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The Doctrine of Christ

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    LESSON EIGHTY-FOUR God’s Eternal Purpose

    1. God created man for his glory, and the earth to be inhabited by man, who should have dominion over all upon the earth. Isaiah 43:6, 7; 45:18; Genesis 1:26.TDOC 266.1

    2. After the first Adam had betrayed his trust and had yielded his dominion to Satan, God sent his Son as the last Adam to recover the lost dominion. Luke 19:10; Galatians 4:4, 5; 1 Corinthians 15:25, 45-49.TDOC 266.2

    3. God’s original purpose that the world should be ruled by man will be realized, but it will be through “the second man,” who takes the place of “the first man.” Psalm 2:7-9; 115:16; Ephesians 1:7-10. (The tenth verse has been rendered thus: “To unite all things under one head in union with Christ.” The Greek word rendered “to gather together” in the Authorized Version and “to sum up” in the Revised Version, corresponds to our English word “recapitulate.”) Daniel 7:13, 14; Revelation 11:15.TDOC 266.3

    4. In order that God’s purpose for man may be carried out, his Son will retain his humanity forever, and always be the Son of man:TDOC 266.4

    a. He ascended to heaven in his human form. Luke 24:51.TDOC 266.5

    b. Stephen recognized him by his earthly name. Acts 7:55.TDOC 266.6

    c. When he appeared to Saul, he called himself by his earthly name. Acts 9:5.TDOC 266.7

    d. When John saw him in vision, he recognized him, as “the Son of man.” Revelation 1:13.TDOC 266.8

    e. In his last words to us through the apostle John he refers to himself as “Jesus the root and the offspring of David.” Revelation 22:16.TDOC 266.9

    The controversy between Christ and Satan repeated in every heart

    “Many look on this conflict between Christ and Satan as having no special bearing on their own life; and for them it has little interest. But within the domain of every human heart this controversy in repeated. Never does one leave the ranks of evil for the service of God without encountering the assaults of Satan. The enticements which Christ resisted, were those that we find it so difficult to withstand. They ware urged upon him in as much greater degree as his character is superior to ours. With the terrible weight of the sins of the world upon him, Christ withstood the test upon appetite, upon the love of the world, and upon that love of display which leads to presumption. These were the temptations that overcame Adam and Eve, and that so readily overcome us.TDOC 267.1

    Adam’s failure redeemed in our humanity

    “Satan had pointed to Adam’s sin as proof that God’s law was unjust, and could not be obeyed. In our humanity, Christ was to redeem Adam’s failure. But when Adam was assailed by the tempter, none of the effects of sin were upon him. He stood in the strength of perfect manhood, possessing the fun vigor of mind and body. He was surrounded with the glories of Eden, and was in daily communion with heavenly beings. It was not thus with Jesus when he entered the wilderness to cope with Satan. 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.TDOC 267.2

    We bear nothing that Jesus did not bear

    “Many claim that it was impossible for Christ to be overcome by temptation. Then he could not have been placed in Adam’s position; he could not have gained the victory that Adam failed to gain. If we have in any sense a more trying conflict than had Christ, then he would not be able to succor us. But our Savior 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.”TDOC 267.3

    Where ruin began there redemption must begin

    “With Christ as with the holy pair in Eden, appetite was the ground of the first great temptation. Just where the ruin began, the work of our redemption must begin. As by the indulgence of appetite Adam fen, so by the denial of appetite Christ must overcome. ‘And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.TDOC 267.4

    But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’TDOC 268.1

    “From the time of Adam to that of Christ, self-indulgence had increased the power of the appetites and passions, until they had almost unlimited control. Thus men had, become debased and diseased, and of themselves it was impossible for them to overcome. In man’s behalf, Christ conquered by enduring, the severest test. For our sake he exercised a self-control stronger than hunger or death. And in this first victory were involved other issues that enter into all our conflicts with the powers of darkness.”-The Desire of Ages, 125, 126.TDOC 268.2

    Christ’s a work of restoration

    Christ’s work is essentially a work of restoration. The Christ is not simply the climax of the past-the Son of man and the recapitulation of humanity, as man is of the creatures below him, summing up human development and lifting it to a higher stage though he is all that. Christ rehabilitates man and the world. He reasserts the original ground of our being, as that exists in God. He carries us and the world forward out of sin and death, by carrying us back, to God’s ideal. The new world is the old world repaired, and in its reparation infinitely enhanced-rich in the memories of redemption, in the fruit of penitence and the discipline of suffering, in the lessons of the cross.”TDOC 268.3

    The subjection of all powers to Christ

    “The gathering into one of this text [Ephesians 1:10] includes the reconciliation of Colossians 1:20, and more. It signifies, beside removal of the enmities which are the effect of sin (Ephesians 2:14, 16), thee subjection of all powers in heaven and earth to the rule of Christ (verses 21, 22), the enlightenment of the angelic magnates as to God’s dealings with men (3:9, 10), in fine, the rectification and adjustment of the several parts of the great whole of things, bringing them into full accord with each other and with their Creator’s will. What St. Paul looks forward to is, in a word, the organization of the universe upon a Christian basis. This reconstitution of things is provided for and is being effected ‘in the Christ.’ He is the rallying point of the forces of peace and blessing. The organic principle, the organizing head, the creative nucleus of the new creation is there. The potent germ of life eternal has been introduced into the world’s chaos; and its victory over the elements of disorder and death is assured.”TDOC 268.4

    Nothing to warrant any in presuming on the mercy of God

    There is nothing in this text to warrant any man presuming on the mercy or the sovereignty of God, nothing to justify us in supposing that, deliberately refusing to be reconciled to God in Christ, we shall yet be reconciled in the end, despite ourselves.TDOC 268.5

    “St. Paul assures us that God and the world will be reunited, and that peace will reign through all realms and orders of existence. He does not, and he could not say that none will exclude themselves from the eternal kingdom. Making men free, God bas made it, possible for them to contradict him, so long as they have any being. The apostle’s words have their note of warning, along with their boundless promise. There is no place in the future order of things for aught that is out of Christ. There is no standing ground anywhere for the unclean and the unjust, for the irreconcilable rebel against God. ‘The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend and them that do iniquity.’TDOC 269.1

    “In Christ dying, risen, reigning, God the Father has raised believing men to a new heavenly life. From the first inception of the work of grace to its consummation, God thinks of men, speaks to them, and deals with them in Christ.”TDOC 269.2

    Christ has achieved more than recovery from ruin

    “By his life and his death, Christ has achieved even more than recovery from the ruin wrought through sin. It was Satan’s purpose to bring about an eternal separation between God and man; but in Christ we become more closely united to God than if we had never fallen. In taking our nature, the Savior has bound himself to humanity by a tie that is never to be broken. Through the eternal ages he is linked with us. ‘God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son.’ He gave him not only to bear our sins, and to die as our sacrifice; he gave him to the fallen race. To assure us of his immutable counsel of peace, God gave his only begotten Son to become one of the human family, forever to retain his human nature. This the pledge that God will fulfill his word. ‘Unto us a child is born; unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder.’ God has adopted human nature in the person of his Son, and has carried the same into the highest heaven. It is the ‘Son of man’ who shares the throne of the universe. It is the ‘Son of man’ whose name shall be called ‘Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.’ The I AM is the Daysman between God and humanity, laying his hand upon both. He who is ‘holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners,’ is not ashamed to call us brethren. In Christ the family of earth and the family of heaven are bound together. Christ glorified is our brother. Heaven is enshrined in humanity, and humanity is enfolded in the bosom of Infinite Love.”-The Desire of Ages, 26, 27.TDOC 269.3

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