Sabbath Bible Lessons

The Church and Her Mission
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Lesson 9 Sabbath, May 28, 2016

The Atoning Death of Christ (I)

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, . . . by which also ye are saved . . . how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:1–3).

“Hanging upon the cross Christ was the gospel. Now we have a message, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29). . . . This is our message, our argument, our doctrine, our warning to the impenitent, our encouragement for the sorrowing, the hope for every believer.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 6, p. 1113.

Suggested Reading:   The Desire of Ages, pp. 741–764.

Sunday May 22

1. A RANSOM IS FOUND

a. What provision did God make in the experience of the sacrifice of Isaac, and what significance does this have in human experience? Genesis 22:7–13; Job 33:24.

“The ram offered in the place of Isaac represented the Son of God, who was to be sacrificed in our stead. When man was doomed to death by transgression of the law of God, the Father, looking upon His Son, said to the sinner, ‘Live: I have found a ransom.’”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 154.

b. When was the provision made for the salvation of human race? Matthew 25:34; Revelation 13:8 (last part).

“The instant man . . . did the very things God had said he should not do, Christ, the Son of God, stood between the living and the dead, saying, ‘Let the punishment fall on Me. I will stand in man’s place. He shall have another chance.’”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 1, p. 1085.


Monday May 23

2. HOPE CENTERED IN A COMING SAVIOUR

a. From what height did Jesus come to die for the sins of humanity? 1 Timothy 6:14, 16; Philippians 2:6.

“[Jesus] had offered to give His life a ransom, to take the sentence of death upon Himself, that through Him man might find pardon; that through the merits of His blood, and obedience to the law of God, they could have the favor of God, and be brought into the beautiful garden, and eat of the fruit of the tree of life. . . .

“He would leave all His glory in heaven, appear upon earth as a man, humble Himself as a man. . . . He would die the cruelest of deaths, hung up between the heavens and the earth as a guilty sinner.”—Early Writings, pp. 149, 150.

b. What promise was given to Adam after he had sinned, and what significance did this pledge have? Genesis 3:15.

“[Genesis 3:15 quoted.] This sentence, uttered in the hearing of our first parents, was to them a promise. . . .

“Heavenly angels more fully opened to our first parents the plan that had been devised for their salvation. . . . The Son of God had offered to atone, with His own life, for their transgression. A period of probation would be granted them, and through repentance and faith in Christ they might again become the children of God.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 65, 66.

c. After sin entered the world, what system was introduced to Adam and his descendants and what was its purpose? Genesis 4:3–5; Hebrews 9:13, 14, 28.

“To fallen man was revealed the plan of infinite sacrifice through which salvation was to be provided. Nothing but the death of God’s dear Son could expiate man’s sin, and Adam marveled at the goodness of God in providing such a ransom for the sinner. . . . Through the institution of the typical system of sacrifice and offering, the death of Christ was ever to be kept before guilty man, that he might better comprehend the nature of sin, the results of transgression, and the merit of the divine offering.”—The Signs of the Times, February 20, 1893.


Tuesday May 24

3. SAVIOUR OF ALL HUMANITY

a. When the proper time came, what did the Father decide to do to deliver humanity from the bondage of sin? Galatians 4:4, 5. Whom did Christ come to this world to save? 1 Timothy 4:10; 1 John 4:14.

“[Christ] has suffered death for every man, and because of this He has a touching and profound interest in every man.”—Testimonies, vol. 9. p. 222.

“The Samaritans believed that the Messiah was to come as the Redeemer, not only of the Jews, but of the world. The Holy Spirit through Moses had foretold Him as a prophet sent from God. Through Jacob it had been declared that unto Him should the gathering of the people be; and through Abraham, that in Him all the nations of the earth should be blessed. On these scriptures the people of Samaria based their faith in the Messiah. . . .

“Jesus had begun to break down the partition wall between Jew and Gentile, and to preach salvation to the world.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 193.

b. In order to be the Saviour of the world, in what form did Christ come down to earth? Philippians 2:7, 8.

c. When Christ died for all humanity, what words of Jesus indicate to us that it was His humanity that died and not His divinity? John 10:17, 18.

“He who had said, ‘I lay down my life, that I might take it again’ (John 10:17), came forth from the grave to life that was in Himself. Humanity died; divinity did not die. In His divinity, Christ possessed the power to break the bonds of death. He declares that He has life in Himself to quicken whom He will.”—Selected Messages, bk1, p. 301.

“‘I am the resurrection, and the life’ (John 11:2). This language can be used only by the Deity. All created things live by the will and power of God. They are dependent recipients of the life of the Son of God. . . . They are replenished with life from the Source of all life. Only He who alone hath immortality, dwelling in light and life, could say, ‘I have power to lay down my life, and I have power to take it again.’”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 5, p. 1113.


Wednesday May 25

4. THE SECOND DEATH ABOLISHED FOR BELIEVERS

a. When the penalty of eternal death shall be inflicted upon those who reject Christ as their Saviour, what is it called, and why? Revelation 20:14; 21:8.

“’The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord’ (Romans 6:23). While life is the inheritance of the righteous, death is the portion of the wicked. Moses declared to Israel: ‘I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil’ (Deuteronomy 30:15). The death referred to in these scriptures is . . . ‘the second death’ that is placed in contrast with everlasting life.”—The Great Controversy, p. 544.

b. How did Jesus experience the feeling of despair of those who suffer the second death? Matthew 27:46; Hebrews 2:9.

“Christ felt much as sinners will feel when the vials of God’s wrath shall be poured out upon them. Black despair, like the pall of death, will gather about their guilty souls, and then they will realize to the fullest extent the sinfulness of sin. . . . If they refuse the heavenly benefit . . . , they have their choice, and at the end receive their wages, which is the wrath of God and eternal death. They will be forever separated from the presence of Jesus, whose sacrifice they had despised.”—Testimonies, vol. 2, p. 210.

c. Through death, what did Christ abolish for us, and what did He make possible for us? 2 Timothy 1:10; John 5:24; Revelation 2:11.

“Immortality, promised to man on condition of obedience, had been forfeited by transgression. . . . There could have been no hope for the fallen race had not God, by the sacrifice of His Son, brought immortality within their reach. . . . Every man may come into possession of this priceless blessing if he will comply with the conditions. All ‘who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality,’ will receive ‘eternal life’ (Romans 2:7).”—The Great Controversy, p. 533.


Thursday May 26

5. A WONDERFUL EXCHANGE

a. Why did Christ suffer the full penalty of sin when He was never guilty of any sin at all? 2 Corinthians 5:21; Titus 2:14.

“Jesus took humanity upon Him, and in so doing what honor He placed upon the race! He suffered as a man, He was tempted as men are tempted, yet without sin. He was made sin for us, though He knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”—The Review and Herald, November 18, 1890.

b. What does Christ offer to us in exchange for our sins? Romans 5:17.

“Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 25.

“We are not worthy of God’s love, but Christ, our surety, is worthy, and is abundantly able to save all who shall come unto Him. Whatever may have been your past experience, however discouraging your present circumstances, if you will come to Jesus just as you are, weak, helpless, and despairing, our compassionate Saviour will meet you a great way off, and will throw about you His arms of love and His robe of righteousness. . . . He pleads before God in our behalf, saying: I have taken the sinner’s place. Look not upon this wayward child, but look on Me. Does Satan plead loudly against our souls, accusing of sin, and claiming us as his prey, the blood of Christ pleads with greater power.”—Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings, p. 8.


Friday May 27

PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS

1. What was the purpose of God in giving humanity a second probation?

2. When Adam died at the age of 930 years, did he pay the penalty of his transgression mentioned in Genesis 2:17?

3. For whom did Jesus give His life on the cross?

4. What is the proof that Jesus did not abolish the first death?

5. If we exchange our sins for the righteousness of Christ, what must we also give Him, and what must we accept from Him?

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