1. THE EFFECTS OF SIN
a. What is sin, and what is a direct result of sin? 1 John 3:4; James 1:15.
“There would have been no discord in heaven or in the earth if sin had never entered. Disobedience to God’s law has brought all the misery that has existed among His creatures.”—The Sanctified Life, p. 76.
“To all the inhabitants of the world who make void the law of Jehovah, and continue to live in transgression, death must surely come.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 6, p. 1116.
b. What great principle of the law is lacking when we sin? 1 John 4:7, 8.
“There is need of repentance because of the lack of love to God. He has not been loved with the whole heart, with the whole soul, with the undivided affections; and the second commandment has not been obeyed, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.’”—The Present Truth, January 26, 1893.
“God considers more with how much love we work, than the amount we do. Love is a heavenly attribute. The natural heart cannot originate it. This heavenly plant only flourishes where Christ reigns supreme. . . . Love does good and nothing but good. Those who have love bear fruit unto holiness, and in the end everlasting life.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 7, p. 952.
2. IN BONDAGE TO SIN
a. What terrible power does sin have over mankind today? Proverbs 5:22; Romans 7:14–23.
“Even one wrong trait of character, one sinful desire, persistently cherished, will eventually neutralize all the power of the gospel. Every sinful indulgence strengthens the soul’s aversion to God.”—Steps to Christ, p. 34.
b. From what bondage does Christ seek to deliver us, and into what liberty are we called? Romans 8:21; 2 Peter 2:19. How does Christ do this? John 8:31, 32.
“[Satan] leads men captive, binding them to do his will; in order to fulfill his purpose, he holds them in the veriest slavery. To break this bondage, the Lord, in man’s behalf, has given to the world his only-begotten and well-beloved Son. Through the power of Christ, the captives of Satan may all be set free.”—The Signs of the Times, January 5, 1891.
“Truth never brings the soul into bondage. It is turning from truth to error that brings the soul into captivity. The one who is bound up in close relationship with Christ is freed from the slavery of sin.”—Ibid., August 22, 1900.
c. What appeal does Christ make to us all? Hebrews 3:7, 8; Joshua 24:15.
“In the great controversy between good and evil, each one of us has to choose on which side he will stand, and our life and character will make manifest who is our master. If we refuse to be obedient to the law of God, we shall make terms with Satan, and Christ will be unloved, and unhonored in our heart and life.”—Ibid., January 5, 1891.
“Christ is ready to set us free from sin, but He does not force the will; and if by persistent transgression the will itself is wholly bent on evil, and we do not desire to be set free, if we will not accept His grace, what more can He do? We have destroyed ourselves by our determined rejection of His love.”—Steps to Christ, p. 34.
3. DELIVERANCE FOR ALL HUMANITY
a. How do you know that God desires to deliver everyone from sin? 1 Timothy 2:3, 4; John 1:12.
“[Christ] came not to save men in sin, but from sin. And all who feel their need of a Saviour, and come to Him believing in His power, will gain the victory over sin. ‘As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God.’”—The Signs of the Times, February 24, 1898.
b. How did God provide for the deliverance of the whole human race? 1 John 4:14; John 3:16. When did He provide this deliverance? Hebrews 2:14, 15; Romans 5:8.
“In the Saviour’s expiring cry, ‘It is finished,’ the death knell of Satan was rung. The great controversy which had been so long in progress was then decided, and the final eradication of evil was made certain. The Son of God passed through the portals of the tomb, that ‘through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.’ Hebrews 2:14.”—The Great Controversy, p. 503.
“Not that sin might become righteousness, and transgression of the law a virtue, did Christ die. He died that sin might be made to appear exceeding sinful, the hateful thing that it is. By his death he became the possessor of the keys of hell and of death. Satan could no longer reign without a rival, and be reverenced as a god. Temples had been erected to him, and human sacrifices offered on his altars. But the emancipation papers of the race have been signed by the blood of the Son of God. A way has been opened for the message of hope and mercy to be carried to the ends of the earth.”—Youth Instructor, June 28, 1900.
c. In view of the deliverance provided by God, what message are we to represent to the world? 2 Corinthians 5:18–21.
“As God made Christ His messenger to the world, Christ has made all who claim Him as their Redeemer, to represent Christ in mercy, forgiveness, and pardon, to the world.”—Manuscript Releases, vol. 16, p. 193.
4. DELIVERANCE FROM THE GUILT OF SIN
a. Where only can we look to escape the guilt of sin? John 1:29.
“Christ lifts the guilt of sin from the sinner, standing Himself under the condemnation of the Lawgiver. He came to this world to live the law in humanity, that Satan’s charge that man can not keep the law might be demonstrated as false.”—The Signs of the Times, April 7, 1898.
b. Who bore the guilt of our sin in our place, and how? Isaiah 53:4–6, 12.
“[We] can be delivered from the guilt of sin, from the condemnation of the law, from the penalty of transgression, only by virtue of the suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ.”—Selected Messages, bk. 1, p. 389.
“The guilt of every sin pressed its weight upon the divine soul of the world’s Redeemer. The evil thoughts, the evil words, the evil deeds of every son and daughter of Adam, called for retribution upon Himself; for He had become man’s substitute. Though the guilt of sin was not His, His spirit was torn and bruised by the transgressions of men, and He who knew no sin became sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”—God’s Amazing Grace, p. 172.
“It was the guilt of sin, bringing the Father’s wrath upon him as man’s substitute, that broke the heart of the Son of God.”—The Present Truth, February 4, 1886.
c. How complete is God’s cleansing of the soul from sin? 1 John 1:9; Psalm 103:12.
“While we may see and should sense the guilt of sin, we are to appreciate the mercy of God through the atonement. The Lord has promised that because of the propitiatory sacrifice He will, if we repent, certainly forgive our iniquities. Now, while Christ is pleading in our behalf, while the Father accepts the merits of the atoning Sacrifice, let us ask and we shall receive. Let all confess their sins and let them go beforehand to judgment that they may be forgiven for Christ’s sake, and that pardon may be written against their names.”—Manuscript Releases, vol. 3, pp. 197, 198.
5. DELIVERANCE FROM THE POWER OF SIN
a. What abundant provision has been made to deliver us from the power of sin? Romans 5:20 (last part); Jude 24, 25.
“God has an abundance of grace and power awaiting our demand. But the reason we do not feel our great need of it is because we look to ourselves and not to Jesus. We do not exalt Jesus and rely wholly upon His merits. . . .
“Abundant grace has been provided that the believing soul may be kept free from sin; for all heaven, with its limitless resources, has been placed at our command. . . . In ourselves we are sinners; but in Christ we are righteous. . . . Christ works against the power of sin, and where sin abounded, grace much more abounds.”—God’s Amazing Grace, p. 181.
b. What can we learn from the attitude of the publican praying in the temple? Luke 18:13, 14. What can God do for those who have this attitude? Galatians 2:16, 17.
“The poor publican . . . regarded himself as a very wicked man, and others looked upon him in the same light; but he felt his need, and with his burden of guilt and shame he came before God, asking for His mercy. His heart was open for the Spirit of God to do its gracious work and set him free from the power of sin. The Pharisee’s boastful, self-righteous prayer showed that his heart was closed against the influence of the Holy Spirit. . . . He had no sense of his own defilement. . . . He felt no need, and he received nothing.”—Steps to Christ, pp. 30, 31.
“The publican who went up to the temple to pray is a good example of a sincere, devoted worshiper.”—My Life Today, p. 19.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. How do we know that where there is sin, love is absent?
2. What brings the soul into captivity to sin?
3. To whom does Jesus give victory over sin?
4. How did Jesus deliver us from the guilt of sin?
5. How can the Spirit of God free us from the power of sin?