Living by the Word of God (2020, Quarter 2, Lesson 13)

by Tim Rumsey June 20, 2020

Living by the Word of God (2020, Quarter 2, Lesson 13)

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This study guide contains additional materials to accompany the Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide for the second quarter of 2020, titled How to Interpret Scripture. This Deeper Daily Bible Study develops the broad theme of studying and interpreting the Bible into some areas not covered by the Sabbath School Study Guide. While the general topic of each week’s set of lessons corresponds to the Study Guide topic for that week, the daily focus will vary at times from that guide.  We hope that you will find this approach to be a valuable added resource in your Bible study. 

The “Digging Deeper” section probes into the day’s topic, and illustrates the study principle or tool being discussed. Suggested answers, if included, are provided in parentheses. Sabbath School teachers will find this section especially helpful in the Sabbath School setting. The “Apply It” section gives the student an opportunity to apply the subject at hand to their own study of the Bible, and the “Share It” section provides an opportunity for those in group studies to discuss and share their response to the day’s theme.

Sabbath (June 20, 2020): Living By the Word of God

God has always called people to live by faith in His Word. This call has sounded especially clear in times of crisis, and it will continue to become more and more relevant as Christ’s second coming approaches. In this week’s set of lessons we will explore what it means to live by the Word of God.

Digging Deeper

  • Read Matthew 4:4. In what way was Christ’s statement true in the Garden of Eden? (Adam and Eve could have lived forever if they had followed God’s words of warning regarding the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.) In what way this statement true for ancient Israel? (Their nation—and God’s purpose for it—would have endured forever if they had followed God’s purpose and plan for them.) In what way was this statement true for Christ? (His mission, as explained in the Word of God, was to live a sinless life, die, and then be resurrected. Had Jesus not lived by the Word of God, the plan of salvation, and our hope of eternal life, would have been ruined.)

  • Read Matthew 6:31-33. What worldly principle of motive and action does Jesus warn against in this passage? (Focusing our lives on our material needs and wants.) Whom does Jesus say we will be living like if we remain unduly focused on these things? (The Gentiles, or, as some versions put it, pagans.) In verse 33, what challenge does Christ give to those who would follow Him? (The challenge is to focus first on God’s kingdom and His righteousness. These are realities that must be seen and experienced through the Bible.)

Apply It

Read the following passages and discuss what they reveal about how God’s faithful people will be living at the end of time:

  • Revelation 12:17 and 14:12 (They will be living lives of faith in accordance with the Word of God.)

  • Revelation 13:13-15. (They will be living lives opposite from the rest of the world, which will be basing their decisions about reality on the physical phenomena taking place around them.)

Only those who have been diligent students of the Scriptures and who have received the love of the truth will be shielded from the powerful delusion that takes the world captive. By the Bible testimony these will detect the deceiver in his disguise. To all the testing time will come. By the sifting of temptation the genuine Christian will be revealed. Are the people of God now so firmly established upon His word that they would not yield to the evidence of their senses? Would they, in such a crisis, cling to the Bible and the Bible only? Satan will, if possible, prevent them from obtaining a preparation to stand in that day. He will so arrange affairs as to hedge up their way, entangle them with earthly treasures, cause them to carry a heavy, wearisome burden, that their hearts may be overcharged with the cares of this life and the day of trial may come upon them as a thief. {GC 625.3}

Share It

  • In what ways have you experienced God leading you to trust in His Word more completely? How has this experience impacted your relationship with God, and with others?

Sunday (June 21, 2020): The Living Word of God and the Holy Spirit

In today’s lesson we will look at the connection between the living Word of God and the Holy Spirit. This connection was powerfully illustrated in Christ’s life, and the Bible promises that we can experience the Holy Spirit’s power in our lives too.

Digging Deeper

  • Read Luke 4:1,18. What was the secret of power in Christ’s life? (He was filled with the Holy Spirit.) To what extent was Christ filled with the Holy Spirit? (He was “full” of the Holy Ghost.) What practical impact in His interactions with other people did this infilling of the Holy Spirit have? (His entire life, and everything He did, was for the benefit and blessing of other people.)

  • Read Ezekiel 36:25-27. What promise does God give to us regarding the Holy Spirit? (He wants to put His Spirit within us as well.) What must we be willing to forsake in order to experience this filling? (We must give up our “filthiness” and “idols.”) What might these things look like in our lives today? (Answers will vary.) What will the result of this filling be in our lives? (We will live in accordance with God’s Word.)

  • Read Hosea 6:1-3; 10:12. These passages point forward to the “latter rain” of the Holy Spirit, when God will fill His people with an extra measure of the Spirit at the end of time. Given what we have discovered about a Spirit-filled life in the previous passages, what practical impact will the “latter rain” make in the lives of God’s people, in their own lives and in their interactions with others? (They will be living lives that point people powerfully and clearly to Jesus Christ.)

Apply It

Read the following passages and discuss our need of the Holy Spirit in our lives:

As the dew and the rain are given first to cause the seed to germinate, and then to ripen the harvest, so the Holy Spirit is given to carry forward, from one stage to another, the process of spiritual growth. The ripening of the grain represents the completion of the work of God’s grace in the soul. By the power of the Holy Spirit the moral image of God is to be perfected in the character. We are to be wholly transformed into the likeness of Christ. {LDE 183.2}

The latter rain, ripening earth’s harvest, represents the spiritual grace that prepares the church for the coming of the Son of man. But unless the former rain has fallen, there will be no life; the green blade will not spring up. Unless the early showers have done their work, the latter rain can bring no seed to perfection.—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 506 (1897). {LDE 183.3}

The outpouring of the Spirit in the days of the apostles was “the former rain,” and glorious was the result. But the latter rain will be more abundant.—Testimonies for the Church 8:21 (1904). {LDE 185.5}

The outpouring of the Spirit in the days of the apostles was “the former rain,” and glorious was the result. But the latter rain will be more abundant.—Testimonies for the Church 8:21 (1904). {LDE 185.5}

Share It

  • Are you praying every day for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and that the Holy Spirit will prepare you to receive the outpouring of the Latter Rain?

Monday (June 22, 2020): Learning From Jesus

Ephesians 5 uses the illustration of marriage to describe Christ’s relationship with the church: “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones” (Ephesians 5:30). Just as a man and a woman become “one flesh” in marriage, Christ promises that He will become united with His church. And just as a married man and woman share life together and experience the same things, the same thing will be true for a Christian following Jesus Christ—they will follow Him wherever He goes. As Ellen White wrote in The Great Controversy, “The precious Saviour will send help just when we need it.  The way to heaven is consecrated by His footprints. Every thorn that wounds our feet has wounded His. Every cross that we are called to bear He has borne before us” (p. 633, emphasis added).

The ideas in this lesson are explored more fully in the study guide series “Living in the Final Week,” available at www.PathwayToParadise.org.

Digging Deeper

  • Read John 12:24,28,31,42-43,48-50. What kinds of things did Jesus talk about just before His death? (He talked about the gospel, giving glory to God, judgment, the things that can keep us from serving God, and the importance of living by the Word of God.)

  • Read Revelation 14:6-12. What similarities does you see between Christ’s message in John 12:24-50, and the Three Angels’ Messages? (They are very similar. In fact, they constitute essentially the same message. Our message today is the same message that Christ gave when He lived on earth.)

  • Read John 15:3. What result did Christ’s words have on His disciples? (He said that they had been cleansed through His words.)

  • Read John 17:14-17. What effect will acceptance of, and adherence to, God’s Word have in our lives? (We will become separated and distinct from the world, just as Christ’s disciples were.)

Apply It

Read the following passages and discuss what practical impact God’s Word will have in the lives of His people today and at the end of time:

  • 1 John 4:17 (They will be living like Christ lived.)

  • Revelation 7:1-3 and 14:1-5 (They will follow Jesus wherever He goes.)

Share It

  • What does it mean to you that Jesus has already experienced everything that He asks you to go through for Him?

Tuesday (June 23, 2020): Jesus Versus Scripture?

Christ’s life was a fulfillment of Scripture, as Jesus made clear in Matthew 5:17: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” Rather than placing Himself above Scripture, Jesus presented Himself as One Who lived to fulfill it. Within our own sphere, we as Christians are called to do the same thing today. In a special way, God’s church at the end of time will accomplish many of God’s purposes as explained and prophesied in Scripture. In today’s lesson we will look at just one parallel between God’s purpose for the church and His work during creation week.

This study is taken from the book Divided We Stand by Tim Rumsey, available digitally and in print at www.PathwayToParadise.org.

Digging Deeper

  • Read Genesis 2:7. How did God create Adam? (He formed him out of the dust of the ground, and then breathed into him the Spirit of life.)

  • Read Genesis 2:21-25. What did God do at the end of the sixth day of creation? (He performed the first marriage ceremony as the man and woman were united together.)

Apply It

God’s work on the sixth day of creation contains important lessons for what He is trying to do among His people today. Read the following verses and discuss the questions that follow:

  • Genesis 3:14 and Psalm 119:25. What might dust represent spiritually? (It can represent sin.) What spiritual significance might be attached to God’s dividing Adam from the dust of the ground? (Adam’s separation from the dust of the ground might be seen as a symbol of God’s separation of His people from sin.)

  • Ephesians 5:25-27. What promise does this passage give regarding the spiritual condition of God’s people at Christ’s second coming? (The Bible says that God will have a purified church.)

  • Jude 24; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; and 1 John 4:17. What do each of these promises mean to you regarding what God wants to do among His people today?

Wednesday (June 24, 2020): Quiet Times With the Word of God

The Bible repeatedly encourages us to slow down the pace of our lives and spend time with God. Psalm 46:10, for example, says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” It’s best if we choose to take that time voluntarily. Sometimes, however, God allows situations to develop where that quiet time is forced upon us. In today’s lesson we will look at one such episode from Bible history.

Digging Deeper

  • Read Exodus 10:21-23. What was the ninth plague on Egypt? (Three days of darkness.) What do you think the “darkness which may be felt” meant? (Answers will vary.) What do you think the Egyptians did for the three days while they sat in darkness? (Answers will vary.)

  • Read the following statement from Patriarchs and Prophets, then discuss what God’s purposes appeared to be in sending the three days of darkness:

Suddenly a darkness settled upon the land, so thick and black that it seemed a “darkness which may be felt.” Not only were the people deprived of light, but the atmosphere was very oppressive, so that breathing was difficult. “They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.” The sun and moon were objects of worship to the Egyptians; in this mysterious darkness the people and their gods alike were smitten by the power that had undertaken the cause of the bondmen. [See Appendix, note 2.] Yet fearful as it was, this judgment is an evidence of God’s compassion and His unwillingness to destroy. He would give the people time for reflection and repentance before bringing upon them the last and most terrible of the plagues. {PP 272.1}

  • Read Exodus 11:4-6. What great disaster was soon to come upon Egypt? (Death of the firstborns.) For what reasons, then, might God have brought the three days of darkness upon the land, just prior to the last plague? (Answers will vary. He wanted to give the Egyptians and Pharaoh time to repent of their sins and seek Him.)

Apply It

Daniel 12:1 predicts a great time of trouble in earth’s future. Writing about this time, Ellen Write said:

We are living in the time of the end. The fast-fulfilling signs of the times declare that the coming of Christ is near at hand. The days in which we live are solemn and important. The Spirit of God is gradually but surely being withdrawn from the earth. Plagues and judgments are already falling upon the despisers of the grace of God. The calamities by land and sea, the unsettled state of society, the alarms of war, are portentous. They forecast approaching events of the greatest magnitude. {9T 11.1}

The agencies of evil are combining their forces and consolidating. They are strengthening for the last great crisis. Great changes are soon to take place in our world, and the final movements will be rapid ones. {9T 11.2}

  • Considering what inspiration says is coming in earth’s near future, how important is our quiet time with God today?

Share It

  • What is your greatest challenge in safeguarding quiet time with God each day? What secrets have you discovered that have helped you maintain this time to connect with God?

Thursday (June 25, 2020): Memory and Song

Memorizing Scripture is an essential aspect of Christian development. As Deuteronomy 6:6-8 and 11:18 point out, storing God’s Word in our hearts changes the way we think, talk, and act. This experience is one that should be shared and taught by Christian parents, teachers, and other adults, so that our children may grow with God’s Word in their minds and hearts. In today’s lesson we will look more closely at the importance of memorizing the Bible.

Digging Deeper

The Bible gives many reasons that we should memorize Scripture. Read the following verses and discuss the reason(s) given in each:

  • 1 Peter 3:15-16 (so that we can share our faith and hope with others)

  • Colossians 3:16 (so that we can encourage others and praise God)

  • Psalm 119:11 (so that we can more effectively resist temptation)

  • Amos 8:11 (the time may come when we are deprived of our Bibles)

Apply It

There are many effective ways to memorize the Bible. Here is a short list of a few techniques that have helped many people:

  1. Write it out

  2. Memorize while walking or exercising

  3. Listen while driving in the car

  4. Sing the verses

  5. Use a Bible memorization box

Share It

  • What techniques have helped you memorize Scripture?

Friday (June 26, 2020): The Privilege of Prayer

Prayer is one of the most important ways that we have to respond to God’s Word. In today’s lesson we will look at five Biblical keys to experiencing the blessing of prayer.

Digging Deeper

  • Read Isaiah 44:3 and Matthew 5:6. Why is it so important to feel our need of God’s help in our lives? Why does God wait to work in our lives until we feel our need of Him? Does He always wait for this, or does He sometimes work in our lives before we ask?

  • Read Psalm 66:18 and Isaiah 59:1,2. For what reasons does unconfessed sin create such a barrier between us and God? What so often makes it difficult to confess our sins to God, or, if appropriate, to others?

  • Read Mark 11:24. Why does God ask us to exercise faith when we pray? What impact do you think God wants this to have on us?

  • Read Matthew 6:12 and 18:21. Why is a spirit of forgiveness toward others so important in our relationship with God? What should be the quality and extent of our forgiveness toward others?

  • Read John 14:13. What does it mean to pray in Jesus’s name? For what reasons does God ask us to pray in Jesus’s name?

Share It

What experiences have you had, or observed, that required persevering prayer? What blessings resulted from this perseverance?

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Tim Rumsey
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