January 21, 2007 – January 27, 2007
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14.
Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 19–26; “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 903–905.
“Jesus was the Commander of heaven, one equal with God, and yet He condescended to lay aside His kingly crown, His royal robe, and clothed His divinity with humanity.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1130, 1131.
1 How does Scripture confirm the eternal existence of Christ? Micah 5:2; John 8:58; 17:5.
note: “If Christ made all things, He existed before all things. The words spoken in regard to this are so decisive that no one need be left in doubt. 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,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1126.
“In speaking of His pre-existence, Christ carries the mind back through dateless ages. He assures us that there never was a time when He was not in close fellowship with the eternal God.” The Signs of the Times, August 29, 1900.
2 Besides the creation, what other important work has Christ accomplished? Isaiah 43:1; John 1:29.
note: “Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us. He gave His precious, innocent life to save guilty human beings from eternal ruin, that through faith in Him they might stand guiltless before the throne of God.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 914.
3 What should we understand about the divinity of Christ even after His incarnation? Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:22, 23; Philippians 2:5–11.
note: “Equal with the Father, honored and adored by the angels, in our behalf Christ humbled Himself, and came to this earth to live a life of lowliness and poverty—to be a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Yet the stamp of divinity was upon His humanity.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1129.
“Although Christ’s divine glory was for a time veiled and eclipsed by His assuming humanity, yet He did not cease to be God when He became man. The human did not take the place of the divine, nor the divine of the human. This is the mystery of godliness. The two expressions ‘human’ and ‘divine’ were, in Christ, closely and inseparably one, and yet they had a distinct individuality. Though Christ humbled Himself to become man, the Godhead was still His own.” Ibid.
4 What fact should we bear in mind concerning the human nature of Christ? 1 Peter 2:22; John 14:30, last part.
note: “Be careful, exceedingly careful as to how you dwell upon the human nature of Christ. Do not set Him before the people as a man with the propensities of sin. He is the second Adam. The first Adam was created a pure, sinless being, without a taint of sin upon him; he was in the image of God. He could fall, and he did fall through transgressing. Because of sin his posterity was born with inherent propensities of disobedience. But Jesus Christ was the only begotten Son of God. He took upon Himself human nature, and was tempted in all points as human nature is tempted. He could have sinned; He could have fallen, but not for one moment was there in Him an evil propensity. . . .
“Never, in any way, leave the slightest impression upon human minds that a taint of, or inclination to, corruption rested upon Christ, or that He in any way yielded to corruption. He was tempted in all points like as man is tempted, yet He is called ‘that holy thing.’ [Luke 1:35.] It is a mystery that is left unexplained to mortals that Christ could be tempted in all points like as we are, and yet be without sin. The incarnation of Christ has ever been, and will ever remain a mystery.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1128, 1129.
5 What was the purpose for which divinity was united to humanity? John 1:14; 14:7–10.
note: “The Saviour was deeply anxious for His disciples to understand for what purpose His divinity was united to humanity. He came to the world to display the glory of God, that man might be uplifted by its restoring power. God was manifested in Him that He might be manifested in them. 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.” The Desire of Ages, 664.
6 Into what new relationship do we enter by receiving the provisions brought by the mystery of godliness (1 Timothy 3:16)? John 1:12, 13. What words of Christ should be echoed in our experience? John 8:29.
note: “Divinity and humanity were mysteriously combined, and man and God became one. It is in this union that we find the hope of our fallen race.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1130.
“As Jesus was in human nature, so God means His followers to be. In His strength we are to live the life of purity and nobility which the Saviour lived.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 289.
7 When the new relationship is established, how is God manifested in us? John 14:15–18, 21, 23; 1 John 4:12.
note: “Man is allotted a part in this great struggle for everlasting life; he must respond to the working of the Holy Spirit.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 65.
8 What promise belongs to us as we accept Christ, with the blessings derived from His incarnation? Hebrews 2:16–18; 5:2; Philippians 4:13.
note: “Christ’s humanity was united with divinity, and in this strength He would bear all the temptations that Satan could bring against Him, and yet keep His soul untainted by sin. And this power to overcome He would give to every son and daughter of Adam who would accept by faith the righteous attributes of His character.” Review and Herald, January 28, 1909.
“Christ came to give to the world an example of what perfect humanity might be when united with divinity.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 260.
9 How, and for what purpose, should we know Christ better and better? John 5:39.
note: “No man, woman, or youth can attain to Christian perfection and neglect the study of the word of God. By carefully and closely searching His word we shall obey the injunction of Christ, ‘Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me.’ [John 5:39.] This search enables the student to observe closely the divine Model, for they testify of Christ. The Pattern must be inspected often and closely in order to imitate it. As one becomes acquainted with the history of the Redeemer, he discovers in himself defects of character; his unlikeness to Christ is so great that he sees he cannot be a follower without a very great change in his life. Still he studies, with a desire to be like his great Exemplar; he catches the looks, the spirit, of his beloved Master; by beholding he becomes changed.” Counsels on Sabbath School Work, 17.
10 What transformation should we experience as a result of our communion with Christ? Romans 12:2. What must we do if we actually want Christ to be our Saviour? Revelation 3:20.
note: “Man, fallen man, may be transformed by the renewing of the mind, so that he can ‘prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ [Romans 12:2.] How does he prove this? By the Holy Spirit taking possession of his mind, spirit, heart, and character. . . .
“Just as a good tree will bear good fruit, so will the tree that is actually planted in the Lord’s garden produce good fruit unto eternal life. Besetting sins are overcome; evil thoughts are not allowed in the mind; evil habits are purged from the soul temple. The tendencies which have been biased in a wrong direction are turned in a right direction. Wrong dispositions and feelings are changed, new principles of action supplied, and there is a new standard of character. Holy tempers and sanctified emotions are now the fruit borne upon the Christian tree. An entire transformation has taken place.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1080.
The Humble Circumstances of Christ’s Life
“After Christ had condescended to leave His high command, step down from an infinite height and assume humanity, He could have taken upon Him any condition of humanity He might choose. But greatness and rank were nothing to Him, and He selected the lowest and most humble walk of life. The place of His birth was Bethlehem, and on one side His parentage was poor, but God, the owner of the world, was His Father.
“No trace of luxury, ease, selfish gratification, or indulgence was brought into His life, which was a continual round of self-denial and self-sacrifice. In accordance with His humble birth, He had apparently no greatness or riches, in order that the humblest believer need not say Christ never knew the stress of pinching poverty. Had He possessed the semblance of outward show, of riches, of grandeur, the poorest class of humanity would have shunned His society; therefore He chose the lowly condition of the far greater number of the people (MS 9, 1896).” “Ellen G. white Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 903.
An Unexplainable Blending
“Christ could have done nothing during His earthly ministry in saving fallen man if the divine had not been blended with the human. The limited capacity of man cannot define this wonderful mystery—the blending of the two natures, the divine and the human. It can never be explained. Man must wonder and be silent. And yet man is privileged to be a partaker of the divine nature, and in this way he can to some degree enter into the mystery (Letter 5, 1889).” Ibid., 904.
The Most Marvelous Thing in Earth or Heaven
“When we want a deep problem to study, let us fix our minds on the most marvelous thing that ever took place in earth or heaven—the incarnation of the Son of God. God gave His Son to die for sinful human beings a death of ignominy and shame. He who was Commander in the heavenly courts laid aside His royal robe and kingly crown, and clothing His divinity with humanity, came to this world to stand at the head of the human race as the pattern-man. He humbled Himself to suffer with the race, to be afflicted in all their afflictions. (MS 76, 1903).” Ibid.
Christ’s Humanity a Golden Chain
“To redeem man, Christ became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. The humanity of the Son of God is everything to us. It is the golden linked chain which binds our souls to Christ and through Christ to God. This is to be our study. Christ was a real man, and He gave proof of His humility in becoming a man. And He was God in the flesh.
“When we approach the subject of Christ’s divinity clothed with the garb of humanity, we may appropriately heed the words spoken by Christ to Moses at the burning bush, ‘Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.’ [Exodus 3:5.] We must come to the study of this subject with the humility of a learner, with a contrite heart. And the study of the incarnation of Christ is a fruitful field, and will repay the searcher who digs deep for hidden truth (MS 67, 1898).” Ibid., 904, 905.
Reprinted with permission, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke Virginia, 2003.