Day 37 Devotional Before United Prayer: (about 1:50 minute reading)
Righteousness by Faith
Through the years as a Christian, I knew that I was missing something in my personal walk with the Lord. The Christian life was many times a burden. Victories over temptation were sporadic at best. The yoke of Christ didn’t seem very light to me.
However, I would read various Christian authors and sensed there was more to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I knew the theory, but didn’t see or experience the power for consistent victory. I would put forth effort to obey asking God to add His strength to my efforts. Yet, consistent victory seemed out of my grasp.
Then, as I was reading one day, I began to see more clearly the biblical teaching of how we are to let Jesus live out His life of victory over sin in our lives. I prayed earnestly for the Lord to open my understanding to this wonderful truth. I stained my mind to grasp it.
Then the light began to shine into my soul. Oh, what joy it brought. I finally began to see the glorious truth of true righteousness by faith in Christ alone for victory over temptation and sin. I began seeing that Christ is not only a sin-forgiving Savior, but a sin-delivering Savior.
I began applying what I was learning to areas of my life and found this wonderful teaching to be real and not just theory. I had finally discovered the truth of righteousness by faith in Christ. This experience revolutionized my walk with the Lord.
So the third most amazing experience in my Christian experience has been the discovery of the sanctification aspect of righteousness by faith. That led to the writing of my seventh book, Spirit Baptism & Abiding in Christ.
The 1888 Connection
As I have shared previously, through fellow believers, the Lord brought to my attention that what He had revealed to me was indeed similar to the 1888 message of righteousness by faith presented by Jones and Waggoner. I spent some time reflecting on the possibility of this connection. I began reading what Jones and Waggoner had written. I studied what Ellen White had said about the 1888 message. Then I began feeling convicted to write about the marvelous message of righteousness by faith that God gave to our denomination more than 100 years ago.
My prayer is that you will also experience the three amazing experiences that God offers each of us: the new birth, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and experiencing righteousness by faith in Christ alone. When you enter into all three of these experiences, your joy in the Lord will be full. Jesus will become more precious to you than He has ever been. Your heart will be filled with praises to Him for what He has done and is doing for you, in you and through you.
These three experiences will prepare you for the most amazing experience of all—the second coming of Christ in glory.
How true are the words of the song Amazing Grace:
“Amazing grace! How sweet the sound, That
saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but
now am found, Was blind, but now I see.
“Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And
Grace my fears relieved; How precious did that
Grace appear The hour I first believed!
“Through many dangers, toils, and snares, I
Have already come; Tis grace hath brought me
safe thus far, And grace will lead me home.
“When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright
Shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to
sing God’s praise Than when we’d first begun.”
Amazing Grace, by John Newton, taken from the Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal, hymn 108.
Yes, the born-again experience, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and righteousness by faith in Christ are all amazing acts of God’s grace.
Day 37 Prayer Focus: Pray for
- The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
- Revival for yourself and the church
- God to lead your church to understand and experience the three amazing experiences of the new birth, the baptism of the Holy Spirit and righteousness by faith in preparation for Christ’s soon return
- Those on your prayer list
Day 37 Going Deeper Discussion Questions: (based on pages 124 to 126 of “Righteousness by Faith” by Dennis Smith [pages 144 to 146 of the PDF version])
- What are the three amazing experiences that are acts of God’s grace?
- Are you missing something in your personal walk with the Lord? What is it? Share your thoughts.
- What will happen to the Christian life if one enters into all three of these experiences?
- What will these three experiences prepare us?
- What will one do to experience these three amazing acts of God’s grace?
- Do you sometimes feel like consistent victory over sin and temptation is out of reach for you?
- Do you now understand how to achieve victory over sin and temptation; What is your understanding?
- How can we achieve victory over sin and temptation?
- Do you understand the 1888 message and its connection to righteousness in Christ Jesus?
Day 37 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 126 to 128 (pages 146 to 148 of the PDF file) in preparation for Day 38.
- Prayerfully answer Day 38 discussion questions in preparation to share on Day 38 Going Deeper segment of united prayer.