14.12.17

The Salvation of Sinners

Thursday December 14

Paul’s love for his own people is clearly apparent in Romans 11:25-27. How hard it must have been for him to have some of his countrymen fight against him and against the truth of the gospel. And yet, amid it all, he still believed that many would see Jesus as the Messiah.

Read Romans 11:28-36. How does Paul show God’s love, not just for the Jews but for all humanity? How does he express here the amazing and mysterious power of God’s grace?

Through Romans 11:28-36, although a contrast is made between Jews and Gentiles, one point stands clear: God’s mercy and love and grace are poured out upon sinners. From even before the foundation of the world God’s plan was to save humanity and to use other human beings, nations even, as instruments in His hands to fulfill His divine will.

Carefully and prayerfully read Romans 11:31. What important point should we take from this text about our witness, not just to Jews but to all people with whom we come in contact?

No doubt, through the centuries, had the Christian church treated the Jews better, many more might have come to their Messiah. The great falling away in the early centuries after Christ, and the extreme paganization of Christianity - including the rejection of the seventh-day Sabbath in favor of Sunday - certainly didn’t make it any easier on a Jew who might have been drawn to Jesus.

How crucial, then, that all Christians, realizing the mercy that has been given to them in Jesus, display that mercy to others. We cannot be Christians if we do not (see Matt. 18:23-35).

Is there someone to whom you need to show mercy, who perhaps doesn’t deserve it? Why not show this person that mercy, no matter how hard that might be to do? Isn’t that what Jesus has done for us?

A Salvação dos Pecadores

Quinta-feira, 14 de Dezembro

O amor de Paulo por seu povo fica evidente de forma clara em Romanos 11:25-27. Deve ter sido muito difícil para ele opor-se a alguns dos seus próprios compatriotas e vê-los lutar contra a verdade do evangelho. No entanto, em meio a tudo isto, ele ainda acreditava que muitos reconheceriam Jesus como o Messias.

7. Leia Romanos 11:28-36. De que maneira mostrou Paulo o amor de Deus, não apenas pelos judeus, mas por toda a humanidade? Como expressou ele o poder maravilhoso e misterioso da graça de Deus?

Ao longo de Romanos 11:28-36, embora seja apresentado um contraste entre judeus e gentios, um ponto fica claro: a misericórdia, o amor e a graça de Deus são derramados sobre os pecadores. Desde antes da fundação do mundo, o plano de Deus era salvar a humanidade e usar outros seres humanos e nações como instrumentos em Suas mãos para cumprir a Sua vontade.

8. Leia Romanos 11:31 com atenção e oração. Que ponto importante devemos extrair detse texto sobre o nosso testemunho, não apenas aos judeus, mas para todas as pessoas com quem entramos em contacto?

Ao longo dos séculos, se a igreja cristã tivesse tratado melhor os judeus, muitos mais poderiam ter aceitado o Messias. A grande apostasia nos primeiros séculos depois de Cristo e a paganização extrema do cristianismo, inclusive a rejeição do Sábado em favor do domingo – certamente não tornaram mais fácil a situação para que os judeus fossem atraídos para Jesus.

Portanto, é fundamental que todos os cristãos, percebendo a misericórdia que lhes foi dada em Cristo, demonstrem essa misericórdia para com outros. Não podemos ser cristãos sem esta manifestação de compaixão (veja Mateus 18:23-36).

Precisa demonstrar misericórdia a alguém que não merece? Mostre misericórdia a essa pessoa, não importa o quanto isso seja difícil. Afinal de contas, não foi isso que Jesus fez por nós?

13.12.17

Heli Mountain Biking

All Israel Shall Be Saved

Wednesday December 13

Read Romans 11:25-27. What great events is Paul predicting here?

Christians have been discussing and debating Romans 11:25-27 for centuries now. A few points, however, are clear. For starters, the whole tenor here is that of God reaching out to the Jews. What Paul is saying comes in reply to the question raised at the beginning of the chapter, “Hath God cast away his people?” His answer, of course, is no, and his explanation is (1) that the blindness (Greek porosis, “hardness”) is only “in part,” and (2) that it is only temporary, “until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.”

What does “the fulness of the Gentiles” mean? Many see this phrase as a way of expressing the fulfillment of the gospel commission, in which all the world hears the gospel. “The fullness of the Gentiles” has come in when the gospel has been preached everywhere. The faith of Israel, manifested in Christ, is universalized. The gospel has been preached to all the world. The coming of Jesus is near. At this point, then, many Jews start coming to Jesus.

Another difficult point is the meaning of “all Israel shall be saved ” (Rom. 11:26). This must not be construed to mean that every Jew will by some divine decree have salvation in the end time. Nowhere do the Scriptures preach universalism, either for the entire human race or for a particular segment. Paul was hoping to save “some of them” (Rom. 11:14). Some accepted the Messiah, and some rejected Him, as it is with all people groups.

Commenting on Romans 11, Ellen G. White speaks of a time “in the closing proclamation of the gospel” when “many of the Jews . . . will by faith receive Christ as their Redeemer.” - The Acts of the Apostles, p. 381.

“There is a mighty work to be done in our world. The Lord has declared that the Gentiles shall be gathered in, and not the Gentiles only, but the Jews. There are among the Jews many who will be converted, and through whom we shall see the salvation of God go forth as a lamp that burneth. There are Jews everywhere, and to them the light of present truth is to be brought. There are among them many who will come to the light, and who will proclaim the immutability of the law of God with wonderful power.” - Evangelism, p. 578.

Take some time to think about the Jewish roots of the Christian faith. How could a selective study of the Jewish religion help you to better understand your Christian faith?

Todo o Israel será salvo

Quarta-feira, 13 de Dezembro

6. Leia Romanos 11:25-27. Que acontecimentos importantes previu Paulo nesta passagem?

Há séculos que os cristãos têm discutido e debatido sobre Romanos 11:25-27. Entretanto, alguns pontos são claros. Para começar, todo o conteúdo destes versos trata da ação divina para alcançar os judeus. O que Paulo estava a dizer é uma resposta à pergunta feita no início do capítulo: “Terá Deus, porventura, rejeitado o Seu povo”? Sua resposta, obviamente, foi não. Ele explicou que (1) a cegueira (do grego porosis, cujo significado é “endurecimento”, ARA) foi apenas “em parte” e (2) temporária, “até que chegasse a plenitude dos gentios” (Romanos 11:25, NVI).

O que significa “a plenitude dos gentios”? Muitos entendem esta expressão como uma forma de representar o cumprimento da comissão evangélica, na qual o mundo todo ouvirá o evangelho. “A plenitude dos gentios” chegará quando o evangelho for pregado em toda a terra. A fé de Israel, manifestada em Cristo, será universalizada. O evangelho terá sido pregado a todo o mundo. A vinda de Jesus está próxima. Nesse momento, então, muitos judeus começarão a vir a Jesus.

Outro assunto difícil é o significado da expressão “todo o Israel será salvo” (Romanos 11:26). Isto não deve ser interpretado no sentido de que todo o judeu, por algum decreto divino, terá a salvação no tempo do fim. As Escrituras não pregam em nenhuma parte o universalismo, seja para toda humanidade, seja para determinado segmento. Paulo esperava salvar “alguns deles” (Romanos 11:14). Assim como ocorre em todos os grupos de pessoas, alguns aceitaram o Messias, outros rejeitaram-nO.

Comentando sobre Romanos 11, Ellen G. White falou de um tempo “na proclamação final do evangelho” em que “muitos judeus […] receberão a Cristo pela fé como seu Redentor” (Atos dos Apóstolos, p. 211.5).

“Há uma poderosa obra a ser feita no mundo. O Senhor declarou que os gentios serão recolhidos, e não somente os gentios, mas os judeus. Há entre os judeus muitos que serão convertidos e por meio de quem veremos a salvação de Deus sair como lâmpada ardente. Há judeus por toda parte, e a eles deve ser levada a luz da verdade presente. Há entre eles muitos que virão para a luz e que proclamarão a imutabilidade da lei de Deus com admirável poder.” Ellen G. White, Evangelismo, p. 578

Pense nas raízes judaicas da fé cristã. Um estudo seletivo da religião judaica poderia ajudá-lo a entender melhor a sua fé cristã?

12.12.17

The Natural Branch

Tuesday December 12

Read Romans 11:11-15. What great hope does Paul present in this passage?

In this passage, we find two parallel expressions: (1) “their [the Israelites’] fulness” (Rom. 11:12) and (2) “the receiving of them [the Israelites]” (Rom. 11:15). Paul envisioned the diminishing and the casting away to be only temporary and to be followed by fullness and reception. This is Paul’s second answer to the question raised at the beginning of this chapter, “Hath God cast away his people?” What appears to be a casting away, he says, is only a temporary situation.

Read Romans 11:16-24. What is Paul saying to us here?

Paul likens the faithful remnant in Israel to a noble olive tree, some of whose branches have been broken off (the unbelieving ones) - an illustration he uses to prove that “God hath not cast away his people” (Rom. 11:2). The root and trunk are still there.

Into this tree the believing Gentiles have been grafted. But they are drawing their sap and vitality from the root and trunk, which represent believing Israel.

What happened to those who rejected Jesus could happen also to the believing Gentiles. The Bible teaches no doctrine of “once saved, always saved.” Just as salvation is freely offered, it freely can be rejected. Although we have to be careful of thinking that every time we fall we are out of salvation, or that we aren’t saved unless we are perfect, we need to avoid the opposite ditch as well - the idea that once God’s grace covers us, there is nothing we can do, no choices we can make, that will take the provision of salvation away from us. In the end, only those who “continue in his goodness” (Rom. 11:22) will be saved.

No believer should boast of his or her own goodness or feel any superiority over his or her fellow human beings. Our salvation was not earned; it was a gift. Before the Cross, before the standard of God’s holiness, we all are equal: sinners in need of divine grace, sinners in need of a holiness that can be ours only through grace. We have nothing of ourselves to boast about; our boasting should be only in Jesus and what He has done for us by coming into this world in human flesh, suffering our woes, dying for our sins, offering us a model for how we are to live, and promising us the power to live that life. In it all, we are completely dependent upon Him, for without Him we would have no hope beyond what this world itself offers.

O Ramo Natural

Terça-feira, 12 de Dezembro

4. Leia Romanos 11:11-15. Qual é a grande esperança apresentada por Paulo neste texto?

Nesta passagem, encontramos duas expressões paralelas a respeito dos israelitas: (1) “a sua plenitude” (Romanos 11:12) e (2) “a sua aceitação” (Romanos 11:15, NVI). Paulo concebeu a decadência e a rejeição de Israel como sendo apenas temporárias; elas seriam seguidas pela plenitude e aceitação. Esta é a segunda resposta de Paulo à pergunta feita no início deste capítulo: “Terá Deus, porventura, rejeitado o Seu povo”? O que parecia ser uma rejeição, disse ele, era apenas uma situação temporária.

5. Leia Romanos 11:16-24. Qual é a mensagem de Paulo neste texto?

Paulo comparou o remanescente fiel de Israel a uma oliveira nobre, cujos ramos “incrédulos” foram quebrados – uma ilustração que ele usou para provar que “Deus não rejeitou o Seu povo” (Romanos 11:2). A raiz e o tronco permaneceram.

Os gentios cristãos foram enxertados nessa árvore. Contudo, eles estavam a extrair a sua seiva e vitalidade da raiz e do tronco, que representavam, por sua vez, os judeus cristãos.

O que ocorreu com os judeus que rejeitaram a Jesus também poderia ocorrer com os gentios cristãos. A Bíblia não ensina nenhuma doutrina em que alguém “uma vez salvo” está para “sempre salvo”. Assim como a salvação é livremente oferecida, ela pode ser livremente rejeitada. Embora devamos ter cuidado para não pensar que cada vez que caímos perdemos a salvação, ou que não somos salvos a menos que sejamos perfeitos, precisamos também evitar o oposto: a ideia de que, uma vez que a graça de Deus nos cobre, nenhum ato nosso nem qualquer escolha que façamos nos tirará a salvação. No final, somente aqueles que permanecerem em Sua bondade (Romanos 11:22) serão salvos.

Nenhum cristão se deve vangloriar da sua própria bondade nem sentir-se superior aos seus semelhantes. A nossa salvação não foi obtida por merecimento; foi um presente. Diante da cruz e do padrão de santidade de Deus, somos todos iguais: pecadores que necessitam da graça divina e de uma santidade que só pode ser nossa por meio do Espírito Santo. Não há nada em nós do que nos vangloriar; devemos nos gloriar somente em Jesus e no que Ele fez por nós, ao vir a este mundo em natureza humana, sofrer nossas aflições, morrer pelos nossos pecados, dar-nos o exemplo de como viver e prometer-nos o poder para viver à Sua maneira. Somos completamente dependentes dEle em tudo, pois sem Ele não teríamos nenhuma esperança além do que este mundo oferece.
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The Election of Grace

Read Romans 11:1-7. What common teaching does this passage deny clearly and irrevocably?

In the first part of his answer to the question, “Hath God cast away his people?” Paul points to a remnant, an election of grace, as proof that God has not cast away His people. Salvation is open for all who accept it, Jew and Gentile alike.

It should be remembered that the early converts to Christianity were all Jews - for example, the group that was converted on the Day of Pentecost. It took a special vision and miracle to convince Peter that the Gentiles had equal access to the grace of Christ (Acts 10); compare Acts 15:7-9) and that the gospel was to be carried to them, as well.

Read Romans 11:7-10. Is Paul saying that God purposely blinded to salvation the part of Israel’s population that rejected Jesus? What’s wrong with that idea?

In Romans 11:8-10, Paul quotes from the Old Testament, which the Jews accepted as authoritative. The passages that Paul cites represent God as giving to Israel a spirit of slumber, preventing their seeing and hearing. Does God blind people’s eyes to prevent them from seeing light that would lead them to salvation? Never! These passages must be understood in the light of our explanation of Romans 9. Paul is not talking of individual salvation, for God rejects no one group en masse for salvation. The issue here, as it has been all along, deals with the role that these people play in His work.

What is so wrong with the idea that God has rejected en masse any group of people in terms of salvation? Why is that counter to the whole teaching of the gospel, which at the core shows that Christ died to save all human beings? How, for example, in the case of the Jews, has this idea led to tragic results?

A Eleição da Graça

Segunda-feira, 11 de Dezembro

2. Leia Romanos 11:1-7. Que ensino comum esta passagem nega de maneira clara e irrevogável?

Na primeira parte da sua resposta à pergunta: “Terá Deus, porventura, rejeitado o Seu povo?”, Paulo mostrou que há um remanescente, uma eleição da graça como prova de que Deus não rejeitou o Seu povo. A salvação está disponível a todos os que a aceitam, tanto judeus quanto gentios.

Devemos lembrar que os primeiros convertidos ao cristianismo eram todos judeus (por exemplo, o grupo convertido no dia de Pentecostes). Foi preciso uma visão especial e um milagre para convencer Pedro de que os gentios tinham igual acesso à graça de Cristo (Atos 10; compare com Atos 15:7-9) e de que o evangelho também devia ser levado a eles.

3. Leia Romanos 11:7-10. Será que Paulo estava a dizer que Deus propositadamente cegou os israelitas que tinham rejeitado Jesus para que eles não vissem a salvação? O que está errado nesta ideia? Assinale a alternativa correta:

A.( ) Não. Deus elegeu todo o povo de Israel para a salvação. Uma parte da nação foi cegada em relação às funções que deviam desempenhar na causa de Deus.

B.( ) Sim, pois Deus privilegia alguns com a luz da salvação, enquanto outros são privados do evangelho.

Em Romanos 11:8-10, Paulo citou o Antigo Testamento, que os judeus aceitavam como autorizado. As passagens que Paulo citou retratam Deus dando a Israel um espírito de entorpecimento, impedindo-o de ver e ouvir. Será que Deus cega os olhos das pessoas para impedi-las de ver a luz que as levaria à salvação? Nunca! Estas passagens devem ser compreendidas à luz da explicação de Romanos 9. Paulo não estava a falar da salvação individual, pois, em relação à salvação, Deus não rejeita nenhum grupo de pessoas. Assim como sempre foi, a questão aqui trata da função que estas pessoas desempenham em Sua obra.

Porque é errada a ideia de que Deus rejeita grupos de pessoas em termos de salvação? Porque vai isso contra o ensino do evangelho, que em seu cerne mostra que Cristo morreu para salvar todos os seres humanos? No caso dos judeus, como essa ideia levou a resultados trágicos?
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10.12.17

Sinais do fim: todos de uma vez

Trump, Jerusalém e as profecias

O que a decisão de Trump sobre Jerusalém tem que ver com as profecias?



Christ and the Law

Sunday December 10

Read Romans 10:1-4. Keeping in mind all that came before, what’s the message here? How could we, today, be in danger of seeking to establish our “own righteousness”?

Legalism can come in many forms, some more subtle than others. Those who look to themselves, to their good deeds, to their diet, to how strictly they keep the Sabbath, to all the bad things they don’t do, or to the good things that they have achieved - even with the best of intentions - are falling into the trap of legalism. Every moment of our life, we must keep before us the holiness of God in contrast to our sinfulness; that’s the surest way to protect ourselves from the kind of thinking that leads people into seeking their “own righteousness,” which is contrary to the righteousness of Christ.

Romans 10:4 is an important text that catches the essence of Paul’s entire message to the Romans. First, we need to know the context. Many Jews were “going about to establish their own righteousness” (Rom. 10:3) and seeking “the righteousness which is of the law” (Rom. 10:5). But with the coming of the Messiah, the true way of righteousness was presented. Righteousness was offered to all who would fix their faith in Christ. He was the one to whom the ancient ceremonial system had pointed.

Even if one includes in the definition of law here the Ten Commandments, it doesn’t mean that the Ten Commandments were done away with. The moral law points out our sins, our faults, our shortcomings, and thus leads us to our need of a Savior, our need of forgiveness, our need of righteousness - all of which are found only in Jesus. In that sense, Christ is the “end” of the law, in that the law leads us to Him and His righteousness. The Greek word for “end” here is telos, which also can be translated as “goal” or “purpose.” Christ is the final purpose of the law, in that the law is to lead us to Jesus.

To see this text as teaching that the Ten Commandments - or specifically the fourth commandment (what these folks really mean) - are now nullified is to draw a conclusion that goes against so much else of what Paul and the New Testament teach.

Do you ever find yourself proud of how good you are, especially in contrast to others? Maybe you are “better,” but so what? Compare yourself to Christ, and then think about how “good” you really are.

Cristo e a lei

Domingo, 10 de Dezembro

1. Leia Romanos 10:1-4. Qual é a mensagem destes versos? Assinale a alternativa correta e reflita sobre como poderíamos, hoje, correr o risco de procurar estabelecer a nossa “própria justiça”.

A.( ) A justiça de Cristo não é suficiente para nos cobrir, portanto precisamos da nossa própria justiça.

B.( ) Devemos nos sujeitar à justiça de Deus, pois não temos justiça em nós mesmos.

O legalismo pode vir de muitas formas, algumas mais sutis do que outras. Aqueles que olham, mesmo com as melhores intenções, para si mesmos, para as suas boas ações, dieta, estrita observância do Sábado, todas as coisas más que não fazem, ou as coisas boas que já alcançaram, estão a cair na armadilha do legalismo. Em cada momento da nossa vida, devemos manter diante de nós a santidade de Deus em contraste com nossa pecaminosidade; este é o meio mais seguro de nos proteger do tipo de pensamento que leva as pessoas a buscar a sua “própria justiça”, contrária à justiça de Cristo.

Romanos 10:4 é um texto importante que capta a essência de toda a mensagem de Paulo aos romanos. Primeiro precisamos conhecer o contexto. Muitos judeus estavam “procurando estabelecer a sua própria [justiça]” (Romanos 10:3) e a buscar “a justiça decorrente da lei” (Romanos 10:5). Porém, com a vinda do Messias, foi apresentado o verdadeiro caminho da justiça. A justiça foi oferecida a todos que fixassem a sua fé em Cristo. Jesus era Aquele para quem o antigo sistema cerimonial apontava.

Mesmo que alguém inclua, nestes versos, os Dez Mandamentos na definição de lei, isso não significa que eles foram eliminados. A lei moral mostra os nossos pecados, falhas, fraquezas e, assim, leva-nos à nossa necessidade de um Salvador, de perdão, de justiça (sendo todas estas coisas encontradas somente em Jesus). Neste sentido, Cristo é o “fim” da lei, no sentido de que ela nos leva a Ele e à Sua justiça. A palavra grega para “fim” aqui é telos, que também pode ser traduzida como “meta” ou “propósito”. Cristo é o propósito final da lei, no sentido de que ela nos deve levar a Jesus.

Entender que este texto ensina que os Dez Mandamentos, ou mais especificamente o quarto mandamento, se tornaram inválidos, é tirar uma conclusão contrária a grande parte daquilo que Paulo e o Novo Testamento ensinam.

Já se sentiu orgulhoso por ser bom, especialmente em comparação com os outros? Talvez seja “melhor”, mas e depois? Compare-se com Cristo e pense em quanto realmente é “bom”.

9.12.17

The Elect

Sabbath School Lesson Begins

Bible Study Guide - 4th Quarter 2017

Lesson 11December 9-15



Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study: Romans 10, 11.

Memory Text: “I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin” (Romans 11:1).

This week’s lesson covers Romans 10 and 11, with a focus especially on chapter 11. It’s important to read both chapters in their entirety in order to continue to follow Paul’s line of thinking.

These two chapters have been and remain the focal point of much discussion. One point, however, comes clear through them all, and that is God’s love for humanity and His great desire to see all humanity saved. There is no corporate rejection of anyone for salvation. Romans 10 makes it very clear that “there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek” (Rom. 10:12) - all are sinners and all need God’s grace as given to the world through Jesus Christ. This grace comes to all - not by nationality, not by birth, and not by works of the law but by faith in Jesus, who died as the Substitute for sinners everywhere. Roles may change, but the basic plan of salvation never does.

Paul continues with this theme in chapter 11. As stated earlier, it’s important to understand here that when Paul talks about election and calling, the issue isn’t one of salvation; the issue is the role in God’s plan for reaching the world. No one group has been rejected for salvation. That was never the issue. Instead, after the Cross and after the introduction of the gospel to the Gentiles, particularly through Paul, the early movement of believers - both Jew and Gentile - took on the mantle of evangelizing the world.

Os Eleitos


Lição 11 - 09 a 16 de Dezembro

Sábado à tarde

VERSO PARA MEMORIZAR: “Terá Deus, porventura, rejeitado o Seu povo? De modo nenhum! Porque eu também sou israelita da descendência de Abraão, da tribo de Benjamim.” Romanos 11:1

LEITURAS DA SEMANA: Romanos 10; 11

A lição desta semana abrange Romanos 10 e 11, com um foco especial no capítulo 11. É importante ler os dois capítulos na íntegra para continuar a seguir a linha de raciocínio de Paulo.

Estes dois capítulos foram e continuam a ser o ponto central de muitas discussões. Um ponto, no entanto, torna-se evidente em todas elas: Deus ama a humanidade e o Seu grande desejo é ver todo o ser humano salvo. Não há rejeição coletiva em termos de salvação. Romanos 10 deixa muito claro que “não há diferença entre judeu e grego” (Romanos 10:12): todos são pecadores e todos precisam da graça de Deus concedida ao mundo por meio de Jesus Cristo. Essa graça chega a todos, não por nacionalidade, nem por nascimento, nem por obras da lei, mas pela fé em Jesus, que morreu como Substituto dos pecadores de todos os lugares. As funções podem mudar, mas o plano fundamental da salvação jamais mudará.

Paulo continuou com este tema no capítulo 11. Como foi mencionado anteriormente, é importante entender que, quando Paulo falou sobre eleição e vocação, a questão não era a salvação, mas o plano de Deus para alcançar o mundo. Com relação à salvação, nenhum grupo foi rejeitado. Essa nunca foi a questão. Em vez disso, depois da cruz e da introdução do evangelho aos gentios, especialmente por meio de Paulo, o movimento inicial de cristãos – judeus e gentios – tomou para si a responsabilidade de evangelizar o mundo.
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8.12.17

Foundations of Faith #8 - Healing, Health, and Holiness

Further Thought - Friday December 8

Friday December 8

Further Thought: Read Ellen G. White, “Later English Reformers”, pp. 261, 262, in The Great Controversy; “Faith and Works”, pp. 530, 531, in The SDA Encyclopedia; Ellen G. White Comments, pp. 1099, 1100, in The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 1.

“There is an election of individuals and a people, the only election found in the word of God, where man is elected to be saved. Many have looked at the end, thinking they were surely elected to have heavenly bliss; but this is not the election the Bible reveals. Man is elected to work out his own salvation with fear and trembling. He is elected to put on the armor, to fight the good fight of faith. He is elected to use the means God has placed within his reach to war against every unholy lust, while Satan is playing the game of life for his soul. He is elected to watch unto prayer, to search the Scriptures, and to avoid entering into temptation. He is elected to have faith continually. He is elected to be obedient to every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, that he may be, not a hearer only, but a doer of the word. This is Bible election.” - Ellen G. White, Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, pp. 453, 454.

“No finite mind can fully comprehend the character or the works of the Infinite One. We cannot by searching find out God. To minds the strongest and most highly cultured, as well as to the weakest and most ignorant, that holy Being must remain clothed in mystery. But though ‘clouds and darkness are round about Him: righteousness and judgment are the foundation of His throne.’ Psalm 97:2, R.V. We can so far comprehend His dealing with us as to discern boundless mercy united to infinite power. We can understand as much of His purposes as we are capable of comprehending; beyond this we may still trust the hand that is omnipotent, the heart that is full of love.” - Ellen G. White, Education, p. 169.
Discussion Questions:

Certain Christians teach that, even before we were born, God chose some to be saved and some to be lost. If you happened to have been one of those whom God, in His infinite love and wisdom, preordained to be lost, then no matter the choices you make, you are doomed to perdition - which many people believe means burning in hell for eternity. In other words, through no choice of our own but only through God’s providence, some are predestined to live without a saving relationship with Jesus here in this life, only to spend the next one burning forever in the fires of hell. What’s wrong with that picture? How does that view contrast with our understanding of these same issues?
How do you see the Seventh-day Adventist Church and its calling in the world today paralleling the role of ancient Israel in its day? What are the similarities and the differences? In what ways are we doing better? Or are we doing worse? Justify your answer.

Estudo adicional 8 de Dezembro

Sexta-feira, 08 de Dezembro

Leia, de Ellen G. White, “Progressos na Inglaterra”, p. 261, 262, em O Grande Conflito; “Faith and Works” [Fé e Obras], p. 530, 531, na The SDA Encyclopedia [Enciclopédia Adventista do Sétimo Dia]; “Comentários de Ellen G. White”, p. 1211, 1212, no Comentário Bíblico Adventista do Sétimo Dia, v.1.

“Há uma eleição de indivíduos e de um povo, a única eleição encontrada na Palavra de Deus, em que um homem é escolhido para a salvação. Muitos têm olhado para o fim, pensando terem sido certamente eleitos para a glória celestial; mas não é essa a eleição que a Bíblia revela. O homem é escolhido para operar a sua salvação com temor e tremor. É escolhido para usar a armadura, para pelejar a boa peleja da fé. É escolhido para usar os meios que Deus colocou ao seu alcance para lutar contra todo desejo profano, enquanto Satanás executa o jogo da vida por ele. É escolhido para vigiar em oração, para examinar as Escrituras e evitar entrar em tentação. É eleito para ter fé continuamente, é eleito para ser obediente a cada palavra que procede da boca de Deus, para que não seja apenas ouvinte, mas praticante da Palavra. Essa é a eleição bíblica” (Ellen G. White, Testemunhos Para Ministros e Obreiros Evangélicos, p. 453, 454).

“Embora ‘nuvens e obscuridade [estejam] ao redor dEle; justiça e juízo são a base de Seu trono’ (Salmos 97:2). Podemos compreender Seu trato para conosco a ponto de discernir a misericórdia ilimitada unida ao infinito poder. Temos a possibilidade de compreender tanto de Seus propósitos quanto somos capazes de alcançar; para além disso podemos ainda confiar naquela mão onipotente, naquele coração repleto de amor” (Ellen G.White, Educação, p. 169).

Perguntas para discussão

1. Certos cristãos ensinam que, mesmo antes de nascermos, Deus escolheu alguns para serem salvos e outros para se perderem. Se fosse predestinado à perdição, as suas escolhas não importariam, estaria condenado (o que significa, para muitos, arder eternamente no inferno). Somente por meio da providência de Deus, e não por meio de alguma escolha nossa, alguns estariam predestinados a viver sem a possibilidade de um relacionamento salvador com Jesus na Terra, para serem queimados depois no fogo do inferno. O que está muito mal nesta visão?

2. Como vê a Igreja Adventista do Sétimo Dia e a sua vocação no mundo em comparação com a função do antigo Israel? Quais são as semelhanças e as diferenças? Estamos a fazer melhor ou pior?

Mercedes-Benz G-Class: Epic road trip through Canada and Alaska

A group of outdoor photographers – the German Roamers – took two Mercedes-Benz G-Class on a 3,000 kilometer journey from Whitehorse, Canada, all the way to Anchorage, Alaska: http://mb4.me/G-Class-North-America. The ultimate road trip led Hannes Becker, Lennart Pagel and Johannes Höhn through the rough North American vastness. Filmmaker Mathias von Gostomski accompanied the group on and off the rugged highways, where they explored and documented the extreme environments in their very own creative style – with the assistance of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class.

7.12.17

Stumbling

Thursday December 7

“What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith” (Rom. 9:30-32). What’s the message here, and, more important, how can we take this message that was written in a certain time and place and apply the principles to ourselves today? How can we avoid making the same mistakes in our context that some Israelites did in theirs?

In words that cannot be misunderstood, Paul explains to his kinsmen why they are missing out on something that God wishes them to have - and more than that, on something they were actually pursuing but not achieving.

Interestingly, the Gentiles whom God had accepted had not even been striving for such acceptance. They had been pursuing their own interests and goals when the gospel message came to them. Grasping its value, they accepted it. God declared them righteous because they accepted Jesus Christ as their Substitute. It was a transaction of faith.

The problem with the Israelites was that they stumbled at the stumbling stone (see Rom. 9:33). Some, not all (see Acts 2:41), refused to accept Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah whom God had sent. He did not meet their expectations of the Messiah; hence, they turned their backs on Him when He came.

Before this chapter ends, Paul quotes another Old Testament text: “As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed” (Rom. 9:33). In this passage, Paul shows again just how crucial true faith is in the plan of salvation (see also 1 Pet. 2:6-8). A rock of offense? And yet, whoever believes in Him shall not be ashamed? Yes, for many, Jesus is a stumbling block, but for those who know Him and love Him, He is another kind of rock, “the rock of my salvation” (Ps. 89:26).

Have you ever found Jesus to be a “stumbling block” or a “rock of offense”? If so, how so? That is, what were you doing that brought you into that situation? How did you get out, and what did you learn so that, one hopes, you never find yourself in that type of contrary relationship with Jesus again?

Tropeço

Quinta-feira, 07 de Dezembro

5. “Que diremos pois? Que os gentios, que não buscavam a justiça, alcançaram a justiça? Sim, mas a justiça que é pela fé. Mas Israel, que buscava a lei da justiça, não chegou à lei da justiça. Por quê? Porque não foi pela fé” (Romanos 9:30-32) Qual é a mensagem nesta passagem? Como aplicar os seus princípios hoje? Como evitar os mesmos erros que muitos israelitas cometeram?

Em palavras que não podem ser mal interpretadas, Paulo explicou aos seus compatriotas porque eles estavam a perder algo que Deus desejava que eles tivessem, e mais do que isso, algo que realmente buscavam, mas não estavam a alcançar.

Curiosamente, os gentios a quem Deus tinha aceitado nem sequer se estavam a esforçar para obter essa aceitação. Eles estavam a buscar os seus próprios interesses e objetivos quando a mensagem do evangelho chegou até eles. Compreendendo o seu valor, eles a aceitaram. Deus os declarou justos porque eles aceitaram Jesus Cristo como o seu Substituto. Foi uma operação de fé.

O problema dos israelitas foi que eles esbarraram na pedra de tropeço (veja Romanos 9:33). Alguns, nem todos (veja Atos 2:41), recusaram-se a aceitar Jesus de Nazaré como o Messias a quem Deus tinha enviado. Jesus não atendia às expectativas que eles tinham do Messias, portanto, quando Cristo veio, eles viraram-lhe as costas.

Antes de terminar este capítulo, Paulo citou outro texto do Antigo Testamento: “Como está escrito: Eis que ponho em Sião uma pedra de tropeço e rocha de escândalo, e aquele que nela crê não será confundido” (Romanos 9:33). Nesta passagem, Paulo mostrou novamente o quanto a verdadeira fé é fundamental no plano da salvação (veja também 1 Pedro 2:6-8). Uma rocha de escândalo? E ainda, quem cresse nEle não seria confundido? Sim, para muitos, Jesus é uma pedra de tropeço, mas, para aqueles que O conhecem e O amam, Ele é outra rocha, “a rocha da [nossa] salvação” (Salmos 89:26).

Já viu Jesus como uma “pedra de tropeço” ou “rocha de escândalo”? O que o levou a essa situação? Como saiu dela? O que aprendeu para que nunca mais se encontre nessa situação novamente?

Foundations of Faith #7 - Cleansing the Temple

6.12.17

Prophecies






Ammi: “My People”

Wednesday December 6

In Romans 9:25 Paul quotes Hosea 2:23, and in Romans 9:26 he quotes Hosea 1:10. The background is that God instructed Hosea to take “a wife of whoredoms” (Hos. 1:2) as an illustration of God’s relationship with Israel, because the nation had gone after strange gods. The children born to this marriage were given names signifying God’s rejection and punishment of idolatrous Israel. The third child was named Loammi (Hos. 1:9), meaning literally “not my people.”

Yet, amid all this, Hosea predicted that the day would come when, after punishing His people, God would restore their fortunes, take away their false gods, and make a covenant with them. (see Hos. 2:11-19). At this point those who were Loammi, “not my people,” would become Ammi, “my people.”

In Paul’s day, the Ammi were “even us, . . . not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles” (Rom. 9:24). What a clear and powerful presentation of the gospel, a gospel that from the start was intended for the whole world. No wonder we as Adventists take part of our calling from Revelation 14:6: “Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth - to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people” (NKJV). Today, as in Paul’s day, and as in the days of ancient Israel, the good news of salvation is to be spread throughout the world.

Read Romans 9:25-29. Notice how much Paul quotes the Old Testament to make his point about the things that were happening in his day. What is the basic message found in this passage? What hope is being offered there to his readers?

The fact that some of Paul’s kinsmen rejected the appeal of the gospel gave him “great heaviness and continual sorrow” in his heart (Rom. 9:2). But at least there was a remnant. God’s promises do not fail, even when humans do. The hope we can have is that, in the end, God’s promises will be fulfilled, and if we claim those promises for ourselves, they will be fulfilled in us, as well.

How often have people failed you? How often have you failed yourself and others? Probably more times than you can count, right? What lessons can you learn from these failures about where your ultimate trust must lie?

Ammi: “Meu Povo”

Quarta-feira, 06 de Dezembro

Em Romanos 9:25, Paulo citou Oseias 2:23, e, em Romanos 9:26, ele citou Oseias 1:10. O pano de fundo é este: Deus instruiu Oseias a tomar “uma mulher de prostituições” (Oseias 1:2) como uma ilustração do Seu relacionamento com Israel, pois a nação tinha buscado deuses estranhos. Os filhos que nasceram desse casamento receberam nomes que significavam a rejeição de Deus e o castigo do Israel idólatra. O terceiro filho foi chamado de Lo-amí (Oseias 1:9, ARC), cujo significado literal é “Não-Meu Povo”.

No entanto, em meio a tudo isto, Oseias predisse o dia em que, depois de punir o Seu povo, Deus restauraria a sua sorte, removeria os seus falsos deuses e faria uma aliança com Israel (veja Oseias 2:11-19). Então, aqueles que eram Lo-amí, “Não-Meu-­Povo”, iriam tornar-se Ammi, “Meu Povo”.

Nos dias de Paulo, os “Ammi” eram os cristãos, “não só dentre os judeus, mas também dentre os gentios” (Romanos 9:24). Que apresentação clara e poderosa do evangelho, o qual, desde o início, se destinava ao mundo inteiro! Não é de admirar que nós, adventistas, tomemos parte da nossa vocação de Apocalipse 14:6: “Vi outro anjo voando pelo meio do Céu, tendo um evangelho eterno para pregar aos que se assentam sobre a Terra, e a cada nação, e tribo, e língua, e povo”. Hoje, assim como nos dias de Paulo e nos dias do antigo Israel, as boas-novas da salvação devem ser espalhadas por todo o mundo.

4. Leia Romanos 9:25-29. Observe o quanto Paulo citou o Antigo Testamento para defender o seu argumento sobre as coisas que estavam a acontecer em seus dias. Qual é a mensagem básica encontrada nesta passagem? Que esperança está a ser oferecida a seus leitores? Assinale “V” para verdadeiro ou “F” para falso:

A.( ) Os gentios tornar-se-iam povo de Deus, assim como um remanescente de Israel.

B.( ) Os judeus seriam sempre os filhos de Deus, enquanto os gentios seriam apenas servos.

O facto de que alguns compatriotas de Paulo rejeitaram o apelo do evangelho trouxe “grande tristeza e incessante dor” ao coração do apóstolo (Romanos 9:2). Mas pelo menos havia um remanescente. As promessas de Deus não falham, mesmo quando o homem fracassa. Temos a esperança de que, no fim, as promessas de Deus serão cumpridas, e se as reivindicarmos, elas se cumprirão em nós também.

Já falharam consigo? Já falhou consigo mesmo e com os outros? Provavelmente mais vezes do que pode contar? Que lições aprendeu com essas falhas? Em quem deve a sua confiança suprema estar?

Foundations of Faith #6 - True and False Prophets

5.12.17

Mysteries

Tuesday December 5

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:8, 9).

Read Romans 9:17-24. Given what we have read so far, how are we to understand Paul’s point here?

By dealing with Egypt at the time of the Exodus in the manner He did, God was working for the salvation of the human race. God’s revelation of Himself in the plagues of Egypt and in the deliverance of His people was designed to reveal to the Egyptians, as well as to other nations, that the God of Israel indeed was the true God. It was designed to be an invitation for the peoples of the nations to abandon their gods and to come and worship Him.

Obviously Pharaoh had already made his choice against God, so that in hardening his heart, God was not cutting him off from the opportunity of salvation. The hardening was against the appeal to let Israel go, not against God’s appeal for Pharaoh to accept personal salvation. Christ died for Pharaoh, just as much as for Moses, Aaron, and the rest of the children of Israel.

The crucial point in all this is that as fallen human beings we have such a narrow view of the world, of reality, and of God and how He works in the world. How can we expect to understand all of God’s ways when the natural world, everywhere we turn, holds mysteries we can’t understand? After all, it was only in the past 171 years that doctors learned it might be a good idea to wash their hands before performing surgery! That’s how steeped in ignorance we have been. And who knows, if time should last, what other things we will discover in the future that will reveal just how steeped in ignorance we are today?

Certainly we don’t always understand God’s ways, but Jesus came to reveal to us what God is like (John 14:9). Why, then, amid all of life’s mysteries and unexpected events is it so crucial for us to dwell on the character of Christ and what He has revealed to us about God and His love for us? How can knowing what God’s character is like help us to stay faithful amid trials that seem so unjustified and so unfair?

Mistérios

Terça-feira, 05 de Dezembro

Mistérios

“Os Meus pensamentos não são os vossos pensamentos, nem os vossos caminhos, os Meus caminhos, diz o Senhor, porque, assim como os céus são mais altos do que a Terra, assim são os Meus caminhos mais altos do que os vossos caminhos, e os Meus pensamentos, mais altos do que os vossos pensamentos.” Isaías 55:8, 9

3. Leia Romanos 9:17-24. Considerando o que temos lido até agora, como devemos entender o argumento de Paulo neste texto?

Com a Sua maneira de lidar com o Egito na época do Êxodo, Deus estava a trabalhar para a salvação da humanidade. Ao revelar-se a Si mesmo nas pragas do Egito e na libertação de Seu povo, o Senhor tinha o propósito de mostrar aos egípcios, bem como às outras nações, que o Deus de Israel era a verdadeira divindade. O objetivo desta revelação era fazer com que os povos e as nações abandonassem os seus deuses e adorassem o Senhor.

Obviamente, Faraó já tinha feito a sua escolha em oposição a Deus, de modo que, ao endurecer o seu coração, Deus não o estava a excluir da oportunidade da salvação. O “endurecimento” foi contra o apelo de libertar Israel, não contra o apelo de Deus para que Faraó aceitasse a salvação pessoal. Cristo morreu por Faraó assim como por Moisés, Arão e os demais filhos de Israel.

A questão fundamental é que, como seres humanos caídos, temos uma visão muito estreita do mundo, da realidade, de Deus e de como Ele age. Como podemos esperar entender todos os Seus caminhos, quando o mundo natural e tudo ao nosso redor contêm mistérios que não podemos compreender? Afinal de contas, apenas nos últimos 171 anos os médicos descobriram que seria uma boa ideia lavar as mãos antes de fazer uma cirurgia! Veja o quanto temos estado imersos na ignorância. E se o tempo permitir, quem sabe que coisas descobriremos no futuro, revelando assim que muitas informações e verdades ainda estão longe do nosso alcance?

Nem sempre entendemos os caminhos do Senhor, mas Jesus veio para nos revelar o caráter de Deus (João 14:9). Porque é essencial pensar no caráter de Cristo e no que Ele revelou sobre Deus e o Seu amor por nós? Conhecer o caráter de Deus ajuda-nos a permanecer fiéis em meio às provações e injustiças?

Exercise That Works

4.12.17

KODE 0 - Jay Leno's Garage

Elected

Monday December 4

“It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” (Rom. 9:12, 13).

As stated in the introduction for this week, it is impossible to understand Romans 9 properly until one recognizes that Paul is not speaking of individual salvation. He is here speaking of particular roles that God was calling upon certain individuals to play. God wanted Jacob to be the progenitor of the people who would be His special evangelizing agency in the world. There is no implication in this passage that Esau could not be saved. God wanted him to be saved as much as He desires all men to be saved.

Read Romans 9:14, 15. How do we understand these words in the context of what we have been reading?

Again Paul is not speaking of individual salvation, because in that area God extends mercy to all, for He “will have all men to be saved” (1 Tim. 2:4). “The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11). But God can choose nations to play roles, and although they can refuse to play those roles, they cannot prevent God’s choice. No matter how hard Esau may have willed it, he could not have become the progenitor of the Messiah nor of the chosen people.

In the end, it was no arbitrary choice on the part of God, not some divine decree, by which Esau was shut out from salvation. The gifts of His grace through Christ are free to all. We’ve all been elected to be saved, not lost (Eph. 1:4, 5; 2 Pet. 1:10). It’s our own choices, not God’s, that keep us from the promise of eternal life in Christ. Jesus died for every human being. Yet, God has set forth in His Word the conditions upon which every soul will be elected to eternal life - faith in Christ, which leads the justified sinner to obedience.

As if no one else even existed, you, yourself, were chosen in Christ even before the foundation of the world, to have salvation. This is your calling, your election, all given to you by God through Jesus. What a privilege, what a hope! All things considered, why does everything else pale in comparison to this great promise? Why would it be the greatest of all tragedies to let sin, self, and the flesh take away from you all that’s been promised you in Jesus?

Eleitos

Segunda-feira, 04 de Dezembro

“Foi-lhe dito a ela: O maior servirá ao menor. Como está escrito: Amei a Jacó, e odiei a Esaú.” Romanos 9:12,13

Conforme afirmamos na introdução desta semana, é impossível entender corretamente Romanos 9 até que se reconheça que Paulo não estava a falar da salvação individual, mas sim de funções específicas para as quais Deus estava a chamar certos indivíduos a desempenhar. O Senhor desejava que Jacó fosse o progenitor do povo que seria o Seu agente evangelizador especial no mundo. Nada sugere, nesta passagem, que Esaú não pudesse ser salvo. Deus queria que ele fosse salvo tanto quanto deseja que todos os seres humanos sejam redimidos.

2. Leia Romanos 9:14, 15. Como entendemos estas palavras no contexto do que temos estudado? Assinale a alternativa correta:

A.( ) Deus tinha em mente a função desempenhada por certos indivíduos.

B.( ) Deus referia-se à salvação de cada ser humano.

Novamente, Paulo não se estava a referir à salvação individual, pois nessa área Deus estende a Sua misericórdia a todos, pois Ele “deseja que todos os homens sejam salvos e cheguem ao pleno conhecimento da verdade” (1 Timóteo 2:4). “A graça de Deus se manifestou salvadora a todos os homens” (Tito 2:11). Mas Deus pode escolher nações para desempenhar funções, e embora elas se possam recusar a desempenhar essas funções, não podem impedir a escolha de Deus. Por mais que Esaú quisesse, ele não se poderia ter tornado o progenitor do Messias nem do povo escolhido.

No final, Esaú não foi excluído da salvação por uma escolha arbitrária de Deus, nem por algum decreto divino. Os dons de Sua graça mediante Cristo são gratuitos a todos. Todos fomos eleitos para a salvação, não para a perdição (Efésios 1:4, 5; 2 Pedro 1:10). São as nossas escolhas, não as de Deus, que nos afastam da promessa de vida eterna em Cristo. Jesus morreu por todos os seres humanos. No entanto, Deus estabeleceu na Sua Palavra a condição pela qual cada pessoa será eleita para a vida eterna: a fé em Cristo, que leva o pecador justificado à obediência.

Como se mais ninguém existisse, foi escolhido em Cristo, antes da fundação do mundo, para ser salvo. Essa é sua vocação e eleição, concedidas por Deus mediante Jesus. Porque perdem todas as outras coisas a importância em comparação com essa promessa? Porque seria a maior tragédia deixar o pecado, o eu e a carne tirarem tudo o que lhe foi prometido em Jesus?

Tesla Model S Shooting-brake

3.12.17

Foundations of Faith #5 - A Matter Of Life And Death

Lamborghini & MIT brainchild

Mitja Borkert Introduces the Terzo Millennio design concept.

Paul’s Burden

Sunday December 3

“And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel” (Exod. 19:6).

God needed a missionary people to evangelize a world steeped in paganism, darkness, and idolatry. He chose the Israelites and revealed Himself to them. He planned that they become a model nation and thus attract others to the true God. It was God’s purpose that by the revelation of His character through Israel the world should be drawn unto Him. Through the teaching of the sacrificial service, Christ was to be uplifted before the nations, and all who would look unto Him should live. As the numbers of Israel increased, as their blessings grew, they were to enlarge their borders until their kingdom should embrace the world.

Read Romans 9:1-12. What point is Paul making here about the faithfulness of God amid human failures?

Paul is building a line of argument in which he will show that the promise made to Israel had not completely failed. There exists a remnant through whom God still aims to work. To establish the validity of the idea of the remnant, Paul dips back into Israelite history. He shows that God has always been selective: (1) God did not choose all the seed of Abraham to be His covenant, only the line of Isaac. (2) He did not choose all of the descendants of Isaac, only those of Jacob.

It’s important, too, to see that heritage, or ancestry, does not guarantee salvation. You can be of the right blood, the right family, even of the right church, and yet still be lost, still be outside the promise. It is faith, a faith that works by love, that reveals those who are “children of the promise” (Rom. 9:8).

Look at the phrase in Romans 9:6: “For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel.” What important message can we find there for ourselves, as Adventists, who in many ways play the same roles in our era that the ancient Israelites did in theirs?

O fardo de Paulo

Domingo, 03 de Dezembro

“Vós Me sereis reino de sacerdotes e nação santa. São estas as palavras que falarás aos filhos de Israel.” Êxodo 19:6

Deus precisava de um povo missionário para evangelizar um mundo mergulhado no paganismo, escuridão e idolatria. Ele escolheu os israelitas e revelou-se a eles. O Seu plano era que se tornassem uma nação-modelo e, assim, atraíssem outros para o verdadeiro Deus. O propósito de Deus era que, pela revelação do Seu caráter através de Israel, o mundo fosse atraído a Ele. Mediante o ensino do serviço sacrifical, Cristo deveria ser exaltado diante das nações, e todos os que olhassem para Ele viveriam. À medida que os israelitas crescessem em número e suas bênçãos aumentassem, eles deveriam ampliar as suas fronteiras até que o reino de Israel envolvesse todo o mundo.

1. Leia Romanos 9:1-12. Qual é o argumento de Paulo sobre a fidelidade de Deus em meio às falhas humanas?

A linha de argumentação de Paulo revela que a promessa feita a Israel não tinha falhado completamente. Existia um remanescente por meio do qual Deus ainda pretendia trabalhar. A fim de validar a ideia do remanescente, Paulo recorreu à história israelita. Ele mostrou que Deus sempre foi seletivo: (1) o Senhor não escolheu toda a semente de Abraão para ser o Seu povo da aliança, somente a linhagem de Isaque; (2) Ele não escolheu todos os descendentes de Isaque, somente os de Jacó.

É igualmente importante perceber que nem herança nacional nem descendência garantem a salvação. Pode ser do “sangue certo”, da família certa, até mesmo da igreja certa, e ainda assim estar perdido, “fora” da promessa. É a fé que atua pelo amor que revela quem são os “filhos da promessa” (Romanos 9:8).

“Nem todos os de Israel são, de facto, israelitas” (Romanos 9:6). O que diz este texto aos cristãos de hoje, que têm um papel semelhante ao dos antigos israelitas?

2.12.17

Children of the Promise

Salvation by Faith Alone: The Book of Romans

Sabbath School Lesson Begins

Bible Study Guide - 4th Quarter 2017

Lesson 10 - December 2-8

Children of the Promise



Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study: Romans 9.

Memory Text: “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth” (Romans 9:18).

Is it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. . . . For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy . . . , and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion” (Rom. 9:13, 15).

What is Paul talking about here? What about human free will and the freedom to choose, without which very little of what we believe makes sense? Are we not free to choose or reject God? Or are these verses teaching that certain people are elected to be saved and others to be lost, regardless of their own personal choices?

The answer is found, as usual, by looking at the bigger picture of what Paul is saying. Paul is following a line of argument in which he attempts to show God’s right to pick those whom He will use as His “elected” ones. After all, God is the One who carries the ultimate responsibility of evangelizing the world. Therefore, why can He not choose as His agents whomever He wills? So long as God cuts off no one from the opportunity of salvation, such an action on God’s part is not contrary to the principles of free will. Even more important, it’s not contrary to the great truth that Christ died for all humans, and His desire was that everyone have salvation.

As long as we remember that Romans 9 is not dealing with the personal salvation of those it names, but that it is dealing with their call to do a certain work, the chapter presents no difficulties.

Filhos da promessa



Lição 10 - 02 a 09 de Dezembro

Filhos da promessa

Sábado à tarde

VERSO PARA MEMORIZAR: “Logo, tem Ele misericórdia de quem quer e também endurece a quem Lhe apraz.” Romanos 9:18

LEITURAS DA SEMANA: Romanos 9

“Como está escrito: ‘Amei Jacó, mas rejeitei Esaú’ […]. Pois Ele diz a Moisés: ‘Terei misericórdia […] e terei compaixão de quem Eu quiser ter compaixão’” Romanos 9:13, 15; NVI

Sobre o que estava Paulo a falar nesta passagem? E quanto ao livre-arbítrio ou a liberdade de escolha do ser humano, sem o qual muito pouco do que acreditamos faz sentido? Não somos livres para escolher Deus ou rejeitá-Lo? Ou será que estes versículos ensinam que certas pessoas são eleitas para ser salvas e outras para se perder, independentemente das suas próprias escolhas?

Como de costume, encontramos a resposta quando observamos o quadro mais amplo do que Paulo estava a dizer. Na sua linha de argumentação, o apóstolo tentava mostrar o direito divino de escolher aqueles que Ele usaria como Seus “eleitos”. Afinal, se Deus é o responsável máximo por evangelizar o mundo, porque não pode Ele escolher como Seus agentes quem Ele quiser? Visto que Ele não exclui ninguém da oportunidade da salvação, esta ação de Sua parte não é contrária aos princípios do livre-arbítrio. Ainda mais importante, não é contrária à grande verdade de que Cristo morreu por toda a humanidade e o Seu desejo é que todos sejam salvos.

Desde que nos lembremos que Romanos 9 não fala da salvação pessoal dos que são mencionados neste capítulo, mas do chamado deles para realizar determinada obra, o capítulo não apresenta dificuldades.
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1.12.17

Sabbath School - Friday December 1

Further Thought: “The plan of salvation does not offer believers a life free from suffering and trial this side of the kingdom. On the contrary, it calls upon them to follow Christ in the same path of self-denial and reproach. . . . It is through such trial and persecution that the character of Christ is reproduced and revealed in His people. . . . By sharing in the sufferings of Christ we are educated and disciplined and made ready to share in the glories of the hereafter.” - The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, pp. 568, 569.

“The chain that has been let down from the throne of God is long enough to reach to the lowest depths. Christ is able to lift the most sinful out of the pit of degradation, and to place them where they will be acknowledged as children of God, heirs with Christ to an immortal inheritance.” - Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, p. 229.

“One honored of all heaven came to this world to stand in human nature at the head of humanity, testifying to the fallen angels and to the inhabitants of the unfallen worlds that through the divine help which has been provided, every one may walk in the path of obedience to God’s commands. . . .

“Our ransom has been paid by our Saviour. No one need be enslaved by Satan. Christ stands before us as our all-powerful helper.” - Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 1, p. 309.
Discussion Questions:

Read again the quotes from Ellen G. White in Friday’s study. What hope can we take from them for ourselves? More important, how can we make these promises of victory real in our own lives? Why, with so much offered to us in Christ, do we keep on falling far short of what we really could be?
What are practical, daily ways you can have your mind “set . . . on the things of the Spirit” (Rom. 8:5, RSV). What does that mean? What does the Spirit desire? What do you watch, read, or think about that makes this difficult to achieve in your life?
Dwell more on this idea that we are either on one side or the other in the great controversy, with no middle ground. What are the implications of that stark, cold fact? How should the realization of this important truth impact the ways in which we live and the choices we make, even in the “small” things?

Sabbath School - Thursday November 30

The Spirit of Adoption

How does Paul describe the new relationship in Christ? Rom. 8:15. What hope is found in this promise for us? How do we make it real in our lives?

The new relationship is described as freedom from fear. A slave is in bondage. He lives in a state of constant fear of his master. He stands to gain nothing from his long years of service.

Not so with the one who accepts Jesus Christ. First, he or she renders voluntary service. Second, he or she serves without fear, for “perfect love casteth out fear” (1 John 4:18). Third, adopted as a child, he or she becomes heir to an inheritance of infinite worth.

“The spirit of bondage is engendered by seeking to live in accordance with legal religion, through striving to fulfill the claims of the law in our own strength. There is hope for us only as we come under the Abrahamic covenant, which is the covenant of grace by faith in Christ Jesus.” - Ellen G. White Comments, The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1077.

What gives us the assurance that God has indeed accepted us as children? Rom. 8:16.

The inward witness of the Spirit confirms our acceptance. While it is not safe to go by feeling merely, those who have followed the light of the Word to the best of their understanding will hear an inward authenticating voice assuring them that they have been accepted as children of God.

Indeed, Romans 8:17 tells us that we are heirs; that is, we are part of the family of God, and as heirs, as children, we receive a wonderful inheritance from our Father. We don’t earn it; it is given to us by virtue of our new status in God, a status granted to us through His grace, which has been made available to us because of the death of Jesus in our behalf.

How close are you to the Lord? Do you really know Him, or just about Him? What changes must you make in your life in order to have a closer walk with your Creator and Redeemer? What holds you back, and why?

Sabbath School - Wednesday November 29

Christ in You

Paul continues his theme, contrasting the two possibilities that people face in how they live: either according to the Spirit - that is, the Holy Spirit of God, which is promised to us - or according to their sinful and carnal natures. One leads to eternal life, the other to eternal death. There is no middle ground. Or as Jesus Himself said: “ ‘He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters’ ” (Matt. 12:30, NKJV). It’s hard to be plainer, or more black and white, than that.

Read Romans 8:9-14. What is promised to those who surrender themselves fully to Christ?

The life “in the flesh” is contrasted with life “in the Spirit.” The life “in the Spirit” is controlled by the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit. He is in this chapter called the Spirit of Christ, perhaps in the sense that He is a representative of Christ, and through Him Christ dwells in the believer (Rom. 8:9, 10).

In these verses, Paul returns to a figure he used in Romans 6:1-11. Figuratively, in baptism “the body of sin” - that is, the body that served sin - is destroyed. The “old man is crucified with him” (Rom. 6:6). But, as in baptism, there is not only a burial but also a resurrection, so the person baptized rises to walk in the newness of life. This means to put to death the old self, a choice that we have to, of ourselves, make day by day, moment by moment. God does not destroy human freedom. Even after the old man of sin is destroyed, it still is possible to sin. To the Colossians Paul wrote, “Mortify [put to death] therefore your members which are upon the earth” (Col. 3:5).

Thus, after conversion there still will be a struggle against sin. The difference is that the person in whom the Spirit dwells now has divine power for victory. Furthermore, because the person has been so miraculously freed from the slave master of sin, he or she is obligated never to serve sin again.

Dwell on this idea that the Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from death, is the same one dwelling in us if we allow Him to. Think about the power that is there for us! What keeps us from availing ourselves of it as we should?

Sabbath School - Tuesday November 28

The Flesh or the Spirit

“They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Rom. 8:5, 6). Dwell on these texts. What basic message comes through from them? What do they say to you about the way in which you are living your life?

“After,” here, is used in the sense of “according to” (Greek kata). “Mind” here means to set the mind on. One group of people sets their minds on fulfilling natural desires; the other sets their minds on the things of the Spirit, to follow His dictates. Because the mind determines actions, the two groups live and act differently.

What is the carnal mind unable to do? Rom. 8:7, 8.

To have one’s mind set on fulfilling the desires of the flesh is, in reality, to be in a state of enmity against God. One whose mind is thus set is unconcerned about doing the will of God. He or she even may be in rebellion against Him, openly flouting His law.

Paul wishes especially to emphasize that if you are apart from Christ, it is impossible to keep the law of God. Again and again Paul returns to this theme: no matter how hard one tries, apart from Christ one cannot obey the law.

Paul’s special purpose was to persuade the Jews that they needed more than their “Torah” (law). By their conduct they had shown that, in spite of having the divine revelation, they were guilty of the same sins of which the Gentiles were guilty (Romans 2). The lesson of all this was that they needed the Messiah. Without Him they would be slaves of sin, unable to escape its dominion.

This was Paul’s answer to those Jews who couldn’t understand why what God had given them in the Old Testament was no longer enough for salvation. Paul admitted that what they had been doing was all good, but that they also needed to accept the Messiah who had now come.

Look at your past 24 hours. Were your deeds of the Spirit or of the flesh? What does your answer tell you about yourself? If of the flesh, what changes must you make, and how can you make them?

Sabbath School - Monday November 27

What the Law Could Not Do

However good, the “law” (the ceremonial law, the moral law, or even both) cannot do for us what we need the most, and that is to provide the means of salvation, a means of saving us from the condemnation and death that sin brings. For that, we need Jesus.

Read Romans 8:3, 4. What did Christ do that the law, by its very nature, cannot do?

God provided a remedy by “sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh,” and He “condemned sin in the flesh.” The incarnation of Christ was an important step in the plan of salvation. It is proper to exalt the Cross, but in the outworking of the plan of salvation, Christ’s life “in the likeness of sinful flesh” was extremely important, too.

As a result of what God has done in sending Christ, it is now possible for us to meet the righteous requirement of the law; that is, to do the right things that the law requires. “Under the law” (Rom. 6:14), this was impossible; “in Christ” it is now possible.

Yet, we must remember that doing what the law requires doesn’t mean keeping the law well enough to earn salvation. That’s not an option - never was. It means simply living the life that God enables us to live; it means a life of obedience, one in which we have “crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Gal. 5:24, NKJV), a life in which we reflect the character of Christ.

“Walk” in Romans 8:4 is an idiomatic expression signifying “to conduct oneself.” The word flesh here denotes the unregenerate person, whether before or after conviction. To walk after the flesh is to be controlled by selfish desires.

In contrast, to walk after the Spirit is to fulfill the righteous requirement of the law. Only through the help of the Holy Spirit can we meet this requirement. Only in Christ Jesus is there freedom to do what the law requires. Apart from Christ, there is no such freedom. The one who is enslaved to sin finds it impossible to do the good he or she chooses to do (see Rom. 7:15, 18).

How well are you keeping the law? Putting aside any notions of earning salvation by the law, is your life one in which the “righteousness of the law” is fulfilled? If not, why not? What kind of lame excuses are you using to rationalize your behavior?

Sabbath School - Sunday November 26

In Jesus Christ

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:1). What does “no condemnation” mean? No condemnation from what? And why is this such good news?

“In Christ Jesus” is a common phrase in the Pauline writings. For a person to be “in” Christ Jesus means that he or she has accepted Christ as his or her Savior. The person trusts Him implicitly and has decided to make Christ’s way of life his or her own way. The result is a close personal union with Christ.

“In Christ Jesus” is contrasted with “in the flesh.” It also is contrasted with the experience detailed in chapter 7, where Paul describes the person under conviction before his or her surrender to Christ as carnal, meaning that he or she is a slave to sin. The person is under condemnation of death (Rom. 7:11, 13, 24). He or she serves the “law of sin” (Rom. 7:23, 25). This person is in a terrible state of wretchedness (Rom. 7:24).

But then the person surrenders to Jesus, and an immediate change is wrought in his or her standing with God. Formerly condemned as a lawbreaker, that person now stands perfect in the sight of God, stands as if he or she had never sinned, because the righteousness of Jesus Christ completely covers that person. There is no more condemnation, not because the person is faultless, sinless, or worthy of eternal life (he or she is not!) but because Jesus’ perfect life record stands in the person’s stead; thus, there is no condemnation.

But the good news doesn’t end there.

What frees a person from slavery to sin? Rom. 8:2.

“The law of the Spirit of life” here means Christ’s plan for saving humanity, in contrast with “the law of sin and death,” which was described in chapter 7 as the law by which sin ruled - the end of which was death. Christ’s law instead brings life and freedom.

“Every soul that refuses to give himself to God is under the control of another power. He is not his own. He may talk of freedom, but he is in the most abject slavery. . . . While he flatters himself that he is following the dictates of his own judgment, he obeys the will of the prince of darkness. Christ came to break the shackles of sin-slavery from the soul.” - Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 466. Are you a slave, or are you free in Christ? How can you know for sure?

Salvation by Faith Alone: The Book of Romans

Sabbath School Lesson Begins

Bible Study Guide - 4th Quarter 2017

Lesson 9 November 25 - December 1

No Condemnation

Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study: Rom. 8:1-17.

Memory Text: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1).

Romans 8 is Paul’s answer to Romans 7. In Romans 7 Paul speaks of frustration, failure, and condemnation. In Romans 8 the condemnation is gone, replaced with freedom and victory through Jesus Christ.

Paul was saying in Romans 7 that if you refuse to accept Jesus Christ, the wretched experience of Romans 7 will be yours. You will be slaves to sin, unable to do what you choose to do. In Romans 8 he says that Christ Jesus offers you deliverance from sin and the freedom to do the good that you want to do but that your flesh won’t allow.

Paul continues, explaining that this freedom was purchased at infinite cost. Christ the Son of God took on humanity. It was the only way He could relate to us, could be our perfect example, and could become the Substitute who died in our stead. He came “in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Rom. 8:3). As a result, the righteous requirements of the law can be fulfilled in us (Rom. 8:4). In other words, Christ made victory over sin - as well as meeting the positive requirements of the law - possible for those who believe, not as a means of salvation but as the result of it. Obedience to law had not been, nor ever can be, a means of salvation. This was Paul’s message and Luther’s message, and it must be ours as well.