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Sabbath Bible Lessons

Lessons from the Epistles of Peter (II)

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Lesson 9 Sabbath, August 31, 2024

Cherishing Heavenly Light

MEMORY TEXT: “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).

“Said the angel: ‘If light come, and that light is set aside or rejected, then comes condemnation and the frown of God; but before the light comes, there is no sin, for there is no light for them to reject.’ ”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 116.

Suggested Reading:   Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, pp. 695-711

Sunday August 25


a. How does Peter explain the fate of false teachers? 2 Peter 2:20.

“False teachers, arising in the church and accounted true by many of their brethren in the faith, the apostle compared to ‘wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved forever.’ ‘The latter end is worse with them,’ he declared, ‘than the beginning.’ ”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 535.

b. What timeless words help us keep a mature perspective and make wise choices when others look down on us or try our patience? Ecclesiastes 7:8.

“Many love to be flattered and are jealously watching for slights or neglect. There is a hard, unforgiving spirit. There is envy, strife, emulation. . . .

“While you are so eagerly striving to be first, remember that you will be last in the favor of God if you fail to cherish a meek and lowly spirit. Pride of heart will cause many to fail where they might have made a success. ‘Before honor is humility,’ and ‘the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.’ ”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 50.

Monday August 26


a. To what does Peter refer to awaken us? Proverbs 26:11; 2 Peter 2:20–22.

“The world is ripening for its destruction. God can bear with sinners but a little longer. They must drink the dregs of the cup of His wrath unmixed with mercy. . . . It is soon to be known who is on the Lord’s side, who will not be ashamed of Jesus. Those who have not moral courage to conscientiously take their position in the face of unbelievers, leave the fashions of the world, and imitate the self-denying life of Christ, are ashamed of Him, and do not love His example.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 287.

b. How does Christ similarly warn us against failing to maintain a humble, dependent connection with Him? Luke 11:24–26.

“The garnished house represents the self-righteous soul. Satan is driven out by Christ. But he returned, in the hope of finding entrance. He finds the house empty, swept, and garnished. Only self-righteousness is abiding there. ‘Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.’

“Self-righteousness is a curse, a human embellishment, which Satan uses for his glory. Those who garnish the soul with self-praise and flattery prepare the way for the seven other spirits more wicked than the first. In their very reception of the truth these souls deceive themselves. They are building upon a foundation of self-righteousness. The prayers of congregations may be offered to God with a round of ceremonies, but if they are offered in self-righteousness God is not honored by them. The Lord declares, ‘I will declare thy righteousness, and thy works; for they shall not profit thee.’ In spite of all their display, their garnished habitation, Satan comes in with a troop of evil angels and takes his place in the soul, to help in the deception. The apostle writes, ‘If after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.’ ”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 5, p. 1093.

Tuesday August 27


a. Why are we clearly told to “continue” in Christ? Colossians 1:21–23.

“It is not necessary for us deliberately to choose the service of the kingdom of darkness in order to come under its dominion. We have only to neglect to ally ourselves with the kingdom of light. If we do not cooperate with the heavenly agencies, Satan will take possession of the heart, and will make it his abiding place. The only defense against evil is the indwelling of Christ in the heart through faith in His righteousness. Unless we become vitally connected with God, we can never resist the unhallowed effects of self-love, self-indulgence, and temptation to sin. We may leave off many bad habits, for the time we may part company with Satan; but without a vital connection with God, through the surrender of ourselves to Him moment by moment, we shall be overcome. Without a personal acquaintance with Christ, and a continual communion, we are at the mercy of the enemy, and shall do his bidding in the end.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 324.

b. Explain the beautiful balance we must understand through justification by faith in Jesus. Romans 3:24–26; Hebrews 6:4–6; 10:26, 27.

“He who healed the sick and cast out demons when He walked among men is the same mighty Redeemer today. Faith comes by the word of God. Then grasp His promise, ‘Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.’ John 6:37. Cast yourself at His feet with the cry, ‘Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief.’ You can never perish while you do this—never.”—Ibid., p. 429. [Author’s emphasis.]

“As the sinner looks to the law, his guilt is made plain to him, and pressed home to his conscience, and he is condemned. His only comfort and hope is found in looking to the cross of Calvary. As he ventures upon the promises, taking God at His word, relief and peace come to his soul. He cries, ‘Lord, Thou hast promised to save all who come unto Thee in the name of Thy Son. I am a lost, helpless, hopeless soul. Lord, save, or I perish.’ His faith lays hold on Christ, and he is justified before God.

“But while God can be just, and yet justify the sinner through the merits of Christ, no man can cover his soul with the garments of Christ’s righteousness while practicing known sins, or neglecting known duties. God requires the entire surrender of the heart, before justification can take place; and in order for man to retain justification, there must be continual obedience, through active, living faith that works by love and purifies the soul.”—Selected Messages, bk. 1, pp. 365, 366.

Wednesday August 28


a. Blessed as we are with an abundance of light from Heaven, what do we need to keep in mind if we are serious about our salvation? James 4:17.

“When persons are spoken to on the subject of health, they often say: ‘We know a great deal better than we do.’ They do not realize that they are accountable for every ray of light in regard to their physical well-being, and that their every habit is open to the inspection of God. Physical life is not to be treated in a haphazard manner. Every organ, every fiber of the being, is to be sacredly guarded from harmful practices.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 372.

b. In the many aspects of present truth in which reform is needed (health being just one example), how far-reaching are the results of our daily decisions? Romans 14:21; Jeremiah 13:20.

“The subject of health reform has been presented in the churches; but the light has not been heartily received. The selfish, health-destroying indulgences of men and women have counteracted the influence of the message that is to prepare a people for the great day of God. If the churches expect strength, they must live the truth which God has given them. If the members of our churches disregard the light on this subject, they will reap the sure result in both spiritual and physical degeneracy. And the influence of these older church members will leaven those newly come to the faith. The Lord does not now work to bring many souls into the truth, because of the church members who have never been converted and those who were once converted but who have backslidden. What influence would these unconsecrated members have on new converts? Would they not make of no effect the God-given message which His people are to bear?”—Ibid., pp. 370, 371.

c. In view of the weighty responsibility resting upon all who are entrusted with Heaven-sent light for today, what earnest appeal echoes down to us right now? Jeremiah 3:12, 13; Psalm 32:5.

Thursday August 29


a. Describe some appropriate appeals for God’s church living in challenging times. Hebrews 5:13, 14; 6:1; Philippians 2:14, 15.

“Throughout our churches there is to be a reconversion and a reconsecration to service. Shall we not, in our work in the future and in the gatherings that we hold, be of one accord? Shall we not wrestle with God in prayer, asking for the Holy Spirit to come into every heart? The presence of Christ, manifest among us, would cure the leprosy of unbelief that has made our service so weak and inefficient. We need the breath of the divine life breathed into us. We are to be channels through which the Lord can send light and grace to the world. Backsliders are to be reclaimed. We are to put away our sins, by confession and repentance humbling our proud hearts before God. Floods of spiritual power are to be poured forth upon those prepared to receive it.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, p. 46. [Author’s emphasis.]

“Whatever your work may be, dear brethren and sisters, do it as for the Master, and do your best. Do not overlook present golden opportunities and let your life prove a failure while you sit idly dreaming of ease and success in a work for which God has never fitted you. Do the work that is nearest you. Do it, even though it may be amid perils and hardships in the missionary field; but do not, I beg of you, complain of hardships and self-sacrifices. Look at the Waldenses. See what plans they devised that the light of the gospel might shine into benighted minds. We should not labor with the expectation of receiving our reward in this life, but with our eyes fixed steadfastly upon the prize at the end of the race. Men and women are wanted now who are as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men and women who will work without having their way smoothed and every obstacle removed.”—Colporteur Ministry, pp. 68, 69.

Friday August 30


1. Do I assume the worst when someone does not seem to appreciate me?

2. In what ways does self-righteousness manifest itself in these last days?

3. How can I obtain and retain justification by faith in the blood of Christ?

4. In what areas of life do my actions need to better reflect what I know?

5. When tempted to complain, what must I remember?

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