Insights #7 February 14, 2015
First Quarter 2015 Adult Sabbath School Lessons
"Dealing With Fights"
For the week of February 14, 2015
Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 1 Jn 4:17.
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. Jn 16:33
The source of all conflict finds its root in enmity towards God, and the solution to all conflict finds its answer in Christ. As we explore the lesson this week, we find that we can identify with Christ and the gospel revealed in Him so that our conflicts are seen as extensions or applications of His Great Conflict. Thus, we find the gospel as the solution to all conflict, both within and without.
Sunday - Sin and Friends
He who covers a transgression seeks love. Prov 17:9
A friend loves at all time, and a brother is born for adversity. Prov 17:17
Christ, our Elder Brother, is the one who has covered and atoned for the sins of the world. He was born for adversity, and by His stripes we are healed. As He has "covered" for us, we desire nothing but the best for all men, even our enemies. Even the betrayer of Jesus was greeted by Him as "friend."
Monday - Be Just!
Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more. Jn 8:11.
Rebuke one who has understanding, and he will discern knowledge. Prov 19:25
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Rev 3:19
It is only as we understand and experience the power of the gospel through God's preemptive forgiveness that we can grasp and apply the Laodicean message to ourselves. This, of course, changes our attitude and approach to encouraging others in the path of the tsaddiyq, or just. The Lord our Righteousness (The Just One) is our only hope for justice for ourselves and for others.
Tuesday - Words, Again
The words of a man's mouth are deep waters; the wellspring of wisdom is a flowing brook. Prov 18:4
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Prov 18:21
The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life." Jn 6:63
It is the creative power of the Word that brought all into existence, and that sustains all life. Belief in that Word, love of that Word, brings that creative power into our lives so that we can speak the creative, life-giving word of God to others with the "faith of Jesus," believing that God will bring them new life. Belief or unbelief in the Word is a life and death matter, for words inform thoughts, thoughts drive feelings, feelings show in actions, and actions determine destiny.
Wednesday - Two Sides to a Story
The first one to plead his cause seems right, until his neighbor comes and examines him. Prov 18:17
For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. Eph 2:14-16
Cross-examination is what brings understanding to a jury after one side tells its story. And it is examining the Cross of Christ that is the ultimate answer to the accusations of Satan against God and His law. It is the cross that destroys our enmity toward the law and removes its condemnation of us.
We may apply the lessons of the Cross to every conflict, to every enmity we face. Withholding judgment and waiting for evidence from both sides of a conflict is what God has been doing in this Great Controversy. That is also good counsel for us.
Thursday - Be Truthful
A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who speaks lies shall perish. Prov 19:9.
The most fundamental truth of the gospel to which we can witness is what God has done for all men, and specifically what He has done for us, in Christ.
Here is how E.J. Waggoner puts it:
As to your being Christ's, you yourself can settle that. You have seen what He gave for you. Now the question is, have you delivered yourself to Him? If you have, you may be sure that He has accepted you. If you are not His, it is solely because you have refused to deliver to Him that which He has bought. You are defrauding Him. He says, "All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people." Rom. 10:21. He begs you to give Him that which He has bought and paid for, yet you refuse and charge Him with not being willing to receive you. But if from the heart you have yielded yourself to Him to be His child, you may be assured that He has received you."
Now as to your believing His words, yet doubting if He accepts you, because you don't feel the witness in your heart, I still insist that you don't believe. If you did, you would have the witness. Listen to His word, "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself; he that believeth not God hath made him a liar, because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son." 1 John 5:10. To believe in the Son is simply to believe His word and the record concerning Him.
And "he that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself." You can't have the witness until you believe, and as soon as you do believe, you have the witness. How is that? Because your belief in God's word is the witness. God says so. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Heb 11:1.
If you should hear God say with an audible voice that you are His child, you would consider that sufficient witness. Well, when God speaks in His word, it is the same as though He spoke with an audible voice, and your faith is the evidence that you hear and believe.
This is so important a matter that it is worth careful consideration. Let us read a little more of the record. First, we read that we are "all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." Gal. 3:26. This is a positive confirmation of what I said concerning our unbelief in the witness. Our faith makes us children of God. But how do we obtain this faith? "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Rom. 10:17. But how can we obtain faith in God's word? Just believe that God cannot lie. You would hardly call God a liar to His face, but that is just what you do if you don't believe His word. All you have to do to believe is to believe. "The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart; that is, the word of faith, which we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed." Rom. 10:8-11. 1890 EJW, CHR 74-75.