April 7, 2013 – April 13, 2013
“If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness: Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.” Job 33:23, 24.
Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 52–62; The Story of Redemption, 42–50.
“It is the glory of the gospel that it is founded on the principles of restoring in the fallen race the divine image.” The Review and Herald, May 2, 1912.
1 CHRIST, THE EXPRESS IMAGE
- How does God the Father address His Son? Hebrews 1:8–10. What distinctions characterize the Son of God? Colossians 2:9.
Note: “In the work of creation, Christ was with God. He was one with God, equal with Him, the brightness of His glory, the express image of His person, the representative of the Father.” The Signs of the Times, February 13, 1893.
“Christ was God essentially, and in the highest sense. He was with God from all eternity. God over all, blessed forevermore.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1126.
- How does the Son of God summarize His relationship with the Father? John 10:30. What should we then realize as we seek to worship God?
Note: “In Christ is gathered all the glory of the Father. In Him is all the fullness of the Godhead.” The Signs of the Times, November 24, 1898.
“Our ministers must be very careful not to enter into controversy in regard to the personality of God. This is a subject that they are not to touch. It is a mystery, and the enemy will surely lead astray those who enter into it.” Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, 343.
2 THE COUNSEL OF PEACE
- What was to be the crowning act of God’s entire creation? Genesis 1:26; Psalm 100:3. In view of the crisis that had occurred in heaven, what did the Father and Son consider?
Note: “The Father consulted His Son in regard to at once carrying out their purpose to make man to inhabit the earth. He would place man upon probation to test his loyalty before he could be rendered eternally secure. If he endured the test wherewith God saw fit to prove him, he should eventually be equal with the angels.” The Story of Redemption, 19.
- How did the Father and Son plan to redeem humanity in case they would fall prey to the archrebel? Zechariah 6:13, last part; Job 33:27–30.
Note: “The great plan of redemption was laid before the foundation of the world. And Christ, our Substitute and Surety, did not stand alone in the wondrous undertaking of the ransom of man. In the plan to save a lost world, the counsel was between them both; the covenant of peace was between the Father and the Son. ‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life’ (John 3:16). The Majesty of heaven, the King of glory, would become a servant. The only-begotten Son, in whom the Father delighted, was given for the ransom of a fallen race. …
“The Father gave Himself to the world in the gift of His Son. It was the love of the Father for fallen man that devised in union with the Son the plan of redemption. And in this great gift the character of God is exemplified to all who shall receive the world’s Redeemer by faith, as a God of holiness and a God of love. In the crucifixion of His dear Son upon the cross of Calvary, He gives to all the sons and daughters of Adam an expression of His justice and His love. This offering made manifest the immutability of the holiness of His law. In the cross of Calvary justice and truth have met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
“The Lord God omnipotent is the God of His people. He is also a tender, loving Father, ready to hear their prayers; for God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them. God sent forth His Son to be the propitiation for them through faith in His atoning blood.” The Signs of the Times, December 23, 1897.
3 THE CREATION OF THE HUMAN RACE
- What distinguishes humanity from all God’s other creatures? Genesis 1:27.
Note: “Created to be ‘the image and glory of God’ (1 Corinthians 11:7), Adam and Eve had received endowments not unworthy of their high destiny. Graceful and symmetrical in form, regular and beautiful in feature, their countenances glowing with the tint of health and the light of joy and hope, they bore in outward resemblance the likeness of their Maker. Nor was this likeness manifest in the physical nature only. Every faculty of mind and soul reflected the Creator’s glory. Endowed with high mental and spiritual gifts, Adam and Eve were made but ‘little lower than the angels’ (Hebrews 2:7), that they might not only discern the wonders of the visible universe, but comprehend moral responsibilities and obligations.” Education, 20.
- What should we realize about the high calling of humanity? Psalm 8:3–9.
Note: “The same unseen Hand that guides the planets in their courses, and upholds the worlds by His power, has made provision for man formed in His image, that he may be little less than the angels of God while in the performance of his duties on earth.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 415, 416.
- Describe the Edenic scene of Adam’s early existence. Genesis 1:31; 2:8, 15.
Note: “Adam was surrounded with everything his heart could wish. Every want was supplied. There was no sin, and no signs of decay in glorious Eden. Angels of God conversed freely and lovingly with the holy pair. The happy songsters caroled forth their free, joyous songs of praise to their Creator. The peaceful beasts in happy innocence played about Adam and Eve, obedient to their word. Adam was in the perfection of manhood, the noblest of the Creator’s work. He was in the image of God, but a little lower than the angels.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 268.
4 TRAGEDY STRIKES
- How and why did God test Adam’s fidelity? Genesis 2:9, 16, 17.
Note: “God created man in His own image, after His likeness, free from sin, and with organs well developed. The earth was to be populated with intelligent beings who were only a little lower than the angels. But God would first prove the holy pair, and test their obedience; for He would not have a world filled with beings who would disregard His laws.” The Signs of the Times, January 23, 1879.
- What warnings should we heed from observing the way Adam failed the test? Genesis 3:1–13.
Note: “The very fact that Adam’s trial was small, made his sin exceeding great. God tested him in that which was least, to prove him; and with the prohibition He stated that the punishment consequent upon his disobedience would be death. If Adam could not bear this smallest of tests to prove his loyalty, he surely could not have endured a stronger trial had he been taken into closer relationship with God, to bear higher responsibilities. He evidenced that God could not trust him; should he be exposed to Satan’s more determined attacks, he would signally fail. …
“Adam did the worst thing he could do under the circumstances. In doing that which God had expressly forbidden he set his will against the will of God, thus waging war with His requirements. The pen of inspiration has with accuracy traced the history of our first parents’ sin and fall, that all generations may be warned not to follow Adam’s example, in the slightest disregard of God’s requirements. Had the test been in regard to larger matters, men might have excused the sin of disobedience in what they call smaller things. But God made the test with Adam upon things that are least, to show man that the slightest disobedience to His requirements is sin in every sense of the word. God, the Governor of the universe, has made all things subject to law; things apparently insignificant, and things of the greatest magnitude, are all governed by laws adapted to their natures. Nothing that God has made has been forgotten or left to blind chance. To man, as being endowed with reasoning powers and conscience, God’s moral law is given to control his actions. Man is not compelled to obey. He may defy God’s law, as did Adam, and take the fearful consequences; or by living in harmony with that law he may reap the rewards of obedience.” The Signs of the Times, January 23, 1879.
5 HEAVEN TO THE RESCUE
- How did the angels exemplify unselfish love? John 15:13. What was to be their privilege? Romans 15:1.
Note: “The angels prostrated themselves at the feet of their Commander and offered to become a sacrifice for man. But an angel’s life could not pay the debt; only He who created man had power to redeem him. Yet the angels were to have a part to act in the plan of redemption. Christ was to be made ‘a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death’ (Hebrews 2:9). As He should take human nature upon Him, His strength would not be equal to theirs, and they were to minister to Him, to strengthen and soothe Him under His sufferings. They were also to be ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who should be heirs of salvation (Hebrews 1:14). They would guard the subjects of grace from the power of evil angels and from the darkness constantly thrown around them by Satan.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 64, 65.
- In the words addressed to the serpent, what hope did God offer to the fallen pair? Genesis 3:14, 15; Romans 16:20.
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.” The Review and Herald, May 2, 1912.
“Christ would take upon Himself the guilt and shame of sin—sin so offensive to a holy God that it must separate the Father and His Son. Christ would reach to the depths of misery to rescue the ruined race.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 63.
“Adam marveled at the goodness of God in providing such a ransom for the sinner.” The Signs of the Times, February 20, 1893.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 What are the heavenly credentials of the Son of God?
2 What was the “counsel of peace”?
3 Why was Adam tested? Why is each of us tested?
4 Explain why the test in Paradise was relatively small. Why are our daily tests small as well?
5 Can we be inspired by the response of all Heaven to this crisis?
© 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.