1. THE MISSION OF CHRIST
a. What was the mission of Christ in coming to this world? Luke 19:10.
“Sinners were the special objects of the mission of Christ—sinners of every race and clime. . . . All are dear to Him.”—In Heavenly Places, p. 329.
b. What sacrifice did Jesus make to accomplish His mission? Hebrews 2:9.
“The angels look with awe and amazement upon the mission of Christ to the world. They marvel at the love that moved Him to give Himself a sacrifice for the sins of men.”—Gospel Workers, p. 497.
c. In what part of Christ’s mission is His church to participate? Luke 4:18.
“The mission of Christ was to heal the sick, encourage the hopeless, bind up the brokenhearted. This work of restoration is to be carried on among the needy suffering ones of humanity.”—Welfare Ministry, p. 71.
2. THE OBJECT OF PREACHING
a. What is the gospel all about? 1 Corinthians 15:1–4.
“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.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 6, p. 1113.
“The third angel’s message calls for the presentation of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment . . . but the great Center of attraction, Jesus Christ, must not be left out of the third angel’s message.”—The Review and Herald, March 20, 1894.
b. What is the true object of preaching the gospel to all nations? Luke 1:77; Acts 2:21.
“Preaching, in itself, has no natural power to renew the heart, and yet this is the object of preaching. It is the divine influence accompanying the word, that brings souls in penitence to the foot of the cross.”—Ibid., September 4, 1888.
“The first and chief object of the gospel and all that pertains to it is to seek to save that which is lost. The ministry of the gospel . . . is to reach out to man a helping hand wherever it is needed. It is to minister to the sick and suffering physically as well as to the sin-sick soul.”—Ibid., October 29, 1914.
c. What promise belongs to those who believe the gospel, and what will happen to those who reject it? Mark 16:16; John 3:18–20.
“[Christ] does not say that all the world will be converted, but that ‘this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come’ (Matthew 24:14).”—The Desire of Ages, p. 633.
3. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BAPTISM
a. What action should be taken by those who believe in Christ? Mark 16:16 (first part). What is the significance of baptism? Romans 6:3–6.
“Baptism is a most sacred and important ordinance, and there should be a thorough understanding as to its meaning. It means repentance for sin, and the entrance upon a new life in Christ Jesus.”—Child Guidance, p. 499.
“Christ has made baptism the sign of entrance to His spiritual kingdom. He has made this a positive condition with which all must comply who wish to be acknowledged as under the authority of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. . . .
“Baptism is a most solemn renunciation of the world. Those who are baptized in the threefold name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, at the very entrance of their Christian life declare publicly that they have forsaken the service of Satan and have become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. They have obeyed the command: ‘Come out from among them, and be ye separate, . . . and touch not the unclean thing.’ And to them is fulfilled the promise: ‘I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty’ (2 Corinthians 6:17, 18).”—Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 91.
b. What name was given to Christ’s disciples in Antioch, and why? Acts 11:26.
“It was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians. The name was given them because Christ was the main theme of their preaching, their teaching, and their conversation. Continually they were recounting the incidents that had occurred during the days of His earthly ministry, when His disciples were blessed with His personal presence. Untiringly they dwelt upon His teachings and His miracles of healing. With quivering lips and tearful eyes they spoke of His agony in the garden, His betrayal, trial, and execution, the forbearance and humility with which He had endured the contumely and torture imposed upon Him by His enemies, and the Godlike pity with which He had prayed for those who persecuted Him. His resurrection and ascension, and His work in heaven as the Mediator for fallen man, were topics on which they rejoiced to dwell.”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 157.
4. CONVERTED DISCIPLES
a. What human relationship is used to illustrate the relationship between Christ and His disciples? 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:22–25.
“In the Bible the sacred and enduring character of the relation that exists between Christ and His church is represented by the union of marriage. The Lord has joined His people to Himself by a solemn covenant, He promising to be their God, and they pledging themselves to be His and His alone.”—The Great Controversy, p. 381.
b. How does the Bible describe the life of a baptized disciple of Christ, and why? 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 5:1, 4.
“The old nature, born of blood and the will of the flesh, cannot inherit the kingdom of God. The old ways, the hereditary tendencies, the former habits, must be given up; for grace is not inherited. The new birth consists in having new motives, new tastes, new tendencies. Those who are begotten unto a new life by the Holy Spirit, have become partakers of the divine nature, and in all their habits and practices they will give evidence of their relationship to Christ. When men who claim to be Christians retain all their natural defects of character and disposition, in what does their position differ from that of the worldling? They do not appreciate the truth as a sanctifier, a refiner. They have not been born again.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 6, p. 1101.
c. What must the church consider before recommending that someone be baptized? Matthew 3:8.
“The vows which we take upon ourselves in baptism embrace much. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit we are buried in the likeness of Christ’s death and raised in the likeness of His resurrection, and we are to live a new life. . . . Henceforth the believer is to bear in mind that he is dedicated to God, to Christ, and to the Holy Spirit. He is to make all worldly considerations secondary to this new relation.”—Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 98.
5. QUALITY VERSUS QUANTITY
a. Where does Jesus bring all those who desire to become His disciples, and why? John 10:16; Acts 2:41, 47.
“All who will, may be reconciled to God and receive everlasting life. To you, My disciples, I commit this message of mercy. It is to be given to Israel first, and then to all nations, tongues, and peoples. It is to be given to Jews and Gentiles. All who believe are to be gathered into one church.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 821.
b. While joining Christ’s church is important, what is far more important? John 15:4–6; Luke 13:5–9.
“Ministers who . . . present the truth should not feel content . . . until those who have accepted the theory of the truth . . . are truly converted to God. God would be better pleased to have six truly converted to the truth as the result of their labors, than to have sixty make a nominal profession and yet not be thoroughly converted.”—Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 317.
“Connection with a church does not take the place of conversion. To subscribe the name to a church creed is not of the least value to anyone if the heart is not truly changed.”—Evangelism, pp. 290, 291.
“We cannot secure a title to heaven by having our names enrolled upon the church book while our hearts are not in unison with Christ and His people.”—The Review and Herald, February 19, 1880.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. What was the mission of Christ when He came into this world as the Son of man?
2. What is to be your object in doing evangelistic work?
3. What pledge is made at baptism?
4. Before baptizing a person, what duty must the church perform?
5. As important as church membership is, what is absolutely essential to our salvation?