1. TO SATISFY THE REQUIREMENTS
a. What is the penalty for transgressing the law, and how only could the transgressor escape? Who took upon Himself our transgression? Genesis 2:17; Romans 7:10, 11; 1 Peter 2:24.
“To save the race from eternal death, the Son of God volunteered to bear the punishment of disobedience. Only by the humiliation of the Prince of heaven could the dishonor be removed, justice be satisfied, and man be restored to that which he had forfeited by disobedience.”—Selected Messages, bk. 1, p. 308.
b. What did the Son of God have to do first in order to make the plan of salvation a reality? Who also made the sacrifice in giving Christ? 1 Timothy 3:16; John 3:16.
“God gave His own dear Son—one equal with Himself—to bear the penalty of transgression, and thus He provided a way by which [the fallen race] might be restored to His favor and brought back to their Eden home. Christ undertook to redeem man and to rescue the world from the grasp of Satan. The great controversy begun in heaven was to be decided in the very world, on the very same field, that Satan claimed as his.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 69.
2. PERFECT OBEDIENCE—PREREQUISITE OF REDEMPTION
a. What kind of obedience made it possible for Christ to redeem us? Philippians 2:8; Hebrews 5:8, 9; Romans 5:12, 18.
“As representative of the fallen race, Christ passed over the same ground on which Adam stumbled and fell. By a life of perfect obedience to God’s law, Christ redeemed man from the penalty of Adam’s disgraceful fall. Man has violated God’s law. Only for those who return to their allegiance to God, only for those who obey the law that they have violated, will the blood of Christ avail. Christ will never become a party to sin. Bearing the penalty of the law, He gives the sinner another chance, a second trial. He opens a way whereby the sinner can be reinstated in God’s favor. Christ bears the penalty of man’s past transgressions, and by imparting to man His righteousness, makes it possible for man to keep God’s holy law.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments], vol. 6, p. 1092.
“[Christ’s] whole life was a preface to His death on the cross. His character was a life of obedience to all God’s commandments, and was to be a sample for all men upon the earth. His life was the living of the law in humanity. That law Adam transgressed. But Christ, by His perfect obedience to the law redeemed Adam’s disgraceful failure and fall.”—Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 382.
b. What has given Christ the right to take the captives out of the hands of the enemy? John 15:10 (last part); 1 Peter 2:24.
“What right had Christ to take the captives out of the enemy’s hands?—The right of having made a sacrifice that satisfies the principles of justice by which the kingdom of heaven is governed. He came to this earth as the Redeemer of the lost race, to conquer the wily foe, and, by His steadfast allegiance to right, to save all who accept Him as their Saviour. On the cross of Calvary He paid the redemption price of the race. And thus He gained the right to take the captives from the grasp of the great deceiver, who, by a lie, framed against the government of God, caused the fall of man, and thus forfeited all claim to be called a loyal subject of God’s glorious everlasting kingdom.”—Selected Messages, bk. 1, p. 309.
3. THE SON OF MAN DEVELOPED A PERFECT CHARACTER
a. How did Christ set about preparing for the restoration of the image of God in men and women? Hebrews 10:5–7 (compare Psalm 40:6–8).
“He who knew no sin was made sin for us. With this terrible weight of guilt upon Him because of our sins He withstood the fearful test upon appetite, and upon love of the world and of honor, and pride of display which leads to presumption. Christ endured these great leading temptations and overcame in behalf of man, working out for him a righteous character, because He knew man could not do this of himself.”—Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 372.
“By transgression of this [moral] law man brought sin into the world, and with sin came death. Christ became the propitiation for man’s sin. He proffered His perfection of character in the place of man’s sinfulness. He took upon Himself the curse of disobedience.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments], vol. 6, p. 1096.
b. In what way did Christ glorify His Father, and why? John 17:3, 4 (first part); 14:7–11.
“The exercise of force is contrary to the principles of God’s government; He desires only the service of love; and love cannot be commanded; it cannot be won by force or authority. Only by love is love awakened. To know God is to love Him; His character must be manifested in contrast to the character of Satan. This work only one Being in all the universe could do. Only He who knew the height and depth of the love of God could make it known.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 22.
“Christ came to reveal God to the world as a God of love, full of mercy, tenderness, and compassion. . . . When Philip came to Jesus with the request, ‘Show us the Father, and it sufficeth us,’ the Saviour answered him: ‘Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?’ (John 14:8, 9). Christ declares Himself to be sent into the world as a representative of the Father. In His nobility of character, in His mercy and tender pity, in His love and goodness, He stands before us as the embodiment of divine perfection, the image of the invisible God.”—Testimonies, vol. 5, pp. 738, 739.
4. HARMONY WITH THE PRINCIPLES OF THE LAW
a. What does Christ’s death on the cross prove concerning the law? What is still the condition for our salvation? Isaiah 42:21; Matthew 5:17; 19:17.
“But it was not merely to accomplish the redemption of man that Christ came to the earth to suffer and to die. He came to ‘magnify the law’ and to ‘make it honorable.’ Not alone that the inhabitants of this world might regard the law as it should be regarded; but it was to demonstrate to all the worlds of the universe that God’s law is unchangeable. Could its claims have been set aside, then the Son of God need not have yielded up His life to atone for its transgression. The death of Christ proves it immutable.”—The Great Controversy, p. 503.
“By His life on earth [Christ] honored the law of God. By His death He established it. He gave His life as a sacrifice, not to destroy God's law, not to create a lower standard, but that justice might be maintained, that the law might be shown to be immutable, that it might stand fast forever.”—Christ Object Lessons, p. 314.
b. In the work of redemption, what is used by Christ to convert men and women? Psalm 19:7; 1 Timothy 1:8–10; Romans 3:19, 20.
“In order to see his guilt, the sinner must test his character by God’s great standard of righteousness. It is a mirror which shows the perfection of a righteous character and enables him to discern the defects in his own.
“The law reveals to man his sins, but it provides no remedy. While it promises life to the obedient, it declares that death is the portion of the transgressor. The gospel of Christ alone can free him from the condemnation or the defilement of sin. . . .
“Without the law, men have no just conception of the purity and holiness of God or of their own guilt and uncleanness. They have no true conviction of sin and feel no need of repentance. Not seeing their lost condition as violators of God’s law, they do not realize their need of the atoning blood of Christ. The hope of salvation is accepted without a radical change of heart or reformation of life. Thus superficial conversions abound, and multitudes are joined to the church who have never been united to Christ.”—Ibid., pp. 467, 468.
5. SALVATION, THE ANTITHESIS OF WICKEDNESS
a. What was given to Adam at the beginning and usurped by Satan after the Fall? How and when will this be restored on the basis of the life and sacrifice of Christ? Genesis 1:26; Luke 4:5,6; John 12:31.
“Not only man but the earth had by sin come under the power of the wicked one, and was to be restored by the plan of redemption. At his creation Adam was placed in dominion over the earth. But by yielding to temptation, he was brought under the power of Satan. ‘Of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage’ (2 Peter 2:19). When man became Satan’s captive, the dominion which he held, passed to his conqueror. Thus Satan became ‘the god of this world’ (2 Corinthians 4:4). He had usurped that dominion over the earth which had been originally given to Adam. But Christ, by His sacrifice paying the penalty of sin, would not only redeem man, but recover the dominion which he had forfeited. All that was lost by the first Adam will be restored by the second. . . . That purpose will be fulfilled, when, renewed by the power of God, and freed from sin and sorrow, it shall become the eternal abode of the redeemed. ‘The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein forever.’ ‘And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him’ (Psalm 37:29; Revelation 22:3).”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 67.
b. By virtue of His atoning sacrifice, what will Christ do with sin and everyone and everything having any connection with it? Malachi 4:1; Revelation 20:14, 15; Ezekiel 28:19 (last part).
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. Why was the incarnation of Christ vital to the plan of salvation?
2. After the incarnation, what was the next requirement of the One who was to redeem humanity from sin?
3. What did Jesus have to literally demonstrate to His disciples and to the people?
4. What does Christ do for human beings which enables them to manifest the character of Christ?
5. How will the position of Adam and of the usurper be reversed?