Friday: Further Thought – The Faith of Abraham

Further Thought: Read Ellen G. White, “Christ the Center of the Message”, p. 388in Selected Messages, book 1; “The Call of Abraham”, pages 125-127“The Law and the Covenants,” pages 363, 364, in Patriarchs and Prophets“The Sermon on the Mount,” pages 307, 308“Controversy,” p. 608“ ‘It Is Finished,’ ” pages 762, 763, in The Desire of Ages.

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“To him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt (Romans 4:4). The Apostle here explains the quoted passage (Gen. 15:4-6) to conclude and prove from it that justification is by faith and not by works. This he does first of all by explaining the meaning of the words ‘it was counted unto him for righteousness.’ These words explain that God receives (sinners) by grace and not because of their works.” – Martin Luther, Commentary on Romans, p. 82.

“If Satan can succeed in leading man to place value upon his own works as works of merit and righteousness, he knows that he can overcome him by his temptations, and make him his victim and prey. . . . Strike the door-posts with the blood of Calvary’s Lamb, and you are safe.” – Ellen G. White, Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Sept. 3, 1889.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why is it so important to understand salvation by faith alone without the deeds of law? What kind of errors can that knowledge protect us from? What dangers await those who lose sight of this crucial biblical teaching?
  2. What other reasons can you give for the continued validity of God’s law, even when we understand that the law and obedience to it are not what saves us?
  3. The basic issue at the core of the Reformation is How are we saved? What are ways in which we can openly and forthrightly talk about the difference between Protestants and Catholics on this important topic, while not making personal attacks on anyone?
  4. As justified sinners, we have been made the recipients of grace and undeserved favor from God, against whom we have sinned. How should this fact impact how we deal with others? How full of grace and favor are we toward those who have wronged us and don’t really deserve our grace and favor?
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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons