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Sabbath Bible Lessons

Lessons from the Epistles of Peter (I)

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Lesson 12 Sabbath, June 22, 2024

An Appeal to Church Leaders

MEMORY TEXT: “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6).

“Those who have stood as representative men are not all Christian gentlemen. There is prevalent a spirit that seeks the mastery over others.”—Testimonies to Ministers, p. 260.

Suggested Reading:   Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 347-359

Sunday June 16


a. When did the apostle Peter become a true pastor, ready to care for the souls of others? Matthew 26:75; John 21:15–17; 1 Peter 5:1.

“Peter denied the Man of Sorrows. . . . But he afterward repented and was reconverted. He had true contrition of soul and gave himself afresh to his Saviour. . . . He was ready then to pity the tempted. He was humbled and could sympathize with the weak and erring. He could caution and warn the presumptuous, and was fully fitted to strengthen his brethren.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 416.

b. Likewise, what experience must every pastor and church leader have today? John 3:1–3.

“Nicodemus was converted as the result of this interview. The words of Christ are spoken just as verily to presidents of conferences, elders of churches, and those occupying official positions in our institutions, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ ”—Testimonies to Ministers, p. 369.

“The converting power of God must come upon the hearts of the ministers, or they should seek some other calling. . . .

“Unless the ministers are converted men, the churches will be sickly and ready to die.”—Evangelism, p. 643.

Monday June 17


a. What must be considered by the church before calling a person to service, and by the individual before accepting the call? 1 Peter 5:2 (first half).

“God has repeatedly shown that persons should not be encouraged into the field without unmistakable evidence that He has called them. The Lord will not entrust the burden for His flock to unqualified individuals. Those whom God calls must be men of deep experience, tried and proved, men of sound judgment, men who will dare to reprove sin in the spirit of meekness, men who understand how to feed the flock.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 209.

“Every man who accepts responsibilities as a counselor, everyone who is dealing with human souls . . . will never be wiser until he becomes of much less consequence in his own estimation. . . . This change should take place in every man before he accepts a position as a leader or ruler in connection with the sacred work of God.”—Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 370, 371.

b. Of what danger did Peter warn those laboring in the Lord’s vineyard? 1 Peter 5:2 (second half).

“The desire to grasp large wages, with a determination to deprive others of their God-given rights, has its origin in Satan’s mind. . . . Little dependence can be placed on those that have been taken in this snare, unless they are thoroughly converted and renovated.”—Ibid., p. 393.

“The men in positions of trust should regard the means they handle as God’s revenue, and use it in an economical manner. . . .

“The power to use and disburse the Lord’s money is not to be left to the judgment of any one man. An account must be given for every dollar expended. God’s means is to be used at the proper times and in the right places.”—Medical Ministry, p. 165.

c. Although working for the Lord is not a high paying career, what considerations should be made by the church? 1 Timothy 5:17, 18.

“Every worker in our institutions should receive fair compensation. If the workers receive suitable wages, they have the gratification of making donations to the cause. It is not right that some should receive a large amount and others, who are doing essential and faithful work, very little.”—The Publishing Ministry, p. 239.

Tuesday June 18


a. What is the main cause of problems among brethren in positions of weighty responsibility? 1 Peter 5:3; 3 John 9.

“The spirit of domination is extending to the presidents of our conferences. If a man is sanguine of his own powers and seeks to exercise dominion over his brethren, feeling that he is invested with authority to make his will the ruling power, the best and only safe course is to remove him, lest great harm be done and he lose his own soul and imperil the souls of others.”—Testimonies to Ministers, p. 362.

b. What appeal is given to all local church leaders and elders, which, if followed, will prevent pride and a spirit of self-importance among brethren in higher positions? 1 Peter 5:2 (first part); 1 Corinthians 6:2–5.

“I have been shown that it is a mistake to suppose that the men in positions of special responsibility at Battle Creek have wisdom which is far superior to that of ordinary men. . . .

“Many have educated themselves to write or ask for counsel and advice when brought into difficult places. But it is a mistake for those who are placed in responsible positions in our different institutions to depend upon the men. . . . A weak, sickly experience will be the lot of those who are educated to depend wholly upon others. . . .

“Are the men at Battle Creek to be regarded as infinite in wisdom?”— Ibid., pp. 374, 375.

“Look not to men in high positions of responsibility for strength, for they are the very men who are in danger of considering a position of responsibility as evidence of God’s special power. Our churches are weak because the members are educated to look to and depend upon human resources, and thousands of dollars are needlessly expended in transporting finite men from one place to another, in order that they may settle little difficulties.”—Ibid., p. 380.

c. What would enable less experienced workers to gain greater insight for success? Give an example when a lack of this caused failure.1 Peter 5:5 (first part); 1 Kings 12:6–8, 16; Luke 6:39.

“The young can exert a powerful influence if they will give up their pride and selfishness, and devote themselves to God.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 485.

“Let the young cultivate a teachable spirit, that they may be benefited by the efforts of those who seek to help them.”—The Youth’s Instructor, August 31, 1893.

Wednesday June 19


a. How do we know that a one-time genuine conversion or experience with the Lord is not enough for a pastor—or for any believer? 2 Corinthians 13:5; Hebrews 3:13.

“When Peter, at a later date, visited Antioch, he won the confidence of many by his prudent conduct toward the Gentile converts. For a time he acted in accordance with the light given from heaven. He so far overcame his natural prejudice as to sit at table with the Gentile converts. But when certain Jews who were zealous for the ceremonial law, came from Jerusalem, Peter injudiciously changed his deportment toward the converts from paganism. . . . This revelation of weakness on the part of those who had been respected and loved as leaders, left a most painful impression on the minds of the Gentile believers. The church was threatened with division.”—The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 197, 198.

b. When an error or the behavior of a minister, Bible worker, or church leader brings open bitterness or confusion into the church, how are they to be rebuked? Galatians 2:14; 1 Timothy 5:20.

c. What should be the attitude of a converted leader, when publicly rebuked? 1 Peter 5:5 (second part), 6; James 5:16.

“Paul, who saw the subverting influence of the wrong done to the church through the double part acted by Peter, openly rebuked him for thus disguising his true sentiments. In the presence of the church, Paul inquired of Peter. . . .

“Peter saw the error into which he had fallen, and immediately set about repairing the evil that had been wrought, so far as was in his power. God, who knows the end from the beginning, permitted Peter to reveal this weakness of character in order that the tried apostle might see that there was nothing in himself whereof he might boast. Even the best of men, if left to themselves, will err in judgment. . . .

“The history of this departure from right principles stands as a solemn warning to men in positions of trust in the cause of God. . . . The greater the responsibilities placed upon the human agent, and the larger his opportunities to dictate and control, the more harm he is sure to do.”—Ibid., pp. 198, 199.

Thursday June 20


a. What is often a cause of discouragement in the life of a gospel worker? 1 Peter 5:5 (last part).

“We have too many sensitive ministers who are feeble in experience, deficient in the Christian graces, lacking in consecration, and are easily discouraged. . . . Men are wanted in this work who will not murmur or complain at hardships or trials, knowing that this is a part of the legacy that Jesus has left them. They should be willing to go without the camp and suffer reproach and bear burdens as good soldiers of Christ.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 423.

b. When Satan tries to discourage any of us by pointing to problems in the church, to what promise should we cling? 1 Peter 5:4, 7.

“Let nothing prevent us from offering our petitions in the name of Jesus, believing with unwavering faith that God hears us, and that He will answer us. Let us carry our difficulties to God, humbling ourselves before Him. There is a great work to be done; and while it is our privilege to counsel together, we must be very sure, in every matter, to counsel with God, for He will never mislead us. We are not to make flesh our arm. If we do, . . . unbelief will steal in, and our faith will die.”—Testimonies to Ministers, p. 487.

“The spirit of the true shepherd is one of self-forgetfulness. He loses sight of self in order that he may work the works of God. . . . Cooperating with the great Burden Bearer, he shares their afflictions, comforts their distresses, relieves their soul hunger, and wins their hearts to God.”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 527.

Friday June 21


1. When was the last time I was in tears on my knees at the foot of the cross?

2. Do I somehow think that if I get a higher position I can do more for the Lord?

3. Why should the aim for a higher position in the church not enter my mind?

4. What is my attitude towards those who point out my errors?

5. Whom do I see as guilty for my moments of discouragement?

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