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Paul and the Rebellion

Overall Question:  How does the Apostle Paul's life work fit into the Great Controversy?

Memory Text: 1 Corinthians 15:54 Common English Bible And when the rotting body has been clothed in what can’t decay, and the dying body has been clothed in what can’t die, then this statement in scripture will happen: Death has been swallowed up by a victory.


Sunday – Adam and Jesus

Romans 5:12-21 New English Translation 12 So then, just as sin entered the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all people because all sinned— 13 for before the law was given, sin was in the world, but there is no accounting for sin when there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam until Moses even over those who did not sin in the same way that Adam (who is a type of the coming one) transgressed. 15 But the gracious gift is not like the transgression. For if the many died through the transgression of the one man, how much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one man Jesus Christ multiply to the many! 16 And the gift is not like the one who sinned. For judgment, resulting from the one transgression, led to condemnation, but the gracious gift from the many failures led to justification. 17 For if, by the transgression of the one man, death reigned through the one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ!  18 Consequently, just as condemnation for all people came through one transgression, so too through the one righteous act came righteousness leading to life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of one man many will be made righteous. 20 Now the law came in so that the transgression may increase, but where sin increased, grace multiplied all the more, 21 so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 5:17 COMMENTARY BY ALBERT BARNES To show that men were thus justified by the gospel, was the leading design of the apostle; and the argument here is, that if by one man's sin death reigned over those who were under condemnation in consequence of it, we have much more reason to suppose that they who are delivered from sin by the death of Christ, and accepted of God, shall reign with him in life.


Monday – The Church Building

1 Corinthians 3:12-15 English Standard Version 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

1 Corinthians 3:13 SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY In times of trouble the real nature of the faith of God’s professed children will be made manifest. If they are truly converted and have been thoroughly indoctrinated with the pure gospel of Jesus Christ, the fires of persecution and trial will only cause their faith to grow stronger and their love for the Lord to shine out more brightly. If, on the other hand, they have received faulty instruction, composed of a mixture of human philosophy and worldly compromise, their faith will not stand the test of trouble, and they will fall away from Christ and His church. Only those who have built faithfully on the true foundation, Jesus Christ, and have used durable materials will see their work endure to the end.

Matthew 7:24-27 Contemporary English Version 24 Anyone who hears and obeys these teachings of mine is like a wise person who built a house on solid rock. 25 Rain poured down, rivers flooded, and winds beat against that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on solid rock. 26 Anyone who hears my teachings and doesn’t obey them is like a foolish person who built a house on sand. 27 The rain poured down, the rivers flooded, and the winds blew and beat against that house. Finally, it fell with a crash.


Tuesday – The Church as a Body

1 Corinthians 12:14-26 New International Reader’s Version 14 So the body is not made up of just one part. It has many parts. 15 Suppose the foot says, “I am not a hand. So I don’t belong to the body.” By saying this, it cannot stop being part of the body. 16 And suppose the ear says, “I am not an eye. So I don’t belong to the body.” By saying this, it cannot stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, how could it hear? If the whole body were an ear, how could it smell? 18 God has placed each part in the body just as he wanted it to be. 19 If all the parts were the same, how could there be a body? 20 As it is, there are many parts. But there is only one body. 21 The eye can’t say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 In fact, it is just the opposite. The parts of the body that seem to be weaker are the ones we can’t do without. 23 The parts that we think are less important we treat with special honor. The private parts aren’t shown. But they are treated with special care. 24 The parts that can be shown don’t need special care. But God has put together all the parts of the body. And he has given more honor to the parts that didn’t have any. 25 In that way, the parts of the body will not take sides. All of them will take care of one another. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. If one part is honored, every part shares in its joy.

1 Corinthians 12:25 COMMENTARY BY ADAM CLARKE The eyes and ears watch for the general safety of the whole; and they are placed in the head, like sentinels in a tower, that they may perceive the first approach of a foe, and give warning.  The hands immediately on an attack exert themselves to defend the head and the body; and the limbs are swift to carry off the body from dangers against which resistance would be vain.  Even the heart takes alarm from both the eyes and the ears; and when an attack is made on the body, every external muscle becomes inflated and contracts itself, that, by thus collecting and concentrating its force, it may the more effectually resist the assailants, and contribute to the defence of the system.


Wednesday – The Armor of God

Ephesians 6:11-17 Easy-to-Read Version 11 Wear the full armor of God. Wear God’s armor so that you can fight against the devil’s clever tricks. 12 Our fight is not against people on earth. We are fighting against the rulers and authorities and the powers of this world’s darkness. We are fighting against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly places. 13 That is why you need to get God’s full armor. Then on the day of evil, you will be able to stand strong. And when you have finished the whole fight, you will still be standing. 14 So stand strong with the belt of truth tied around your waist, and on your chest wear the protection of right living. 15 On your feet wear the Good News of peace to help you stand strong. 16 And also use the shield of faith with which you can stop all the burning arrows that come from the Evil One. 17 Accept God’s salvation as your helmet. And take the sword of the Spirit—that sword is the teaching of God.

Ephesians 6:11 SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY A parallel to Paul’s thought is found in Isa. 59:16, 17. Some suggest that this passage may have been the source of his imagery. Others point to his knowledge of the armor of the Roman soldier, because he was chained to one for several years. The armor is God’s because He is the one who provides each particular piece of equipment (Eph. 6:14–17). We are asked to put it on and to fight valiantly the battle. The One who forged the armor guarantees its effectiveness.

Isaiah 59:16-17 King James Version “16 ¶ And he saw that [there was] no man, and wondered that [there was] no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. 17 For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance [for] clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke.”

Ephesians 6:13 COMMENTARY BY ALBERT BARNES The whole language here is taken from war; and the idea is, that every foe was to be subdued---no matter how numerous or formidable they might be. Safety and triumph could be looked for only when every enemy was slain.


Thursday – The Last Enemy

1 Corinthians 15:12-18 New Century Version 12 Now since we preached that Christ was raised from the dead, why do some of you say that people will not be raised from the dead? 13 If no one is ever raised from the dead, then Christ has not been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is worth nothing, and your faith is worth nothing. 15 And also, we are guilty of lying about God, because we testified of him that he raised Christ from the dead. But if people are not raised from the dead, then God never raised Christ. 16 If the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith has nothing to it; you are still guilty of your sins. 18 And those in Christ who have already died are lost.

1 Corinthians 15:12 SDA COMMENTARY Apparently there were some at Corinth who denied the possibility of a bodily resurrection of the dead. In vs. 13–19 Paul demonstrates the destructive nature of such a denial, and shows how such a belief is incompatible with the proved fact that Jesus had been raised.

1 Corinthians 15:23-26 New American Standard Bible 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, 24 then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death.

1 Corinthians 15:26 SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY There is no article in the Greek, and the word for “last” occupies the first, or emphatic, place in the sentence, stressing the finality of Christ’s victory over all opposition, even over man’s most-feared enemy, death. The end of death will coincide with the end of sin. When there is no more sin, there will be no more death, for death results from sin. Some maintained that there is no resurrection, death is the end. The apostle gives the startling reply that in God’s plan there is finally to be no death, for death itself will be destroyed.


Friday – Further Study

Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 8, p. 42 – “Now the church is militant. Now we are confronted with a world in midnight darkness, almost wholly given over to idolatry. But the day is coming in which the battle will have been fought, the victory won. The will of God is to be done on earth, as it is done in heaven. Then the nations will own no other law than the law of heaven. All will be a happy, united family, clothed with the garments of praise and thanksgiving --the robe of Christ’s righteousness. All nature, in its surpassing loveliness, will offer to God a constant tribute of praise and adoration. The world will be bathed in the light of heaven. The years will move on in gladness.”

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