1. THE LAW
a. According to the law of marriage, what frees a woman from her first husband? Romans 7:2; 1 Corinthians 7:39.
b. Is it legal for anyone to kill the first husband? Exodus 20:13; John 8:44.
c. In order to save the sinner, why does the legality of the law need to be maintained in the plan of redemption? Psalm 85:10; Daniel 9:7.
“The Son of God in becoming man’s substitute, and bearing the curse which should fall upon man, pledged Himself in behalf of the race, to maintain the honor of the law of God. The Father has given the world into the hands of Christ, that through His mediatorial work He may save the sinner, and completely vindicate the claims of the law. His mission was to convince men of sin—which is the transgression of the law, and through the merits of His blood, and by His mediation He was to bring them back to obedience. Through the sacrifice of Christ, the law could be maintained, and the sinner could be pardoned—not only freed from the power of sin, but renewed ‘after the image of Him that created him.’ Colossians 3:10.”—Bible Training School, February 1, 1908.
2. THE LEGALITY OF SALVATION
a. Since mercy is also needed and the law cannot provide for that, what was necessary to bring redemption? Romans 8:3, 4.
“Without the merits of the blood of a crucified and risen Saviour, fallen man could never meet the claims of the law.”—The Signs of the Times, August 18, 1890.
“We have never intimated, either in sermons preached by our ministers, or in the thousands of pages of our printed matter scattered all over the world, that there is any power in the law to save the sinner. On the contrary, it has been repeated again and again by our speakers and writers that the law has no power to redeem the transgressor from the consequences of his sin.”—Ibid., July 18, 1878.
“When the sinner is convicted by the light of the law, then he has a work to do: Repentance toward God because of transgression of His law, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, the sinner’s substitute and surety. Then pardon and free salvation may be his. But Jesus Christ will never save any one who has a knowledge of the law of God, yet lives in transgression of it.”—Ibid., March 7, 1878.
b. As we were in bondage to sin, what did Jesus become in order to be my Saviour? 2 Corinthians 5:21.
“In order to elevate fallen man, Christ must reach him where he was. He took human nature, and bore the infirmities and degeneracy of the race. He, who knew no sin, became sin for us. He humiliated Himself to the lowest depths of human woe, that He might be qualified to reach man, and bring him up from the degradation in which sin had plunged him.”—Selected Messages, bk. 1, p. 268.
“The iniquity of men was laid upon Christ; He was counted a transgressor that He might redeem them from the curse of the law. . . . The withdrawal of the divine countenance from the Saviour, in this hour of supreme anguish, pierced His heart with a sorrow that can never be fully understood by man. Every pang endured by the Son of God upon the cross, the blood drops that flowed from His head, His hands, and feet, the convulsions of agony which racked His frame, and the unutterable anguish that filled His soul at the hiding of His Father’s face from Him, speak to man, saying, It is for love of thee that the Son of God consents to have these heinous crimes laid upon Him; for thee He spoils the domain of death, and opens the gates of Paradise and immortal life. . . . He, the sin-bearer, endures judicial punishment for iniquity, and becomes sin itself for man.”—The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, pp. 162, 163.
3. SINFUL HUMAN NATURE
a. Describe the human nature Jesus took upon Himself. Hebrews 2:14–18; 7:26; 2 Timothy 2:8.
“Think of Christ’s humiliation. He took upon Himself fallen, suffering human nature, degraded and defiled by sin. He took our sorrows, bearing our grief and shame. He endured all the temptations wherewith man is beset. He united humanity with divinity: a divine spirit dwelt in a temple of flesh.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 4, p. 1147.
“It would have been an almost infinite humiliation for the Son of God to take man’s nature, even when Adam stood in his innocence in Eden. But Jesus accepted humanity when the race had been weakened by four thousand years of sin. Like every child of Adam He accepted the results of the working of the great law of heredity. What these results were is shown in the history of His earthly ancestors. He came with such a heredity to share our sorrows and temptations, and to give us the example of a sinless life.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 49.
“Had He not been fully human, Christ could not have been our substitute. He could not have worked out in humanity that perfection of character which it is the privilege of all to reach. He was the light and the life of the world. He came to this earth to work in behalf of men, that they might no longer be under the control of Satanic agencies. But while bearing human nature, He was dependent upon the Omnipotent for His life. In His humanity, He laid hold of the divinity of God; and this every member of the human family has the privilege of doing. Christ did nothing that human nature may not do if it partakes of the divine nature.”—The Signs of the Times, June 17, 1897.
b. Why did Jesus need to take on our human nature? Hebrews 2:10; 7:26.
“Christ was a real man, and He gave proof of His humility in becoming a man. And He was God in the flesh.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 7, p. 904.
“At an infinite cost, and by a process mysterious to angels as well as to men, Christ assumed humanity. Hiding His divinity, laying aside His glory, He was born a babe in Bethlehem. In human flesh He lived the law of God, that He might condemn sin in the flesh, and witness to heavenly intelligences that the law was ordained to life, to insure the happiness, peace, and eternal good of all who obey.”—The Youth’s Instructor, July 20, 1899.
a. Describe the life of Jesus while on earth. Philippians 2:5–8; Luke 2:51, 52.
“The Lord’s standard of righteousness remains as firm as His eternal throne. It is His holy law, and because not one precept of this law could be changed to meet man in his fallen condition, the Father consented to give His only begotten Son to die. To abolish the law?—No; but to save the sinner. The cross of Calvary is the unanswerable argument as to the perpetuity of the law of Jehovah. When the great Teacher gave His sermon on the mount, showing the immutability of the law of God, He was expounding the law that He Himself gave.”—The Review and Herald, March 21, 1893.
“As the sacrifice in our behalf was complete, so our restoration from the defilement of sin is to be complete. There is no act of wickedness that the law will excuse; there is no unrighteousness that will escape its condemnation. The life of Christ was a perfect fulfillment of every precept of the law. He said; ‘I have kept My Father’s commandments.’ John 15:10. His life is our standard of obedience and service.”— Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, p. 312.
“The enmity put between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman was supernatural. With Christ the enmity was in one sense natural; in another sense it was supernatural, as humanity and divinity were combined. And never was the enmity developed to such a marked degree as when Christ became an inhabitant of this earth. Never before had there been a being upon the earth who hated sin with so perfect a hatred as did Christ. He had seen its deceiving, infatuating power upon the holy angels, and all His powers were enlisted against it.”—Selected Messages, bk. 1, p. 254.
b. Describe the level of Christ’s perfection. Hebrews 4:14–16; 1 Peter 2:21–24.
“None need fail of attaining, in his sphere, to perfection of Christian character. By the sacrifice of Christ, provision has been made for the believer to receive all things that pertain to life and godliness. God calls upon us to reach the standard of perfection and places before us the example of Christ’s character. In His humanity, perfected by a life of constant resistance of evil, the Saviour showed that through cooperation with Divinity, human beings may in this life attain to perfection of character. This is God’s assurance to us that we, too, may obtain complete victory.”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 531.
a. What happens when we accept Christ’s death in our sinful human nature for us? 2 Corinthians 5:17.
“It was not merely the gnawing pangs of hunger which made His sufferings inexpressibly severe, but it was the guilt of the sins of the world which pressed so heavily upon [Christ]. He who knew no sin was made sin for us.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 372.
“Man needs a power out of and above himself to restore him to the likeness of God; but because he needs divine aid, it does not make human activity unessential. Faith on the part of man is required; for faith works by love and purifies the soul. Faith lays hold upon the virtue of Christ. The Lord does not design that human power should be paralyzed; but by cooperating with God, the power of man may be efficient for good. God does not design that our will should be destroyed; for it is through this very attribute that we are to accomplish the work He would have us to do both at home and abroad.”—Selected Messages, bk. 1, pp. 375, 376.
b. What happens to the human heart in this change? Ezekiel 36:26, 27.
“The ransom paid by Christ is sufficient for the salvation of all men; but it will avail for only those who become new creatures in Christ Jesus, loyal subjects of God’s everlasting kingdom. His suffering will not shield from punishment the unrepenting, disloyal sinner. Man must cooperate with divine power, and put forth his human effort to subdue sin, and to stand complete in Christ. Christ’s work was to restore man to his original state, to heal him, through divine power. Man’s part is to lay hold by faith of the merits of Christ, and cooperate with the divine agencies in forming a righteous character.”—North Pacific Union Gleaner, February 17, 1909.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. Why is it so important to maintain the validity of the law of God?
2. Why did Jesus have to become sin (the first husband) in order to bring salvation to mankind?
3. Describe the human nature of Christ.
4. What kind of life did Jesus live in sinful human nature?
5. How is the sinful human heart transformed?