Sabbath, January 24, 2004
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1
• To understand that God has established a connecting bridge between heaven and earth, in His Son Jesus Christ
• To consider the great love and wish of the Father for the lost son and disobedient world.
CONNECTION BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH
1. What can I learn from the experience of Jacob?
Genesis 28:11, 12 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. 12. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
“Many are the figures by which the Spirit of God has sought to illustrate this truth, and make it plain to souls that long to be freed from the burden of guilt. When, after his sin in deceiving Esau, Jacob fled from his father’s home, he was weighed down with a sense of guilt. Lonely and outcast as he was, separated from all that had made life dear, the one thought that above all others pressed upon his soul, was the fear that his sin had cut him off from God, that he was forsaken of Heaven. In sadness he lay down to rest on the bare earth, around him only the lonely hills, and above, the heavens bright with stars. As he slept, a strange light broke upon his vision; and lo, from the plain on which he lay, vast shadowy stairs seemed to lead upward to the very gates of heaven, and upon them angels of God were passing up and down; while from the glory above, the divine voice was heard in a message of comfort and hope. Thus was made known to Jacob that which met the need and longing of his soul–a Saviour.” –Steps to Christ, pp. 19, 20.
2. Whom does the mystic ladder in Jacob’s dream represent?
Hebrews 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus
“With joy and gratitude he saw revealed a way by which he, a sinner, could be restored to communion with God. The mystic ladder of his dream represented Jesus, the only medium of communication between God and man.
“This is the same figure to which Christ referred in His conversation with Nathanael, when He said, ‘Ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.’ John 1:51.” – Steps to Christ, p. 20.
THE INITIATIVE OF GOD FOR HIS CHILDREN
3. With what yearning desire does the heart of God sigh for His earthly children?
Luke 15:20 But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
Galatians 4:7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
“The heart of God yearns over His earthly children with a love stronger than death. In giving up His Son, He has poured out to us all heaven in one gift. The Saviour’s life and death and intercession, the ministry of angels, the pleading of the Spirit, the Father working above and through all, the unceasing interest of heavenly beings,–all are enlisted in behalf of man’s redemption.” – Steps to Christ, p. 21.
4. Who bridged the gulf that existed between heaven and earth and brought man closer to God?
2 Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.
Romans 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
“In the apostasy, man alienated himself from God; earth was cut off from heaven. Across the gulf that lay between, there could be no communion. But through Christ, earth is again linked with heaven. With His own merits, Christ has bridged the gulf which sin had made, so that the ministering angels can hold communion with man. Christ connects fallen man in his weakness and helplessness with the Source of infinite power.” – Steps to Christ, p. 20.
5. What joyful reality should be an incentive and should motivate me to give my heart to Christ?
1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.
“Oh, let us contemplate the amazing sacrifice that has been made for us! Let us try to appreciate the labor and energy that Heaven is expending to reclaim the lost, and bring them back to the Father’s house. Motives stronger, and agencies more powerful, could never be brought into operation; the exceeding rewards for right-doing, the enjoyment of heaven, the society of the angels, the communion and love of God and His Son, the elevation and extension of all our powers throughout eternal ages–are these not mighty incentives and encouragements to urge us to give the heart’s loving service to our Creator and Redeemer?” – Steps to Christ, p. 21.
THE END OF THE SLAVERY
6. What dangers does the Lord present to me in His word if I serve Satan?
Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
“And, on the other hand, the judgments of God pronounced against sin, the inevitable retribution, the degradation of our character, and the final destruction, are presented in God’s word to warn us against the service of Satan.” – Steps to Christ, pp. 21, 22.
7. What important question should I ask myself during this crucial time of my life?
Proverbs 23:26My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.
“Shall we not regard the mercy of God? What more could He do? Let us place ourselves in right relation to Him who has loved us with amazing love. Let us avail ourselves of the means provided for us that we may be transformed into His likeness, and be restored to fellowship with the ministering angels, to harmony and communion with the Father and the Son.” – Steps to Christ, p. 22.
• Have we realized that submission and obedience to righteousness makes us free beings, while submission to sin enslaves us?
• As a parent, if one of your children happened to take a wrong path in life, what would be your most profound and constant desire? That of our heavenly Father for a dying world is much greater.
• Would there be a greater joy than giving Him what He so desires?