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Sabbath Bible Lessons

Lessons from the Epistles of Peter (I)

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Lesson 6 Sabbath, May 11, 2024

Witnessing to the World

MEMORY TEXT: “For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men” (1 Peter 2:15).

“The crown of Christ is to be lifted above the diadems of earthly potentates.”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 68.

Suggested Reading:   Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, pp. 358-361

Sunday May 5


a. What is one of the most important and yet most challenging battles for every pilgrim? 1 Peter 2:11; 1 John 2:15, 16.

“The apostle Peter understood the relation between the mind and the body, and raised his voice in warning to his brethren: ‘Dearly beloved, I beseech you, as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.’ Many regard this text as a warning against licentiousness only; but it has a broader meaning. It forbids every injurious gratification of appetite or passion. Every perverted appetite becomes a warring lust. Appetite was given us for a good purpose, not to become the minister of death by being perverted, and thus degenerating into ‘lusts which war against the soul.’ . . .

“The strength of the temptation to indulge appetite can be measured only by the inexpressible anguish of our Redeemer in that long fast in the wilderness. He knew that the indulgence of perverted appetite would so deaden man’s perceptions that sacred things could not be discerned. . . . If the power of indulged appetite was so strong upon the race, that, in order to break its hold the divine Son of God, in man’s behalf, had to endure a fast of nearly six weeks, what a work is before the Christian! Yet, however great the struggle, he may overcome. By the help of that divine power . . . he, too, may be entirely successful in his warfare with evil, and at last may wear the victor’s crown in the kingdom of God.”—Counsels on Diet and Foods, pp. 166, 167.

Monday May 6


a. Why are all true Christians perceived as strangers and even as enemies of this world? 1 Peter 2:12; 1 Corinthians 1:18, 23; 2:14.

“Among his [Paul’s] Jewish hearers there were many who would be angered by the message he was about to proclaim. In the estimation of the Greeks his words would be absurd folly. He would be looked upon as weak-minded for attempting to show how the cross could have any connection with the elevation of the race or the salvation of mankind.

“But to Paul the cross was the one object of supreme interest.”—The Acts of Apostles, p. 245.

“The spirit of the world is no more in harmony with the spirit of Christ today than in earlier times, and those who preach the word of God in its purity will be received with no greater favor now than then. The forms of opposition to the truth may change, the enmity may be less open because it is more subtle; but the same antagonism still exists and will be manifested to the end of time.”—The Great Controversy, p. 144.

b. To what does Peter point as the best technique in preaching the Gospel and dealing with the “ignorance of foolish men”? 1 Peter 2:12, 15.

“Our ministers and teachers are to represent the love of God to a fallen world. With hearts melted in tenderness let the word of truth be spoken. Let all who are in error be treated with the gentleness of Christ. If those for whom you labor do not immediately grasp the truth, do not censure, do not criticize or condemn. Remember that you are to represent Christ in His meekness and gentleness and love. We must expect to meet unbelief and opposition. The truth has always had to meet these elements. But though you should meet the bitterest opposition, do not denounce your opponents. . . .

“You should conduct yourself with meekness toward those who are in error, for were not you yourself recently in blindness in your sins? And because of the patience of Christ toward you, should you not be tender and patient toward others? God has given us many admonitions to manifest great kindness toward those who oppose us, lest we influence a soul in the wrong direction.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, pp. 120, 121.

Tuesday May 7


a. Describe the attitude that we should have toward civil authorities and the laws of the land. 1 Peter 2:13–17.

“The apostle plainly outlined the attitude that believers should sustain toward the civil authorities: ‘Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man.’ ”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 522.

b. Give examples of what should be done in cases when the law of the land conflicts with the law of God—and with what attitude. Acts 5:29; Exodus 1:15–17; Daniel 6:7–10, 21, 22.

“I saw that it is our duty in every case to obey the laws of our land, unless they conflict with the higher law which God spoke with an audible voice from Sinai.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 361.

“We are not required to defy authorities. Our words, whether spoken or written, should be carefully considered, lest we . . . appear antagonistic to law and order. We are not to say or do anything that would unnecessarily close up our way. We are to go forward in Christ’s name, advocating the truths committed to us. If we are forbidden by men to do this work, then we may say, as did the apostles.”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 69.

“He who has God’s law written in the heart will obey God rather than men. . . . The wisdom and authority of the divine law are supreme.

“I was shown that God’s people, who are His peculiar treasure, cannot engage in this perplexing war [The American Civil War, 1861–1865], for it is opposed to every principle of their faith. In the army they cannot obey the truth and at the same time obey the requirements of their officers. There would be a continual violation of conscience.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 361.

c. If we are “servants” in our workplace, what type of workers are we to be? 1 Peter 2:18; Colossians 3:23.

“There is science in the humblest kind of work, and if all would thus regard it, they would see nobility in labor.”—Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 315.

Wednesday May 8


a. What should be our attitude toward those who mistreat, offend, despise or mock us? 1 Peter 2:19, 20; Romans 12:19–21.

“We cannot afford to let our spirits chafe over any real or supposed wrong done to ourselves. Self is the enemy we most need to fear. No form of vice has a more baleful effect upon the character than has human passion not under the control of the Holy Spirit. No other victory we can gain will be so precious as the victory gained over self.

“We should not allow our feelings to be easily wounded. We are to live, not to guard our feelings or our reputation, but to save souls. . . . Whatever others may think of us or do to us, it need not disturb our oneness with Christ. . . .

“Do not retaliate. So far as you can do so, remove all cause for misapprehension. Avoid the appearance of evil. Do all that lies in your power, without the sacrifice of principle, to conciliate others. . . .

“If impatient words are spoken to you, never reply in the same spirit.”—The Ministry of Healing, pp. 485, 486.

b. Why does God permit us to suffer at the hands of cruel and wicked people? Matthew 5:11, 12, 43–48.

“The mysterious providence which permits the righteous to suffer persecution at the hand of the wicked has been a cause of great perplexity to many who are weak in faith. Some are even ready to cast away their confidence in God because He suffers the basest of men to prosper, while the best and purest are afflicted and tormented by their cruel power. How, it is asked, can One who is just and merciful, and who is also infinite in power, tolerate such injustice and oppression? This is a question with which we have nothing to do. God has given us sufficient evidence of His love, and we are not to doubt His goodness because we cannot understand the workings of His providence. . . .

“[The Lord] does not forget or neglect His children; but He permits the wicked to reveal their true character, that none who desire to do His will may be deceived concerning them. Again, the righteous are placed in the furnace of affliction, that they themselves may be purified.”—The Great Controversy, pp. 47, 48.

Thursday May 9


a. After encouraging Christians to meet afflictions and persecution with joy, what does Peter bring as the strongest argument to do so? 1 Peter 2:21–24.

“Jesus suffered for us more than any of His followers can be made to suffer through the cruelty of wicked men. Those who are called to endure torture and martyrdom are but following in the steps of God’s dear Son.”—The Great Controversy, p. 47.

b. What encouraging illustration does the apostle bring at the end of his thoughts on how we are to face afflictions? 1 Peter 2:25; John 10:11.

“Christ is represented as hunting, searching, for the sheep that was lost. It is His love that encircles us, bringing us back to the fold. His love gives us the privilege of sitting together with Him in heavenly places.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 479.

“Our workers—ministers, teachers, physicians, directors—all need to remember that they are pledged to cooperate with Christ. . . . They are to cherish a constant sense of the Saviour’s love, of His efficiency, His watchfulness, His tenderness. They are to look to Him as the shepherd and bishop of their souls. Then they will have the sympathy and support of the heavenly angels. Christ will be their joy and crown of rejoicing. Their hearts will be controlled by the Holy Spirit, and they will have a knowledge of the truth which merely nominal believers can never gain.”—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 284.

Friday May 10


1. How can I be delivered from slavery to appetite and passions?

2. What will make my life a living testimony of the power of the Gospel?

3. What are some ways I can better manifest obedience toward authority?

4. When falsely accused or even yelled at, what is to be my response?

5. What will make me truly willing to suffer for Jesus?

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