1. MORE EARNEST HEED
a. What solemn appeal is addressed to each one of us? Hebrews 2:1, 2.
b. Is there any hope for us “if we neglect so great salvation”? Hebrews 2:3.
“We are neglecting our salvation if we give authors who have but a confused idea of what religion means, the most conspicuous place and devoted respect, and make the Bible secondary. Those who have been enlightened in reference to the truth for these last days will not find instruction in the books generally studied today, in regard to the things which are coming upon our world; but the Bible is full of the knowledge of God, and is competent to educate the student for usefulness in this life and for the eternal life.”—Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 403.
“It is the duty of the people of God to have their lamps trimmed and burning, to be as men that wait for the Bridegroom, when He shall return from the wedding. You have not a moment to lose in neglect of the great salvation that has been provided for you. The time of the probation of souls is coming to an end. From day to day the destiny of men is being sealed, and even from this congregation we know not how soon many shall close their eyes in death and be habited for the tomb. We should now consider that our life is swiftly passing away, that we are not safe one moment unless our life is hid with Christ in God.”—Selected Messages, bk. 1, p. 189.
2. MAN, THE KING OF THIS PLANET
a. What was God’s purpose at the creation of man? Genesis 1:26, 27.
“Adam was crowned king in Eden. To him was given dominion over every living thing that God had created. The Lord blessed Adam and Eve with intelligence such as He had not given to any other creature. He made Adam the rightful sovereign over all the works of His hands. Man, made in the divine image, could contemplate and appreciate the glorious works of God in nature.”—Confrontation, pp. 10, 11.
b. As a result of man’s transgression, who became the prince of this world? John 12:31; 14:30.
“Mighty issues for the world were at stake in the conflict between the Prince of light and the leader of the kingdom of darkness. After tempting man to sin, Satan claimed the earth as his, and styled himself the prince of this world. Having conformed to his own nature the father and mother of our race, he thought to establish here his empire. He declared that men had chosen him as their sovereign. Through his control of men, he held dominion over the world. Christ had come to disprove Satan’s claim. As the Son of man, Christ would stand loyal to God. Thus it would be shown that Satan had not gained complete control of the human race, and that his claim to the world was false. All who desired deliverance from his power would be set free. The dominion that Adam had lost through sin would be recovered.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 114.
c. What happened at the victory of Christ on the cross? Revelation 12:10.
“The casting down of Satan as an accuser of the brethren in heaven was accomplished by the great work of Christ in giving up His life. Notwithstanding Satan’s persistent opposition, the plan of redemption was being carried out. Man was esteemed of sufficient value for Christ to sacrifice His life for him. Satan, knowing that the empire he had usurped would in the end be wrested from him, determined to spare no pains to destroy as many as possible of the creatures whom God had created in His image.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 7, p. 973.
3. HOPE FOR THE FALLEN RACE
a. How many people were bought by the blood of Christ? Hebrews 2:9; John 3:16.
“‘Ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price.’ . . . What a price was paid to redeem the fallen race!”—This Day With God, p. 255.
“Think of how much it cost Christ to leave the heavenly courts, and take His position at the head of humanity. Why did He do this?Because He was the only one who could redeem the fallen race. There was not a human being in the world who was without sin. The Son of God stepped down from His heavenly throne, laid off His royal robe and kingly crown, and clothed His divinity with humanity. He came to die for us, to lie in the tomb as human beings must, and to be raised for our justification. He came to become acquainted with all the temptations wherewith man is beset. He rose from the grave and proclaimed over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, ‘I am the resurrection, and the life.’ One equal with God passed through death in our behalf. He tasted death for every man, that through Him every man might be a partaker of eternal life.”—In Heavenly Places, p. 13.
b. Whom does Jesus call His brethren and why? Hebrews 2:11; John 17:17.
“Jesus Christ is our example in all things. He began life, passed through its experiences, and ended its record, with a sanctified human will. He was tempted in all points like as we are, and yet because He kept his will surrendered and sanctified, He never bent in the slightest degree toward the doing of evil, or toward manifesting rebellion against God. . . . Those who have a sanctified will, that is in unison with the will of Christ, will day by day have their wills bound to the will of Christ, which will act in blessing others, and react upon themselves with divine power. Many cultivate those things which war against the soul; for their desires and their will are set against God, and employed in the service of Satan.
“Let us no longer gratify the enemy by complaining of the strength of our evil will; for in so doing we are feeding and encouraging our wills against God, and pleasing the evil one. Let us remember that we are children of God, pledged to cherish a holy will which cometh to us from God. ‘As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name; which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.’ ”—The Signs of the Times, October 29, 1894.
4. A PARTAKER OF FLESH AND BLOOD
a. Which nature did Christ take at His incarnation and why was this necessary? Hebrews 2:14–16.
“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.
“Though He had no taint of sin upon His character, yet He condescended to connect our fallen human nature with His divinity. By thus taking humanity, He honored humanity. Having taken our fallen nature, He showed what it might become, by accepting the ample provision He has made for it, and by becoming partaker of the divine nature.”—Selected Messages, bk. 3, p. 134.
b. Though Christ took our fallen nature, what should we understand about His life? Hebrews 7:26; 4:15; 1 Peter 2:21, 22.
“[Christ] is our example in all things. He is a brother in our infirmities, ‘in all points tempted like as we are;’ but as the sinless one His nature recoiled from evil; He endured struggles and torture of soul in a world of sin.”—Steps to Christ, pp. 93, 94.
“In taking upon Himself man’s nature in its fallen condition, Christ did not in the least participate in its sin. He was subject to the infirmities and weaknesses by which man is encompassed, ‘that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses’ (Matthew 8:17). He was touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and was in all points tempted like as we are. And yet He knew no sin. He was the Lamb ‘without blemish and without spot’ (1 Peter 1:19). Could Satan in the least particular have tempted Christ to sin, he would have bruised the Saviour’s head. As it was, he could only touch His heel. Had the head of Christ been touched, the hope of the human race would have perished. Divine wrath would have come upon Christ as it came upon Adam. Christ and the church would have been without hope.”—Selected Messages, bk. 1, p. 256.
5. A MERCIFUL AND FAITHFUL HIGH PRIEST
a. What kind of Friend do we have in the heavenly sanctuary? Hebrews 2:17.
“[Christ] was in all things made like unto His brethren. He became flesh, even as we are. He knew what it meant to be hungry and thirsty and weary. He was sustained by food and refreshed by sleep. He was a stranger and a sojourner on the earth—in the world, but not of the world; tempted and tried as men and women of today are tempted and tried, yet living a life free from sin. Tender, compassionate, sympathetic, ever considerate of others, He represented the character of God. ‘The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, . . . full of grace and truth.’ John 1:14.”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 472.
b. Being human and divine, what is Christ willing to do for every one of us? Hebrews 2:18; Psalm 40:8.
“Since Jesus came to dwell with us, we know that God is acquainted with our trials, and sympathizes with our griefs. Every son and daughter of Adam may understand that our Creator is the friend of sinners. For in every doctrine of grace, every promise of joy, every deed of love, every divine attraction presented in the Saviour’s life on earth, we see ‘God with us.’
“If we had to bear anything which Jesus did not endure, then upon this point Satan would represent the power of God as insufficient for us. Therefore Jesus was ‘in all points tempted like as we are.’ Hebrews 4:15. He endured every trial to which we are subject. And He exercised in His own behalf no power that is not freely offered to us. As man, He met temptation, and overcame in the strength given Him from God. . . . His life testifies that it is possible for us also to obey the law of God.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 24.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. Why is it dangerous to neglect Bible study, prayer, and surrender to God?
2. Contrast between the power of the real Prince of light vs. Satan’s boastful claim.
3. How are we benefited from Christ’s divine offer of salvation?
4. Explain the perfect balance of Christ’s divine and human nature.
5. Why can we be especially thankful for Christ’s work in heaven?