Sabbath School Summary
By Elder Dr Masimba Mavaza
But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul’ ” (Deuteronomy 4:29, NKJV).
Asimple fact of life follows us all: we are sinful. Occasionally we h ear some “expert” bemoan the Christian idea of basic human corruption, but all one has to do is look at the news for a day or so or take a quick survey of human history, and the truthfulness of this Christian doctrine becomes apparent.
Or, even easier, all one has to do is look in the mirror; not that far, actually. Whoever has the courage to take a long look deep inside one’s own heart (which can be a scary place to go) knows the truthfulness of Romans 3:9-23, which ends with the words “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23, NKJV).
Of course, the good news is found in the next verse, about being “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24, NKJV). Crucial to this great news is repentance: acknowledging our sin; being sorry for it; asking God’s forgiveness for it; and, ultimately, turning away from it. Because we are sinful, repentance should be a central part of our Christian existence. And this week, we will see the idea of repentance as expressed in Deuteronomy.
SABBATH: The heart of man is evil & he cannot change it. The world today has sunk deeply into the pit of sin. The idea of basic human corruption has been echoed since eternity past after the fall. All one need to do is to look at the man in the mirror; to do self-introspection. “All have sinned” (Rom. 3:9-24). But Christ offers grace to all. The lesson details the great news of repentance & God’s forgiveness.
SUNDAY: God, the source of every right impulse in man, the Maker of space, time, & matter wish for man to be holy. In many verses in the Bible, “Oh” is translated from the Hebrew idiom “Mi-Yitten” (see Exod. 16:3, Ps. 14:7, Job 6:8). Mi-Yitten is a expression of a wish or desire. The One who breathed into Adam the breath of life utter this phrase to depict man’s sins & the reality of freewill (Deut. 5:22-29).
MONDAY: Interwoven in the Bible is the proof of the foreknowledge of God. He accurately predicted the rise & fall of world empires & events leading to the death of Christ (Dan. 7 & Matt. 26:34). God knows the end from the beginning. He has foreknowledge of our free choices but it does not impact the freedom of those choices (Deut. 4:25-31). He knew Israel will sin but led them to Canaan anyway.
TUESDAY: Sadly, after the fall sin became the breath of man. The heart of man was set on doing evil. However, we reap what we sow. Good deeds bring blessings & bad deeds attract curses (Gal. 6:7, 😎. Israel fell into the sin of idolatry but God was willing to take them back (Deut. 30:1-11). “Teshuvah” (root word for “turn”) means “to return”. God called Israel “to return” to Him & be saved (Deut. 30:2, 8, 10).
WEDNESDAY: Israel had no excuse to sin against God (Deut. 4:7). He blessed the nation, she tasted His grace & bountiful favors. Yet, most men in Israel were unconverted in heart. The carnal heart is enmity against God. A transformed heart ushers in positive actions. God called the people to come to Him & He’d circumcise their hearts (Deut. 30:1-10). They had to make a choice (Acts 5:31, PP, p. 557).
THURSDAY: Repentance is feeling sorrow for sin & turning away from it. Both John the Baptist & Christ began their ministry with calls for repentance (see Matt. 3:1-8, Mark 1:15). In repentance, we “return” to God. In the Biblical repentance, one does not feel sorrow for sin because of the fear of its results but because he/she is convicted in mind & heart; feels guilt & yearn to be holy (Deut. 15:15, Acts 2:37).
FRIDAY: “How shall a man be just with God? How shall the sinner be made righteous? It is only through Christ that we can be brought into harmony with God.” God invites all sinners to return to Him & taste His forgiveness & grace. We should make the prayer of Paul our own; I know that in me is nothing good (Rom. 7:18). We should rely solely on God (Ezek. 36:31, 16:62, 63). God is good! (Rom. 2:4,Jer. 31:3).
—Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 160, 161 & 202.
Mi-Yitten- “Mi” is the question “who?” & “yitten” means “will give.” The phrase expresses the idea of a wish, desire, or wanting something badly.
Teshuvah- It’s a Hebrew word from the root word for “to return” & means “repentance.”
PP- Patriarchs and Prophets
MONDAY- Seek Me And Find Me
WEDNESDAY- With All Your Heart
THURSDAY- Repent And Be Converted
📌 Though we must repent, how can we be careful to avoid the trap of making repentance into something meritorious, as if the act of repenting itself is what makes us right before God? What is the only way we can be right before God?
📌 “Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.’ And they said, ‘What is that to us? You see to it!’ Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself” (Matt. 27:3-5, NKJV). No doubt Judas was sorry for what he had done to Jesus (after all, he killed himself). Why, though, are his actions not deemed true repentance?
📌 How should the reality of human sinfulness, even our own sinfulness, keep us humble before others (in that we don’t judge them) and before God? Why should the fact that it took the cross (i.e., the death of the Son of God) to save us show us just how bad sin really is?