October 20–October 26, 2002
“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.
Suggested Reading: The Desire of Ages, 19–26; “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 903–905.
“The Lord Jesus condescended to clothe his divinity with humanity, and to stand as a representative of God upon earth, an example of what God would have humanity become through the grace of Christ.” Review and Herald, November 12, 1895.
“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. The incarnation of Christ in human flesh is a mystery. He could have come to earth as one with a remarkable appearance, unlike the sons of men. His countenance could have shone with glory, and his form could have been of remarkable grace. He could have presented such an appearance as to charm the beholder; but this was not according to the plan devised in the courts of God. He was to bear the characteristics of the human family, and the Jewish race. In all respects the Son of God was to wear the same features as did other human beings. He was not to have such beauty of person as would make him singular among men. He was to manifest no wonderful charms by which to attract attention to himself. He came as a representative of the human family before heaven and earth. He was to stand as man’s substitute and surety. He was to live the life of humanity in such a way as to contradict the assertion that Satan had made that humanity was his everlasting possession, and that God himself could not take man out of his adversary’s hands.” Signs of the Times, July 30, 1896.
1 How is the eternal existence of Christ revealed in the Bible? Micah 5:2; John 8:58; 17:5; Psalm 145:13.
note: “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.” Signs of the Times, August 29, 1900.
“Heavenly angels had seen the glory which the Son of God shared with the Father before the world was, and they had looked forward with intense interest to His appearing on earth as an event fraught with the greatest joy to all people.” The Great Controversy, 313.
2 What other important work, besides the creation, did Christ accomplish? Isaiah 43:1; John 1:29.
note: “Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed for us. Every drop of blood shed by the Jewish sacrifices pointed to the Lamb of God. All the typical offerings were fulfilled in him. Type met antitype when he died on the cross. He came to make it possible, by the sacrifice of himself, to put away sin. He paid the ransom for our redemption. We are bought with a price; and Christ calls upon us to let him take our sins, and impute to us his righteousness.” Review and Herald, July 19, 1898.
3 What understanding should we have 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.” Signs of the Times, May 10, 1899.
4 It is important for us to remember what fact about Christ’s humanity? 1 Peter 2:22; John 14:30, 31.
note: “Amid impurity, Christ maintained His purity. Satan could not stain or corrupt it. His character revealed a perfect hatred for sin. It was His holiness that stirred against Him all the passion of a profligate world; for by His perfect life He threw upon the world a perpetual reproach, and made manifest the contrast between transgression and the pure, spotless righteousness of One that knew no sin. This heavenly purity annoyed the apostate foe as nothing else could do, and he followed Christ day by day, using in his work the people that claimed to have a superior purity and knowledge of God, putting into their hearts a spirit of hatred against Christ, and tempting His disciples to betray and forsake Him.” Signs of the Times, May 10, 1899.
5 For what purpose was divinity united with 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.
“In contemplating the incarnation of Christ in humanity, we stand baffled before an unfathomable mystery, that the human mind can not comprehend. The more we reflect upon it, the more amazing does it appear. How wide is the contrast between the divinity of Christ and the helpless infant in Bethlehem’s manger! How can we span the distance between the mighty God and a helpless child? And yet the Creator of worlds, he in whom was the fulness of the Godhead bodily, was manifest in the helpless babe in the manger. Far higher than any of the angels, equal with the Father in dignity and glory, and yet wearing the garb of humanity! 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. Looking upon Christ in humanity, we look upon God, and see in him the brightness of his glory, the express image of his person.” Signs of the Times, July 30, 1896.
6 By accepting Christ as our Redeemer, into what new relationship do we enter? John 1:12, 13.
note: “The old nature, born of blood and the will of the flesh, cannot inherit the kingdom of God. The old ways, the hereditary tendencies, the former habits, must be given up; for grace is not inherited. The new birth consists in having new motives, new tastes, new tendencies. Those who are begotten unto a new life by the Holy Spirit, have become partakers of the divine nature, and in all their habits and practices, they will give evidence of their relationship to Christ.” Review and Herald, April 12, 1892.
“God makes no compromise with sin. A genuine conversion changes hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong. The religion of God is a firm fabric, composed of innumerable threads, and woven together with tact and skill. Only the wisdom which comes from God can make this fabric complete.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1101.
7 What words of Christ should be echoed in our experience? John 8:29.
note: “Human nature is ever struggling for expression, ready for contest; but he who learns of Christ is emptied of self, of pride, of love of supremacy, and there is silence in the soul. Self is yielded to the disposal of the Holy Spirit. Then we are not anxious to have the highest place. We have no ambition to crowd and elbow ourselves into notice; but we feel that our highest place is at the feet of our Saviour. We look to Jesus, waiting for His hand to lead, listening for His voice to guide. . . .
“When we receive Christ as an abiding guest in the soul, the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, will keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. The Saviour’s life on earth, though lived in the midst of conflict, was a life of peace.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 15.
8 How is God manifested in us when we establish the new relationship? John 14:15–18, 21, 23; 1 John 4:12.
note: “We are not to serve God as if we were not human, but we are to serve him as those who have been redeemed by the Son of God and through the righteousness of Christ we shall stand before God pardoned, and as though we had never sinned. We shall never gain strength in considering what we might do if we were angels; but as obedient children we are to turn in faith to Jesus Christ, and show our love to God through obedience to his commands.” Signs of the Times, April 10, 1893.
“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.
9 What promise is ours as we accept Christ? Philippians 4:13; Hebrews 2:16–18; 5:2.
note: “Christ in the weakness of humanity was to meet the temptations of one possessing the powers of the higher nature that God had bestowed on the angelic family. But 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, wBook 1, 260.
10 What action is necessary on our part for us to know Christ 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, [ John 5:39 quoted]. 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.
“In the Word the Saviour is revealed in all His beauty and loveliness. Every soul will find comfort and consolation in the Bible, which is full of promises concerning what God will do for the one who comes into right relation to Him. Especially will the sick be comforted by hearing the Word; for in giving the Scriptures God has given to mankind a leaf from the tree of life, which is for the healing of the nations. How can anyone who reads the Scriptures or who has heard them read, lose his interest in heavenly things, and find pleasure in amusements and enchantments of the world (MS 105, 1901)?” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1134, 1135.
11 As a result of our communion with Christ, what transformation should we experience? Romans 12:2.
note: “Man, fallen man, may be transformed by the renewing of the mind. . . . “A real work is wrought by the Holy Spirit upon the human character, and its fruits are seen; 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 rooted out. Holy tempers and sanctified emotions are now the fruit borne upon the Christian tree. An entire transformation has taken place. This is the work to be wrought.—Elder E. P. Daniels and the Fresno Church, pp. 8, 9.” Ye Shall Receive Power, 50.
12 If we really want Christ to be our Redeemer, what must we do? Revelation 3:20.
note: “The Lord knocks at the door of your heart, desiring to enter, that he may impart spiritual riches to your soul. He would anoint the blind eyes, that they may discover the holy character of God in his law, and understand the love of Christ, which is indeed gold tried in the fire.” Review and Herald, February 25, 1890.
“Jesus stands knocking,—knocking at the door of your hearts,—and yet, for all this, some say continually, ‘I cannot find him.’ Why not? He says, ‘I stand here knocking. Why do you not open the door, and say, Come in, dear Lord?’ . . . Open the door now, and empty the soul-temple of the buyers and sellers, and invite the Lord to come in. Say to him, ‘I will love thee with all my soul. I will work the works of righteousness. I will obey the law of God.’ Then you will feel the peaceful presence of Jesus.” Review and Herald, August 28, 1888.