July 2 – 8, 2023
“O Israel, hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is abundant redemption.” Psalm 130:7
Study Help: Lift Him Up, 152
“In the courts above, Christ is pleading for His church—pleading for those for whom He has paid the redemption price of His blood. Centuries, ages, can never lessen the efficacy of His atoning sacrifice.” The Acts of the Apostles, 552, 553
1 THE EVERLASTING COVENANT
1.a. Who was involved in the plan of redemption? 2 Corinthians 13:14; Isaiah 48:16; Matthew 3:16, 17
Note: “The Godhead was stirred with pity for the race, and the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit gave Themselves to the working out of the plan of redemption. In order fully to carry out this plan, it was decided that Christ, the only begotten Son of God, should give Himself an offering for sin. What line can measure the depth of this love? God would make it impossible for man to say that He could have done more. With Christ He gave all the resources of heaven, that nothing might be wanting in the plan for man’s uplifting.” Counsels on Health, 222
1.b. When was this plan established? Romans 16:25; Ephesians 1:4
Note: “The plan for our redemption was not an afterthought, a plan formulated after the fall of Adam. It was a revelation of ‘the mystery which hath been kept in silence through times eternal.’ Romans 16:25, R. V. It was an unfolding of the principles that from eternal ages have been the foundation of God’s throne. From the beginning, God and Christ knew of the apostasy of Satan, and of the fall of man through the deceptive power of the apostate. God did not ordain that sin should exist, but He foresaw its existence, and made provision to meet the terrible emergency.” The Desire of Ages, 22
2 THE INCARNATION
2.a. With what words did John and Paul explain the incarnation of Christ? John 1:14; 1 Timothy 3:16
Note: “The incarnation of Christ is the mystery of all mysteries.
“Christ was one with the Father, yet… He was willing to step down from the exaltation of One who was equal with God.
“That He might accomplish His purpose of love for the fallen race, He became bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh.
“How wide is the contrast between the divinity of Christ and the helpless infant in Bethlehem’s manger! How can we span the distance between the mighty God and a helpless child? And yet the Creator of worlds, He in whom was the fullness of the Godhead bodily, was manifest in the helpless babe in the manger. Far higher than any of the angels, equal with the Father in dignity and glory, and yet wearing the garb of humanity! Divinity and humanity were mysteriously combined, and man and God became one.
“It would have been an almost infinite humiliation for the Son of God to take man’s nature, even when Adam stood in his innocence in Eden. But Jesus accepted humanity when the race had been weakened by four thousand years of sin. Like every child of Adam He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity. What these results were is shown in the history of His earthly ancestors. He came with such a heredity to share our sorrows and temptations, and to give us the example of a sinless life.” The Faith I Live By, 48
2.b. When was the prophecy of the incarnation fulfilled? Hebrews 10:5–7; Galatians 4:4
Note: “[Over] two thousand years ago, a voice of mysterious import was heard in heaven, from the throne of God, ‘Lo, I come.’ ‘Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a body hast Thou prepared Me. … Lo, I come (in the volume of the Book it is written of Me,) to do Thy will, O God.’ Hebrews 10:5–7. In these words is announced the fulfillment of the purpose that had been hidden from eternal ages. Christ was about to visit our world, and to become incarnate. He says, ‘A body hast Thou prepared Me.’ Had He appeared with the glory that was His with the Father before the world was, we could not have endured the light of His presence.” The Desire of Ages, 23
3 THE REASONS FOR THE INCARNATION
3.a. What are the main purposes of Christ’s incarnation? Matthew 18:11; John 17:4, 26
Note: “The plan of redemption had a yet broader and deeper purpose than the salvation of man. It was not for this alone that Christ came to the earth; it was not merely that the inhabitants of this little world might regard the law of God as it should be regarded; but it was to vindicate the character of God before the universe. To this result of His great sacrifice—its influence upon the intelligences of other worlds, as well as upon man—the Saviour looked forward when just before His crucifixion He said: ‘Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.’ John 12:31, 32. The act of Christ in dying for the salvation of man would not only make heaven accessible to men, but before all the universe it would justify God and His Son in their dealing with the rebellion of Satan. It would establish the perpetuity of the law of God and would reveal the nature and the results of sin.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 68, 69
3.b. What did Christ declare at the end of His earthly mission? John 17:4–6
Note: “In the intercessory prayer of Jesus with His Father, He claimed that He had fulfilled the conditions which made it obligatory upon the Father to fulfill His part of the contract made in heaven, with regard to fallen man. He prayed: ‘I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do. [That is, He had wrought out a righteous character on earth as an example for men to follow.] And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.’ In this prayer, He further goes on to state what is comprehended by the work which He has accomplished, and which has given Him all those who believe on His name. He values this recompense so highly that He forgets the anguish it has cost Him to redeem fallen man. He declares Himself glorified in those who believe on Him. The church, in His name, is to carry to glorious perfection the work which He has commenced; and when that church shall be finally ransomed in the paradise of God, He will look upon the travail of His soul and be satisfied. Through all eternity the ransomed host will be His chief glory.” The Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 3, 260, 261 [comments in brackets are in the original]
4 DIVINE POWER
4.a. How does Paul define the gospel? Romans 1:16, 17
Note: “Christ should be uplifted by those whom He has redeemed by dying on the cross a death of shame. He who has felt the power of the grace of Christ has a story to tell. He seeks to put in operation methods of work which will diffuse the gospel of Christ. Humanity, drawing its efficiency from the great source of wisdom, is made the instrumentality, the working agency, through which the gospel exercises its transforming power on mind and heart.” Lift Him Up, 230
4.b. What did the angel reveal to Joseph about Christ’s mission? Matthew 1:21
Note: “God is as powerful to save from sin today as He was in the times of the patriarchs, of David, and of the prophets and apostles. The multitude of cases recorded in sacred history where God has delivered His people from their own iniquities should make the Christian of this time eager to receive divine instruction and zealous to perfect a character that will bear the close inspection of the judgment.” Testimonies, Vol. 4, 15
“We are all sinful, and of ourselves are unable to do the words of Christ. But God has made provision whereby the condemned sinner may be freed from spot and stain. ‘If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;’ ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ But while Christ saves the sinner, He does not do away with the law which condemns the sinner. It is the work of redemption to exalt that law, and Christ’s great sacrifice was made in order that man might be a doer of that law. The law shows us our sins, as a mirror shows us that our face is not clean. The mirror has no power to cleanse the face; that is not its office. So it is with the law. It points out our defects, and condemns us, but it has no power to save us. We must come to Christ for pardon. He will take our guilt upon His own soul, and will justify us before God. And not only will He free us from sin, but He will give us power to render obedience to God’s will.” The Signs of the Times, September 24, 1896
5 COMPLETE REDEMPTION
5.a. What is amply provided through the plan of redemption? Matthew 11:28–30; Hebrew 7:25
Note: “We are to enter the school of Christ, to learn from Him meekness and lowliness. Redemption is that process by which the soul is trained for heaven. This training means a knowledge of Christ. It means emancipation from ideas, habits, and practices that have been gained in the school of the prince of darkness. The soul must be delivered from all that is opposed to loyalty to God.” The Desire of Ages, 330
5.b. On which main condition can we find Jesus? Jeremiah 29:12, 13
Note: “In the heart of Christ, where reigned perfect harmony with God, there was perfect peace. He was never elated by applause, nor dejected by censure or disappointment. Amid the greatest opposition and the most cruel treatment, He was still of good courage. But many who profess to be His followers have an anxious, troubled heart, because they are afraid to trust themselves with God. They do not make a complete surrender to Him; for they shrink from the consequences that such a surrender may involve. Unless they do make this surrender, they cannot find peace.” The Desire of Ages, 330
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 What was decided by the Godhead regarding the plan of redemption?
2 What was revealed by Christ’s incarnation?
3 Besides saving the human race, what else did Christ have in view through His incarnation?
4 What is the biblical definition of the gospel?
5 How can we find true rest?
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