forgive to live forgiveness

Walking with Jesus
A love like no other

This booklet series is adapted from Steps to Christ by E.G. White and the Steps to Christ Bible Study Guide developed by Merlin Beerman, Revelation Publications.

This series is distributed by Adventist Media Network and Hope Channel, with the permission of the copyright owners.

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the US Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.TM

love

INTRODUCTION

IT’S ALL ABOUT LOVE
This series—”Steps to Christ”— will lead you towards a better understanding of who Jesus is, what it means to “believe”, and other important elements of what a relationship with Jesus means.

Like any steps we take in life, it’s the first step that starts us on the journey, so congratulations on your decision to take it.

Whatever your level of familiarity with Jesus Christ, there’s always more to discover about the radical love that Jesus represents—the love of God, for each of us.

Since it was first published in 1892, Steps to Christ has been inspiring and challenging those who read it, by its simple and clear depiction of who Jesus is, the love He represents, and understanding how we can experience this amazing love firsthand. This message is just as relevant today in a world filledl with people in need of love, hope and restoration.

This is a story about life-changing love, like you’ve never experienced before
The original book has now been translated into more than 150 different languages.

love

HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF THIS SERIES
As you read through each chapter, you’ll notice some icons:

Question

Read each question, take time to contemplate and understand what it is asking. Questions are included throughout the chapter, so you have the option of either answering as you go, or once you’ve finished the chapter. Feel free to write your answers in the workbook provided.

In order to answer the questions, you will need a Bible; if you don’t have a printed Bible, there are many Bible apps you can download, or use your favourite online version.

Primary Bible Verse

This symbol refers you to a reference. For instance, John 3:16 refers you to the Book of John, (which is found in the New Testament ) chapter 3, verse 16.

If you’re reading the Bible for the first time, using a Bible app or online version is a great idea as it helps you to more quickly navigate the books and find the exact text you seek.

Further Study

While each question has a main text, there are also related texts that can help your study a little further.

We hope you will take this opportunity to dig deeper and read more about the topic.

Use this time to reflect on what these answers mean to you and your life.

The time and focus you put in will be rewarded: the more you put in, the more you’ll get out of this Masterclass.

If you have questions about any of the concepts or topics throughout this series, or want to discuss anything further, contact our Hope Channel team as below.

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God’s Love for Us

Love is a word that we to use frequently.

How many times this week have you used it to describe how you feel about someone or something? You might say you love your mother or your best friend; but then in the next breath say that you love your car, your song, a favourite flavour of ice-cream, or TV show.

Still, if you are asked to reflect on your life and who has loved you the most, your reply will be a person, not an inanimate thing.

That person who has loved you is special to you, because they are someone who’s made you feel truly
valued.

It’s likely that they are someone that you really love, also.

Love—real love—is something that is given and received. That’s how it was designed.

And we were designed to be loved, with hearts ready to love others.

So – where did this love come from?

Bible, baptism, adventist, second coming, Jesus, forgiveness, christianity

THE ORIGIN OF LOVE

What does the Bible say about love?

1 John 4:16

Let’s go back to the beginning—the very beginning.

In six days God created the world, and it was perfect. When God created the earth, there was not a trace of death or decay in it.

God designed the natural wonders of our world to enjoy and experience.

This wasn’t just a lofty mountain ranges, but every flower and blade of grass testify and reveal God’s character.

The natural world reveals a creative God who delights in timeless beauty and a love that has no boundaries.

“God’s global aim in creation AND redemption is not only the glory of His name, but also the gladness of the people.”
– John Piper

WHAT GOD’S LOVE IS LIKE

What are some attributes of God’s character?

Micah 7:18

Exodus 34:6, 7 || Psalms 103:9 || 112:4
|| 145:8 || 71:19 ||86:5

The Bible provides an incredible picture of God that reveals His unending love and mercy, which draws our hearts to Him.

God delights to reveal Himself through nature, and the love we feel within a relationship. However, even all these incredible experiences and joys fall short of showing the whole picture of God’s love.

A DEMONSTRATION OF LOVE
It’s one thing to describe love, but another to show love through action. Fortunately for us, God does both: the Bible is the story of God’s love in action. In Genesis 3, we read how a perfect world was polluted by sin. Adam and Eve, the first humans, chose to exercise their freedom of choice and disobeyed God and followed their own inclinations.

This act of disobedience led to misery and the introduction of death not just to themselves but to future generations. You need not look too far to see the impact of sin and suffering in the world. However, even in the midst of any crises, God’s love is very clear.

With the entry of sin, the life God had planned for humanity changed dramatically— future generations would now experience difficulties and trials. Where there had once been blessings, now the very fabric of creation was cursed as a result of sin.

It’s important to note that God didn’t make these trials happen, but rather they were the result
of humankind utilising their freedom of choice and the natural world breaking down as a consequence of sin.

In allowing humankind to exercise their free choice, humanity began to understand the magnitude and results of sin.

Even though the world suffered the results of sin, God’s love can still be seen in the flowers that grow amid the thistles and the roses amongst the thorns. One glance from the window still reveals the beauty and character of God—He is still with us.

When you think of God, what or who, do you picture? Do you see a stern judge? A police officer?

Satan (God’s opponent) works to blind our mind’s eye from seeing all the good God has given to us, causing us to look at God in fear.

Satan has deceived many people into thinking that God’s main objective is to punish and inflict us with pain. This is a false picture of God: God is a God of love, and that’s exactly why Jesus came to earth—to actively demonstrate and reveal the incredible love God has for each of us.

Bible, baptism, adventist, second coming, Jesus, forgiveness, christianity

List God’s characteristics that are revealed by the prophet in Micah 7.

Micah 7:17–20

Exodus 15:14–16 || Joshua 2:9–11 || Isaiah 64:2 ||Jeremiah 33:9 || Revelation 6:15–17

Bible, baptism, adventist, second coming, Jesus, forgiveness, christianity

JESUS ON A MISSION

How do we know God’s true character is?

John 14:7

John 17:4-8, 26 || 5:19, 20 || 1 Timothy 3:16 || Colossians 1:15

The Bible teaches that Jesus came to earth to show us God to us. When Philip, one of the disciples asked, “Show us the Father,” Jesus answered, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not known me, Philip? He that has seen me has seen the Father; and how can you say then, ‘Show us the Father?’ ” (John 14:8, 9).

The birth of Jesus revealed God’s love to those who were experiencing suffering and trials. Philippians 2:5–8 describes the humility of Jesus in leaving the very presence of God in ordwe to reveal His true character.

During His time on earth, Jesus visited many places caring for those He met. The Bible makes specific mention of villages where He healed every disease.

In fact, there were whole villages where there was not a moan of sickness in any house, for He had passed through healing all their sick. Now that is an amazing picture of Jesus and a loving God.

Love, mercy, and compassion were shown in every act of Jesus life; His heart went out in sympathy to all. Jesus left heaven and became one with us in order to reveal God’s true character and demonstrate how we could live in God’s image.

The Bible clearly states that even the poorest and humblest of people were not afraid to approach Jesus. Little children liked to be around Him. They loved to climb onto His lap and look into His face, and see love reflected in His eyes (Mark 10:13–16).

bible, christianity, God, love, truth, baptism, adventist, what is truth, big questions, prophecy, daniel studies, second coming

Why did Jesus come to Earth?

Luke 4:18, 19

John 17:4–8, 26; 5:19, 20 || Matthew 1:21–23, 11:5 || Isaiah 29:18,19; 35:5, 6 || Psalm 147:3 || 107:13–20

Jesus always spoke in love and truth. He never condemned people for their weaknesses.

Instead, Jesus exposed the hypocrisy of those who merely pretended to be righteous, unveiling the unbelief and wickedness of many professed religious leaders while championing the cause of the oppressed and overlooked.

We see the heart of Jesus and the love of God when Jesus wept over Jerusalem, the city He loved.

He wept for all those who refused to accept Him as the way, the truth and the life. Even the people who rejected, scorned and persecuted Jesus were treated with compassion.

To Jesus, every person was precious.

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How did Jesus present Himself and His purpose on earth?

John 1:14

John 1:16, 17 || Psalm 45:2; 85:10, 11 || Colossians 1:19 || 1 Timothy 1:14

The character of God the Father was revealed in the very way Jesus lived His life on earth. In fact, Jesus was God made “manifest in the flesh” in order to bridge the gap between humankind and a holy God.

“ The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
– John 1.14

THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE

How was Jesus treated on earth for our sake?

Isaiah 53:3–5, 11, 12

Matthew 26:67, 68 || 27:39–44 || Mark 15:15–20
|| John 1:10, 11 || Romans 4:25 || 1 Peter 3:18 || 2:23,24

Jesus lived, suffered and died to save us. The Bible says He became a “man of sorrows” (Isaiah 53:3), so that we could have everlasting life.

God permitted His only son to leave the indescribable glory of heaven to live in a world darkened with the shadow of death. In leaving heaven, Jesus left the presence of God and the worship of angels to suffer shame, insult, humiliation, hatred, and ultimately death.

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What words did Jesus cry out in agony to the Father?

Matthew 27:46

Luke 23:34 || Isaiah 59:2  || Proverbs 15:8, 29
|| Jeremiah 5:25 || Micah 3:4

It was the burden of sin, the sense of its terrible effects and consequences, the separation of the soul from God that broke the heart of Jesus, the Son of God.

“Look at His experience in the wilderness, in Gethsemane, and on the cross! The spotless Son of God took upon Himself the burden of sin. He who had been one with God felt in His soul the awful separation sin brings between God and man.”

– — XXX

SAVED FROM SIN

What are two key reasons why God sent His Son to this earth?

John 3:16 ♦ 2 Corinthians 5:19

2 Corinthians 5:19 || John 17:23; 1:29 || Romans 3:23–26 ||5:8,10, 11 || 1 John 2:1, 2 || 4:10 || 1 Peter 4:14 || 2 Corinthians 5:18–21

God did not make this great sacrifice in order to create a love for us in His own heart or to become willing to save us. No! “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son.”

Secondly, God doesn’t love us because of this sacrifice—He provided this great sacrifice because

He loved us. Jesus was the medium through which God could pour out endless love upon our fallen world. God suffered with His Son in the agony of Gethsemane and death on Calvary.

God’s heart of incredible love paid the price so that we could be saved.

“For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. ”

– John 3.16

THE SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD

How willingly did Jesus offer His life for humanity?

John 10:17,18

Philippians 2:6–9 || Titus 2:14 || John 17:4, 5, 21–26 || Hebrews 2:9, 14, 15

No-one but Jesus could save the sin stricken world. Jesus was the only person who could enter a sinful world and redeem humanity from the grasp of sin. Only Jesus could fully reveal the love of God.

Jesus knew the height and depth of God’s love, and nothing less than the infinite sacrifice of Jesus could reveal the Father’s love to a world impacted by sin. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son.”

God gave Jesus to the world, not only to live among us and reveal His character, but to bear our sins and to die in our place. Jesus came to identify Himself with the interests and needs of those who live on this earth.

bible, christianity, God, love, truth, baptism, adventist, what is truth, big questions, prophecy, daniel studies, second coming

ADOPTED INTO GOD’S FAMILY

What is Jesus not ashamed to call us?

Hebrews 2:11

Matthew 12:48–50 || 25:40 || John 17:21 || 20:17 || Romans 8:29

By walking among us, Jesus forever linked Himself to humanity.

He is our sacrifice, our defender and our brother, now representing us before God’s throne.

He did all of this so that we might be raised up from the damage and shame of sin, to experience and reflect the love of God and share the joy of holiness.

bible, christianity, God, love, truth, baptism, adventist, what is truth, big questions, prophecy, daniel studies, second coming

In His amazing love, what great honour has the Father bestowed upon us?

1 John 3:1

2 Corinthians 6:18  || Galatians 4:5, 6 || 20:17

In order to save us, God made the ultimate sacrifice in giving His Son. This gives us a greater understanding of what we may become through Jesus.

When the disciple John saw the great height and depth of the Father’s love toward a sinful world, he was filled with adoration and reverence.

He could not even find the words to express the greatness and tenderness of God’s love: “Behold, what manner of love the Father has given us, that we should be called the sons of God.

We feel the same sense of wonder, as we reflect on a perfect being who died for each imperfect individual that lives in this broken world.

bible, christianity, God, love, truth, baptism, adventist, what is truth, big questions, prophecy, daniel studies, second coming

CHILDREN OF GOD

How do we become children of God?

John 1:12

Romans 8:14–17, 21 || Galatians 3:26 || Jeremiah 3:14, 19, 22

Because of sin, we came under the control of Satan, but by faith in the saving sacrifice of Jesus, we become children of God.

By taking on human nature, Jesus lifts us up from the pit of sin. By assuming human nature, Jesus restored humanity into a right relationship with God and we are once again found worthy to be called “children of God.”

There is no greater love than God’s invitation to each of us to become His child.

In a world filled with broken promises, disappointment and terror, here is a sure anchor point—the unchanging, relentless, ceaseless love of God for you.

The more we study the Bible, the more examples we find of God’s love, the more clearly we will see evidence of His infinite love. This love goes beyond the boundaries of human love.

Love as we know it can fail and disappoint, however God’s love is constant and perfect. God’s love stretches from heaven to earth; the same love Jesus demonstrated when He paid the ultimate sacrifice so we could be reconciled to God.

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