January 19-25, 2003
MEMORY VERSE: “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.
SUGGESTED READING: The Desire of Ages, 24, 25.
INTRODUCTION: “Was the human nature of the Son of Mary changed into the divine nature of the Son of God? No; the two natures were mysteriously blended in one person—the man Christ Jesus. In Him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. When Christ was crucified, it was His human nature that died. Deity did not sink and die; that would have been impossible. Christ, the sinless One, will save every son and daughter of Adam who accepts the salvation proffered them, consenting to become the children of God. The Saviour has purchased the fallen race with His own blood.
“This is a great mystery, a mystery that will not be fully, completely understood in all its greatness until the translation of the redeemed shall take place. Then the power and greatness and efficacy of the gift of God to man will be understood. But the enemy is determined that this gift shall be so mystified that it will become as nothingness (Letter 280, 1904).” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1113.
1 For whom did Christ die? Hebrews 2:9, last part; Romans 5:8.
NOTE: “Christ died for all; and we are assured in His word that He is more willing to give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him than are earthly parents to give good gifts to their children. The prophets and apostles did not perfect Christian character by a miracle. They used the means which God had placed within their reach; and all who will put forth the same effort will secure the same results.” The Sanctified Life, 83.
“Christ died for every son and daughter of Adam; and when the Son of God has expressed such amazing love, making this great sacrifice for the sinner, in order that through faith in him he need not perish but have everlasting life, how can the subjects of this great love be indifferent, and stand in sin and disobedience, and not heartily confess Christ without one moment’s delay? How can any one love to do evil?” Review and Herald, January 16, 1894.
2 Christ died for everyone, but who will be saved? John 3:16; 6:40. Compare 2 Peter 2:1.
NOTE: “Every soul may be saved if he believes in Christ as his personal Saviour. [But] not all will be saved. Not because Jesus does not want them to be saved, for He is drawing every soul.” Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, 151.
“If any of us are not saved, it will be because we have chosen the service of Christ’s great adversary and the companionship of those who are his followers.” Gospel Workers (1892), 457.
3 Why were the sufferings of Christ necessary? Hebrews 2:10, 17.
NOTE: “When the angels should witness the agony and humiliation of their Lord, they would be filled with grief and indignation and would wish to deliver Him from His murderers; but they were not to interpose in order to prevent anything which they should behold. It was a part of the plan of redemption that Christ should suffer the scorn and abuse of wicked men, and He consented to all this when He became the Redeemer of man.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 65.
4 Describe the Son of God’s character? Hebrews 4:15; 7:26. Compare Hebrews 9:28; Ephesians 4:13.
NOTE: “Christ, the captain of our salvation, was made perfect through suffering. His followers will encounter the enemy many times, and will be severely tried; but they need not despair. Christ says to them, ‘Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ [John 16:33.]” Pacific Union Recorder, December 17, 1903.
5 How is it that the sanctifier and sanctified are all of one? Hebrews 2:11; John 17:21.
NOTE: “The unity that exists between Christ and His disciples does not destroy the personality of either. In mind, in purpose, in character, they are one, but not in person. By partaking of the Spirit of God, conforming to the law of God, man becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ brings His disciples into a living union with Himself and with the Father. Through the working of the Holy Spirit upon the human mind, man is made complete in Christ Jesus. Unity with Christ establishes a bond of unity with one another. This unity is the most convincing proof to the world of the majesty and virtue of Christ, and of His power to take away sin.” Sons and Daughters of God, 286.
6 Who are the brethren of Christ? Matthew 12:50. Compare Matthew 7:20, 21.
NOTE: “With grace in their hearts, believers are to work the works of Christ, placing themselves, soul, body, and spirit on His side, as His human hand, to impart His love to those who are out of the fold. Believers are to associate together in Christian fellowship, regarding one another as brothers and sisters in the Lord. They are to love one another as Christ loved them. They are to be lights for God, shining in the church and in the world, receiving grace for grace, as they impart to others. Thus they are constantly kept in spiritual nearness to God. They reflect the image of Christ.” Pacific Union Recorder, August 1, 1901.
“The true brethren of Christ are those who guard the interests of their brethren and sisters. How inappropriate it is to condemn others, when every soul is to be saved, not on his own merits, but by the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour! We are all erring, finite creatures, accountable to God for our words, works, and influence.” Review and Herald, October 24, 1893.
7 Of whom will Christ be ashamed? Mark 8:38.
NOTE: “The fearful and unbelieving, who are punished with the second death, are of that class who are ashamed of Christ in this world. They are afraid to do right and follow Christ, lest they should meet with pecuniary loss. They neglect their duty, to avoid reproach and trials, and to escape dangers. Those who dare not do right because they will thus expose themselves to trials, persecution, loss, and suffering are cowards, and, with idolaters, liars, and all sinners, they are ripening for the second death.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 630.
8 What nature did Christ assume and why? Hebrews 2:14, 16, 17.
NOTE: “Christ did not make believe take human nature; He did verily take it. He did in reality possess human nature. [Hebrews 2: 14 quoted.] He was the son of Mary; He was of the seed of David according to human descent. He is declared to be a man, even the Man Christ Jesus.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 247.
“He came as a helpless babe, bearing the humanity we bear. [Hebrews 3:14 quoted.] He could not come in the form of an angel, for unless He met man as man, and testified by His connection with God that divine power was not given to Him in a different way to what it will be given to us, He could not be a perfect example for us.” Sermons and Talks, vol. 2, 111.
9 By His death, who will be destroyed? Hebrews 2:14, last part.
NOTE: “With a holy sadness Jesus comforted and cheered the angels and informed them that hereafter those whom He should redeem would be with Him, and that by His death He should ransom many and destroy him who had the power of death.” Early Writings, 151.
“It was difficult for the angels to endure the sight. They would have delivered Jesus, but the commanding angels forbade them, saying that it was a great ransom which was to be paid for man; but it would be complete and would cause the death of him who had the power of death.” Ibid., 170.
10 What did Christ come to this earth to accomplish? John 3:17; 10:10; 1 John 5:11.
NOTE: “Christ is life itself. He who passed through death to destroy him that had the power of death is the Source of all vitality. There is balm in Gilead, and a Physician there. Christ endured an agonizing death under the most humiliating circumstances that we might have life. He gave up His precious life that He might vanquish death. But He rose from the tomb, and the myriads of angels who came to behold Him take up the life He had laid down heard His words of triumphant joy as He stood above Joseph’s rent sepulcher proclaiming: ‘I am the resurrection, and the life.’ ” The Faith I Live By, 51.
11 What effect does the fear of death have on man? Hebrews 2:15.
NOTE: “Satan then consulted with his angels, and they there considered what they had gained. It was true that they had kept some timid souls through fear of death, from embracing the truth; but many, even of the most timid, received the truth, and immediately their fears and timidity left them, and as they witnessed the death of their brethren, and saw their firmness and patience, they knew that God and angels assisted them to endure such sufferings, and they grew bold and fearless. And when called to yield their own lives, they maintained their faith with such patience and firmness as caused even their murderers to tremble.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, 124, 125.
12 By whom alone can this fear and bondage be removed? Hebrews 2:16–18.
NOTE: “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.
“All this could be, because Christ laid hold of the nature of man, and partook of the divine attributes, and planted His cross between humanity and divinity, bridging the gulf that separated the sinner from God.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 260, 261.
“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.