Friday: Further Thought – The Apostle Paul in Rome

Further Thought: Read Ellen G. White, “The Mysteries of the Bible”, p. 706, in Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5; “Salvation to the Jews”, pp. 372-374, in The Acts of the Apostles. Read also The SDA Bible Dictionary, p. 922; and The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, pp. 467, 468.

Spectacles on Bible

Image © Stan Myers from GoodSalt.com

“The salvation of humankind does not result from a divine afterthought or improvisation made necessary because of an unexpected turn of events after sin arose. Rather, it issues from a divine plan for man’s redemption formulated before the founding of this world (1 Cor. 2:7Eph. 1:3Eph. 1:142 Thess. 2:13-14) and rooted in God’s everlasting love for humanity (Jer. 31:3).

“This plan encompasses eternity past, the historical present, and eternity future. It includes such realities and blessings as election and predestination to be God’s holy people and bear likeness to Christ, redemption and forgiveness, the unity of all things in Christ, sealing with the Holy Spirit, reception of the eternal inheritance, and glorification (Eph. 1:3-14). Central to the plan is the suffering and death of Jesus, which was not an accident of history nor the product of merely human decision, but was rooted in God’s redemptive purpose (Acts 4:27-28). Jesus was in truth ‘the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world’ (Rev. 13:8, KJV).”-The Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology (Hagerstown, Md.: Review and Herald Publishing Co., 2000), pp. 275, 276.

Discussion Questions:

  1. In class talk about the meaning of the Protestant Reformation. Think about this question especially: How different would our world be today without it?
  2. Dwell more on the idea that we were called to have salvation, even before the foundation of the world (see also Titus 1:1-22 Tim. 1:8-9). Why should we find this so encouraging? What does this tell us about God’s love for all humans? Why, then, is it so tragic when people turn their backs on what has been so graciously offered to them?
  3. Dwell on the question at the end of Thursday’s study. How could your class help to improve your church’s reputation, if need be?
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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons