“The church is God’s appointed agency for the salvation of men. It was organized for service, and its mission is to carry the gospel to the world. From the beginning it has been God’s plan that through His church shall be reflected to the world His fullness and His sufficiency. The members of the church, those whom He has called out of darkness into His marvelous light, are to show forth His glory.”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 9.
The glory of God, His character, was manifested in its fullness when He sent His only begotten Son to redeem us from the curse of sin. In this was manifested God’s love for us. Today, the communication of that love to a world in ignorance of it has been entrusted to the church. Through its members, those who have received the message of salvation and been transformed by it, the world is to receive a revelation of God’s character of love. But to communicate that love, we must first understand it. This series of lessons considers first the purpose and mission of the church through the ages and establishes the reason for evangelism, and it then considers the central theme of the gospel message—Christ and Him crucified.
“Hanging upon the cross Christ was the gospel. Now we have a message, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29). Will not our church members keep their eyes fixed on a crucified and risen Saviour, in whom their hopes of eternal life are centered? This is our message, our argument, our doctrine, our warning to the impenitent, our encouragement for the sorrowing, the hope for every believer. If we can awaken an interest in men’s minds that will cause them to fix their eyes on Christ, we may step aside, and ask them only to continue to fix their eyes upon the Lamb of God.” (The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 6, p. 1113).
“The burden of our message should be the mission and life of Jesus Christ. Let there be a dwelling upon the humiliation, self-denial, meekness, and lowliness of Christ, that proud and selfish hearts may see the difference between themselves and the Pattern, and may be humbled.”—The Review and Herald, September 11, 1888.
It is our prayer that these lessons will inspire you with a love that will constrain you to share this message with the whole world.
The General Conference Sabbath School Department