What does Jesus tell us about growing in him?
If “repentance” is the crucial element in God’s plan of salvation, then what comes next? How does the believer grow “in Christ” ? For Paul, the idea of being “in Christ” was crucial. Note 2 Cor. 5:17 (NRSV): “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!”
Leading Question: What do Jesus and Gospels tell us about salvation before Jesus died on the cross?
Given the strong emphasis on substitutionary theology in evangelical circles, a position which sees the death of Christ as essential in the salvation process, it is instructive to note the teachings of Jesus on the theme of “salvation,” teachings which would have been given before he died to pay the price for our sin.
In our day, whenever Gospel and law or grace and law appear together in the same breath, law always takes a beating. Law condemns, but grace redeems. Now to see law viewed as some kind of culprit is an astonishing development, because in the Old Testament Torah is viewed as very good news indeed. The longest of the psalms, Psalm 119, is nothing but a celebration of Torah.
Scripture: Heb 10:19-25
Leading Question: What would happen to our understanding of God and our responsibilities before him if the book of Hebrews were simply to disappear from our Bibles?
Our commentary on this week’s lesson focuses on Zechariah 14 and two lost-and-found items from our Adventist heritage that are linked with it. One is an astonishing Ellen White quotation on conditional prophecy1; the other, a seminal article from the SDA Bible Commentary that almost no one knows about, “The Role of Israel in Old Testament Prophecy.”2 All this should allow Adventists to take a fresh look at our understanding of the end of time.