August 8, 2020
Have you ever heard that at one time people believed the earth was flat? We can look at a photo from space and know the earth is a sphere. There was also a time many people would die after having surgery, but it was discovered that deaths would decrease if those treating the patient would wash their hands. The medical profession laughed at this idea, but now we know that when we wash our hands we wash away germs and bacteria that cause illnesses and infections.
In the early 1600s most people believed that the earth was the center of our solar system. They believed that the sun and planets revolved around the earth. People held to this belief because of the story in Joshua 10:13, where the children of Israel were fighting the Amorites. The Bible says, “The sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the people had revenge upon their enemies” (NKJV). They were afraid to change their thinking. We know based on further study of God’s universe, that the sun is the center of our solar system and the planets revolve around the sun, and that the cycles of day and night are caused by the rotation of the earth around its axis.
It is important that when we are studying the Bible we do not take a verse out of context or throw it away just because we do not understand it or have questions about it.
There are many things that we cannot understand in our current human condition. Over the course of the world’s 6,000-year history, the consequences of sin have left us unable to understand many things about God and eternity.
However, there are many things we can understand when we ask for the Holy Spirit’s help. Whenever we study the Bible or a topic that we have questions about, the resources God has given us—the Bible, nature, life experiences—all help us get a picture of what is truth. The Bible is our guide to understanding God, His character, and His plan for our lives. Every question we have may not be answered while we live in this sinful world, but one day God will answer our questions. And throughout eternity God will show us and answer the most difficult of all questions.
Memory Text: “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:17).
Our Beliefs, no. 1, The Holy Scriptures: “The Holy Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, are the written Word of God, given by divine inspiration. The inspired authors spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. In this Word, God has committed to humanity the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are the supreme, authoritative, and the infallible revelation of His will.”
Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, pp. 48-50
Read John 14:6.
One day you are spending time with one of your non-Christian friends when the conversation comes around to the Bible. Your friend claims that the Bible is untrustworthy because it is “scientifically inaccurate.” Your friend points out some verses such as Joshua 10:13, which says that the sun stood still, and Isaiah 13:10, which seems to imply that the moon gives off its own light. How would you respond?
Read Psalm 119:105; Isaiah 8:20; Hebrews 4:12.
God has given us the Holy Scriptures to help us live healthy, and happy lives of service. The Bible is our guide that holds God’s promises to help, guide, and protect us. The Scriptures explain how we should live and how to be faithful to our Heavenly Father. It tells us about a loving Savior Who will one day return and take us to His heavenly home to live with Him forever. The Bible is God’s love letter to us.
What does God’s Word in your life mean to you?
Fill in the missing letters. This is what is missing: A=7; E=16; I=16; O=25; U=5; Y=5.
l l S c r p t r s g v n b n s p r t n f G d, n d s p r f t b l f r d c t r n , f r r p r f, f r c r r c t n, f r n s t r c t n n r g h t s n s s, t h t t h m n f G d m b c mp l t , t h r g h l q p p d f r v r g d w r k . 2 T m t h 3 : 1 6 , 1 7 , NK J V .
Read John 16:12, 13.
Welcome to the age when you will begin making some decisions on your own. Without the resources and ability to find the truth, you will be susceptible to falsehood. What you believe now has a way of shaping what you think for the rest of your life. If you base your life decisions on just what the world says is truth, you will never be satisfied. Satisfaction, peace, and purpose in life come by a knowledge of God’s truth.
Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit we learn about God’s truth by: reading and listening to His Word, studying the life and character of Jesus, learning about the natural laws that govern the world around us, and experiencing for ourselves the love of Jesus. It is important to recognize the difference between truth and error. As we rely on God’s guidance through His Word, He will give us the wisdom to see the difference. Paul advised in Philippians 4:8: “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (KJV).
When we come upon things in the Bible that we do not understand, we should recognize that the things we don’t understand do not affect the things we do understand. The fact that we don’t understand everything in God’s Word does not mean that we should doubt His character of love and forgiveness. If we are open to His leading, God will continue to teach us more about Himself.
Match the phrase with the text, using Biblegateway.com.
1. John 18:37, 38 (NIV)
2. John 14:16, 17 (NIV)
3. John 16:12, 13 (NIV)
4. Philippians 4:8 (KJV)
5. Psalm 31:5 (KJV)
6. John 8:44 (NIV)
7. John 1:14 (NIV)
8. John 14:6 (KJV)
A. “Jesus saith unto him, ‘I am the way.’ ”
B. “If there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
C. “O Lord God of truth.”
D. “The Word became flesh.”
E. “When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
F. “The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him.”
G. “I have much more to say to you.”
H. “You are a king, then!”
Read John 1:14.
Review the memory text.
God knows that we won’t understand everything about His character or the truth revealed in His Word and in the world around us. We may have notions about life that aren’t completely correct. But God has revealed enough to enable us to know Him—not everything about Him, not everything about what has happened in history. But we have enough to know Him personally. And the wonderful thing is that His grace is big enough to accept and love us even with our questions. We don’t need to have a perfect understanding about everything for God to love us and for us to love Him. God will help us find the truth by the gift of His Holy Spirit. A gift? The Holy Spirit is a guide into truth—not just some truth, but according to John 16:12, 13, all truth that we can comprehend and are ready to accept!
Read Psalm 25:4, 5.
Pick one or two issues that affect your life and research those topics using the sources we’ve discussed: the Bible, the world around us, our personal experience, and others’ experiences. The topics you choose can be anything that affects you. For example: relationships, drugs, sports, priorities, premarital sex, tobacco—anything you’re interested in finding God’s truth about. Be sure that you use all the sources we’ve learned about so you can get a complete picture of the issue. And be sure to ask for God’s Spirit to lead you to the truth. If you need help you can ask your parents, your pastor, or other church members. When you’re finished with your research, write what you discovered in the space below.