1. GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD
a. Describe the depth of the love of God? John 3:16; Romans 5:6–8.
“Christ’s death proves God’s great love for man. It is our pledge of salvation. . . .
“Through the cross we learn that the heavenly Father loves us with a love that is infinite.”—The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 209, 210.
b. What new commandment should we endeavor to obey that would set us apart from the unbelievers? John 13:34, 35.
“As Christ had loved them, the disciples were to love one another. They were to show forth the love abiding in their hearts for men, women, and children, by doing all in their power for their salvation. But they were to reveal a specially tender love for all of the same faith. . . .
“It is the greatest and most fatal deception to suppose that a man can have faith unto life eternal without possessing Christlike love for his brethren.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 5, pp. 1140, 1141.
2. ALL HUMANITY BENEFITED BY CHRIST’S DEATH
a. What lesson did Jesus teach from the brass serpent lifted up in the wilderness? John 3:14, 15.
“When the people of Israel were dying from the sting of the fiery serpents, God directed Moses to make a serpent of brass. . . . Then the word was sounded throughout the encampment that all who would look upon the serpent should live.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 174.
“To the cross of Calvary, bearing a dying Saviour, we must look. Our eternal interests demand that we show faith in Christ.”—Ibid., p.660.
b. Because of Christ’s death, what daily blessing does God bestow upon all men and women in this present probationary life? Matthew 5:45.
“To the death of Christ we owe even this earthly life. The bread we eat is the purchase of His broken body. The water we drink is bought by His spilled blood. Never one, saint or sinner, eats his daily food, but he is nourished by the body and the blood of Christ. The cross of Calvary is stamped on every loaf. It is reflected in every water spring.”—Ibid.
c. While believers and unbelievers alike enjoy everything pertaining to their temporal life because of the death of Christ, who only will receive eternal life? Matthew 7:21; John 3:16; Romans 2:7; Revelation 22:14.
“[Matthew 7:21 quoted.] The test of sincerity is not in words, but in deeds. Christ does not say to any man, What say ye more than others? but, ‘What do ye more than others?’ (Matthew 5:47). Full of meaning are His words, ‘If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them’ (John 13:17). Words are of no value unless they are accompanied with appropriate deeds.”—Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 272.
“The word of God plainly tells us that few will be saved, and that the greater number of those, even, who are called will prove themselves unworthy of everlasting life. They will have no part in heaven, but will have their portion with Satan, and experience the second death.”—Testimonies, vol. 2, pp. 293, 294.
3. FULL PARDON AVAILABLE
a. Under the sacrificial system, what did the law require for forgiveness of sin? Hebrews 9:22. What did Christ do to make it possible for all to be forgiven? Romans 5:8, 9.
“Many have expressed wonder that God demanded so many slain victims in the sacrificial offerings of the Jewish people; but it was to rivet in their minds the great truth that without shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. A lesson was embodied in every sacrifice, impressed in every ceremony, solemnly preached by the priest in his holy office, and inculcated by God Himself—that through the blood of Christ alone is there forgiveness of sins. How little we as a people feel the force of this great truth! How seldom, by living, acting faith, do we bring into our lives this great truth, that there is forgiveness for the least sin, forgiveness for the greatest sin!”—The Review and Herald, September 21, 1886.
b. How does Christ’s sacrifice embrace all of humanity, and what obligation then rests upon us? 2 Corinthians 5:14, 15.
“Christ suffered without the gates of Jerusalem, for Calvary was outside the city walls. This was to show that He died, not for the Hebrews alone, but for all mankind.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 7, p. 934.
c. Upon what condition is the sinner pardoned, and to what will this lead? 1 John 1:9; Colossians 3:1–3.
“How wonderful is the plan of redemption in its simplicity and fullness. It not only provides for the full pardon of the sinner but also for the restoration of the transgressor, making a way whereby he may be accepted as a son of God. Through obedience he may be the possessor of love and peace and joy. His faith may unite him in his weakness to Christ, the source of divine strength; and through the merits of Christ he may find the approval of God, because Christ has satisfied the demands of the law, and He imputes His righteousness to the penitent, believing soul.”—The Review and Herald, March 10, 1891.
4. JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH
a. When Christ signed the emancipation papers of the human race with His own blood, who became the legal owner of all humanity that have hitherto been “sold under sin” (Romans 7:14)? 1 Peter 1:18–20.
“By pouring the whole treasury of heaven into this world, by giving us in Christ all heaven, God has purchased the will, the affections, the mind, the soul, of every human being. Whether believers or unbelievers, all men are the Lord’s property.
“We are His by creation and by redemption. Our very bodies are not our own. . . . Our lives and all our faculties belong to Him.”—God’s Amazing Grace, p. 173.
b. As Christ has acquired the right of ownership, what does He now require of each individual in order to complete the process of adoption as a son or daughter of God? Galatians 3:26–29.
“Many . . . do not see the work which must be wrought in them by the Holy Spirit before they can be transformed from Satan’s subjects to sons of God. . . . ‘Except a man be born again’—unless he receive a new heart, new desires, purposes, and motives, leading to a new life—‘he cannot see the kingdom of God’ (John 3:3). . . . He is no longer to be a willing subject to the enemy of Christ. He is to become an heir of God by faith, a son of God by adoption.”—The Signs of the Times, March 9, 1882.
“As the penitent sinner, contrite before God, discerns Christ’s atonement in his behalf and accepts this atonement as his only hope in this life and the future life, his sins are pardoned. . . .
“Pardon and justification are one and the same thing. Through faith, the believer passes from the position of a rebel, a child of sin and Satan, to the position of a loyal subject of Christ Jesus, not because of an inherent goodness, but because Christ receives him as His child by adoption. The sinner receives the forgiveness of his sins, because these sins are borne by his Substitute and Surety. The Lord speaks to His heavenly Father, saying: ‘This is My child. I reprieve him from the condemnation of death, giving him My life insurance policy—eternal life—because I have taken his place and have suffered for his sins. He is even My beloved son.’ Thus man, pardoned, and clothed with the beautiful garments of Christ’s righteousness, stands faultless before God.”—Faith and Works, p. 103.
5. GOD’S LAW VINDICATED
a. Why was King Darius unable to stop Daniel from being cast into the lion’s den for violating the king’s own decree, even though he was bent on saving Daniel? Daniel 6:7–9, 15, 16.
b. In like manner, what did Christ’s death on the cross prove regarding the nature of God’s holy law? Psalm 111:7, 8. Who originated the idea that Christ’s death abolished God’s law?
“It is ever the purpose of Satan to make void the law of God and to pervert the true meaning of the plan of salvation. Therefore he has originated the falsehood that the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary’s cross was for the purpose of freeing men from the obligation of keeping the commandments of God. . . . Could the law have been abolished, and the government of heaven and earth and the unnumbered worlds of God maintained, Christ need not have died. The death of Christ was to forever settle the question of the validity of the law of Jehovah. Having suffered the full penalty for a guilty world, Jesus became the Mediator between God and man, to restore the repenting soul to favor with God by giving him grace to keep the law of the Most High. Christ came not to destroy the law or the prophets, but to fulfill them to the very letter. The atonement of Calvary vindicated the law of God as holy, just, and true, not only before the fallen world but before heaven and before the worlds unfallen. Christ came to magnify the law and to make it honorable.”—Faith and Works, pp. 118, 119.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. How will we reveal our love for Christ in a practical way?
2. When only do our words benefit others?
3. Along with pardon for the sinner, what else does the plan of redemption provide?
4. What must we do in order to be adopted as sons and daughters of God?
5. What is the strongest proof that the law of God is immutable? Why?