Sabbath, November 18, 2006
“The same law that was engraved upon the tables of stone is written by the Holy Spirit upon the tables of the heart. Instead of going about to establish our own righteousness we accept the righteousness of Christ. His blood atones for our sins. His obedience is accepted for us. Then the heart renewed by the Holy Spirit will bring forth ‘the fruits of the Spirit.’ Through the grace of Christ we shall live in obedience to the law of God written upon our hearts.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 372.
FREEDOM FROM SLAVERY OF SIN–ONLY BY GRACE CAN WE OBEY
1. From which terrible slavery have we been released thanks to the great sacrifice of Jesus Christ?
Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
“Christ declares that even now the power which gives life to the dead is among them, and they are to behold its manifestation. This same resurrection power is that which gives life to the soul ‘dead in trespasses and sins.’ Eph. 2:1. That spirit of life in Christ Jesus, ‘the power of His resurrection,’ ‘sets men free from the law of sin and death.’ Phil. 3:10; Rom. 8:2. The dominion of evil is broken, and through faith the soul is kept from sin. He who opens his heart to the Spirit of Christ becomes a partaker of that mighty power which shall bring forth his body from the grave.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 209, 210.
2. Why cannot people in the old condition obtain the righteousness required by the law?
Romans 8:3, first part – For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh
Romans 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
“The law of God is as holy as He is holy, as perfect as He is perfect. It presents to men the righteousness of God. It is impossible for man, of himself, to keep this law; for the nature of man is depraved, deformed, and wholly unlike the character of God. The works of the selfish heart are ‘as an unclean thing;’ and ‘all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.’ Isaiah 64:6.” –Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 54.
THE SECRET OF JESUS CHRIST AS MAN
3. What did God do to impart righteousness to man? What nature did Christ have when He lived with humanity?
Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.
Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
“For four thousand years the race had been decreasing in physical strength, in mental power, and in moral worth; and Christ took upon Him the infirmities of degenerate humanity. Only thus could He rescue man from the lowest depths of his degradation. …
“If we have in any sense a more trying conflict than had Christ, then He would not be able to succor us. But our Saviour took humanity, with all its liabilities. He took the nature of man, with the possibility of yielding to temptation. We have nothing to bear which He has not endured.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 117.
“Clad in the vestments of humanity, the Son of God came down to the level of those he wished to save. In him was no guile or sinfulness; he was ever pure and undefiled; yet he took upon him our sinful nature. Clothing his divinity with humanity, that he might associate with fallen humanity, he sought to redeem for man that which by disobedience Adam had lost, for himself and for the world.” –The Review and Herald, August 22, 1907.
“But Christ came in the form of humanity, and by His perfect obedience He proved that humanity and divinity combined can obey every one of God’s precepts.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 314.
4. What is the secret of true success?
Mark 1:35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.
Luke 5:16 And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.
Luke 6:12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
“As a man He supplicated the throne of God till His humanity was charged with a heavenly current that should connect humanity with divinity. Through continual communion He received life from God, that He might impart life to the world. His experience is to be ours.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 363.
LIFE AND PEACE THROUGH THE NEW BIRTH
5. How can this victory over sin, which Christ won while in the likeness of sinful flesh, occur in the life of a Christian?
John 3:3, 5, 7 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God… Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God… Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
6. Of what victory may we be assured if we are in Christ?
Romans 8:4, 6 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit…. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
“Every child lives by the life of his father. If you are God’s children, begotten by His Spirit, you live by the life of God. In Christ dwells ‘all the fullness of the Godhead bodily’ (Colossians 2:9); and the life of Jesus is made manifest ‘in our mortal flesh’ (2 Corinthians 4:11). That life in you will produce the same character and manifest the same works as it did in Him. Thus you will be in harmony with every precept of His law; for ‘the law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul.’ Psalm 19:7, margin. Through love ‘the righteousness of the law’ will be ‘fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’ Romans 8:4.” –Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 78.
LONGING FOR HEAVEN
7. I n chapter six, Paul emphasized the battle against the flesh, with which Christ dealt. What relationship is there between this struggle and future glory?
Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
8. What do mankind and the animal kingdom long for?
Romans 8:22, 23 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
• How do I express my gratitude for liberation from death?
• Is communion with God a fountain of blessing for me?
• Do love and gratitude to Christ cause me to obey His commandments with joy, or do I keep them out of a sense of obligation?