2017 1st Quarter
Lesson 12, March 18-24, The Work of the Spirit
Tuesday, March 21
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” KJV, 1 Peter 5:8, 9, emphasis added.
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” KJV, James 4:7-10, emphasis added.
“God has determined to leave nothing undone to recover man from the toils of the enemy. After Christ’s ascension, the Holy Spirit was given to man to assist all who would co-operate with Him in the reshaping and remodelling of the human character. The Holy Spirit’s part of the work has been defined by our Saviour. He says, ‘He will convince the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.’ The Holy Spirit is the convicter, and sanctifier as well. As none can repent of their sins until they are convicted, the necessity of uniting the Spirit with us in our labour to reach the fallen is apparent. All of our human abilities will be exercised in vain unless we are united to the heavenly intelligences. It is through the lack of a knowledge of the vitalizing truth, and the corrupting influence of error, that men are fallen so low, sunk in the depths of sinful degradation. Angels and men are to work in harmony to teach the truth of God to those who are unlearned therein, that they may be set free from the bonds of sin. It is the truth alone that makes men free. This liberty, this freedom through the knowledge of the truth, is to be proclaimed to every creature.
“Jesus Christ, God Himself, and the angels of heaven are interested in this grand and holy work. Man has been given the exalted privilege of revealing the Divine Character by unselfishly engaging in the effort to rescue man from the pit of ruin into which he has been plunged. Every human being who will submit to be enlightened by the Holy Spirit is to be used for the accomplishment of this divinely conceived purpose. Christ is the head of His church, and it will glorify Him the more to have every portion of that church engaged in the work for the salvation of souls.” (Ellen White, Australasian Union Conference Record, April 1, 1898, emphasis added.)
“It is essential that we who are fallen through sin, shall put on the robe of Christ’s righteousness which has been prepared for us. The Holy Spirit was to convince ‘of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.’ The unfallen worlds have watched the conflict and trial of the Son of God in behalf of humanity. They have seen the crooked working of him who was once highly exalted of God, but who was expelled from heaven with a large number of angels, who has made this world the stage of his action, the field of his controversy against God. In heaven he complained against the law of God, declaring it unnecessary and arbitrary. He misrepresented the Lord Jehovah, and the high Commander of heaven. He claimed that he was above law, and maintained that right was upon his side; but he has fully made manifest that the principles he advocated were evil and injurious. It has been proved that ‘the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honey-comb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.'” (Ellen White, Review and Herald, April 25, 1893, emphasis added.)