April 15, 2007 – April 21, 2007
“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10.
Study Help: God’s Amazing Grace, 257.
“Christ came to bring salvation within the reach of all. Upon the cross of Calvary He paid the infinite redemption price for a lost world. His self-denial and self-sacrifice, His unselfish labor, His humiliation, above all, the offering up of His life, testifies to the depth of His love for fallen man. It was to seek and to save the lost that He came to earth. His mission was to sinners, sinners of every grade, of every tongue and nation. He paid the price for all, to ransom them and bring them into union and sympathy with Himself. The most erring, the most sinful, were not passed by; His labors were especially for those who most needed the salvation He came to bring. The greater their need of reform, the deeper was His interest, the greater His sympathy, and the more earnest His labors. His great heart of love was stirred to its depths for the ones whose condition was most hopeless and who most needed His transforming grace.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 603.
1 What was the mission of Jesus to this world? Matthew 1:21; Luke 19:10.
note: “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.
“While Christ opens heaven to man, the life which He imparts opens the heart of man to heaven. Sin not only shuts us away from God, but destroys in the human soul both the desire and the capacity for knowing Him. All this work of evil it is Christ’s mission to undo. The faculties of the soul, paralyzed by sin, the darkened mind, the perverted will, He has power to invigorate and to restore.” Education, 28, 29.
2 By what name did a prophet say the infant Saviour should be called? Matthew 1:23.
note: “ ‘Emmanuel, God with us.’ This means everything to us. What a broad foundation does it lay for our faith. What a hope big with immortality does it place before the believing soul. God with us in Christ Jesus to accompany us every step of the journey to heaven. The Holy Spirit with us as a comforter, a guide in our perplexities, to soothe our sorrows, and shield us in temptation.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 3, 18.
3 Whose nature did Jesus take upon Himself? Why did He do this? Hebrews 2:14–18.
note: “It was Satan’s purpose to bring about an eternal separation between God and man; but in Christ we become more closely united to God than if we had never fallen. In taking our nature, the Saviour has bound Himself to humanity by a tie that is never to be broken. Through the eternal ages He is linked with us. . . . God gave His only-begotten Son to become one of the human family, forever to retain His human nature. . . . God has adopted human nature in the person of His Son, and has carried the same into the highest heaven. It is the ‘Son of man’ who shares the throne of the universe. It is the ‘Son of man’ whose name shall be called, ‘Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.’ Isaiah 9:6. . . . In Christ the family of earth and the family of heaven are bound together. Christ glorified is our brother. Heaven is enshrined in humanity, and humanity is enfolded in the bosom of Infinite Love.” The Desire of Ages, 25, 26.
“Christ, who knew not the least taint of sin or defilement, took our nature in its deteriorated condition. This was humiliation greater than finite man can comprehend. God was manifest in the flesh. He humbled Himself. What a subject for thought, for deep, earnest contemplation! So infinitely great that He was the Majesty of heaven, and yet He stooped so low, without losing one atom of His dignity and glory! He stooped to poverty and to the deepest abasement among men. For our sake He became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 253.
4 What testimony is borne concerning Jesus’ life? 1 Peter 2:22; John 19:4.
note: “Before the believer is held out the wonderful possibility of being like Christ, obedient to all the principles of the law. But of himself man is utterly unable to reach this condition. The holiness that God’s Word declares he must have before he can be saved, is the result of the working of divine grace, as he bows in submission to the discipline and restraining influences of the Spirit of truth. Man’s obedience can be made perfect only by the incense of Christ’s righteousness, which fills with divine fragrance every act of obedience. The part of the Christian is to persevere in overcoming every fault. Constantly he is to pray to the Saviour to heal the disorders of his sinsick soul. He has not the wisdom nor the strength to overcome; these belong to the Lord, and he bestows them on those who in humiliation and contrition seek him for help.” Review and Herald, September 19, 1912.
5 For whom did Jesus die? Romans 5:6–8.
note: “Jesus did not seek you and me because we were his friends; for we were estranged from him, and unreconciled to God. It was while we were yet sinners that Christ died for us. But he has promised to give us his Holy Spirit, that we might become assimilated to his nature, changed into his image. Therefore we must put away everything like passion, impatience, murmuring, and unrest, and find a place for Jesus in the heart. We must have the buyers and the sellers cleared out of the soul-temple, that Jesus may take up his abode within us.” Bible Echo and Signs of the Times, January 15, 1892.
6 To whom are we to look for salvation? Isaiah 45:22–25; Hebrews 12:1, 2. Compare 11 Corinthians 3:18. How did Jesus illustrate this in His night talk with Nicodemus? John 3:14, 15. Compare Numbers 21:5–9.
note: “Many make a serious mistake in their religious life by keeping the attention fixed upon their feelings and thus judging of their advancement or decline. Feelings are not a safe criterion. We are not to look within for evidence of our acceptance with God. We shall find there nothing but that which will discourage us. Our only hope is in ‘looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith.’ [Hebrews 12:2.] There is everything in Him to inspire with hope, with faith, and with courage. He is our righteousness, our consolation and rejoicing. . . .
“As we rely upon His merits we shall find rest and peace and joy. He saves to the uttermost all who come unto God by Him.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 199, 200.
7 Upon whom has help for salvation been laid? Psalm 89:18, 19. Compare Isaiah 63:1–3. How many are within the reach of this great salvation? John 3:16; Isaiah 1:18.
note: “Your salvation depends on your acting from principle—serving God from principle, not from feeling, not from impulse. God will help you when you feel your need of help and set about the work with resolution, trusting in Him with all your heart. You are often discouraged without sufficient reason. You indulge feelings akin to hatred. Your likes and dislikes are strong. These you must restrain. Control the tongue. . . . Help has been laid upon One that is mighty. He will be your strength and support, your front guard and rearward.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 698.
“Whatever molding and fashioning needs to be wrought in the soul, Christ can best do. The conviction may not be deep, but if the sinner comes to Christ, viewing Him upon the cross, the just dying for the unjust, the sight will break every barrier down. Christ has undertaken the work of saving all who trust in Him for salvation. He sees the wrongs that need to be righted, the evils that need to be repressed. He came to seek and save that which was lost.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 178.
8 Through whom are we washed from our sins? Revelation 1:5. To what extent is Jesus able to save? Hebrews 7:25.
note: “God is approached through Jesus Christ, the Mediator, the only way through which He forgives sins. God cannot forgive sins at the expense of His justice, His holiness, and His truth. But He does forgive sins and that fully. There are no sins He will not forgive in and through the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the sinner’s only hope, and if he rests here in sincere faith, he is sure of pardon and that full and free. There is only one channel and that is accessible to all, and through that channel a rich and abundant forgiveness awaits the penitent, contrite soul and the darkest sins are forgiven.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 912, 913.
9 What assurance have we that the Lord remembers His people? Psalm 40:17; Exodus 28:29.
note: “[Exodus 28:29 quoted.] What a beautiful and expressive figure this is of the unchanging love of Christ for His church! Our great High Priest, of whom Aaron was a type, bears His people upon His heart.” Gospel Workers, 34.
“Christ, the great High Priest, pleading His blood before the Father in the sinner’s behalf, bears upon His heart the name of every repentant, believing soul.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 351.
10 What is Christ made to every believer? 1 Corinthians 1:30; 11 Corinthians 5:21.
note: “If there is anything upon the earth that should inspire men with sanctified zeal, it is the truth as it is in Jesus. It is the grand, great work of redemption. It is Christ, made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.
“The Lord has often made manifest in His providence that nothing less than revealed truth, the word of God, can reclaim man from sin or keep him from transgression. That word which reveals the guilt of sin has a power upon the human heart to make man right and keep him so. The Lord has said that His word is to be studied and obeyed; it is to be brought into the practical life; that word is as inflexible as the character of God—the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 80, 81.
11 How is man’s helplessness to save himself expressed? John 15:5; Jeremiah 13:23. By what illustration does the Saviour show wherein the strength of the believer lies? John 15:2–4, 7.
note: “The connection of the branch with the vine, He said, represents the relation you are to sustain to Me. The scion is engrafted into the living vine, and fiber by fiber, vein by vein, it grows into the vine stock. The life of the vine becomes the life of the branch. So the soul dead in trespasses and sins receives life through connection with Christ. By faith in Him as a personal Saviour the union is formed. The sinner unites his weakness to Christ’s strength, his emptiness to Christ’s fullness, his frailty to Christ’s enduring might. Then he has the mind of Christ. The humanity of Christ has touched our humanity, and our humanity has touched divinity. Thus through the agency of the Holy Spirit man becomes a partaker of the divine nature. He is accepted in the Beloved. . . .
“The branch becomes a part of the living vine. The communication of life, strength, and fruitfulness from the root to the branches is unobstructed and constant.” The Desire of Ages, 675, 676.
12 To whom will the redeemed through all eternity ascribe praise? Revelation 5:9, 10; 19:1, 5–7.
note: “Before entering the City of God, the Saviour bestows upon His followers the emblems of victory and invests them with the insignia of their royal state. The glittering ranks are drawn up in the form of a hollow square about their King, whose form rises in majesty high above saint and angel, whose countenance beams upon them full of benignant love. Throughout the unnumbered host of the redeemed every glance is fixed upon Him, every eye beholds His glory whose ‘visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men.’ [Isaiah 52:14.] Upon the heads of the overcomers, Jesus with His own right hand places the crown of glory. For each there is a crown, bearing his own ‘new name’ (Revelation 2:17), and the inscription, ‘Holiness to the Lord.’ In every hand are placed the victor’s palm and the shining harp. Then, as the commanding angels strike the note, every hand sweeps the harp strings with skillful touch, awaking sweet music in rich, melodious strains. Rapture unutterable thrills every heart, and each voice is raised in grateful praise: ‘Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.’ Revelation 1:5, 6.” The Great Controversy, 645, 646.
Adapted from “The Victorious Life,” Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, 1924.