2017 2nd Quarter
Lesson 3, April 8-14, A Royal Priesthood
Sabbath, April 8
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” KJV, 1 Peter 2:9, 10, emphasis added.
“And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” KJV, Exodus 19:3-6, emphasis added.
“God desired to make of His people Israel a praise and a glory. Every spiritual advantage was given them. God withheld from them nothing favorable to the formation of character that would make them representatives of Himself.
“Their obedience to the law of God would make them marvels of prosperity before the nations of the world. He who could give them wisdom and skill in all cunning work would continue to be their teacher, and would ennoble and elevate them through obedience to His laws. If obedient, they would be preserved from the diseases that afflicted other nations, and would be blessed with vigor of intellect. The glory of God, His majesty and power, were to be revealed in all their prosperity. They were to be a kingdom of priests and princes. God furnished them with every facility for becoming the greatest nation on the earth.” (Ellen White, Christ’s Object Lessons, 288, emphasis added.)
“Through disloyalty, God’s chosen people developed a character exactly the opposite of the character He desired them to develop. They placed their own mold and superscription upon the truth. They forgot God, and lost sight of their high privilege as His representatives. The blessings they had received brought no blessing to the world. All their advantages were appropriated for their own glorification. They robbed God of the service He required of them, and they robbed their fellow men of religious guidance and a holy example. Like the inhabitants of the antediluvian world, they followed out every imagination of their evil hearts. Thus they made sacred things appear a farce, saying, ‘The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, are these,’ while at the same time they were misrepresenting God’s character, dishonoring His name, and polluting His sanctuary.” (Ellen White, The Southern Work, January 10, 1905, emphasis added.)
“But all who profess to keep the commandments of God are not possessing their bodies in sanctification and honor. They can have a powerful influence if they will be sanctified by the truths they profess. They profess to be standing upon the elevated platform of eternal truth, keeping all of God’s commandments; therefore, if they indulge in sin, if they commit fornication and adultery, their crime is of tenfold greater magnitude than those I have referred to who do not acknowledge the law of God binding upon them. In a peculiar sense do those who profess to keep God’s law dishonor him and reproach the truth by transgressing that law.” (Ellen White, A Solemn Appeal, 142, emphasis added.)
“Seventh-day Adventists, above all people in the world, should be patterns of piety, holy in heart and in conversation. The warnings, corrections, and reproofs are not given to the erring among them because their lives are more blameworthy than professed Christians of the nominal churches, or because their acts and examples are worse than those of people who will not yield obedience to the claims of God’s law; but because they have great light, and have by their profession taken their position as God’s special, chosen people, having the law of God written in their hearts. They signify their loyalty to the God of heaven by yielding obedience to the laws of his government. They are God’s representatives upon the earth. Any sin or transgression in them separates them from God, and in a special manner dishonors his name, by giving the enemies of God’s holy law occasion to reproach his cause and his people, whom he has called ‘a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people,’ that they should show forth the praises of Him that hath called them out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (Ellen White, Review and Herald, September 7, 1886, emphasis added.)