Sabbath, November 11, 2006
“But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; and that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.” Ephesians 2:13-16.
LIBERATION FROM SLAVERY
1. Only through what can such a slave be liberated?
Romans 6:18, 7, 8 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness….For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.
2. Had Paul experienced this liberation?
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
“When human agents choose the will of God and are conformed to the character of Christ, Jesus acts through their organs and faculties. They put aside all selfish pride, all manifestation of superiority, all arbitrary exactions, and manifest the meekness and lowliness of Christ. It is no more themselves that live and act, but it is Christ that lives and acts through them. They understand the precious words of the Saviour’s prayer, ‘I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.’” –Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 215.
HUMAN EFFORTS TO FULFIL THE LAW
3. What is the condition of a carnal man?
Romans 7:15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
4. Nevertheless, what does this person helplessly recognize about the law?
Romans 7:16-22 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
“Not only intellectual but spiritual power, a perception of right, a desire for goodness, exists in every heart. But against these principles there is struggling an antagonistic power. The result of the eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is manifest in every man’s experience. There is in his nature a bent to evil, a force which, unaided, he cannot resist.” –Education, p. 29.
5. Is this condition of defeat normal for a truly converted Christian?
Romans 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
“Through the power of Christ, men and women have broken the chains of sinful habit. They have renounced selfishness. The profane have become reverent, the drunken sober, the profligate pure. Souls that have borne the likeness of Satan have become transformed into the image of God. This change is in itself the miracle of miracles. A change wrought by the Word, it is one of the deepest mysteries of the Word.” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 476.
SAVED FROM CONDEMNATION
6. What great act of love took place on Calvary?
Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.
1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
“As man’s substitute and surety, 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 guilt of every descendant of Adam of every age was pressing upon His heart; and the wrath of God and the terrible manifestation of His displeasure because of iniquity, filled the soul of His Son with consternation. 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 who stilled the angry waves by His word and walked the foam-capped billows, who made devils tremble and disease flee from His touch, who raised the dead to life and opened the eyes of the blind, offers Himself upon the cross as the last sacrifice for man. He, the sin-bearer, endures judicial punishment for iniquity and becomes sin itself for man.” –The Story of Redemption, p. 225.
7. What is the joyful result of Christ’s sacrifice for us?
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
“They will no longer fashion themselves according to the former lusts, but by the faith of the Son of God they will follow in His steps, reflect His character, and purify themselves even as He is pure. The things they once hated they now love, and the things they once loved they hate. The proud and self-assertive become meek and lowly in heart. The vain and supercilious become serious and unobtrusive. The drunken become sober, and the profligate pure. The vain customs and fashions of the world are laid aside. Christians will seek not the ‘outward adorning,’ but ‘the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit.’ 1 Peter 3:3, 4.” –Steps to Christ, pp. 58, 59.
• In what situations do I attempt to overcome sin in my strength? Do I obtain victory?
• Do I grasp the Lord’s hand in daily trials?
• What are the requirements for living a life in harmony with God?
• In whom do I place my hope in my helpless situation?