Day 34 Devotional Before United Prayer: (about 2:22 minute reading)
God’s Call Today
In this light, it is absolutely vital that every Christian take seriously God’s call to be filled with His Spirit and allow Jesus to manifest Himself in and through them; to experience righteousness by faith. Only then will they gain the victory over every temptation and sin in their lives. This is why Ellen White wrote:
Nothing but the baptism of the Holy Spirit can bring up the church to its right position, and prepare the people of God for the fast approaching conflict. (Manuscript Releases, Vol. 2, 30)
The 1888 message of righteousness by faith is a message of the complete victory we can have over the temptations and sins in our lives. It is necessary for every Christian to understand and experience righteousness by faith if they are living when Jesus comes.
Plus, sin is a matter of the heart; not simply acts of disobedience. Only God can change the heart by His Spirit through the righteousness of Christ in us (Romans 5:5; Galatians 5:22-23).
However, if one does not understand the true message of righteousness by faith, he will fall into one of two false teachings.
- If he is strongly committed to obey all of God’s requirements, he will enter into the counterfeit called “legalism.” He will seek to become holy through his own efforts, asking for God’s help and power to be added to his efforts. This kind of religious experience carries with it a heavy burden and is joyless because he knows not the joy of the deliverance Christ offers.
- Or he admits defeat in trying to obey all of God’s requirements because he has discovered that it is impossible for him to obey to this degree. He will develop an attitude that obedience to all of God’s requirements cannot be done. So he quits trying and lives a very nominal Christian life. He says in his heart, “God forgives my shortcomings and will finally deliver me from my besetting sins when Jesus comes.” He will also be forced to reject the concept of living without Christ as mediator during the time of trouble.
Is it any wonder why Satan fought so hard in 1888, and the years that followed, to obscure the message of righteousness by faith? As a denomination, we have gone through the legalism, and many today have fallen into nominal Christian living.
Satan doesn’t care onto which side of error we fall, just as long as we do not discover the truth about righteousness by faith in Christ alone. I pray the Lord will overrule Satan’s efforts today to hinder the reception of this vital message and experience in Christ. May God open all our eyes to the truth of righteousness by faith in Christ alone (Ephesians 1:17-19).
Day 34 Prayer Focus: Pray for
- The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
- Revival for yourself and the church
- God to lead you and the church to understand and experience the latter rain of the Spirit
- Those on your prayer list
Day 34 Going Deeper Discussion Questions: (based on pages 117 to 119 of “Righteousness by Faith” by Dennis Smith [pages 137 to 139 of the PDF version])
- What should be our response to the truth about Righteousness by Faith?
- What two important things will the baptism of Holy Spirit do for the church?
- How would the misunderstanding of the true message of Righteousness by Faith affect person?
- Why is Satan fighting to obscure the message of righteousness by faith?.
- What is the 1888 message of righteousness by faith?
Day 34 Heart preparation/challenge:
- Throughout the day ask God to remind you what He is speaking to you in today’s reading and going deeper discussions and to help you to apply them in your life.
- Read “Righteousness by Faith” by Dennis Smith pages 121 to 122 (pages 141 to 142 of the PDF file) in preparation for Day 35.
- Prayerfully answer Day 35 discussion questions in preparation to share on Day 35 Going Deeper segment of united prayer.