Commentary on "Walking in the Light:
Day 2: Sunday, July 26, 2009
The word 'sake' refers to the cause, reason or purpose for an action. In the context of this lesson and the memory verse, the purpose or reason for our salvation is simply to reveal the holiness of the name of God.
I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. (I John 2:12 KJV)
The theme title for today's lesson magnifies the source and reason for our salvation.
Picking up from where we left off with yesterday's commentary, we will focus on the lesson statement; "John wants his hearers, that is, faithful church members, to have absolute assurance of their salvation."
We need to turn to official Adventist statements and read Fundamental Belief #14. The Adventist meaning of, "remnant church", must be understood if we are to properly understand such phrases as "faithful church members" or "absolute assurance of their salvation" found in the above quote. The statement that true believers exist in all denominations is a 'smoke screen' hiding the true teaching of the Adventist church. The Adventist understanding of "assurance of salvation" differs greatly from what the Bible teaches and what Orthodox Christians believe.
The following statement of Ellen White's, reveals the Adventist position concerning "absolute assurance of their salvation":
"no repentance is genuine that does not work reformation. The righteousness of Christ is not a cloak to cover unconfessed and unforsaken sin; it is a principle of life that transforms the character and controls the conduct. Holiness is wholeness for God; it is the entire surrender of heart and life to the indwelling of the principles of heaven."--The Desire of Ages, pp. 555, 556.
In Adventist theology, there can be no "absolute assurance" of salvation in this lifetime.
To develop this theme we will look first at the words of Jesus where he states that to have eternal life you must be born spiritually. Nothing is said about 'reformation' or 'unconfessed and unforsaken sin'. The issue is simple. Because of sin, our human spirit is dead. We must ask ourselves, what does it take for our dead human spirit to become a living spirit?
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (John 3:3-7 KJV)
For the answer of how we are able to receive a living spirit and the gift of salvation, we turn to the words of Paul:
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (I Cor. 15:1-4, 20-22 KJV )
But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:8-10 KJV)
We are born into this world spiritually dead. Our living spiritual life centers on the work of Jesus Christ and has nothing to do with any kind of work or faithfulness on our part. And, it certainly has nothing to do with joining the "remnant church" otherwise known as the Seventh-day Adventist church. We must "confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved”. John, in I John 2:12, is speaking to members of the Body of Christ, those who have received the gift of salvation and already have a living human spirit. Note well in this verse that the reason that ours sins are forgiven and we have received the gift of salvation is to glorify the name of God. It is because of Jesus Christ and his work, "for his name's sake", that we receive this salvation.
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