2017 2nd Quarter
Lesson 2, April 1-7, An Inheritance Incorruptible
Tuesday, April 4
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.” KJV, 1 Peter 1:3-12, emphasis added.
“Certain conditions are to be complied with on the part of man, and if he refuses to comply with the conditions, he cannot become the elect of God. If he will comply, he is a child of God, and Christ says if he will continue in faithfulness, steadfast and immovable in his obedience, he will not blot out his name out of the book of life but will confess his name before his Father and before his angels. God would have us think and talk and present to others those truths which are plainly revealed, and all have naught to do with these subjects of speculation, for they have no special reference to the salvation of our souls.—Manuscript 26, 1885.” (Ellen White, Vol. 3, Selected Messages, 315, 316, emphasis added.)
“Christ must be the ground of our hope; for only through Him can we be heirs to eternal life. An immortal inheritance is presented to us on certain conditions. We cannot inherit a possession in this world unless we have a title that is without a flaw, and our right to an inheritance in the world to come, must also be clearly proved through a faultless title. The line through which the heavenly inheritance is to come is plainly revealed in the Word of God. We must come under the provisions of the Abrahamic covenant, and the requirements are, ‘If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.’ If we are Christ’s, our title to the heavenly inheritance is without a flaw, and in harmony with the provisions of the covenant of grace. Through grace we shall be able to make our calling and election sure, putting on the excellency of Christ in spirit and character. No one will be entitled to the heavenly inheritance who has not been purified, refined, ennobled, and sanctified. Then let us be diligent to make our calling and election sure, that an entrance may be administered unto us abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (Ellen White, Messenger, May 10, 1893, emphasis added.)
“A legal religion can never lead souls to Christ; for it is a loveless, Christless religion. Fasting or prayer that is actuated by a self-justifying spirit is an abomination in the sight of God. The solemn assembly for worship, the round of religious ceremonies, the external humiliation, the imposing sacrifice, proclaim that the doer of these things regards himself as righteous, and as entitled to heaven; but it is all a deception. Our own works can never purchase salvation.
“As it was in the days of Christ, so it is now; the Pharisees do not know their spiritual destitution. To them comes the message, ‘Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear.’ Revelation 3:17, 18. Faith and love are the gold tried in the fire. But with many the gold has become dim, and the rich treasure has been lost. The righteousness of Christ is to them as a robe unworn, a fountain untouched. To them it is said, ‘I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.’ Revelation 2:4, 5.
“‘The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.’ Psalm 51:17. Man must be emptied of self before he can be, in the fullest sense, a believer in Jesus. When self is renounced, then the Lord can make man a new creature. New bottles can contain the new wine. The love of Christ will animate the believer with new life. In him who looks unto the Author and Finisher of our faith the character of Christ will be manifest.” (Ellen White, Desire of Ages, 280, emphasis added.)