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Manuscript Releases, vol. 17 [Nos. 1236-1300]

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    MR No. 1295—The Divine and Human Nature of Christ

    (This manuscript is composed of extracts from three testimonies, two written in 1890 and one written in 1887. The 1890 testimonies are: No. 16, datelined “Lynn, Massachusetts,” and No. 58, entitled, “God's Love for Man.” The 1887 testimony is from Ms No. 11, dated “Basle, Switzerland, March 10, 1887.”)

    Christ knows the sinner's trials. He knows his temptations. He has taken upon Himself our nature. He was tempted in [all] points like as we are, and He knows how to succor those who shall be tempted. He has wept, and He knows your sorrows, He has witnessed all your griefs. To all who believe and trust in him He will be as a hiding place from the wind and a covert from the tempest.17MR 336.1

    Those who claim that it was not possible for Christ to sin, cannot believe that He really took upon Himself human nature. But was not Christ actually tempted, not only by Satan in the wilderness, but all through His life, from childhood to manhood? In all points He was tempted as we are, and because He successfully resisted temptation under every form, He gave man the perfect example, and through the ample provision Christ has made, we may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption which is in the world through lust.17MR 336.2

    Jesus says, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” Here is the beginning of our confidence which we must hold steadfast unto the end. If Jesus resisted Satan's temptations, He will help us to resist. He came to bring divine power to combine with human effort.17MR 336.3

    Jesus was free from all sin and error; there was not a trace of imperfection in His life or character. He maintained spotless purity under circumstances the most trying. True, He declared, “There is none good but one, that is, God”; but again He said, “I and My Father are one.” Jesus speaks of Himself as well as the Father as God, and claims for Himself perfect righteousness.17MR 337.1

    In Christ dwelt the fullness of the Godhead bodily. This is why, although tempted in all points like as we are, He stood before the world, from His first entrance into it, untainted by corruption, though surrounded with it. Are we not also to become partakers of that fullness, and is it not this, and this only, that we can overcome as Christ overcame?17MR 337.2

    Why are we so dull of comprehension? Why do we not cling to Jesus, and draw from Him by faith the strength and perfection of His character as the vine-branch draws the sap from the living vine? We are to look to Jesus, and climb up step by step in the work of overcoming, as the temptations close us about. Abiding in Christ, we become one with Him. Then we are safe, entirely safe, against all the assaults of Satan. Christ living in the soul is revealed in the character. Man is nothing without Christ. But if Christ lives in us, we shall work the works of God. We shall represent Christ in our life. We shall talk of Christ because we meditate upon Him. We shall grow up into Christ to the full stature of men and women in spiritual understanding.17MR 337.3

    The love and justice of God, and also the immutability of His law, are made manifest by the Saviour's life no less than by His death. He assumed human nature, with its infirmities, its liabilities, its temptations. “Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses” [Matthew 8:17]. “In all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren” [Hebrews 2:17]. He was “in all points tempted like as we are” [Hebrews 2:14]. He exercised in His own behalf no power which man cannot exercise. As man he met temptation, and overcame in the strength given Him of God. He gives us an example of perfect obedience. He has provided that we may become partakers of the divine nature, and assures us that we may overcome as He overcame. His life testified that by the aid of the same divine power which Christ received, it is possible for man to obey God's law.17MR 337.4

    In Christ were united the divine and the human—the Creator and the creature. The nature of God, whose law had been transgressed, and the nature of Adam, the transgressor, meet in Jesus—the Son of God and the Son of man. And having with His own blood paid the price of redemption, having passed through man's experience, having in man's behalf met and conquered temptation, having, though Himself sinless, borne the shame and guilt and burden of sin, He becomes man's Advocate and Intercessor. What an assurance to the witnessing universe, that Christ will be “a merciful and faithful High Priest” [Hebrews 2:17].17MR 338.1

    The working out of the great plan of salvation, as manifest in the history of this world, is not only to men but to angels a revelation of the Father. Here is seen the work of Satan in the degradation and ruin of the race by sin, and, on the other hand, the work of God in man's recovery and uplifting through the grace of Christ. Every soul that develops a righteous character and withstands the power of the wicked one is a testimony to the falsehood of Satan's charges against the Divine government. Through the eternal ages the exaltation of the redeemed will be a testimony to God's love and mercy.17MR 338.2

    The apostle would call our attention from ourselves to the Author of our salvation. He presents before us His two natures, divine and human. Here is the description of the divine: “Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” He was “the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person.” Here is the human: “He was made in the likeness of man”; “found in fashion as a man.”17MR 338.3

    He was in all things like unto us. Though He was God, He did not appear as God. He veiled the manifestations of Deity, which had commanded the homage and called forth the admiration of the universe. He divested Himself of the form of God, and in its stead took the form of man. He laid aside His glory, and for our sakes became poor, that we through His poverty might be rich.17MR 339.1

    As a member of the human family, Jesus was mortal; but as God, He was the Fountain of Life to the world. He could in His divine person have withstood the advances of death, and refused to come under its dominion. He might even in His human nature have withstood the inroads of disease, His divine nature imparting vitality and undecaying vigor to the human. But He voluntarily laid down His life that He might give life, and bring immortality to light. He must bear the sins of the world, and endure the penalty that rolled like a mountain upon His divine soul. The whole treasure of heaven was poured out in one gift to save fallen man. The Saviour brought into His human nature all the life-giving energies that human beings may need and will receive. Wondrous union of man and God!17MR 339.2

    The Son of God entered into the plan for man's salvation, knowing all the steps that He must descend in order to make expiation for the sins of the burdened, groaning world. What humility was this! It amazed the angels. Tongue can never describe it, the imagination cannot take it in—the eternal Word consented to be made flesh; God became man. But He stepped still lower; the Man must humble Himself to bear insult, reproach, shameful accusations, and abuse.17MR 339.3

    It was not enough that Jesus should die in order to meet the demands of the broken law; it was needful for Him to die a shameful death. He says through the prophet, “I hid not My face from shame and spitting.” He stood as the substitute for man, who was under sentence as a traitor, a rebel. Hence Christ died as a malefactor, in the place of the traitors, with all their treasured sins upon His divine soul. “He was numbered with the transgressors.17MR 340.1

    All this He deemed of small account in view of the results that He was working out, in behalf, not only of the inhabitants of this speck of a world, but of the whole universe—every world that God had created. All this humility of the Majesty of Heaven was for guilty, condemned man. He went lower and lower in His humiliation until there was no lower depth that He could reach, in order to lift man up from his moral degradation.—Manuscript 141, 1901.17MR 340.2

    Ellen G. White Estate

    Washington, D. C.,

    September 3, 1987.

    Entire Manuscript.