January 8, 2000 – January 14, 2000
“Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” Hebrews 2:17.
Study Help: Confrontation, 32–47.
“The Elder Brother of our race is by the eternal throne. He looks upon every soul who is turning his face toward Him as the Savior. He knows by experience what are the weaknesses of humanity, what are our wants, and where lies the strength of our temptations; for He was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. He is watching over you, trembling child of God. Are you tempted? He will deliver. Are you weak? He will strengthen. Are you ignorant? He will enlighten. Are you wounded? He will heal. The Lord ‘telleth the number of the stars;’ and yet ‘He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.’ Psalm 147:4, 3.’” Desire of Ages, 329.
“The Word Was Made Flesh”
1 How does John describe the incarnation of Christ? John 1:14.
note: “The Son of God stooped to uplift the fallen.…He was in all things made like unto His brethren. He became flesh, even as we are. He knew what it meant to be hungry and thirsty and weary. He was sustained by food and refreshed by sleep. He was a stranger and a sojourner on the earth–in the world, but not of the world; tempted and tried as men and women of today are tempted and tried, yet living a life free from sin. Tender, compassionate, sympathetic, ever considerate of others, He represented the character of God.” Acts of the Apostles, 472.
2 How did Paul describe the incarnation of Christ? Philippians 2:7.
note: The marginal reading for “made Himself of no reputation” is “emptied Himself.” It is to this that Charles Wesley referred in his well-known hymn, “Amazing Love.” “He left His Father’s throne above, so free, so infinite His grace, emptied Himself of all but love, and bled for Adam’s helpless race.”
“Jesus came to the world not as an angel of light; we could not have endured His glory if He had come thus.…For our sake Jesus emptied Himself of His glory; He clothed His divinity with humanity that He might touch humanity, that His personal presence might be among us, that we might know that He was acquainted with all our trials, and sympathized with our grief, that every son and daughter of Adam might understand that Jesus is the friend of sinners.” Signs of the Times, April 18, 1892.
“I Can of Mine Own Self Do Nothing”
3 How did Jesus show that He had laid aside His omnipotence? John 5:19, 30.
note: “Jesus revealed no qualities, and exercised no powers, that men may not have through faith in Him. His perfect humanity is that which all His followers may possess, if they will be in subjection to God as He was.” Desire of Ages, 664.
4 How did Jesus state His dependence on His Father? John 7:16; John 12:49, 50; John 14:10.
note: “The knowledge of divine truth is promised to those who will render obedience to the light and truth that have been given to them. An entrance into the strait gate is not dependent upon the possession of learning or riches, but it is dependent upon the possession of a teachable spirit.” Ye Shall Receive Power, 110.
5 How did Jesus show that even His miracles were not accomplished through His own power? John 14:10–12.
note: See Steps to Christ, 75.
6 What did Jesus want us to learn from His earthly life? John 8:28.
note: “So utterly was He emptied of self that He made no plans for Himself. He accepted God’s plan for Him, and day by day the Father unfolded His plans. If Jesus was so wholly dependent, declaring, ‘I do nothing of Myself,’ how much more should the human agents depend upon God for constant instruction, so that their lives might be the simple working out of God’s will. Oh, that failing, erring mortals would be content to seek wisdom from God, and be entirely submissive in working out His directions, in exemplifying His character! If ever mortals needed to send to heaven an earnest cry, ‘Lord, show me Thy way; teach me the way of the Lord,’ it is now. Only those will have a fitness for the mansions above who give to God full and implicit obedience. God knows that we would not appreciate His rarest gifts if we were not perfectly submissive to His will.” Signs of the Times, November 21, 1892.
“In the Likeness of Sinful Flesh”
7 Why did Christ share our common humanity? Hebrews 2:14.
note: See The Desire of Ages, 117.
8 Which of Christ’s earthly ancestors does the Bible especially mention? Romans 1:3; Hebrews 2:16.
note: See The Desire of Ages, 49.
9 What warning does John give against those who deny the completeness of Christ’s humanity? 1 John 4:1–3.
note: “By misrepresentation and falsehood the emissaries of Satan had sought to stir up opposition against John and against the doctrine of Christ. In consequence dissentions and heresies were imperiling the church. John met these errors unflinchingly. He hedged up the way of the adversaries of truth. He wrote and exhorted, that the leaders in these heresies should not have the least encouragement. There are at the present day evils similar to those that threatened the prosperity of the early church, and the teachings of the apostle upon these points should be carefully heeded.” The Sanctified Life, 64, 65.
“Yet Without Sin”
10 Despite the fact that Jesus was tempted in exactly the same way that we are, of what are we assured? Hebrews 4:15.
note: “We should have no misgivings in regard to the perfect sinlessness of the human nature of Christ.…He was touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and was in all points tempted like as we are. And yet He ‘knew no sin.’ He was the Lamb ‘without blemish and without spot.’ Could Satan in the least particular have tempted Christ to sin, he would have bruised the Savior’s head. As it was, he could only touch His heel. Had the head of Christ been touched, the hope of the human race would have perished. Divine wrath would have come upon Christ as it came upon Adam. Christ and the church would have been without hope. Not even by a thought could Christ be brought to yield to the power of temptation.…Christ declared of Himself, ‘The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me.’” The Faith I Live By, 49.
11 How did Paul explain the purpose of Christ assuming our fallen nature? Romans 8:3, 4.
note: “The sinful nature of man was weak, and he was prone to the transgression of God’s commandments. Man had not the power to do the words of God; that is why Christ came to our world, that He might give him moral power. There was no power in heaven or in earth but the power of Christ that could deliver. . . . He came to meet the difficulty and to remove it. His own arm brought salvation. God sent forth His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh that He might condemn sin in the flesh and reveal the fact to heaven, to the worlds unfallen and also the fallen world, that through the power of divine grace, through partaking of the divine nature, man need no longer stand under the curse of the law or remain in transgression.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 14, 82, 83.
See also Signs of the Times, January 16, 1896; Review and Herald, May 7, 1901.