipers He is seeking. He waits to receive them, and to make them His sons and daughters.” (Ellen White, Desire of Ages, 189, emphasis added.)
“The intellect is to be kept thoroughly awake with new, earnest, whole-hearted work. How is it to be done? The power of the Holy Spirit must purify the thoughts and cleanse the soul of its moral defilement. Defiling habits not only abase the soul, but debase the intellect. Memory suffers, laid on the altar of base, hurtful practices. ‘He that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.’ When teachers and learners shall consecrate soul, body, and spirit of God, and purify their thoughts by obedience to the laws of God, they will continually receive a new endowment of physical and mental power. Then will there be heart-yearnings after God, and earnest prayer for clear perception to discern. The office and work of the Holy Spirit is not for them to use it, as many suppose, but for the Holy Spirit to use them, molding, fashioning, and sanctifying every power. The giving of the faculties to lustful practices disorders the brain and nerve power, and though professing religion, they are not now and never will be agents whom God can use; for He despises the practices of impurity, which destroy the vital nerve energies. This sin of impurity is lessening physical vigor and mental capabilities, so that everything like mental taxation will after a short time become irksome. Memory is fitful; and, O what a loathsome offering is thus presented to God!” (Ellen White, Fundamentals of Christian Education, 227, 228, emphasis added.)
“Those who receive the truth which works by love and purifies the soul are loyal to God, honoring Him by obedience to His law, which is holy, just, and good. The spirit of true fasting and prayer is the spirit which yields mind, heart, and will to God…. (Manuscript 28, 1900).” (Ellen White, Vol. 4, SDA Bible Commentary, 1148.)