Thursday, August 01, 2013

Obedience: The Fruit of Revival

Third Quarter 2013 Adult Sabbath School Lessons
"Prayer: The Heartbeat of Revival"
For the week of Aug. 3, 2013

Obedience: The Fruit of Revival

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Eph. 2:10

Only by receiving Christ's righteousness, by identifying with Him as He identified with us, can we see obedience manifested; any obedience we experience is His obedience lived out in us.

The 1888 message of the Righteousness of Christ is the one message that must swallow up every other; it is the Loud Cry message; it is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. 

We will not as a people experience the repentance, the revival, and the reformation we need without it. 

This message was to bring more prominently before the world the uplifted Saviour, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. It presented justification through faith in the Surety; it invited the people to receive the righteousness of Christ, which is made manifest in obedience to all the commandments of God. Many had lost sight of Jesus. They needed to have their eyes directed to His divine person, His merits, and His changeless love for the human family. All power is given into His hands, that He may dispense rich gifts unto men, imparting the priceless gift of His own righteousness to the helpless human agent. This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world. It is the third angel's message, which is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure.--TM 91, 92 (1895).

The message of Christ's righteousness is to sound from one end of the earth to the other to prepare the way of the Lord. This is the glory of God, which closes the work of the third angel.--6T 19 (1900). 

The last message of mercy to be given to the world is a revelation of His character of love. The children of God are to manifest His glory. In their own life and character they are to reveal what the grace of God has done for them.--COL 415, 416 (1900).  

Like Peter, we are naturally self dependent. Therefore we are afraid and deny our Savior. The sooner we can realize that we cannot muster our own agape (selfless love), the sooner Christ can give us Himself and His agape love lived out through us.

Like Stephen, we must see how much Christ has accomplished for the human race -- He is standing at the right hand of God, the position of favor, representing us! -- before we can be so unconcerned about the grip of the world that we are willing to lay down our lives. 

Like Paul, we need to personally and corporately experience a vision, a paradigm shift, where we also hear from the Lord how we as a people have fought against Him, even when we thought were were defending the historic landmarks. We must review our 1888 history in this light.

Only with faithfulness to this vision (like Paul before Agrippa) will we be able to call others to repentance.

Like Jesus, we must look to God for direction every moment to see and treat all humanity from His perspective.

For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And [that] he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we [him] no more. 2 Cor 5:14-16. 

This is the faith of Jesus, which leads to obedience to His commands.

From W.W. Prescott's Armadale Sermons:

"He that saith he abideth in Him, ought himself also so to walk even as He walked." Not as men say He walked, but as He walked. And how shall we know how He walked? -By reading and studying His life. That is where we find how Christ walked, and there we will find how we ought to walk. And we will walk as He walked, not wholly as an obligation, but as a result. If one says he abides in Christ, and walks not as He walked, his life is contrary to his profession. We do not get into Christ by trying to walk as He walked; we do not abide in Christ by trying to walk as He walked; but we first get into Christ, and then as a consequence, just as the branch will bring forth the fruit of the vine, so will the Christian, who really abides in Christ, bring forth the same fruit that He bore, walking as He walked. {December 2, 1895 WWP, BEST 372.9} 

Let the scripture tell how He walked: "I have kept my Father's commandments." The life of God abides in him who abides in Christ, and the scripture is fulfilled, "I will dwell in them and walk in them." God in Christ, by His Holy Spirit dwelling in the man, walks in him. This shows how we can walk as Christ walked. {December 9, 1895 WWP, BEST 380.7} 

What Christ did as head of this new family, we did in Him. He was our representative; He became flesh; He became we. He did not become simply a man, but He became flesh, and every one that should be born into His family was represented in Jesus Christ when He lived here in the flesh. You see, then, that all that Christ did, every one who connects himself with this family is given credit for as doing it in Christ. Christ was not a representative outside him, disconnected from him; but as Levi paid tithe in Abraham, every one who should afterwards be born into this spiritual family, did what Christ did. {January 6, 1896 WWP, BEST 5.3} 

Writing the law in the heart is simply having Christ dwell in us. Christ was the living law, the law in life. Christ's Spirit is the Spirit of that divine-human life that lived in obedience to God's commandments. That is the Spirit He puts upon us, His other self dwelling in us. The law of God is ministered by the Spirit of God. When that comes into the heart, it is Christ Himself; it is "Christ in you the hope of glory." And when Christ comes into our hearts, He is the living law, the law of God worked out in character. Christ dwelling in our hearts, means bringing the character of God into our lives. Keeping the commandments of God is manifesting the character of Jesus Christ. {January 27, 1896 WWP, BEST 28.1} 
-Todd Guthrie

Raul Diaz