Proverbs in Light of the Cross; Can People Who Don’t Belong to My Church Denomination Be Wise Too?

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Listen to my instruction and be wise. Don’t ignore it. Proverbs 8:33 NLT

Is there a chance God tried to share His wisdom with us, be we rejected it because we didn’t like the Vessels He used?

Sure Isaiah 8:20 tells us if they speak not according to the law there is no light in them, but we need to be careful we don’t misunderstand and go overboard here. Isaiah was speaking specifically about spiritualism, and was making the point that when people contradict the Scripture there is no light in their contradiction.

Whatever men may speak that is not in harmony with that Word has “no light” in it. -Nichol, Francis D.: The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 4. Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1978; 2002, S. 144

So Isaiah was not telling us that if someone was not a Jew that there was nothing that could be learned from them. As a matter of fact, when Jesus was born, gentile kings came looking for Him while the “church leaders” were ignorant of His advent. Here is what Ellen White, co-founder of the Adventist Church had to say.

These learned teachers would not stoop to be instructed by those whom they termed heathen. It could not be, they said, that God had passed them by, to communicate with ignorant shepherds or uncircumcised Gentiles. They determined to show their contempt for the reports that were exciting King Herod and all Jerusalem. They would not even go to Bethlehem to see whether these things were so. And they led the people to regard the interest in Jesus as a fanatical excitement. Here began the rejection of Christ by the priests and rabbis. From this point their pride and stubbornness grew into a settled hatred of the Saviour. While God was opening the door to the Gentiles, the Jewish leaders were closing the door to themselves. –Desire of Ages, Pages 62-63

Have we tuned out a message from God because we were prejudiced against the person God used, and felt our theology was superior to theirs?

And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. Acts 17:11 NLT

In united States elections you can vote for different individuals on the ballot for each office, or you can just just check one box and vote straight Republican or straight Democrat. If you vote straight for one party you don’t have to do any research on the candidates. Do we do this in the church? Instead of searching the Bible for ourselves do we just subscribe to whatever church we belong to, or our local pastor? Instead of searching the Bible to see if what was said is true, do we just go by who said it? If my church said it then it must be right, and if another church said it, then it must be wrong? If we are we are making the same mistake the church leaders made in Christ’s day! The Jews were God’s chosen people, but the gentiles had a few things to teach them as well about Jesus. The Bereans did not accept or reject what Paul taught based on what they thought about him, but based on whether or not he agreed with Scripture.

I am a Seventh-day Adventist Christian. My church has a message about sanctification not found in many other churches. However, one day I went to a Methodist church to hear a friend of mine sing in her choir. After the choir sang, a black woman stood up to preach. She spoke on Ephesians, and how the first half of Ephesians is about justification and us in Christ. The second half of Ephesians, she explained is about sanctification and Christ in us. She went on to preach the most powerful sermon I have ever heard on sanctification. I have “borrowed” her sermon numerous times, and received comments about what a wonderful “Adventist” sermon it was. The people did not know, I got this wonderful “Adventist” sermon from a black Methodist woman! (I add the exclamation mark, not because it surprised me that God used a black Methodist woman, but it will surprise some who are prejudiced by either three adjectives.)

I sat there in that Methodist church Sunday, feasting on every word she spoke, not concerning myself with whether or not she was black or white, male or female, Adventist or Methodist, but like the Bearans I just checked if what she was saying was Biblical- and it was!

Only listening to certain people with “approved labels” is not wise. It is prejudiced. Wisdom is listening to what is being said instead of who is saying it.

Study the Sabbath School lesson guide on the book of Proverbs here.

Sabbath Observance Myth Busters #2, Saved by Grace

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Myth Number 2: Those who observe the Sabbath are trying to be saved by their works.

I am sorry but this myth does not even make sense. People say we are trying to be saved by our works by resting on the Sabbath. So while we rest people accuse us of working? The Sabbath is a rest day not a works day, so the exact opposite of the myth is true. We rest on the Sabbath, showing our faith is in Jesus and not our works. We rest our faith in the merits, righteousness and works of Jesus and not in our own works. Fact is, Sunday observance is legalism. It is a man made day off worship and a worship system worked out by man and not God. Just like when Cain brought the fruits of his field from where he had been working, He was presenting his own works as an act of worship. God refused the works of Cain as well as all the works of men. Sunday observance is another work of man. Abel brought the lamb as a sign that he would not be saved by his works. Abel’s worship pointed towards the Lamb of God. By bringing the lamb Abel was showing that he did not trust his works to save him, but would be saved by the lamb.

 When we keep (Cherish, preserve or treasure) the Sabbath we are acknowledging the fact that only Jesus can save us. Our salvation is found in Jesus alone, so we follow His example by worshiping  on the day that kept holy.

He [Jesus] went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read.” Luke 4:16 NIV.

Notice it was not the Jewish custom it was His custom.

“Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the LORD, who makes you holy.” Exodus 31:13 NIV.

God makes it clear. The Sabbath is not a sign that we are made holy by our works. It is a sign that He makes us holy by His grace and not our works. Think about it. Satan knows we are not saved by our works. Satan knows we are saved by grace. Satan wants us to forget the Sabbath and thus forget the God who saves us by His grace. It is not the Sabbath or the law that Satan is at war with. He is at war with God’s grace and he works to destroy any sign of God’s grace. Thus Satan has worked for years to make people forget the Sabbath which is a sign that God makes us holy by His own grace and not by our works or any man made system of worship which is legalism.

Instead of working this Sabbath to provide for you and your family, would you like to show your faith in God’s amazing grace, by resting on this day instead, and let the whole world know, as Abel did, that you believe God’s grace will provide for your every need and not your works?

“To all who receive the Sabbath as a sign of Christ’s creative and redeeming power, it will be a delight. Seeing Christ in it, they delight themselves in Him. The Sabbath points them to the works of creation as an evidence of His mighty power in redemption. While it calls to mind the lost peace of Eden, it tells of peace restored through the Saviour. And every object in nature repeats His invitation, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” The Faith I Live By, p. 33.

 You may find a study on the Sabbath in the light of the cross here.