The Close of Probation, part 1
Let’s face it. Some people are interested in God’s truth, and some aren’t. Some are satisfied with what they have, no matter its poverty. Some want to understand what is coming and how God would like to bless them. Some prefer to wait and see. Perhaps their trust in God is on the thin side. We don’t want to fault them. We want to increase in our understanding, and to see others blessed in growing.
There are those who would like you to think are very broad-minded but who themselves are a bit narrow. They take certain aspects of our faith and discover things to complain about. They take it upon themselves to portray certain of us as holding to a strange set of beliefs. One Adventist teaching which for many years has received little positive attention is what we call the “Close of Probation.”Read more...
This sabbath has been set aside by our Pacific Union Conference as a day of emphasis for prayer for the Holy Spirit and the latter rain. We are glad to join in this event. The Scripture passage chosen for emphasis today is found in the section of the book of Leviticus known as "The Holiness Code": Leviticus 26:1-13:Read more...
Disordered Human Organism
In order to advance our discussion of topics surrounding the fallen human nature, we have offered a new phrase: we speak of the “Disordered Human Organism” (DHO). We use this in order to refer to our fallen human nature as apart from our chosen character. After probation each still has his DHO. This does not change before glorification. DHO is not condemned but character willfully aligned with evil can be condemned.
Some might ask, why coin a new phrase? If you search the Bible you will find no occasion where it uses the phrase “fallen nature” or “sinful nature.” But you will find these terms in the writings of Ellen G. White. We are comfortable using them, but we also see a utility in speaking of the DHO.
The words “fallen” or “sinful&rduo; tend to have a moral connotation. We recogni...Read more...
I Want to Give My Heart to Jesus, part 4
Salvation in the Gospels
Glad you have joined us this morning. Today we move to the fourth installment of a multi-part series titled "I Want to Give My Heart to Jesus." In our first presentation (What Is My Heart That I Would Give to Jesus?), we began with both God's original intention for us, and the nature of humankind after the fall. In the second (Who is Jesus to Whom I Would Give?), we took those findings and said, what about Jesus to whom we would give our heart? In last week's message (Salvation in the Old Testament), we began a rapid-transit journey through the Bible toward our own day surveying the its teaching about salvation.
As we've been advancing over this ground, we've noticed that fallen humankind is born into this world, not guilty, but broken. The effects of the fall are upon him, changing him, preparing him to seek what is evil rather than what is good. In the second message we thought about just what this all meant for Jesus who came "with just such an humanity." We discovered that He became as human as we are so that we might become as obedient as He is. We were very interested last Sabbath as we saw many things about the gospel as particularly shared from Seventh-day Adventism, and there it all was, before our very eyes in the Old Testament! Today we keep moving from the beginning of the New Testament. In the small time that we have, we'll look at something about salvation in each of the gospels.Read more...
As a Servant
And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. And He said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as He that serveth. Ye are they which have continued with Me in My temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as My Father hath appointed unto Me; That ye may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Luke 22:24-30).
Armed and dangerous
Back to Jesus, always we go back to Jesus. And that’s just right too, because we’re not Jews, not Muslims, but Christians. A text:
Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God (1 Peter 4:1, 2).
We want to learn how Jesus suffered for us in the flesh, and be armed with the same mind. To that end, let’s explore this Bible book a bit. ===Read more...
BXIX (Basic eXperience in Christ)
What does the basic experience in Christ look like? How do you live your day to day life as a Christian?
True Christianity is a transformative religion. That is, on the basis of divine revelation, we hold that the human race has been damaged by a moral Fall. When Adam and Eve chose to disobey God, they brought upon themselves and all their progeny the twisting of their humanity. The goal of Christianity is to make it possible for those sharing this damaged nature to form righteous characters in spite of it, to be transformed, and in their lives to show that the power of God heals those willing to be healed.
God desires to change His people but He requires our cooperation. He does not force us to change; He offers opportunities. Each day is a unique, unrepeatable opportunity to cooperate in being transformed; a unique, unrepeatable opportunity to draw close to our Father in Heaven through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We now outline the pattern, but with this caveat. We here propose that Christians take far more seriously the biblical pattern for the day--namely, that it be viewed as encompassing a time period of evening to evening.Read more...