2017 2nd Quarter
Lesson 5, April 15-21, Living for God
Sabbath, April 22
“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” KJV, 1 Peter 3:12.
“Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” KJV, 1 Peter 4:1, 2, emphasis added.
“And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.” KJV, 1 Peter 4:8, emphasis added.
“We are authorized to hold in the same estimation as did the beloved disciple those who claim to abide in Christ while living in transgression of God’s law. There exist in these last days evils similar to those that threatened the prosperity of the early church; and the teachings of the apostle John on these points should be carefully heeded. ‘You must have charity,’ is the cry heard everywhere, especially from those who profess sanctification. But true charity is too pure to cover an unconfessed sin. While we are to love the souls for whom Christ died, we are to make no compromise with evil. We are not to unite with the rebellious and call this charity. God requires His people in this age of the world to stand for the right as unflinchingly as did John in opposition to soul-destroying errors.
“The apostle teaches that while we should manifest Christian courtesy we are authorized to deal in plain terms with sin and sinners; that this is not inconsistent with true charity. ‘Whosoever committeth sin,’ he writes, ‘transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him.'” (Ellen White, Acts of the Apostles, 554, 555, emphasis added.)
“The errors that crept into the early church, and threatened its prosperity, have never been extinct. They are peculiarly active at the present time, constituting one of the perils of the last days. And God requires us to stand, as did John in his time, unflinchingly for the truth. With the love of the truth burning in our hearts, we shall ‘earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints.'” (Ellen White, Signs of the Times, January 29, 1885, emphasis added.)
“The love of God will never lead to the belittling of sin; it will never cover or excuse an unconfessed wrong. Achan learned too late that God’s law, like its author, is unchanging. It has to do with all our acts and thoughts and feelings. It follows us, and reaches every secret spring of action. By indulgence in sin, men are led to lightly regard the law of God. Many conceal their transgressions from their fellow-men, and flatter themselves that God will not be strict to mark iniquity. But his law is the great standard of right, and with it every act of life must be compared in that day when God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or evil. Purity of heart will lead to purity of life. All excuses for sin are vain. Who can plead for the sinner when God testifies against him?…
“The spirit of hatred against reproof is steadily increasing. It is considered uncharitable to deal plainly and faithfully with the erring. Sin is glossed over, and thus blindness has come upon souls until it is impossible for them to discriminate between right and wrong, between sin and holiness. Many have closed their ears to reproof, and hardened their hearts against every influence which would set their sins before them.” (Ellen White, Signs of the Times, April 21, 1881, emphasis added.)
“Her husband seemed to feel unreconciled to my bringing out her faults before the church and stated that if Sister White had followed the directions of our Lord in Matthew 18:15-17 he should not have felt hurt: ‘Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.’
“My husband then stated that he should understand that these words of our Lord had reference to cases of personal trespass, and could not be applied in the case of this sister. She had not trespassed against Sister White. But that which had been reproved publicly was public wrongs which threatened the prosperity of the church and the cause. Here, said my husband, is a text applicable to the case: 1 Timothy 5:20 : ‘Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.'” (Ellen White, Vol. 2, Testimonies for the Church, 15, emphasis added.)