Lesson 1 – The Personality of God

////Lesson 1 – The Personality of God
Lesson 1 – The Personality of God2016-11-27T17:37:02+00:00

Sabbath, January 5, 2008

Introduction

The subject of study of these Sabbath School Lessons is the Epistle to the Hebrews written by Apostle Paul from Italy. It is highly probable that he wrote this epistle after being released from his first imprisonment by Emperor Nero.

There are 26 lessons based on the 13 chapters of this epistle studied verse by verse. Sometimes Apostle Paul repeats certain expressions; nevertheless, we proceeded from the first to the last verse according to our 26 lessons. We have added a good number of statements from the Spirit of Prophecy which fully support the teaching of the Apostle and his explanation of the relation between the Levitical priesthood and the priesthood according to the order of Melchizedek.

In the early Christian times many Jewish people accepted the gospel of Christ and were baptized according to the baptism introduced by Jesus and were called Christians. With time many of these Christians began losing their strong faith in Jesus being influenced by the teaching of the leaders of the Jewish nation, that Christ cannot be a priest because he was not of the family of Aaron. This is why Apostle Paul undertook a thorough study of this subject and proved by ancient prophecy that the Son of God will forever be a priest according to the order of Melchizedek. His research of the Old Testament demonstrated that the sanctuary services in the Mosaic system could avail nothing in the matter of salvation of sinful humanity. There is but one man, Jesus Christ, who died and shed His blood outside the walls of Jerusalem for everyone who accepts Him as his personal Savior.

This theme of the Apostle Paul is deep and persuasive and requires our diligent study and understanding of the plan of salvation designed by God before the creation of this world. The Mosaic system was used temporarily to symbolize the great sacrifice made by God in giving His only begotten Son to this world that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Abraham’s intended sacrifice of Isaac shows how deep was the struggle in his soul before he was stopped by the angel from killing Isaac. Apostle Paul used this example to show us that God made His sacrifice for humanity by giving His only begotten Son but not without any struggle in Himself. The very plan required that Christ be born in a human body which had been degrading for 4000 years since the creation. And being a man, He was tempted in all points as we are which carried in itself the possibility that Christ could commit any kind of error or sin and so be lost forever. While Christ was on the cross, not one angel or human was permitted to help him and it appeared that even His Father had forsaken Him. That was the real sacrifice which we need to understand and appreciate, and preach it with all our hearts as our sacred duty.

We wish all our members and friends who will study these lessons God’s richest blessings so that we can understand what God did for us and what we should return to Him out of gratitude for His great sacrifice.

 

– The Brethren of the General Conference

 

 

“He

[Christ] represented God not as an essence that pervaded nature, but as a God who has a personality. Christ was the express image of His Father’s person; and He came to our world to restore in man God’s moral image, in order that man, although fallen, might through obedience to God’s commandments become enstamped with the divine image and character–adorned with the beauty of divine loveliness (MS 24, 1891).”
Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 921.

SUPREMACY OF CHRIST OVER THE PROPHETS

1. How did God communicate with His people on this earth in ancient times?
Hebrews 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets.

2. How did God reveal Himself to humanity in the New Testament times? What position was held by that Being?
Hebrews 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.

“The Scriptures clearly indicate the relation between God and Christ, and they bring to view as clearly the personality and individuality of each.

‘God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son; . . . who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; being made so much better than the angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said He at any time.‘Thou art My Son, This day have I begotten Thee? And again, I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son?’ Hebrews 1:1-5.’” – The Ministry of Healing, p. 421.

3. What attributes and acts are ascribed to the Son of God?
Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.

CHRIST IS SUPERIOR TO ANGELS

4. What difference always existed between the Son of God and the angels?
Hebrews 1:4, 7 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they… And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.
Revelation 22:8, 9 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

THOU ART MY SON, THIS DAY HAVE I BEGOTTEN THEE

5. In what unique event was the prophecy of Psalm 2:7 fulfilled?
Psalm 2:7 I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my son; this day have I begotten thee.
Romans 1:2-4 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.

“This statement must not be construed as implying an original generation of the Son. ‘In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived’ (DA 530). The Bible is its own best interpreter. Inspired writers must be permitted to make the precise application of Old Testament prophecies. All other applications are human opinion, and as such lack a plain ‘Thus saith the Lord’. The inspired apostle’s comment on the prophecy of this text makes the psalmist’s words a prediction of the resurrection of Jesus (Acts 13:30-33). The resurrection from the dead in a unique way proclaimed Jesus to be the Son of God (Rom. 1:4).” – Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 3, p. 634.

6. What do the Scriptures say about the possibility that God had promoted an angel to be His Son?
Hebrews 1:5, 13 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? … But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?

“The anticipated answer to the question is, ‘God never called an angel ‘my Son,’ neither did He ever invite one to sit at His right hand–to share His position and prerogatives.’” – Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 401.

7. What promise was given to the Son of God?
Hebrews 1:6, 8, 9 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him…But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.
Psalm 45:6 Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.

“The relation between Jehovah and the Messiah is such that any request of the Son would be granted. The utter futility of any attempt of the rebels to overthrow the government of the Anointed One is emphasized. As heir, the Son inherits all things, and is thus able to share them with us as heirs together with Him (See on Rom. 8:17).” – Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, p. 634.

8. What creative power was promised to the Son of God in ancient prophecy?
Hebrews 1:10-12 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
Psalms 102: 25-27 Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.

FOR ADDITIONAL STUDY

“Jesus seldom referred to Himself by the title ‘Son of God’ (John 9:35-37; 10:36), though He often implied the Father and Son relationship (Matt. 11:27; Luke 10:21; John 5:18-23; 10:30; 14:28; etc.). Before stepping ‘down from the throne of the universe’ (See DA 23; PP 64) Christ was ‘equal with God’ (Phil. 2:6), ‘one with the Father’ (DA 19; see also John 10:30). At the incarnation He voluntarily humbled Himself and accepted a position subordinate to the Father (Phil. 2:7; Heb. 2:9). Various statements by Christ while here on earth testify to His voluntary and temporary surrender of the prerogatives, though not the nature, of Deity (Phil. 2:6-8), as when He said, ‘My Father is greater than I’ (John 14:28), or, ‘The Son can do nothing of himself’ (John 5:19). See on Luke 2:49.

“The Father attested Christ’s Sonship at His birth (Luke 1:35; Heb. 1:5, 6), at His baptism (Luke 3:22), at His transfiguration (Luke 9:35), and again at His resurrection (Ps. 2:7; Acts 13:32, 33; Rom. 1:4). John the Baptist also bore witness to Him as the ‘Son of God’ (John 1:34), and the Twelve came to recognize Him as such (Matt. 14:33; 16:16). Even the evil spirits admitted that He was the Son of God (Mark 3:11; 5:7). After healing the man born blind, Christ testified before the leaders that He was the ‘Son of God’ (John 10:35-37). It was His admission to being indeed the ‘Son of God’ that finally brought about His condemnation and death (Luke 22:70, 71).

‘ Father, and he shall be to me a Son’ (Heb. 1:5). And of one who by faith is adopted into the heavenly family as a son of ‘our Father,’ God says again, ‘I will be his God, and he shall be my son’ (Rev. 21:7). He who is truly ‘begotten of God’ (1 John 5:18) ‘overcometh the world’ (v. 4) as Christ did, and ‘sinneth not’ (v. 18). The grand objective of the plan of salvation is to bring ‘many sons unto glory’ (Heb. 2:10; cf. 1 John 3:1, 2). See Additional Note on John 1; see on Matt. 16:16-20; Mark 2:10; Luke 2:49.”—Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, pp. 683, 684.

“In this language is represented the omnipotence of the Lord Jesus. He is introduced to the Bible student as the Creator of the world, and was its rightful Ruler. [Heb. 1:13, 14 quoted.]

“The first chapter of Hebrews contrasts the position of the angels and the position of Christ. God has spoken words concerning Christ that are not to be applied to the angels. They are ‘sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation,’ but Christ, as Mediator, is the great Minister in the work of redemption. The Holy Spirit is His representative in our world, to execute the divine purpose of bringing to fallen man power from above, that he may be an overcomer. All who enter into a covenant with Jesus Christ become by adoption the children of God. They are cleansed by the regenerating power of the Word, and angels are commissioned to minister unto them (MS 57, 1907).”—Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, p. 922.

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