Lesson 9 | Sabbath, 31 August 2019
“Shall we look at our sins, and begin to mourn, and say, I have done wrong, and I cannot come to God with any degree of confidence? Does not the Bible say, ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’? 1 John 1:9. It is a proper thing for us to have a realization of the terrible character of sin. It was sin that caused Christ to suffer ignominious death on Calvary. But while we should understand that sin a terrible thing, yet we should not listen to the voice of our adversary, who says, ‘You have sinned, and you have no right to claim the promises of God.’ You should say to the adversary, ‘It is written, “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1.’” –Our High Calling, p. 83.
The sinner’s feelings
1. How does a person feel when he becomes aware of his sins against God and men?
Psalm 38:2 For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore.
Job 6:4, first and last parts For the arrows of the Almighty are within me,… the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me.
“Shall the example presented in the history of the children of Israel have any weight with us? Shall those who claim to believe the truth be influenced to judge from their human feelings as did Israel? When the servants of God are called upon to do the disagreeable duty of correcting the erring, let not those upon whom the Lord has not laid this burden stand between the offender and God. If you cannot see matters in the light in which they have been presented, hold your peace; let the arrows of the Almighty fall just where He has directed they shall fall.” –Christ Triumphant, p. 125.
“With personal piety and a consistent course of life our earnest, heart-felt appeals will be, through God, as sharp arrows of the Almighty to pierce the sin-hardened heart, as sharp sickles to reap a precious harvest for the heavenly garner. If we are co-laborers with Christ, we shall all have sheaves to bring to the Master–souls saved through our instrumentality.” –Review and Herald, April 24, 1883.
2. How did the psalmist express his great grief over his sins and iniquities? Was he able to bear their heavy weight?
Psalm 38:4 For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
Ezra 9:6 And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens.
Psalm 40:12 For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.
Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
“All are accountable for their actions while in this world upon probation. All have power to control their actions, if they will. If they are weak in virtue and purity of thoughts and acts, they can obtain help from the Friend of the helpless. Jesus is acquainted with all the weaknesses of human nature, and if entreated, will give strength to overcome the most powerful temptations. All can obtain this strength if they seek for it in humility.
“Jesus gives all a blessed invitation who are burdened and laden with sin, to come to Him, the sinner’s Friend. ‘Come unto Me, all ye that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.’ Matthew 11:28-30.” –An Appeal to Mothers, pp. 31, 32.
“The great burden of every soul should be, Is my heart renewed? Is my soul transformed? Are my sins pardoned through faith in Christ? Have I been born again? Am I complying with the invitation, ‘Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’? Matthew 11:28…. Do you count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus? And do you feel it your duty to believe every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God?” –(Manuscript 32, 1896) Selected Messages, book 2, p. 117.
Sorrow and confession
3. Did he try to cover up or lessen his responsibility before God for his actions? How did he truly feel about his sin?
Psalm 38:18 For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.
2 Corinthians 7:9, 10 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. 10For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
Psalm 32:5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.
“The humble heart will not think confession beneath him. He will not feel it a disgrace to confess if he has in any way, even in thought, hurt his brother or hindered God’s work through him.
“Sins not repented of are sins not forgiven. Those who think themselves forgiven for sins of which they have never felt the sinfulness and over which they have never felt contrition of soul, only deceive themselves…. Our strength lies in our conscious weakness…. In self-distrust we cry to God for help, and work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Casting away all confidence in the arm of flesh, we cling with firm grasp to Jesus….” –Our High Calling, p. 82.
4. How is the sinner’s spiritual and psychological condition described? How much does one suffer when he has sinned and there is no human way to make it right or repair its consequences?
Psalm 38:3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.
Isaiah 1:6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.
Psalm 6:2 Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak: O Lord, heal me; for my bones are vexed.
“David often triumphed in God, and yet he dwelt much upon his own unworthiness and sinfulness. His conscience was not asleep or dead. ‘My sin,’ he cried, ‘is ever before me.’ Psalm 51:3 . He did not flatter himself that sin was a matter with which he had nothing to do, and that should not concern him. As he saw the depths of deceit in his heart, he … prayed that God would … cleanse him from secret faults.
“It is not safe for us to close our eyes and harden our consciences, that we shall not see or realize our sins.” –Our High Calling, p. 82.
5. How wide, deep, and long is his unremitting sorrow?
Psalm 38:6 I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.
Job 30:28 I went mourning without the sun: I stood up, and I cried in the congregation.
Psalm 35:14, second part I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother.
“Seek the Lord with all your heart. Come with zeal, and when you sincerely feel that without the help of God you perish, when you pant after Him as the hart panteth after the water brooks, then will the Lord strengthen you speedily. Then will your peace pass all understanding. If you expect salvation, you must pray. Take time. Be not hurried and careless in your prayers. Beg of God to work in you a thorough reformation, that the fruits of His Spirit may dwell in you, and you shine as lights in the world. Be not a hindrance or curse to the cause of God; you can be a help, a blessing. Does Satan tell you that you cannot enjoy salvation full and free? Believe him not.” –Maranatha, p. 69.
6. How may a person try to excuse or justify himself when he recognizes his guilt? Who alone can help in this terrible situation?
Psalms 38:13-15; 39:7, 8; 120:1; 118:5 But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth. 14Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs. 15For in thee, O Lord, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God…. 39:7And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee. 8Deliver me from all my transgressions: make me not the reproach of the foolish…. 120:1In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and he heard me…. 118:5I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place.
“Dear brother:… I know that you are often tempted and tried. I know that the Lord will not leave you to wrestle with these temptations alone. Only believe Jesus is your Helper, a very present help in time of trouble. Somehow today it seemed to me I must see you and bid you look up; yes, look up through the mist, through the clouds to the Sun of Righteousness. You must not be depressed. It is the depressing discouragements that are sapping your life forces. You must be cheerful even though disappointed in men. Jesus understands; Jesus is true; Jesus is your Saviour. Only a little while of trial, a little moment of affliction, then an eternal weight of glory….
“The deepest and truest philosophy of life and faith is to bring ourselves into the most intimate relation with God. God is giving you an experience, and if you do not grieve too much and feel too keenly, you will have physical strength. But sorrow and dissension and untruthfulness is to you a living death. But you must in faith commit your case to God. Truth will triumph and you will triumph with it.” –The Upward Look, p. 276.
7. What can the repentant one who has committed a serious sin expect from people, such as his friends and companions? Who alone can give anyone freedom from transgression?
Psalms 38:11; 31:11; 32:3-6 My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off…. 31:11I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me…. 32:3When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. 4For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. 5I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. 6For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.
“All the words of consolation I may give you will not amount to much. You know the Source of your strength and your consolation. You are not a stranger to Jesus and His love. You are among many to whom life is a long conflict of pain and weariness and disappointment. Hope deferred has made the heart sad, but this world is the scene of our trials, our griefs, our sorrows. We are here to bear the test of God. The fire of the furnace is to kindle till our dross is consumed and we come forth as gold purified in the furnace of affliction. You may, my dear brother, ponder upon the mysterious providence of God that has taken from you the light of your eyes.” –This Day with God, p. 348.
For additional study
“David was pardoned of his transgression because he humbled his heart before God in repentance and contrition of soul, and believed that God’s promise to forgive would be fulfilled. He confessed his sin, repented, and was reconverted. In the rapture of the assurance of forgiveness, he exclaimed, ‘Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.’ Psalm 32:1, 2. The blessing comes because of pardon; pardon comes through faith that the sin, confessed and repented of, is borne by the great Sin Bearer. Thus from Christ cometh all our blessings. His death is an atoning sacrifice for our sins. He is the great Medium through whom we receive the mercy and favor of God.” –Our High Calling, p. 83.
Missionary Report from the General Conference Canvassing Department
To be read on Sabbath, August 31, 2019
The Special Sabbath School Offering will be gathered on Sabbath, September 7, 2019
Momentous events are taking place in our world today. Everything is in agitation. Crime is increasing rapidly. Floods, famines, earthquakes, wars, and pestilences follow one another in quick succession. Surely we are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Only a moment of time remains for us to fulfill our Lord’s commission to preach the gospel to every creature. We have His assurance of help in performing our task.
“For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14. In vision, Sister Ellen G. White saw the Lord’s glory prested as streams of light going around the world through the divine agency of the publishing work. How is God’s glory to shine out? How are the publications and the canvassing work to go around the world?
The prophet Isaiah says: “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” Isaiah 60:1.
When God has a work to do on this earth, He calls men and women to His service, and His glory shines through them. When Jesus looked at the unsaved multitudes, “He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and we’re scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.” He said, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:36-38.What a scene is portrayed here–God’s children scattered like sheep without a shepherd. People are hurting today. Many are sick and discouraged, alone, and afraid. They live in villages and towns, and many are trapped in the large cities. To reach them, a call for laborers is proclaimed.”
The great need of this hour, then, is colporteurs …
• who are consecrated
• who are willing to do God’s work
• who will carry religious and health literature to every home
• who will share the truth
• who will shed the light of Jesus’ love in every home
• who will engage in God’s business
• who will sell books–God’s books
This includes all of the church members who will go out in spite of trying circumstances. Perhaps you are one of these men or women.
The distribution of literature is appointed by Heaven. It cannot, it must not, continue to be neglected. “Young men, young women, you are called by the Master to take up His work. There is a famine in the land for the pure gospel.” –(Manuscript 113, 1901) Colporteur Ministry, p. 24. The opportunity is open for you right now to become involved in the grandest project of the universe–giving God’s last warning to a judgment-bound world.
You may be impressed that God has a special place for you in the colporteur ministry. However, you may also feel very inadequate. Pay close attention to these words: “The Lord imparts a fitness for the work to every man and woman who will cooperate with divine power. All the requisite talent, courage, perseverance, faith, and tact will come as they put the armor on.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 333.
Your prayers and financial support are urged for the Special Sabbath School Offering to be gathered next week for the General Conference Canvassing Department. Your offerings will be a great help in training the young people to become successful colporteurs, as well as to pay for travel to different countries for canvassing seminars. “There is much to be done to advance the work of God. I have been instructed that the canvassing work is to be revived, and that it is to be carried forward with increasing success. It is the Lord’s work, and a blessing will attend those who engage in it with earnestness and diligence.” –(Review and Herald, January 20, 1903) Colporteur Ministry, pp. 17, 18.
The testimony of Jesus says: “Our hearts must be filled with unselfishness before we can enter the city of God. God’s people should bring their offerings to Him in much greater abundance, and with much more cheerfulness.” –Review and Herald, November 26, 1901.
We wish you the Lord’s abundant blessings! May He bless all of the canvassing leaders, colporteurs, young people, and believers!
–Joel N. Barnedo
General Conference Canvassing Department Leader