This year’s Week of Prayer readings highlight the gospel as the basis of our salvation in Christ alone. Jesus’ love and acceptance of sinners — no matter how bad — is why we have hope.
This year marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, when the message of salvation through Christ alone was heard by many for the first time. Light spread not only through the teachings of the great Reformers, but through God’s Word itself, as the Bible became available in common languages and people could read the truth for themselves.
It is fitting that our Week of Prayer readings in 2017 focus on “Christ Our Righteousness,” for there is truly “no other name under heaven . . . by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Ellen White expressed this thought beautifully during a General Conference session when she said, “The only way in which men will be able to stand firm in the conflict is to be rooted and grounded in Christ. . . . The preaching of Christ crucified, Christ our righteousness, is what satisfies the soul’s hunger. When we secure the interest of the people in this great central truth, faith and hope and courage come to the heart.*
I encourage you this week not only to contemplate these special readings, but also to spend time in God’s Word and prayer as we focus together on “Christ Our Righteousness.” If you have younger ones in the home, be sure to share with them the accompanying children’s readings.
May the Lord bless us as we come together as a world church family to study and pray during this important time of earth’s history.
Ted N. C. Wilson, president
Seventh-day Adventist Church
You can download the full PDF version here – Week of Prayer 2017 – By Grace Alone
About the author:
Hans (Johann) Heinz, born in Vienna, Austria, studied theology at Séminaire Adventiste du Salève in Collonges, France. Following graduation he worked for four years as a pastor in Vienna. Beginning in 1957, he taught for 21 years at Seminar Schloss Bogenhofen (including seven years as director). After completing doctoral studies at Andrews University, he served as dean of Seminar Marienhöhe in Darmstadt, Germany, from 1982 to 1995. He has authored several books and many articles on theology and church history. His doctoral dissertation, Justification and Merit, dealt with the conflict between the Roman Catholic doctrine of merit and the biblical doctrine of righteousness by faith. Heinz and his wife, Louisette, enjoy an active retirement near Bogenhofen, Austria.
* In General Conference Daily Bulletin, Jan. 28, 1893 (see also Last Day Events [Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1992], p. 151).