1. ACKNOWLEDGING THE CREATOR
a. When was the Sabbath given to mankind? What was the purpose of the Sabbath? Genesis 2:1–3.
“The Sabbath . . . is to be remembered and observed as the memorial of the Creator’s work. Pointing to God as the Maker of the heavens and the earth, it distinguishes the true God from all false gods.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 307.
b. What are some general guidelines in true Sabbathkeeping? Isaiah 58:13.
c. Why do we often fail to guard our words upon the Sabbath? Matthew 12:34.
“To keep the Sabbath holy, we should not even allow our minds to dwell upon things of a worldly character.”—Ibid.
“But in order to keep the Sabbath holy, men must themselves be holy. Through faith they must become partakers of the righteousness of Christ.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 283.
2. PUTTING GOD FIRST
a. What does God express right at the beginning of the law, showing its importance? Exodus 20:3. How do we show that we have given something first preference in our life? What types of other gods do we sometimes serve?
“Jehovah, the eternal, self-existent, uncreated One, Himself the Source and Sustainer of all, is alone entitled to supreme reverence and worship. Man is forbidden to give to any other object the first place in his affections or his service. Whatever we cherish that tends to lessen our love for God or to interfere with the service due Him, of that do we make a god.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 305.
b. What should our attitude be toward God? Mark 12:30; Deuteronomy 10:12.
“Christ’s service requires the whole man—the heart, the mind, the soul, the strength. He will not accept a divided heart. He expects us to do our best.”—This Day with God, p. 161.
c. Which attribute is vital if we are to enter into a relationship with God where He holds first place? Galatians 5:6.
“The faith which avails to bring us in vital contact with Christ expresses on our part supreme preference, perfect reliance, entire consecration. . . . It works in the life of the follower of Christ true obedience to God’s commandments, for love to God and love to man will be the result of vital connection with Christ.”—In Heavenly Places, p. 108.
“[The true believer] abides in Christ, and draws his nourishment from Him.
“This spiritual relation can be established only by the exercise of personal faith. This faith must express on our part supreme preference, perfect reliance, entire consecration. Our will must be wholly yielded to the divine will; our feelings, desires, interests, and honor, identified with the prosperity of Christ’s kingdom and the honor of His cause, we constantly receiving grace from Him, and Christ accepting gratitude from us.”—My Life Today, p. 11.
3. PUTTING AWAY SELFISH DESIRES
a. Where does the sinful desire originate which leads to grave sins such as covetousness and adultery? Proverbs 4:23; Matthew 15:19; 22:37.
“The tempter can never compel us to do evil. He cannot control minds unless they are yielded to his control. The will must consent, faith must let go its hold upon Christ, before Satan can exercise his power upon us. But every sinful desire we cherish affords him a foothold. Every point in which we fail of meeting the divine standard is an open door by which he can enter to tempt and destroy us. And every failure or defeat on our part gives occasion for him to reproach Christ.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 125.
“The tenth commandment strikes at the very root of all sins, prohibiting the selfish desire, from which springs the sinful act. He who in obedience to God’s law refrains from indulging even a sinful desire for that which belongs to another will not be guilty of an act of wrong toward his fellow creatures.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 309.
b. As we realize that the battleground is within the mind, what should we do? Philippians 2:5–8; Revelation 3:20.
“Jesus became a man that He might mediate between man and God, . . . that He might restore to man the original mind which he lost in Eden through Satan’s alluring temptation.”—That I May Know Him, p. 291.
“By conversion and transformation men are to receive the mind of Christ.”—Ibid., p. 134.
c. How far-reaching is obedience to the seventh commandment? Matthew 5:27, 28.
“This commandment forbids not only acts of impurity, but sensual thoughts and desires, or any practice that tends to excite them. Purity is demanded not only in the outward life but in the secret intents and emotions of the heart. Christ, who taught the far-reaching obligation of the law of God, declared the evil thought or look to be as truly sin as is the unlawful deed.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 308.
4. REJECTING DESTRUCTIVE THOUGHTS
a. What is the root from which murder springs? 1 John 3:15. What else is involved in keeping the sixth commandment?
“All acts of injustice that tend to shorten life; the spirit of hatred and revenge, or the indulgence of any passion that leads to injurious acts toward others, or causes us even to wish them harm (for ‘whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer’); a selfish neglect of caring for the needy or suffering; all self-indulgence or unnecessary deprivation or excessive labor that tends to injure health—all these are, to a greater or less degree, violations of the sixth commandment.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 308.
b. What characteristic of the carnal heart leads to hatred, and how does this evil trait affect those who harbor it? 1 Corinthians 3:3; Proverbs 14:30.
“Envy is the offspring of pride, and if it is entertained in the heart, it will lead to hatred, and eventually to revenge and murder.”—Ibid., p. 651.
“Envy is one of the most despicable traits of Satanic character. It is constantly seeking the lifting up of self, by casting slurs upon others. A man who is envious will belittle his neighbor, thinking to exalt himself.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 3, p. 1159.
“Envy, jealousy, and evil surmising is a hellish shadow by which Satan seeks to intercept your views of the character of Christ, so that by beholding the evil you may be fully changed into its likeness.”—Ibid., p. 1163.
c. How far should our honesty extend, if we truly desire to keep the eighth commandment? 2 Corinthians 8:21.
“[The eighth commandment] condemns theft and robbery. It demands strict integrity in the minutest details of the affairs of life. It forbids overreaching in trade, and requires the payment of just debts or wages. It declares that every attempt to advantage oneself by the ignorance, weakness, or misfortune of another is registered as fraud in the books of heaven.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 309.
5. THE HIGHEST EARTHLY HONOR
a. What is special about the fifth commandment? Ephesians 6:2; Exodus 20:12.
“Parents are entitled to a degree of love and respect which is due to no other person. God Himself, who has placed upon them a responsibility for the souls committed to their charge, has ordained that during the earlier years of life, parents shall stand in the place of God to their children. And he who rejects the rightful authority of his parents is rejecting the authority of God. The fifth commandment requires children not only to yield respect, submission, and obedience to their parents, but also to give them love and tenderness, to lighten their cares, to guard their reputation, and to succor and comfort them in old age. It also enjoins respect for ministers and rulers and for all others to whom God has delegated authority.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 308.
“Our obligation to our parents never ceases. Our love for them, and theirs for us, is not measured by years or distance, and our responsibility can never be set aside.”—My Life Today, p. 278.
“Those who would truly follow Christ must let Him abide in the heart, and enthrone Him there as supreme. They must represent His spirit and character in their home life, and show courtesy and kindness to those with whom they come in contact. There are many children who profess to know the truth, who do not render to their parents the honor and affection that are due to them, who manifest but little love to father and mother, and fail to honor them in deferring to their wishes, or in seeking to relieve them of anxiety.”—Sons and Daughters of God, p. 60.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. How only can I keep the Sabbath holy? What will my words and actions reveal?
2. If I have a vital connection with Christ, what will be the result?
3. What happens when a sinful desire is cherished, a sinful thought dwelt upon?
4. What is envy? What is the result of cherishing this sinful trait?
5. Why are parents entitled to love and respect more than any other person?