- Does God harden hearts? The context of the opening Bible verse for this week’s lesson is God’s supreme power to rule the world and to decide which of the human race qualify for salvation. Romans 9:18 says, “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will harden” How do we reconcile such a statement with God’s ever-loving care for His children? Can you accept the fact that in these verses Paul is not describing who can and who cannot be saved, but is merely saying that it is God’s right to determine who will work with Him in the salvation of sinners?
- Elected. Was God being fair when He chose a people to obey Him and proclaim His supremacy? Was salvation a sure promise to those who belonged to the seed of Abraham and the line of Isaac and Jacob? When Paul proclaims that “…they are not all Israel, which are of Israel,” was he suggesting that knowing or even believing what God has said isn’t enough to obtain salvation? How did Paul explain that God still has a chosen few on earth to carry out His plans? Is the following statement true or false: Adventists today are very much like the Israelites of old in carrying out God’s will. Explain.
- Mysteries. In Isaiah 55:8, 9 the prophet quotes God saying that we are far from a full understanding of everything about Him. Does that overwhelming gap between us and God reduce our chances of being saved? Did God harden Pharaoh’s heart? If so, why? Does God ever reduce our chances of being saved? Can you and I ignore our lack of knowledge and keep on living in ignorance? What does our lesson author advocate for us to do so that we won’t be caught in ignorance about God’s character and plans for the few who choose to follow Him?
- Ammi: “My People” How does the fascinating story of the whore Ammi, whom the prophet Hosea married, as instructed by God, demonstrate God’s love for His people? Why does Paul seem to base so many of his points about salvation and the doing of God’s will on Old Testament happenings? How can we Christians benefit from spending more time reading and studying God’s will and His dealings with the Israelite people?
- Stumbling. In Romans 9:30-32 Paul talks about how Gentiles seemed to stumble as if by chance on the principles of righteousness and obtained it. What was the stumbling block that kept many of the Israelites from accepting God’s laws of righteousness? Have you or anyone else who should have known better stumbled on the Rock of our salvation? How can you recover from such an accident?
Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons