Sabbath School

The Sanctuary: Sandbox Illustration or Heuristic Vision

God's task was to bring eternal spiritual realities into the lives of the Israelites so that those realities concretely shaped their lives. Heaven was to come down, heaven's business, heaven's concerns,

The Gifts of the Spirit vs. the Demands of IBMTE

This week’s Sabbath School lesson is on sacrifice, which is also about gifts—that which we offer to others. In this commentary, adapted from Spectrum 30-2 (Spring 2002), A. Greg Schneider relates the sacrifices that teachers and others have made—how they have shaped his life, and those of many others.

Good News from the Sanctuary in Heaven: God's Continuing Initiative

This week's Sabbath School commentary is taken from Spectrum 14-1 (August 1983), and is written by Fritz Guy, research professor of philosophical theology at the HMS Richards Divinity School at La Sierra University. The article originated 30 years ago in the aftermath of the Desmond Ford controversy.


The Jerusalem Temple in Its Ancient Near Eastern Context

This week's Sabbath School Commentary is taken with permission from "The Sanctuary and the Atonement," 1989, by the Biblical Research Institute.








The theme of this week’s lesson, “The Promised Revival: God’s Mission Completed,” provides us with an opportunity to reflect on what it might mean for God’s Spirit to be poured out on God’s people, the community of believers that is the Body of Christ before a watching world.

Not So New Thoughts

This week’s theme is “Thinking new thoughts”; however, this seems to be a bit of a misnomer. The theme of the quarter, after all, is revival—that means renovation, rather than innovation. This is explicit in Romans 12:2, one of the scriptures set for study in this week’s lesson, which urges us to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind”. It is not so much new thoughts that are a necessity for Christians who stand in need of revival, but rather a greater currency of the older thoughts that were associated with our first conversion.

God's Makeover

Willingness to grow and change is part of revival and reformation. There's no doubt about it. But what is revival and reformation? Has anyone defined it or do we all assume we know what it is? The introductory lesson to this quarter told us, 'Revival is all about a God of loving kindness seeking to deepen his relationship with us.'

Unity in the Church

If confession is good for the soul and for revival/reformation—here’s mine. Beware the call for unity these days in Adventism. Beware because it means there is disagreement in the house—most likely over women’s ordination--and a frustrated church leader uses the call for unity to try to bring us together. Instead, it comes across like a schoolyard reprimand. The Holy Spirit will not come unless you are united, children, so shape up and get with the program. To me, it seems to make conditional a love that was always promised as unconditional.

Confession and Repentance

 I can't remember when I have seen a Sabbath School lesson on confession and repentance! And that forces me to recognize further that many Adventists (along with Christians generally) believe that, experientially, these two terms are synonymous!

This has happened for several reasons: 1) Belief that we are born sinners (forgetting that sin is a choice); 2) Belief that overcoming sin is thus impossible; 3) Belief that confession is obviously a social necessity but that our Lord's death on the Cross erased our guilt which we are “confessing.”

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