“The Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Elders Waggoner and Jones. 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.”—Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 91, 92.
As the people who have been called to proclaim the message of “Christ Our Righteousness” with great power, it is important that we understand just what is that message and its practical implications. While there are many aspects to this message, in this edition of Sabbath Bible Lessons we will be reviewing the topics of justification, sanctification, and righteousness.
Paul declared the mystery of the gospel to be “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). He further exhorted the Philippians: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). What was the mind of Christ, but “to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work” (John 4:34). What is the work of God but to restore men and women to the image of God as they were created in the beginning. This is only possible by the gospel which “is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Romans 1:16), and by faith in the promise: “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12).
It is our sincere prayer that the message of Justification, Sanctification, and Righteousness through Christ is understood not merely as a theory but as a practical living experience by all of us.
SABBATH, JANUARY 5, 2013
First Sabbath Offering for the Convention Center in Belém, Brazil
Dear brothers and sisters in the faith and blessed hope in Christ, “Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days” (Ecclesiastes 11:1). On behalf of our believers from the Brazilian Amazon region, we come to you through this means of communication of the truth—the Sabbath Bible Lessons— to appeal to your generosity in relation to the advancement of the work of the third angel’s message in our region.
The Amazon Field comprises four major states of the north and northeast of Brazil, with a population of approximately 17 million that inhabit an area of 2 million km2. Most of this population lives on the banks of the great Amazon River and its tributaries, and another considerable part of the population inhabits the hinterland regions of the states of Maranhão and Piauí. Adding up all these factors require considerable efforts and large expenditures of resources to evangelize and communicate with members and interested souls.
Another factor that urges us to plan for missionary activities in this region is its strategic proximity to other countries that need to be evangelized: Guyana, French Guiana, and Suriname.
Our desire is to cooperate more with this work, but we need first to establish ourselves firmly as the prophet Isaiah wrote in chapter 54:2: “Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes.” In looking ahead to prepare and strengthen volunteer missionaries, especially among the young people, we bought a beautiful piece of land approximately 30 kilometers away from the present headquarters of the Amazon Field in Belém, the capital of Pará, and now we need to invest in the infrastructure and construction of the new building.
We appeal to all Sabbath School students to help us in this project. May God reward you richly as you donate liberally to His cause. “The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself” (Proverbs 11:25).
Your brethren and sisters from the North Brazilian Union
The General Conference Sabbath School Department