April 21, 2013 – April 27, 2013
“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,” The 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,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1130, 1131.
1 THE ETERNAL WORD
- 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,” The 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.
- 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,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 914.
2 DIVINITY AND HUMANITY COMBINED
- 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: “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. …
“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,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1129.
- What fact should we bear in mind concerning the human nature of Christ? I 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,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1128, 1129.
3 A NEW RELATIONSHIP
- 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.
- Into what new relationship do we enter by receiving the provisions brought by the mystery of godliness (I Timothy 3:16)? John 1:12, 13.
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,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1130.
- What words of Christ should be echoed in our experience? John 8:29.
Note: “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.
“Not by outward display, not by worldly patronage, is the kingdom of Christ established, but by the implanting of Christ’s nature in humanity through the work of the Holy Spirit. ‘As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God’ (John 1:12, 13). Here is the only power that can work for the uplifting of humanity. And the human agency for the accomplishment of this work is the teaching and preaching of the Word of God.” Evangelism, 531.
4 BLESSINGS RECEIVED
- Once the new relationship becomes established, how is God manifested in us? John 14:15–18, 21, 23; I 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.
- 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.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 927.
“Christ came to give to the world an example of what perfect humanity might be when united with divinity. He presented to the world a new phase of greatness in His exhibition of mercy, compassion, and love. He gave to men a new interpretation of God. As head of humanity, He taught men lessons in the science of divine government, whereby He revealed the righteousness of the reconciliation of mercy and justice. The reconciliation of mercy and justice did not involve any compromise with sin, or ignore any claim of justice; but by giving to each divine attribute its ordained place, mercy could be exercised in the punishment of sinful, impenitent man without destroying its clemency or forfeiting its compassionate character, and justice could be exercised in forgiving the repenting transgressor without violating its integrity.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 260, 261.
“Let the self-distrustful, whose lack of self-reliance leads them to shrink from care and responsibility, be taught reliance upon God. Thus many a one who otherwise would be but a cipher in the world, perhaps only a helpless burden, will be able to say with the apostle Paul, ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me’ (Philippians 4:13).” Education, 256.
“Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress His own character upon His church.” The Desire of Ages, 671.
5 A PATTERN BEFORE US
- 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.
- What 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: “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,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1080.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 What is revealed about the preexistence of Christ?
2 What should we realize about the nature of Christ after His incarnation?
3 On what condition can we reap the benefits of His incarnation?
4 Where is the merging of divinity with humanity to be seen today?
5 How are we to become transformed?
© 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.