Presenting a Biblical response by concerned former Seventh-day Adventists to the Sabbath School Bible Study Guide.

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Commentary on "Mission"



Day 5: Wednesday, June 24, 2009



“When the body is working for the salvation of others, something wonderful happens to its individual parts. ‘Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves…’ “ (from the Teacher’s Comments).



The problem with Wednesday’s section is not so much the approach taken in the quarterly as the statement quoted above from the Teacher’s Comments.

The lesson makes great use of the texts offered to point to the proper role of church (that is, individuals united in Christ, not an organization) and how the Holy Spirit equips believers. At times, this line of reasoning sounds almost non-Adventist.

The quote above suggests something different, however. To quote Paul in Ephesians 4:13, the purpose of these incredible gifts God gave to the church is that “we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ” (NASB). The point of works of service and building up the body of Christ is to realize Verse 13.

Verses 14 and following (no longer infants, etc.) is the result of Verse 13.

I don’t believe this is too fine a point. No Christian will be settled in his or her beliefs by activity, although activity done in concert with other Christians can draw us together and help us mature. It is maturity, not activity, which results in conviction, that is, the immovable assurance of my salvation.

If I allow a church organization to define conviction in terms of the activities it approves and encourages, then I will have reneged on my responsibility to listen to the Holy Spirit teach me the meaning of God’s word. I will have put myself under the authority of someone other than Jesus Christ. This is never a safe position.



  1. This section is a very positive affirmation of the definition of the body of Christ and the Holy Spirit’s role in each member’s life. As such, it is quite different than the point of view taken in Lesson 12.
  2. That said there still is the tendency in the Teacher’s Comments to view the Christian life as a collection of activities (sort of behaviorism-lite) instead of responses to God’s initiative.
  3. To the extent that Point #1 above is the true direction of Adventism, praise God!




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