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Sabbath Bible Lessons

Lessons from the Epistles of Peter (II)

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Lesson 3 Sabbath, July 20, 2024

In Honor Preferring Others

MEMORY TEXT: “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another” (Romans 12:10).

“Cultivate a disposition to esteem others better than yourself. Be less self-sufficient, less confident; cherish patience, forbearance, and brotherly love.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 133.

Suggested Reading:   Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, pp. 167-177

Sunday July 14


a. What must flow forth as the natural result of a genuine relationship with God? 2 Peter 1:7 (first part); Mark 12:28–31.

“Lift up the standard, lift it up, higher and still higher. Point the people to the twentieth chapter of Exodus, in which the law of God is recorded. The first four of the Ten Commandments outline our duty to our Maker. He who is false to his God cannot be true to his neighbor. He who loves God supremely will love his neighbor as himself. Pride lifts itself up unto vanity, leading the human agent to make a God of himself. The gospel of Christ sanctifies the soul, expelling self-love.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, pp. 211, 212. [Author’s emphasis.]

“No one can love Christ and not love His children. When we are united to Christ, we have the mind of Christ. Purity and love shine forth in the character, meekness and truth control the life. The very expression of the countenance is changed. Christ abiding in the soul exerts a transforming power, and the outward aspect bears witness to the peace and joy that reign within. We drink in the love of Christ, as the branch draws nourishment from the vine. If we are grafted in Christ, if fiber by fiber we have been united with the Living Vine, we shall give evidence of the fact by bearing rich clusters of living fruit. If we are connected with the Light, we shall be channels of light, and in our words and works we shall reflect light to the world.”—Selected Messages, bk. 1, p. 337.

Monday July 15


a. How is brotherly kindness closely connected with true faith in God—and a proper witness for Christ? 1 John 4:20, 21; James 3:17.

“We are exhorted to add godliness, brotherly kindness. O how much we need to take this step, to add to this quality to our characters! In many of our homes there is a hard, combative spirit manifested. Critical words and unkind actions are offensive to God. Dictatorial commands and haughty, overbearing manners are not acceptable to Heaven. The reason there are so many differences existing between brethren is that they have failed to add brotherly kindness. We should have that love for others that Christ has had for us. A man is estimated at his true value by the Lord of heaven. If he is unkind in his earthly home, he is unfit for the heavenly home. If he will have his own way, no matter whom it grieves, he would not be content in heaven, unless he could rule there. The love of Christ must control our hearts, and the peace of God will abide in our homes. Seek God with a broken and contrite spirit, and you will be melted with compassion toward your brethren.”—The Review and Herald, February 21, 1888.

b. Name a basic step in cultivating brotherly kindness. Matthew 6:12, 14, 15; Ephesians 4:32.

“We ask that the mercy of God toward us may be measured by the mercy which we extend to others. Christ declares that this is the rule by which the Lord will deal with us. [Matthew 6:14, 15 quoted.] Wonderful terms! but how little are they understood or heeded. One of the most common sins, and one that is attended with most pernicious results, is the indulgence of an unforgiving spirit. How many will cherish animosity or revenge and then bow before God and ask to be forgiven as they forgive. Surely they can have no true sense of the import of this prayer or they would not dare to take it upon their lips. We are dependent upon the pardoning mercy of God every day and every hour; how then can we cherish bitterness and malice toward our fellow sinners! If, in all their daily intercourse, Christians would carry out the principles of this prayer, what a blessed change would be wrought in the church and in the world! This would be the most convincing testimony that could be given to the reality of Bible religion.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, pp. 170, 171.

Tuesday July 16


a. Describe the breadth and depth of real brotherly kindness. Romans 12:9, 10; Philippians 2:3.

“Paul would have us distinguish between the pure, unselfish love which is prompted by the spirit of Christ, and the unmeaning, deceitful pretense with which the world abounds. This base counterfeit has misled many souls. It would blot out the distinction between right and wrong, by agreeing with the transgressor instead of faithfully showing him his errors. Such a course never springs from real friendship. The spirit by which it is prompted dwells only in the carnal heart. While the Christian will be ever kind, compassionate, and forgiving, he can feel no harmony with sin. He will abhor evil and cling to that which is good, at the sacrifice of association or friendship with the ungodly. The spirit of Christ will lead us to hate sin, while we are willing to make any sacrifice to save the sinner.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 171.

b. What often hinders brotherly kindness—and how can we be delivered from such a snare? Luke 6:45; Hebrews 12:15.

“Hints are thrown out and sharp criticisms of one another, but at the same time the very ones who throw out these hints and criticisms are blind to their own failings.”—Ibid., vol. 4, p. 222.

“Evilspeaking is a twofold curse, falling more heavily upon the speaker than upon the hearer. He who scatters the seeds of dissension and strife reaps in his own soul the deadly fruits. How miserable is the talebearer, the surmiser of evil! . . .

“The sin of evilspeaking begins with the cherishing of evil thoughts. Guile includes impurity in all its forms. An impure thought tolerated, an unholy desire cherished, and the soul is contaminated, its integrity compromised. . . . If we would not commit sin, we must shun its very beginnings. Every emotion and desire must be held in subjection to reason and conscience. Every unholy thought must be instantly repelled. To your closet, followers of Christ. Pray in faith and with all the heart. Satan is watching to ensnare your feet. You must have help from above if you would escape his devices.”—Ibid., vol. 5, pp. 176, 177.

Wednesday July 17


a. As the love of many waxes cold, what Bible principle do we often forget? Titus 3:2. What will happen if we respect it? John 13:35.

“Let the ‘accuser of the brethren’ gain admittance to the heart of one of these men [of the same faith], controlling the mind and the imagination, and jealousies are created, suspicion and envy are harbored; and he who supposed himself secure in the love and friendship of his brother, finds himself mistrusted and his motives misjudged. The false brother forgets his own human frailties, forgets his obligation to think and speak no evil lest he dishonor God and wound Christ in the person of His saints, and every defect that can be thought of or imagined is commented upon unmercifully, and the character of a brother is represented as dark and questionable.

“There is a betrayal of sacred trust. The things spoken in brotherly confidence are repeated and misrepresented; and every word, every action, however innocent and well-meaning, is scrutinized by the cold, jealous criticism of those who were thought too noble, too honorable to take the least advantage of friendly association or brotherly trust. Hearts are closed to mercy, judgment, and the love of God; and the cold, sneering, contemptuous spirit which Satan manifests toward his victim is revealed.

“The Saviour of the world was treated thus, and we are exposed to the influence of the same malicious spirit. The time has come when it is not safe to put confidence in a friend or a brother.

“As in the days of Christ spies were on His track, so they are on ours now. If Satan can employ professed believers to act as accusers of the brethren, he is greatly pleased; for those who do this are just as truly serving him as was Judas when he betrayed Christ, although they may be doing it ignorantly.”—The Review and Herald, June 3, 1884.

“If sin is plain in a brother, breathe it not to another, but with love for the brother’s soul, with a heart full of compassion, with bowels of mercy, tell him the wrong, then leave the matter with him and the Lord. You have discharged your duty. You are not to pass sentence.

“It has been made too light an affair to rein up a brother, to condemn him, and hold him under condemnation. There has been a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. If each would set his own heart in order, when the brethren meet together their testimony would be ready and come from a full soul, and the people around that believe not the truth would be moved. The manifestation of the Spirit of God would tell to their hearts that you are the children of God.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 165.

Thursday July 18


a. What appeal is made to the church until the end of time? Hebrews 13:1.

“A love and good will that exists only when our ways are acknowledged by our friends as right, is of no real value, for this is natural to the unregenerate heart. Those who profess to be children of God and walking in the light should not feel annoyed or angered when their track is crossed.

“You love the truth and are anxious for its advancement. You will be placed in various circumstances in order to try and prove you. You may develop a true Christian character if you will submit yourself to discipline. Your vital interests are at stake. What you most need is true holiness and a spirit of self-sacrifice. We may obtain a knowledge of the truth and read its most hidden mysteries, and even give our bodies to be burned for its sake; yet if we have not love and charity, we are as sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. . . .

“How little you know of the heart trials of poor souls who have been bound in the chains of darkness and who lack resolution and moral power. Strive to understand the weakness of others. Help the needy, crucify self, and let Jesus take possession of your soul, in order that you may carry out the principles of truth in your daily life. Then will you be, as never before, a blessing to the church and to all those with whom you come in contact.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, pp. 133, 134.

“If our brethren and sisters would become missionaries for God, visiting the sick and afflicted, and laboring patiently and kindly for the erring—in short, if they would copy the Pattern—the church would have prosperity in all her borders.”—Ibid., vol. 5, p. 176.

Friday July 19


1. Describe what others can perceive in the attitude of one who loves God.

2. How can I cultivate a stronger sense of brotherly kindness in my heart?

3. Among those I know, to whom should I show deeper kindness?

4. How can I call sin by its right name yet avoid an accusatory spirit?

5. In my thoughts, why do I tend to be harsh on some who may be weak?

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