1. THE INCARNATION OF THE SON OF GOD
a. What prophecy was made concerning the coming of the Son of God as a mediator? Hebrews 10:5; John 1:14.
“The Shekinah had departed from the sanctuary, but in the Child of Bethlehem was veiled the glory before which angels bow. This unconscious babe was the promised seed, to whom the first altar at the gate of Eden pointed. This was Shiloh, the peace giver. It was He who declared Himself to Moses as the I AM. It was He who in the pillar of cloud and of fire had been the guide of Israel. This was He whom seers had long foretold. He was the Desire of all nations, the Root and the Offspring of David, and the Bright and Morning Star. The name of that helpless little babe inscribed in the roll of Israel, declaring Him our brother, was the hope of fallen humanity. The child for whom the redemption money had been paid was He who was to pay the ransom for the sins of the whole world. He was the true ‘high priest over the house of God,’ the head of ‘an unchangeable priesthood,’ the intercessor at ‘the right hand of the Majesty on high’ (Hebrews 10:21; 7:24; 1:3).”—The Desire of Ages, pp. 52-55.
b. How did Pilate present the Son of God to the multitude? In what was he correct, and in what was he in error? John 19:5, 15; 18:36.
2. CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD
a. How does the Word of God explain the birth of Christ? Luke 1:30–32.
“But 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. His deity could not be lost while He stood faithful and true to His loyalty.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments], vol. 5, p. 1129.
“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.”—Ibid., p. 1113.
b. As a man, what other nature did He also possess? When explaining the mystery of the incarnation, what danger must we avoid? Luke 1:34, 35.
“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. He was assailed with temptations in the wilderness, as Adam was assailed with temptations in Eden. . . .
“[Luke 1:31–35 quoted.] These words do not refer to any human being, except to the Son of the infinite God. 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.’ ”—Ibid., p. 1128.
3. CHRIST, THE SOURCE OF LIFE
a. What was Christ since everlasting? John 1:4.
“‘In Him was life; and the life was the light of men’ (John 1:4). It is not physical life that is here specified, but eternal life, the life which is exclusively the property of God. The Word, who was with God, and who was God, had this life. Physical life is something which each individual received. It is not eternal or immortal; for God, the Lifegiver, takes it again. Man has no control over his life. But the life of Christ was unborrowed. No one can take this life from Him. ‘I lay it down of myself’ (John 10:18). He said. In Him was life, original, unborrowed, underived. This life is not inherent in man. He can possess it only through Christ. He cannot earn it; it is given him as a free gift if he will believe in Christ as his personal Saviour.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments], vol. 5, p. 1130.
b. Why did Jesus come to this earth, and what did He bring to those who accept Him? What is not possessed by those who do not believe in the Son of God? John 10:10 (last part), 28; 1 John 5:11, 12.
“All created beings live by the will and power of God. They are recipients of the life of the Son of God. However able and talented, however large their capacities, they are replenished with life from the Source of all life. He is the spring, the fountain, of life. Only He who alone hath immortality, dwelling in light and life, could say, ‘I have power to lay down my life, and I have power to take it again.’ . . . Christ was invested with the right to give immortality. The life which He had laid down in humanity, He again took up and gave to humanity. ‘I am come,’ He says, ‘that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly’ (John 10:10).”—Ibid., p. 1113.
“If we repent of our transgression and receive Christ as the Life-giver, our personal Saviour, we become one with Him, and our will is brought into harmony with the divine will. We become partakers of the life of Christ, which is eternal. We derive immortality from God by receiving the life of Christ for in Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. This life is the mystical union and cooperation of the divine with the human.”—The Signs of the Times, June 17, 1897.
4. CHRIST’S VICTORY OVER TEMPTATIONS
a. What was the secret of Jesus’ victory? John 4:34; 5:30.
“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.”—Selected Messages, bk. 1, p. 223.
b. How can human beings overcome temptation? Philippians 4:13. What is necessary at all times? John 15:4–6.
“Christ came to give to the world an example of what perfect humanity might be when united with divinity.”—Ibid., p. 260.
“The Saviour overcame to show man how he may overcome. All the temptations of Satan, Christ met with the word of God. By trusting in God’s promises, He received power to obey God’s commandments, and the tempter could gain no advantage. To every temptation His answer was, ‘It is written’ (Matthew 4:4). So God has given us His word wherewith to resist evil. Exceeding great and precious promises are ours, that by these we “might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4).”—The Ministry of Healing, p. 181.
“The connection of the branch with the vine, [Christ] said, represents the relation you are to sustain to Me. The scion is engrafted into the living vine, and fiber by fiber, vein by vein, it grows into the vine stock. The life of the vine becomes the life of the branch. So the soul dead in trespasses and sins receives life through connection with Christ. By faith in Him as a personal Saviour the union is formed. . . . This union with Christ, once formed, must be maintained. . . . This is no casual touch, no off-and-on connection. The branch becomes a part of the living vine. The communication of life, strength, and fruitfulness from the root to the branches is unobstructed and constant. Separated from the vine, the branch cannot live. No more, said Jesus, can you live apart from Me. The life you have received from Me can be preserved only by continual communion. Without Me you cannot overcome one sin, or resist one temptation.”—The Desire of Ages, pp. 675, 676.
5. THE MORTAL SON OF MAN AND THE IMMORTAL SON OF GOD
a. In partaking of the same flesh and blood we all partake, what consequence did the Lord Jesus also take upon Himself? Philippians 2:7; Hebrews 2:14.
“[The Lord Jesus Christ] humbled Himself, and took mortality upon Him. As a member of the human family, He was mortal; but as a God, He was the fountain of life to the world.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments], vol. 5, p. 1127.
b. What was the divine nature of Christ like? Why was He willing and able to lay down His own life? 1 Timothy 3:15, 16; John 2:18–22; 17:5, 24.
“When the voice of the angel was heard saying, ‘Thy Father calls thee,’ He who had said, ‘I lay down my life, that I might take it again,’ ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up’ (John 10:17; 2:19), came forth from the grave to life that was in Himself. Deity did not die. Humanity died, but Christ now proclaims over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, ‘I am the resurrection, and the life’ (John 11:25). In His divinity Christ possessed the power to break the bonds of death. He declares that He had life in Himself to quicken whom He will.”—Ibid., p. 1113.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. In what manner did the Son of God appear to His Jewish nation?
2. What must we always remember in connection with the incarnation of Christ?
3. What is the gift of Christ to those that believe on Him?
4. What was the key to the victory of the Son of Man over every temptation?
5. How and when did Christ display Himself clearly, a) as the Son of Man, b) as the Son of God?