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Sabbath Bible Lessons

The Gospel According to Paul: Corinthians

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Lesson 4 Sabbath, April 23, 2022

Lawsuits Among Brethren

MEMORY TEXT: “Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life”? (1 Corinthians 6:3).

“The saints are to judge the world. Then are they to depend upon the world, and upon the world’s lawyers to settle their difficulties? God does not want them to take their troubles to the subjects of the enemy for decision. Let us have confidence in one another.”—Selected Messages, bk. 3, p. 303.

Suggested Reading:   Selected Messages, bk. 3, pp. 299-305

Sunday April 17

1. THE JUDGMENT OF THE WICKED

a. When will the judgment of the lost occur? Revelation 20:2, 4; 2 Peter 2:4. Who will judge them? 1 Corinthians 6:2, 3.

“During the thousand years between the first and the second resurrection the judgment of the wicked takes place. The apostle Paul points to this judgment as an event that follows the second advent. [1 Corinthians 4:5 quoted.] Daniel declares that when the Ancient of Days came, ‘judgment was given to the saints of the Most High.’ Daniel 7:22. At this time the righteous reign as kings and priests unto God. John in the Revelation says: [Revelation 20:4, 6 quoted]. It is at this time that, as foretold by Paul, ‘the saints shall judge the world.’ 1 Corinthians 6:2. In union with Christ they judge the wicked, comparing their acts with the statute book, the Bible, and deciding every case according to the deeds done in the body. Then the portion which the wicked must suffer is meted out, according to their works; and it is recorded against their names in the book of death. . . .

“Satan also and evil angels are judged by Christ and His people. . . . And Jude declares that ‘the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.’ Jude 6.”—The Great Controversy, pp. 660, 661.


Monday April 18

2. DISPUTES AMONG CHRISTIANS

a. Where should church problems be solved? 1 Corinthians 6:4, 5.

“The saints are to judge the world. Then are they to depend upon the world, and upon the world’s lawyers to settle their difficulties? God does not want them to take their troubles to the subjects of the enemy for decision. Let us have confidence in one another.”—Selected Messages, bk. 3, p. 303.

b. What happened in the church of Corinth that provoked a rebuke from Paul? 1 Corinthians 6:1, 2, 6. How does the Lord consider this practice?

“The world and unconverted church members are in sympathy. Some when God reproves them for wanting their own way, make the world their confidence, and bring church matters before the world for decision. Then there is collision and strife, and Christ is crucified afresh, and put to open shame. Those church members who appeal to the courts of the world show that they have chosen the world as their judge, and their names are registered in heaven as one with unbelievers. How eagerly the world seizes the statements of those who betray sacred trusts! . . .

“To lean upon the arm of the law is a disgrace to Christians; yet this evil has been brought in and cherished among the Lord’s chosen people. Worldly principles have been stealthily introduced, until in practice many of our workers are becoming like the Laodiceans—half-hearted, because so much dependence is placed on lawyers and legal documents and agreements. Such a condition of things is abhorrent to God.”—Ibid., bk.3, pp. 302, 303.

c. Where can we find the solution to problems between church members? 1 Corinthians 6:7–11; 1 John 1:7, 9; Proverbs 28:13.

“The conditions of obtaining mercy of God are simple and just and reasonable. The Lord does not require us to do some grievous thing in order that we may have the forgiveness of sin. We need not make long and wearisome pilgrimages, or perform painful penances, to commend our souls to the God of heaven or to expiate our transgression; but he that confesseth and forsaketh his sin shall have mercy.”—Steps to Christ, p. 37.


Tuesday April 19

3. WARNING AGAINST SENSUALITY

a. What was the main purpose of our creation? Isaiah 43:7.

“Even now all created things declare the glory of [God’s] excellence. There is nothing, save the selfish heart of man, that lives unto itself. No bird that cleaves the air, no animal that moves upon the ground, but ministers to some other life. There is no leaf of the forest, or lowly blade of grass, but has its ministry. Every tree and shrub and leaf pours forth that element of life without which neither man nor animal could live; and man and animal, in turn, minister to the life of tree and shrub and leaf. The flowers breathe fragrance and unfold their beauty in blessing to the world. The sun sheds its light to gladden a thousand worlds. The ocean, itself the source of all our springs and fountains, receives the streams from every land, but takes to give. The mists ascending from its bosom fall in showers to water the earth, that it may bring forth and bud.”—The Desire of Ages, pp. 20, 21.

b. How did Paul consider the body of the believers? Romans 6:13, 15, 19, 20.

“From eternal ages it was God’s purpose that every created being, from the bright and holy seraph to man, should be a temple for the indwelling of the Creator. Because of sin, humanity ceased to be a temple for God. Darkened and defiled by evil, the heart of man no longer revealed the glory of the Divine One. But by the incarnation of the Son of God, the purpose of Heaven is fulfilled. God dwells in humanity, and through saving grace the heart of man becomes again His temple.”—Ibid., p.161.

c. Since we are God’s property, what should each of us understand with regard to our own body? 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17; 10:31.

“By the inspiration of the Spirit of God, Paul the apostle writes that ‘whatsoever ye do,’ even the natural act of eating or drinking, should be done, not to gratify a perverted appetite, but under a sense of responsibility—‘do all to the glory of God.’ Every part of the man is to be guarded; we are to beware lest that which is taken into the stomach shall banish from the mind high and holy thoughts.”—Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 56.


Wednesday April 20

4. MORAL PURITY

a. Since our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, what is our moral responsibility concerning it? 1 Corinthians 6:15–18.

“Every Christian will have to learn to restrain his passions and be controlled by principle. Unless he does this he is unworthy of the Christian name.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 347.

“Moral principle, strictly carried out, becomes the only safeguard of the soul. If ever there was a time when the diet should be of the most simple kind, it is now. . . . The less feverish the diet, the more easily can the passions be controlled. Gratification of taste should not be consulted irrespective of physical, intellectual, or moral health. . . .

“God has given you a habitation to care for and preserve in the best condition for His service and glory. Your bodies are not your own. ‘What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.’ ”—Ibid., pp.352, 353.

b. What is moral purity, and how can we practice it successfully? 2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:3–5.

“We need to place a high value upon the right control of our thoughts, for such control prepares the mind and soul to labor harmoniously for the Master. It is necessary for our peace and happiness in this life that our thoughts center in Christ. As a man thinketh, so is he. Our improvement in moral purity depends on right thinking and right acting. . . .

“Evil thoughts destroy the soul. The converting power of God changes the heart, refining and purifying the thoughts. Unless a determined effort is made to keep the thoughts centered on Christ, grace cannot reveal itself in the life. The mind must engage in the spiritual warfare. Every thought must be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. All the habits must be brought under God’s control.

“We need a constant sense of the ennobling power of pure thoughts and the damaging influence of evil thoughts. Let us place our thoughts upon holy things. Let them be pure and true, for the only security for any soul is right thinking. We are to use every means that God has placed within our reach for the government and cultivation of our thoughts.”—Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 1, p. 235.


Thursday April 21

5. VICTORY OVER SELF-INDULGENCE

a. How did Paul illustrate the Christian race? 1 Corinthians 9:25.

“In the hope of impressing vividly upon the minds of the Corinthian believers the importance of firm self-control, strict temperance, and unflagging zeal in the service of Christ, Paul in his letter to them made a striking comparison between the Christian warfare and the celebrated foot races held at stated intervals near Corinth. Of all the games instituted among the Greeks and the Romans, the foot races were the most ancient and the most highly esteemed. They were witnessed by kings, nobles, and statesmen. Young men of rank and wealth took part in them and shrank from no effort or discipline necessary to obtain the prize.

“The contests were governed by strict regulations, from which there was no appeal. Those who desired their names entered as competitors for the prize had first to undergo a severe preparatory training. Harmful indulgence of appetite, or any other gratification that would lower mental or physical vigor, was strictly forbidden. For one to have any hope of success in these trials of strength and speed, the muscles must be strong and supple, and the nerves well under control. Every movement must be certain, every step swift and unswerving; the physical powers must reach the highest mark.”—The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 309, 310.

b. What does Paul say about how many win the prize? 1 Corinthians 9:24.

“Not one who complies with the conditions will be disappointed at the end of the race. Not one who is earnest and persevering will fail of success. The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong. The weakest saint, as well as the strongest, may wear the crown of immortal glory. All may win who, through the power of divine grace, bring their lives into conformity to the will of Christ.”—Ibid., p.313.


Friday April 22

PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS

1. Describe the work of the redeemed during the one thousand years.

2. What can I do to improve the way church problems are handled?

3. How can I better glorify God in my body?

4. What do Christians today need to know about the seventh commandment?

5. How can I be victorious in the battle for purity?

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