October 17 - 23
Emmanuel-God With Us
READ FOR THIS WEEK'S STUDY: John 1:1-3, 10, 11; 3:16, 17; Phil. 2:9-11; 1 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 2:14, 15; Rev 5:9.
MEMORY TEXT: "'Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,' which is translated, 'God with us'" (Matthew 1:23).
KEY THOUGHT: Entirely through Their own initiative, the Godhead arranged for One among Them to become a human being. They did so in order to (1) provide us with our Substitute and Surety, (2) make God's ways plain, (3) restore us to our pre-sin perfection, and (4) settle the debate about God's Justice.
HUMANKIND NEEDED GOD, AND GOD EARNESTLY SOUGHT THE RETURN OF HIS WAYWARD CHILDREN. That was why He came to earth. Without His coming, we would be eternally doomed.
God came to earth in a vastly different form from what people expected. Not even God's chosen people looked for the Saviour to come in poverty and humility. They looked for greatness above good ness, for majesty above meekness, for power above poverty, for state liness above sacrifice.
Emmanuel was God in the truest and fullest sense. He was God in heart and God in everyday life. He was in human flesh all the love of God and the revelation of all His goodness. This was Jesus, the son of Mary, the Son of GodEmmanuel.
This week, meet Jesus again as if it were the first time. Renew your commitment to Him and let Him renew your life.
What three things do we learn about Jesus from John 1:1, 2?
John's language is simple but deep. We need to study these verses in great detail to draw out their full meaning. For instance, do you fully understand the expression the Word? Do you see how important the Word is? We really do not know Jesus unless we recognize His divinity, His part in Creation, His relation to the Father, and what He has done for humanity.
Jesus is the Word of God. The Word is an expression of God. Through Jesus, God expressed Himself to angels and to humans. In Jesus we find the expression of the inmost, the dearest, the most vital, the most enduring thoughts of God. Jesus is so completely identified with His Father that He can be considered His Word.
When Philip wanted Jesus to reveal the Father, Jesus answered, "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" (John 14:9, NIV). When we become acquainted with Jesus, we become acquainted with God. If we desire to become acquainted with the love, the goodness, the ways of God, there is no better way than to become acquainted with Christ. He is God's very word, a perfect expression of His Father.
How do we know that the Father and the Son are distinct Persons? Matt. 3:17; John 20:17. What does Their distinctness, as well as Their union, teach us?
Because of the complete identification between God and Jesus, between Father and Son, there are those who look upon Them as one and the same Person. But that is not true. Jesus was a perfect expres sion of God. But He was a separate Person from the Father.
|Why did Philip, why would anyone, want to see the Father? Why do you want to see the Father? If you were in Philip's place, how would you have felt about Christ's response?|
What great doctrine of the Christian faith do we find in John 1:3?
Christ's creation of the world was an event of outstanding importance to every human being, to all created beings.
"It was Christ that spread the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth. It was His hand that hung the worlds in space, and fashioned the flowers of the field.... It was He that filled the earth with beauty, and the air with song. And upon all things in earth, and air, and sky, He wrote the message of the Father's love."The Desire of Ages, p. 20. "When God said to His son, 'Let us make man in our image,' Satan was jealous of Jesus. He wished to be consulted concerning the formation of man, and because he was not, he was filled with envy, jealousy, and hatred....
"Until this time all heaven had been in order, harmony, and perfect subjection to the government of God."Early Writings, p. 145. Now, however, the harmony of heaven was broken. Satan was cast out to take up his abode in the newly created world, purposing to carry his rebellion throughout the universe. He enticed humans, created in the image of God, into disobedience. Thus they lost their innocence and happiness and were doomed to suffer the penalty of death. God, however, still loved them. So He created a plan whereby He could reclaim them from sin and restore them to loyalty and holiness. Jesus came to the world to save it.
What do the following verses tell us about Christ, the world's Creator?
John 1:10 ________________________________________________________
1 Cor. 8:6 ________________________________________________________
Eph. 3:9 _________________________________________________________
Describe the reception Jesus received when He came. John 1:11. Why is this still often the case? John 7:7.
The scene is beyond understanding, almost beyond belief. Here was something that must not be, that just could not happen. But it did.
|If Jesus knew He would be rejected, why did He come? What does this tell us about His feelings for us?|
What motivated Christ to come to our world in the form of humanity? What was His purpose for coming? John 3:16, 17.
The love of God portrayed in John 3:16 can be divided as follows:
The Breadth: "God so loved the world"
The Length: "that He gave His only begotten Son"
The Depth: "that whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish" The Height: "but shall have everlasting Life. "Encyclopedia of 7,700 Illustrations, p. 496.
In the plan for our salvation, there was complete unity between the Father and the Son. God sent the Son. And the Son volunteered to go. The results of this unity of purpose and effort was the death of Jesus and the offer of eternal salvation to us.
In John 10, what facts did Jesus present to show the close unity that exists between Him and the Father?
verse 15 _________________________________________________________
verse 17 _________________________________________________________
verse 30 _________________________________________________________
verse 36 _________________________________________________________
In the relationship between the Father and the Son, there is always the closest possible unity in everything. This is true in thought and purpose, in plan and effort.
"Jesus is the revealer of God. In all that he says and does God is speaking through him. If they [His listeners] have not the spiritual perception to read the revelation in his whole conduct, if they cannot hear the divine voice in his message, at least they ought to be able to know and understand the 'signs' discernible in his mighty works. These tell that the Father is in me and I am in the Father (vs. 38)."The Interpreter's Bible (Nashville, Tenn.: Abingdon Press, 1956), vol. 8, pp. 634, 635.
|What implications does the unity of the Father and the Son have for you if you are in Christ? How should this affect your daily life and witness?|
What change did God the Son accept when He came into the world? What were the results of this change? Heb. 2:14, 15; 2 Cor. 5:21.
The change ________________________________________________________
The results ________________________________________________________
It is a great mystery that the God of heaven appeared on earth in the form of human flesh (1 Tim. 3:16). The God who created the world made the dust that composes the earth. God formed humankind of the dust. Yet God became human when He came to earth. That mystery is the very heart of Christianity. That mystery is also the fulfillment of prophecy. (See Matt. 1:21-23; Isa. 7:14.)
Human ears could not have heard a more joyful or important message. God was to come down from heaven to earth to live as a human. The Son of God was to become the Son of humankind so children of earth might again become children of God (John 1:12). Divinity became humanity in order that sinful humanity might be accepted by God and restored to His image.
Jesus came to earth at a time when humanity had sunk to the lowest depths of vice and iniquity. He took on human flesh after it had been weakened by thousands of years of wickedness. But never once was He overcome by evil. He came both to die for us and to show us how to live with the help of His divine power. As He was victorious against the powers of evil, so He wanted us to know that we also could be victorious. "He gave His only-begotten Son to come to earth, to take the nature of man, not only for the brief years of life, but to retain his nature in the heavenly courts, an everlasting pledge of the faithfulness of God. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and love of God! 'Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God' (1 John 3:1)."Selected Messages, book 1, p. 258.
"Through faith in Christ we become members of the royal family, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. In Christ we are one."Selected Messages, book 1, p. 258.
Why might it have been harder for Jesus to live on earth than for you and me?
|Earlier, it was said that God's coming to earth as a human is the heart of the Christian faith. Is it the heart of your faith? If not, how can you make it so?|
Of what seven things is our Redeemer worthy, and why? Rev. 5:12.
Revelation 5:12 is the chorus of praise and victory sung by the redeemed as they stand about the throne at Christ's final coronation. (See The Great Controversy, p. 671.) The saints are there because Christ has redeemed them from death. They were sinners, doomed to eternal death. But now they enjoy eternal life and glory because Jesus paid the price for their redemption. That price was His life and blood. He died that they might live. He gave up all that they might inherit all. He came from heaven in order that heaven might be theirs eternally. He came from heaven to earth that earth itself might become heaven. He left His position on the throne with His Father that the redeemed might reign in glory. Now they give Jesus, crowned universal King, the universal acclaim He deserves.
How does 1 Peter 1:18, 19 assure us of our salvation in Christ? How does this verse assure us of our inestimable worth? How does it affect our sense of self-worth in Christ?
Christ is the "Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). He is the provision that God had made before the Creation of the world (1 Pet. 1:20; Rev. 13:8). This is an important concept to consider. God is not Creator first and Redeemer second. He did not become Redeemer after Adam had sinned. He planned for redemption before creating humankind. It is not that we want to limit God by a time factor. But it is important to recognize in Him an eternal Redeemer, as well as an eternal Creator.
Satan laid hold to the claim, "prince of this world." Jesus came to earth to dispute that claim and to redeem us from the enemy's hold. As He faced the cross, He said, "'Now is the hour of judgment for this world; now shall the Prince of this world be driven out. And I shall draw all men to myself, when I am lifted up from the earth.' This he said to indicate the kind of death he was to die" (John 12:31-33, NEB). Christ's death on the cross purchased eternal life for the righteous and ensured a just judgment for the wicked. The hour of humankind's redemption by the blood of Christ is your great hour of destiny.
|Imagine yourself with the multitude, singing the words of Revelation 5:12. What do you see? How do you feel? Determine now, that by God's grace, you will be there!|
FURTHER STUDY: In view of what Christ has done, how should we respond to Him? Read Philippians 2:9-11. To learn what the Lamb will do for the victorious saints, read Revelation 7:17. Also see The Great Controversy, pp. 666, 669-671.
"All who have borne with Jesus the cross of sacrifice will be sharers with Him of His glory. It was the joy of Christ in His humilia tion and pain that His disciples should be glorified with Him. They are the fruit of His self-sacrifice. The outworking in them of His own character and spirit is His reward, and will be his joy throughout eternity. This joy they share with Him as the fruit of their labor and sacrifice is seen in other hearts and lives. They are workers together with Christ, and the Father will honor them as He honors His Son."The Desire of Ages, p. 624.
SUMMARY: At precisely the right time and in the right way, the three Members of the Godhead put into operation a plan They had devised before the world was created. They surrendered a portion of Themselvesthe Divine Sonto become the Saviour of the world. (See Gal. 4:4; 1 Pet. 1:18-21.) Is He your Saviour today?
J. H. Zachary
Garneita Goffar and her husband moved into their new apartment in a large condominium complex in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Garneita wondered how she could share her faith with her new neighbors. The condo community was home to many retired people. Taxis drove up often to pick up or deliver one of the residents who did not have a car. As Garneita watched one taxi pull away from the curb she thought, I could offer to drive people to their appointments. She prepared a notice for the community bulletin board. "Please give me a call if you need a ride to an appointment." She listed her name, apartment number, and telephone number.
The first callers were hesitant. Was it safe to ride with a stranger-even one who lived in the same building?
But soon word spread that Garneita was a kind neighbor willing to help others, and she began to get regular requests to drive to doctor appointments, the airport, or the shopping mall. "It took many trips in my car before my neighbors learned to trust me," Garneita reported.
Finally one curious neighbor asked, "Why are you doing this? Are you a Christian?" Garneita answered that she was, and the rider responded with a big smile and another question. "Would you be willing to study the Bible with me?"
One day Garneita saw a woman struggling to move a stack of boxes into a nearby apartment. Garneita understood the challenges the woman faced. She greeted her new neighbor with a smile and an offer. "Welcome to the community! I live a couple of doors away. May I wash your windows while you are unpacking your things?" The surprised woman gratefully accepted her offer of help, and the two women spent several hours working together.
A few days later the new neighbor commented to Garneita, "You are different. Are you a Christian?" When Garneita answered that she was, the new neighbor asked, "Why don't we start a Bible study group?"
Garneita praises God for opening the door to a unique witness to her neighbors. She requests prayers for the condo Bible studies she has begun with several neighbors.
J. H. Zachary is international evangelism coordinator for The Quiet Hour.
Join the SSNET moderated email discussion group. You are also warmly invited to join a group discussion of this lesson Sabbath morning with your local Seventh-Day Adventist congregation.
Editorial Office: 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver
Spring, MD 20904.
Principal Contributor: Edwin R. Thiele
Editor: Philip G. Samaan
Associate Editor: Lyndelle Brower Chiomenti
Editorial Assistant: Soraya Homayouni Parish
Art and Design: Lars Justinen
Pacific Press Coordinator: Glen Robinson
Copyright © 1998 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist. All Rights Reserved.
This page is Netscape
SSNET Web Site Home page.
Directory of adult SS quarterly Bible Study guides.
Prepared for the Internet by the SSNET
Last updated September 30, 1998.