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Sabbath Bible Lessons

Lessons from the Epistles of Peter (I)

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Lesson 11 Sabbath, June 15, 2024

Fervent Charity

MEMORY TEXT: “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins”(1 Peter 4:8).

“Love’s agencies have wonderful power, for they are divine.”—Education, p. 114.

Suggested Reading:   Education, pp. 113-118

Sunday June 9


a. How has sin perverted the depth of our love? Genesis 3:12.

“Love, gratitude, loyalty to the Creator—all were overborne by [Adam’s] love to Eve. She was a part of himself, and he could not endure the thought of separation [after she had eaten the forbidden fruit.] . . . He resolved to share her fate; if she must die, he would die with her. . . .

“[Later, before God], Adam could neither deny nor excuse his sin; but instead of manifesting penitence, he endeavored to cast the blame upon his wife, and thus upon God Himself.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 56, 57.

b. What is the simplest way to determine whether I am a true Christian? 1 John 2:9; 4:20; John 13:35.

“Last night I dreamed that a small company were assembled together to have a religious meeting. There was one who came in and seated himself in a dark corner, where he would attract little observation. There was not a spirit of freedom. The Spirit of the Lord was bound. Some remarks were made. . . . It became apparent that there was not the love of Jesus in the hearts of those who claimed to believe the truth and there was, as the sure result, an absence of the spirit of Christ. . . . The assembling together had not been refreshing to anyone.

“As the meeting was about to close, the stranger arose and with a voice that was full of sorrow and of tears, he told them that they had a great want in their own souls, and in their own experience, of the love of Jesus.”—This Day With God, p. 157.

Monday June 10


a. On what principle is the concept of love in this world built? Luke 6:32–34.

b. On what principle is true, divine love built? Matthew 5:44, 45; John 15:13; 1 John 4:7–11.

“Love is more than an impulse, an emotion. It is a living, active, working principle. It is not guided by the feelings, but by the will. In it is comprehended the stern resolve of a mind subdued and softened, which lays hold of the strength of the Infinite, saying, I will serve Thee even unto death.”—The Signs of the Times, June 20, 1900.

“If every one seeking the kingdom of God and his righteousness would be always ready to work the works of Christ, how much easier would become the path to heaven! The blessings of God would flow into the soul, and the praises of the Lord would be on your lips continually. You would then serve God from principle. Your feelings might not always be of a joyous nature; clouds would at times shadow the horizon of your experience; but the Christian’s hope does not rest upon the sandy foundation of feeling. Those who act from principle, will behold the glory of God beyond the shadows, and rest upon the sure word of promise. They will not be deterred from honoring God, however dark the way may seem. Adversity and trial will only give them an opportunity to show the sincerity of their faith and love.”— The Review and Herald, October 20, 1910.

c. If we, being baptized, are still having a hard time to forgive, yield, and show love and forbearance, what are we missing? Romans 8:7–10; 1 John 4:8.

“True sanctification unites believers to Christ and to one another in the bonds of tender sympathy. This union causes to flow continually into the heart rich currents of Christlike love, which flows forth again in love for one another.

“The qualities which it is essential for all to possess are those which marked the completeness of Christ’s character—His love. . . .

“It is the greatest and most fatal deception to suppose that a man can have faith unto life eternal, without possessing Christlike love for his brethren.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 5, p. 1141.

Tuesday June 11


a. What holy principle does Peter bid us to learn and exercise in our daily life? 1 Peter 4:8 (first part); 1:22.

b. In what sense will charity “cover the multitude of sins”? 1 Peter 4:8 (last part) compared to Proverbs 17:9; James 5:19, 20.

“If you think your brother has injured you, go to him in kindness and love, and you may come to an understanding and to reconciliation. When you deal with the erring, you should always keep in mind the fact that you are dealing with Christ in the person of His saints. Go to your brother whom you think in the wrong, and lovingly talk with him alone; if you succeed in settling the trouble, you have gained your brother without exposing his frailties, and the settlement between you has been the covering of a multitude of sins, from the observation of others. Others will not need to know of your difficulty, and thus be put on the alert to watch with suspicion everything the one you think at fault may do, and put a wrong construction on his motives.”—The Review and Herald, February 24, 1891.

“The Scriptures plainly teach that the erring are to be treated with forbearance and consideration. If the right course is followed, the apparently obdurate heart may be won to Christ. The love of Jesus covers a multitude of sins. His grace never leads to the exposing of another’s wrongs unless it is a positive necessity.”—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 267.

“ ‘Above all things,’ the apostle writes, ‘have fervent charity among yourselves’ (1 Peter 4:8). Do not listen to reports against a brother or a sister. Be very cautious how you take up a reproach against your neighbor. Ask the one who brings the accusation if he has obeyed the word of God in regard to this matter. Christ has left explicit directions as to what should be done. Go to your brother and tell him his fault between him and you alone. Do not excuse yourself from this, saying, There is no personal grievance between the one who is accused and myself. The rules given by Christ are so definite, so explicit, that this excuse is not valid.

“Whether or not the grievance is between you and the one accused, the injunction of Christ is the same. Your brother needs help. Tell him, not someone else, that reports are being circulated about him. Give him opportunity to explain.”—In Heavenly Places, p. 292.

Wednesday June 12


a. To what trait of character does Peter point as a good sign of God’s love abiding in the heart? 1 Peter 4:9.

b. Why is hospitality a vital Christian virtue? Hebrews 13:2; Romans 12:13.

“Even among those who profess to be Christians, true hospitality is little exercised. Among our own people the opportunity of showing hospitality is not regarded as it should be, as a privilege and blessing. There is altogether too little sociability, too little of a disposition to make room for two or three more at the family board, without embarrassment or parade. Some plead that ‘it is too much trouble.’ . . .

God is displeased with the selfish interest so often manifested for ‘me and my family.’ Every family that cherishes this spirit needs to be converted by the pure principles exemplified in the life of Christ. Those who shut themselves up within themselves, who are unwilling to be drawn upon to entertain visitors, lose many blessings.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, pp. 343, 344.

“I am acquainted with persons who make a high profession, whose hearts are so encased in self-love and selfishness. . . . They have all their lives thought and lived only for self. To make a sacrifice to do others good, to disadvantage themselves to advantage others, is out of the question with them. . . . Self is their idol. Precious weeks, months, and years pass into eternity, but they have no record in heaven of kindly acts, of sacrificing for others’ good, of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, or taking in the stranger.”—Ibid., vol. 2, p. 26.

c. What shallow, false “hospitality” is practiced by many Christian families? Job 1:4; 2 Kings 20:13–15.

“It is a denial of Christ to make preparation for visitors which requires time that rightly belongs to the Lord. . . .

“Needless worries and burdens are created by the desire to make a display in entertaining visitors. In order to prepare a great variety for the table, the housewife overworks; because of the many dishes prepared, the guests overeat; and disease and suffering, from overwork on the one hand and overeating on the other, are the result. These elaborate feasts are a burden and an injury.”—Ibid., vol. 6, p. 343.

Thursday June 13


a. Name one aspect of how charity is manifested in the life of a true Christian. 1 Peter 4:10.

“God has appointed to every man his work according to his ability. It is by education and practice that persons are to be qualified to meet any emergency which may arise; and wise planning is needed to place each one in his proper sphere, that he may obtain an experience that will fit him to bear responsibility.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, pp. 221, 222.

“The youth especially should feel that they must train their minds, and take every opportunity to become intelligent, that they may render acceptable service to Him who has given His precious life for them. . . . Let everyone improve every opportunity with which in the providence of God he is favored, to acquire all that is possible in revelation or science. . . .

“Every talent that has been given to men is to be exercised that it may increase in value, and all the improvement must be rendered back to God. If you are defective in manner, in voice, in education, you need not always remain in this condition. You must continually strive that you may reach a higher standard both in education and in religious experience. . . . God does not provide a way whereby any one may have an excuse for doing slipshod work; and yet a great deal of this kind of work has been offered to Him by those who work in His cause, but it is not acceptable unto Him.”—Fundamentals of Christian Education, pp. 213-215.

b. What should be the only purpose for all our service? 1 Peter 4:11; Colossians 3:23.

Friday June 14


1. What is the difference between divine love and worldly “love”?

2. What principle lies at the foundation of Christian charity?

3. How can I cultivate nobler habits of hospitality?

4. What types of Christian service would be good for me to develop?

5. How can I ensure that my work is for God rather than careless and slipshod?

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