These text files are prepared by Laurelbrook staff member James Brenneman for his personal use and for those who wish to see the Bible texts in the adult Sabbath School lesson in possibly a new light.
Memory Text: 1 Corinthians 12:12 New International Version Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.
Sunday – The People of God
1 Peter 2:9 New Century Version But you are a chosen people, royal priests, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession. You were chosen to tell about the wonderful acts of God, who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
1 Peter 2:9 COMMENTARY BY ADAM CLARKE They [the Jews] were also a peculiar people, a purchased people; a private property, belonging to God Almighty, none other having any right in them, and they being under obligation to God alone. All these things the apostle applies to the Christians, to whom indeed they belong, in their spirit and essence, in such a way as they could not belong to the Hebrews of old. But they were called to this state of salvation out of darkness - idolatry, superstition, and ungodliness, into his marvelous light - the Gospel dispensation, which, in reference to the discoveries it had made of God, his nature, will, and gracious promises towards mankind, differed as much from the preceding dispensation of the Jews, as the light of the meridian sun from the faint twinkling of a star. And they had these privileges that they might show forth the praises of Him who had thus called them; the virtues, those perfections of the wisdom, justice, truth, and goodness of God, that shone most illustriously in the Christian dispensation. These they were to exhibit in a holy and useful life, being transformed into the image of God, and walking as Christ himself walked.
Exodus 19:5-6 New Living Translation 5 Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me. 6 And you will be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation.’ This is the message you must give to the people of Israel.”
Deuteronomy 4:20 Common English Bible But the Lord took you and brought you out of that iron furnace, out of Egypt, so that you might be his own treasured people, which is what you are right now.
Deuteronomy 7:6 Good News Translation Do this because you belong to the Lord your God. From all the peoples on earth he chose you to be his own special people.
Deuteronomy 7:6-8 Easy-to-Read Version 6 Do this because you are the Lord’s own people. From all the people on earth, the Lord your God chose you to be his special people—people who belong only to him. 7 Why did the Lord love and choose you? It was not because you are such a large nation. You had the fewest of all people! 8 But the Lord brought you out of Egypt with great power and made you free from slavery. He freed you from the control of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. The Lord did this because he loves you and he wanted to keep the promise he made to your ancestors.
Monday – The Household of God
Ephesians 2:19-22 English Standard Version 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens [or sojourners], but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by [or in] the Spirit.
Ephesians 2:19 SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY Of the household. That is, members of the family, kinsfolk. They have the privileges of protection, sustenance, and fellowship. God is at once King of the citizens and Father of the family. They are no longer sojourners or guests; they are now permanent residents.
Tuesday – The Temple of the Holy Spirit
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 Common English Bible 16 Don’t you know that you are God’s temple and God’s Spirit lives in you? 17 If someone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person, because God’s temple is holy, which is what you are.
1 Corinthians 3:16 COMMENTARY BY ALBERT BARNES Among the heathen, also, temples were regarded as sacred. They were supposed to be inhabited by the divinity to whom they were dedicated. They were regarded as inviolable. Those who took refuge there were safe. It was a crime of the highest degree to violate a temple, or to tear a fugitive who had sought protection there from the altar. So the apostle says of the Christian community. They were regarded as his temple --God dwelt among them--and they should regard themselves as holy, and as consecrated to his service. And so it is regarded as a species of sacrilege to violate the temple, and to devote it to other uses
Wednesday – The Body of Christ
1 Corinthians 12:12-26 Contemporary English Version 12 The body of Christ has many different parts, just as any other body does. 13 Some of us are Jews, and others are Gentiles. Some of us are slaves, and others are free. But God’s Spirit baptized each of us and made us part of the body of Christ. Now we each drink from that same Spirit. 14 Our bodies don’t have just one part. They have many parts. 15 Suppose a foot says, “I’m not a hand, and so I’m not part of the body.” Wouldn’t the foot still belong to the body? 16 Or suppose an ear says, “I’m not an eye, and so I’m not part of the body.” Wouldn’t the ear still belong to the body? 17 If our bodies were only an eye, we couldn’t hear a thing. And if they were only an ear, we couldn’t smell a thing. 18 But God has put all parts of our body together in the way that he decided is best. 19 A body isn’t really a body, unless there is more than one part. 20 It takes many parts to make a single body. 21 That’s why the eyes cannot say they don’t need the hands. That’s also why the head cannot say it doesn’t need the feet. 22 In fact, we cannot get along without the parts of the body that seem to be the weakest. 23 We take special care to dress up some parts of our bodies. We are modest about our personal parts, 24 but we don’t have to be modest about other parts. God put our bodies together in such a way that even the parts that seem the least important are valuable. 25 He did this to make all parts of the body work together smoothly, with each part caring about the others. 26 If one part of our body hurts, we hurt all over. If one part of our body is honored, the whole body will be happy.
1 Corinthians 12:13 COMMENTARY FAMILY BIBLE NOTES to drink of one Spirit. By his operation on our hearts, we become united in spirit to Christ the head and to one another as members of his spiritual body the church.
1 Corinthians 12:23 SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY The face, which is left uncovered, is considered to be naturally comely, whereas other parts of the body are attractively clothed. This seems to teach that those members of the church less endowed with spiritual gifts than are others, should not be despised or treated with condescension. The lesser gifts in the church should not be lightly esteemed, but should be treated with greater consideration and care, because they are indispensable to the whole body.
Thursday – Sheep and Shepherd
John 10:1-11 Holman Christian Standard Bible “I assure you: Anyone who doesn’t enter the sheep pen by the door but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The doorkeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought all his own outside, he goes ahead of them. The sheep follow him because they recognize his voice. 5 They will never follow a stranger; instead they will run away from him, because they don’t recognize the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus gave them this illustration, but they did not understand what He was telling them. 7 So Jesus said again, “I assure you: I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before Me[a] are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture. 10 A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance. 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
John 10:3 SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY His own sheep. This phrase implies that there were other flocks besides his own that were sheltered there. Perhaps two or three flocks were housed in a single enclosure. Only the sheep belonging to the shepherd would respond to his call. In Oriental lands today several flocks bivouac together at night, and in the morning each shepherd sets out in a different direction, calling out to his sheep.
Psalm 23 New International Reader’s Version 1 The Lord is my shepherd. He gives me everything I need. 2 He lets me lie down in fields of green grass. He leads me beside quiet waters. 3 He gives me new strength. He guides me in the right paths for the honor of his name. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid. You are with me. Your shepherd’s rod and staff comfort me. 5 You prepare a feast for me right in front of my enemies. You pour oil on my head. My cup runs over. 6 I am sure that your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life. And I will live in the house of the Lord forever.
Friday – Further Thought (Other Images of the Church)
1 Timothy 3:15 New English Translation in case I am delayed, to let you know how people ought to conduct themselves in the household of God, because it is the church of the living God, the support and bulwark of the truth.
1 Timothy 3:15 SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY In a day when Christians did not own church buildings the thought that God was nevertheless in their midst, both personally and collectively, was profoundly reassuring. A building cannot reflect a “living God,” but a converted Christian can. Thus, God’s church is primarily the spiritual union of all its converted membership, whether worshiping in the same room or separated by great distances.
2 Timothy 2:3-5 God’s Word Translation 3 Join me in suffering like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 Whoever serves in the military doesn’t get mixed up in non-military activities. This pleases his commanding officer. 5 Whoever enters an athletic competition wins the prize only when playing by the rules.
2 Timothy 2:3 COMMENTARY BY ALBERT BARNES Soldiers often endure great privations. Taken from their homes and friends; exposed to cold, or heat, or storms, or fatiguing marches; sustained on coarse fare, or almost destitute of food, they are often compelled to endure as much as the human frame can bear, and often, indeed, sink under their burdens and die. If, for reward or their country's sake, they are willing to do this, the soldier of the cross should be willing to do it for his Savior’s sake, and for the good of the human race. Hence, let no man seek the office of the ministry as a place of ease. Let no one' come into it merely to enjoy himself. Let no one enter it who is not prepared to lead a soldier's life, and to welcome hardship and trial as his portion.
1 Peter 2:9 Easy-to-Read Version But you are his chosen people, the King’s priests. You are a holy nation, people who belong to God. He chose you to tell about the wonderful things he has done. He brought you out of the darkness of sin into his wonderful light.
Memory Text: Galatians 3:27-28 New International Version 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Sunday – Ethnic Prejudices
Acts 6:1 New Century Version The number of followers was growing. But during this same time, the Greek-speaking followers had an argument with the other followers. The Greek-speaking widows were not getting their share of the food that was given out every day.
Acts 6:2-6 New English Translation 2 So the twelve called the whole group of the disciples together and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to wait on tables. 3 But carefully select from among you, brothers, seven men who are well-attested, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this necessary task. 4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 5 The proposal pleased the entire group, so they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a Gentile convert to Judaism from Antioch. 6 They stood these men before the apostles, who prayed and placed their hands on them.
Monday – The Conversion of Gentiles
Acts 10:1-23 New Living Translation In Caesarea there lived a Roman army officer named Cornelius, who was a captain of the Italian Regiment. 2 He was a devout, God-fearing man, as was everyone in his household. He gave generously to the poor and prayed regularly to God. 3 One afternoon about three o’clock, he had a vision in which he saw an angel of God coming toward him. “Cornelius!” the angel said. 4 Cornelius stared at him in terror. “What is it, sir?” he asked the angel. And the angel replied, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have been received by God as an offering! 5 Now send some men to Joppa, and summon a man named Simon Peter. 6 He is staying with Simon, a tanner who lives near the seashore.” 7 As soon as the angel was gone, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier, one of his personal attendants. 8 He told them what had happened and sent them off to Joppa. 9 The next day as Cornelius’s messengers were nearing the town, Peter went up on the flat roof to pray. It was about noon, 10 and he was hungry. But while a meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw the sky open, and something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners. 12 In the sheet were all sorts of animals, reptiles, and birds. 13 Then a voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.” 14 “No, Lord,” Peter declared. “I have never eaten anything that our Jewish laws have declared impure and unclean.” 15 But the voice spoke again: “Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.” 16 The same vision was repeated three times. Then the sheet was suddenly pulled up to heaven. 17 Peter was very perplexed. What could the vision mean? Just then the men sent by Cornelius found Simon’s house. Standing outside the gate, 18 they asked if a man named Simon Peter was staying there. 19 Meanwhile, as Peter was puzzling over the vision, the Holy Spirit said to him, “Three men have come looking for you. 20 Get up, go downstairs, and go with them without hesitation. Don’t worry, for I have sent them.” 21 So Peter went down and said, “I’m the man you are looking for. Why have you come?” 22 They said, “We were sent by Cornelius, a Roman officer. He is a devout and God-fearing man, well respected by all the Jews. A holy angel instructed him to summon you to his house so that he can hear your message.” 23 So Peter invited the men to stay for the night. The next day he went with them, accompanied by some of the brothers from Joppa.
Acts 10:28-29 New International Reader’s Version 28 He said to them, “You know that it is against our law for a Jew to enter a Gentile home. A Jew shouldn’t have any close contact with a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not say anyone is not pure and ‘clean.’ 29 So when you sent for me, I came without asking any questions. May I ask why you sent for me?”
Acts 10:34-35 Good News Translation 34 Peter began to speak: “I now realize that it is true that God treats everyone on the same basis. 35 Those who fear him and do what is right are acceptable to him, no matter what race they belong to.
Tuesday – The Spirit Is Leading
Acts 11:4-18 Common English Bible 4 Step-by-step, Peter explained what had happened. 5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying when I had a visionary experience. In my vision, I saw something like a large linen sheet being lowered from heaven by its four corners. It came all the way down to me. 6 As I stared at it, wondering what it was, I saw four-legged animals—including wild beasts—as well as reptiles and wild birds.[a] 7 I heard a voice say, ‘Get up, Peter! Kill and eat!’ 8 I responded, ‘Absolutely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 9 The voice from heaven spoke a second time, ‘Never consider unclean what God has made pure.’ 10 This happened three times, then everything was pulled back into heaven. 11 At that moment three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea arrived at the house where we were staying. 12 The Spirit told me to go with them even though they were Gentiles. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered that man’s house. 13 He reported to us how he had seen an angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and summon Simon, who is known as Peter. 14 He will tell you how you and your entire household can be saved.’ 15 When I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them, just as the Spirit fell on us in the beginning. 16 I remembered the Lord’s words: ‘John will baptize with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 If God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, then who am I? Could I stand in God’s way?” 18 Once the apostles and other believers heard this, they calmed down. They praised God and concluded, “So then God has enabled Gentiles to change their hearts and lives so that they might have new life.”
Acts 11:19-24 Christian Standard Bible 19 Now those who had been scattered as a result of the persecution that started because of Stephen made their way as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews. 20 But there were some of them, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who came to Antioch and began speaking to the Greeks also, proclaiming the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord’s hand was with them, and a large number who believed turned to the Lord. 22 News about them reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to travel as far as Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged all of them to remain true to the Lord with devoted hearts, 24 for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And large numbers of people were added to the Lord.
Wednesday – The Jerusalem Council
Acts 15:1-2 Contemporary English Version Some people came from Judea and started teaching the Lord’s followers that they could not be saved, unless they were circumcised as Moses had taught. 2 This caused trouble, and Paul and Barnabas argued with them about this teaching. So it was decided to send Paul and Barnabas and a few others to Jerusalem to discuss this problem with the apostles and the church leaders.
Galatians 2:11-14 Easy-to-Read Version 11 When Peter came to Antioch, he did something that was not right. I stood against him, because he was wrong. 12 This is what happened: When Peter first came to Antioch, he ate and associated with the non-Jewish people. But when some Jewish men came from James, Peter separated himself from the non-Jews. He stopped eating with them, because he was afraid of the Jews who believe that all non-Jewish people must be circumcised. 13 So Peter was a hypocrite. The other Jewish believers joined with him, so they were hypocrites too. Even Barnabas was influenced by what these Jewish believers did. 14 They were not following the truth of the Good News. When I saw this, I spoke to Peter in front of everyone. I said, “Peter, you are a Jew, but you don’t live like one. You live like someone who is not a Jew. So why are you trying to force those who are not Jewish to live like Jews?”
Acts 15:3-22 New Living Translation 3 The church sent the delegates to Jerusalem, and they stopped along the way in Phoenicia and Samaria to visit the believers. They told them—much to everyone’s joy—that the Gentiles, too, were being converted. 4 When they arrived in Jerusalem, Barnabas and Paul were welcomed by the whole church, including the apostles and elders. They reported everything God had done through them. 5 But then some of the believers who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees stood up and insisted, “The Gentile converts must be circumcised and required to follow the law of Moses.” 6 So the apostles and elders met together to resolve this issue. 7 At the meeting, after a long discussion, Peter stood and addressed them as follows: “Brothers, you all know that God chose me from among you some time ago to preach to the Gentiles so that they could hear the Good News and believe. 8 God knows people’s hearts, and he confirmed that he accepts Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, for he cleansed their hearts through faith. 10 So why are you now challenging God by burdening the Gentile believers with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear? 11 We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.”
12 Everyone listened quietly as Barnabas and Paul told about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. 13 When they had finished, James stood and said, “Brothers, listen to me. 14 Peter has told you about the time God first visited the Gentiles to take from them a people for himself. 15 And this conversion of Gentiles is exactly what the prophets predicted. As it is written: 16 ‘Afterward I will return and restore the fallen house of David. I will rebuild its ruins and restore it, 17 so that the rest of humanity might seek the Lord, including the Gentiles— all those I have called to be mine. The Lord has spoken— 18 he who made these things known so long ago.’ 19 “And so my judgment is that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead, we should write and tell them to abstain from eating food offered to idols, from sexual immorality, from eating the meat of strangled animals, and from consuming blood. 21 For these laws of Moses have been preached in Jewish synagogues in every city on every Sabbath for many generations.” 22 Then the apostles and elders together with the whole church in Jerusalem chose delegates, and they sent them to Antioch of Syria with Paul and Barnabas to report on this decision. The men chosen were two of the church leaders—Judas (also called Barsabbas) and Silas.
Thursday – A Difficult Solution
Amos 9:11-12 Easy-to-Read Version 11 “David’s tent has fallen, but at that time I will set it up again. I will fix its holes and repair its ruined parts. I will set it up as it was before. 12 Then the people left alive in Edom, and all the people called by my name, will look to me for help.” This is what the Lord said, and he will make it happen.
Jeremiah 12:14-16 Contemporary English Version 14 The Lord said: I gave this land to my people Israel, but enemies around it have attacked and robbed it. So I will uproot them from their own countries just as I will uproot Judah from its land. 15 But later, I will have pity on these nations and bring them back to their own lands. 16 They once taught my people to worship Baal. But if they admit I am the only true God, and if they let my people teach them how to worship me, these nations will also become my people.