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A202 The Life of Jesus

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Christ’s life fulfilled prophecy, performed miracles, ministered to the needy, healed the sick, taught hope and salvation, touched all humanity of every era.

AH 178 “The life of Jesus is full of kindness and love.”

John 1:4 “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.”

FE 456 “The Lord Jesus teaches us what He is to us, and what advantage it will be to us individually to eat His words, realizing that He himself is the great centre of our life, “The words that I speak unto you,” He said, “they are spirit, and they are life.”

The written “Word” is the Life of Jesus – from eternity to eternity.  But in the middle of those two eternities we have an event set in parenthesis during which the Godhead deals with sin.  During the whole parenthetical event all of heaven looks on in awe to follow the events of the life of Christ, the “Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” John 1:14, — Christ, the ultimate gift of God to provide an escape for a lost race, of a divine/human life that centres – in the cross of Calvary.  God, – revealed in humanity.

His Life Imparting Life

“Jesus Christ, — the great central fact in the world’s history.  To him everything looks forward or backward.  All the lines of history converge upon him.  All the great purposes of God culminate in him.  The greatest and most momentous fact which the history of the world records is the fact of the birth”, life and sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“When Christ is the centre of your focus, all else will come into proper perspective.” Bible Illustrator

“The written Word points to the Living Word and says to us, “Go to Jesus.” If we do not go to the Jesus to whom it points, we miss the whole purpose of Bible reading. … We love the Bible because we love Him of whom it speaks.” John R. W. Stott, Bible Illustrator

“Jesus Christ as the Son of God reveals what God is like, and as the Son of Man reveals what man is to be like.” Oswald Chambers.  “Jesus Christ: the condescension of divinity and the exaltation of humanity.” Phillips Brooks (1835-1893).  “The birth of Christ brought God to man, but it took the cross of Christ to bring man to God.” Bible Illustrator

Christ’s Life Stages the Centre of Eternity

GW 156 “Of all professing Christians, Seventh-day Adventists should be foremost in uplifting Christ before the world.  The proclamation of the third angel’s message calls for the presentation of the Sabbath truth.  This truth, with others included in the message, is to be proclaimed; but the great centre of attraction, Christ Jesus, must not be left out.  It is at the cross of Christ that mercy and truth meet together, and righteousness and peace kiss each other.”

–His Life Makes Reconciliation–

RH, June 5, 1900 “I [Jesus] will be the great centre to draw all men to God.”

ST, August 17, 1891 “The cross of Christ is to be the great centre round which everything must revolve.  Everything else must be in subordination to it.  The cross is planted midway between divinity and humanity, between heaven and earth.  It never moves nearer the earth.  All things concerning the salvation of man must lie in the shadow of the cross.”

LHU 230 “The cross of Calvary challenges, and will finally vanquish every earthly and hellish power.  In the cross all influence centres, and from it all influence goes forth.  It is the great centre of attraction; for on it Christ gave up His life for the human race.  This sacrifice was offered for the purpose of restoring man to his original perfection.  Yea, more, it was offered to give him an entire transformation of character, making him more than a conqueror.  Those who in the strength of Christ overcome the great enemy of God and man will occupy a position in the heavenly courts above angels who have never fallen.”

Jesus set His course.  His life was to determine saving of a lost race.

Reflecting Christ, p 58 “Christ entered upon His mission of mercy, and from the manger to the cross was beset by the enemy.  Satan contested every inch of ground, exerting his utmost power to overcome Him. Like a tempest temptation after temptation beat upon Him.  But the more mercilessly they fell, the more firmly did the Son of God cling to the hand of His Father, and press on in the bloodstained path.”

RH, July 16, 1901When the Redeemer came to this world, His path from the manger to the cross was marked with pain and sorrow.  At every step He encountered the enemy, who sought in every way to turn Him from His purpose of love.  And Satan works against Christians today as he worked against their Leader.  He who in Eden used Eve to tempt Adam, uses men in this age to tempt their fellow men.”

The Purpose of Jesus’ Life

“Jesus Christ came to do what no human being can do: he came to redeem men, to alter their disposition, to plant in them the Holy Spirit, to make them new creatures. Christianity is not the obliteration of the old, but the transfiguration of the old. Jesus Christ did not come to teach men to be holy, he came to make men holy. His teaching has no meaning for us unless we enter into his life by means of his death. The cross is the great central point.” Oswald Chambers (1874-1917), Bible Illustrator

PP 68, 69 “But the plan of redemption had a yet broader and deeper purpose than the salvation of man.  It was not for this alone that Christ came to the earth; it was not merely that the inhabitants of this little world might regard the law of God as it should be regarded; but it was to vindicate the character of God before the universe. …”

Paramount in Christ’s mind – “always I do the will of my Father” (John 8:29)

The father is revealed in the Son:

 John 14:9 “Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?”

The Life of Jesus bears testimony to the life of the Father.

John 8:29 “…the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

As children of God we know the Father, because we know the life of Jesus.  And to know the life of Jesus, we must become like Him by living with, for and in Him – always doing the will of the Father.

RH, April 1, 1890 “Although the plan of salvation calls for the deepest study of the philosopher,

it is not too deep for the comprehension of a child.”

Justice and Mercy

John 5:30 “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”

Two things are ever supreme in the Father’s will — Ever perfect, loving mercy – AND – Ever perfect, loving justice.  “God is love”.  How can humanity understand this Divine Love in perfect justice & mercy.

Take justice first.  Jesus was perfectly obedient to all of the Father’s laws – moral law, natural law, health law, etc.  His life demonstrated that God’s law must be obeyed or all created beings will suffer consequences relative to their choice.

6BC 1077 “Through faith in Christ obedience to every principle of the law is made possible.”

Consider now Mercy.  Jesus left the perfect example of Christian graces and moral deportment.  His lips left as honey-dew a sweet and warming influence to rise to nobler heights.  His life was mercy and Divine grace to provide hope and assurance – to live better.

            He who stops being better, stops being good.

Jesus’ life’s example sets before us ‘The Law of Life’

   (Jesus Life = Law of Life)

Special Testimonies on Education, p 206, 207 “Daniel was taught by God, and he co-operated with God.  He exerted all his powers to work out his own salvation, and God worked in him, to will and to do according to His good pleasure.  … Daniel and his fellows … sought to acquire knowledge for a purpose — to honour and glorify God.  They must perfect a Christian character, and have a clear intellect, in order to stand as the representatives of the true religion amid the false religions of heathenism.  To them the will of God was the supreme law of life.”

COL 364 “Upon the slothful servant the sentence was, ‘Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.’ Here, as in the reward of the faithful worker, is indicated not merely the reward at the final judgment but the gradual process of retribution in this life.  As in the natural, so in the spiritual world: every power unused will weaken and decay.  Activity is the law of life; idleness is death.  ‘The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.’ 1 Cor.  12:7.  Employed to bless others, his gifts increase.  Shut up to self-serving they diminish, and are finally withdrawn.  He who refuses to impart that which he has received will at last find that he has nothing to give.  He is consenting to a process that surely dwarfs and finally destroys the faculties of the soul.”

Lift up Jesus

LHU 230 “Christ declares, “I, if I be lifted up …, will draw all men unto me.”  If the cross does not find an influence in its favour, it creates an influence.  Through generation succeeding generation, the truth for this time is revealed as present truth.  Christ on the cross was the medium whereby mercy and truth met together, and righteousness and peace kissed each other.  This is the means that is to move the world.”

RH Sept.  29, 1891The cross stands alone, a great centre in the world.  It does not find friends, but it makes them.  It creates its own agencies.

RH, April 12, 1892 “The truth, the grace of Christ, received into the soul never rests content with its own existence.  It is always gathering, diffusing, and increasing by diffusing.  It is an active, working principle.  As long as there are sinners to be saved, grace and love and truth are seeking for them.  Jesus said: “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”  We are to be labourers together with him; but our work is to lift up Christ.  He alone can draw men unto him.”

RH, July 16, 1895 “Lift him up, then;  exalt the Holy One;  proclaim him ‘the Desire of all nations,’ the ‘chiefest among ten thousand,’ the one ‘altogether lovely.’  …”

Active Virtues – Self-Renunciation

DA 19 “In the light from Calvary it will be seen that the law of self-renouncing love is the law of life for earth and heaven; that the love which ‘seeketh not her own’ has its source in the heart of God; and that in the meek and lowly One is manifested the character of Him who dwelleth in the light which no man can approach unto.”

DA 21 “But turning from all lesser representations, we behold God in Jesus.  Looking unto Jesus we see that it is the glory of our God to give.  ‘I do nothing of Myself,’ said Christ; ‘the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father.’  ‘I seek not Mine own glory,’ but the glory of Him that sent Me.  John 8:28; 6:57; 8:50; 7:18.  In these words is set forth the great principle, which is the law of life for the universe.  All things Christ received from God, but He took to give.  So in the heavenly courts, in His ministry for all created beings: through the beloved Son, the Father’s life flows out to all; through the Son it returns, in praise and joyous service, a tide of love, to the great Source of all.  And thus through Christ the circuit of beneficence is complete, representing the character of the great Giver, the law of life.”

Jolted out of our Comfort Zone

In contentment there is great gain.  But this is contentment in our responsibilities, duties and lot in life; – not contentment in ease, self satisfaction, accumulation of comforts.  Each must be extricated from their comfort zones.  In this I often think of Sr White, David Livingstone, Hudson Taylor, and a host of other true missionaries of the cross, who were constantly discomforted to press the message of salvation into new quarters.  Can we expect less?

It was Jesus who said, “they persecuted me,” my followers can expect no less:

John 15:20-21 “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord.  If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.  But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.”

2T 490-491 “Oh, why are we so sensitive to trial and reproach, to shame and suffering, when our Lord has given us such an example?  Who would wish to enter into the joy of their Lord while they were unwilling to partake of His sufferings?  What! the servant unwilling to bear the humility and shame and reproach which the Master bore unselfishly for him!  the servant shrinking from a life of humility and sacrifice which is for his own eternal happiness, by which he may finally obtain an exceedingly great, an eternal reward!  The language of my heart is: Let me be a partaker with Christ of His sufferings, that I may finally share with Him the glory.

     “…  Those who obey the truth will never be loved and honoured by the world.  From the lips of the divine Teacher, as He walked in humility among the children of men, were heard the words: Whosoever will be My disciple, let him take up his cross, and follow Me.  Yes, follow our Exemplar.  Was He seeking for praise and honour of men?  Oh, no! Shall we then seek for honour or praise from worldlings?

     “Those who have no love for God will not love the children of God.  …”

BEcho, February 1, 1892 “Jesus is drawing all men; who will respond to this drawing?  Many will be greatly influenced by the life and example of those who profess to have responded to this divine love that is drawing the hearts of men.  Many will watch you who profess his name, to see whether it makes you better men and better women.  They will watch to see if you are Christlike, kind and courteous in your family.  The Lord has said, ‘By their fruits ye shall know them.’

     “Your home life is an index to your Christianity.  What a man is in his family, is just what he is in the sight of God.”

AH 178 “Many have their likes and dislikes and feel at liberty to manifest their own perverse disposition rather than to reveal the will, the works, the character of Christ.”

What will You Do with Jesus

“Jesus Christ makes the whole of human destiny depend on a man’s relationship to himself.” Oswald Chambers, Bible Illustrator

Today you can set your choice.  What is your response?  Is it your desire know, What Jesus would do?  Would you walk in Jesus steps?  Today is the day of decision.

This question is not just for unbelievers, or for those balancing on the fence.  It is a daily question for all.  Each is to make their daily conversion and commitment.  What banner will you raise today?  What life will you live today?

COL 365 “Many who profess to be Christians neglect the claims of God, and yet they do not feel that in this there is any wrong.  They know that the blasphemer, the murderer, the adulterer, deserves punishment; but as for them, they enjoy the services of religion.  They love to hear the gospel preached, and therefore they think themselves Christians.  Though they have spent their lives in caring for themselves, they will be as much surprised as was the unfaithful servant in the parable to hear the sentence, ‘Take the talent from him.’  Like the Jews, they mistake the enjoyment of their blessings for the use they should make of them.”

COL 365 “Many who excuse themselves from Christian effort plead their inability for the work.  But did God make them so incapable?  No, never.  This inability has been produced by their own inactivity and perpetuated by their deliberate choice.  Already, in their own characters, they are realizing the result of the sentence, ‘Take the talent from him.’  The continual misuse of their talents will effectually quench for them the Holy Spirit, which is the only light.  The sentence, ‘Cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness,’ sets Heaven’s seal to the choice which they themselves have made for eternity.”

COL 365 “In the great judgment day those who have not worked for Christ, those who have drifted along, carrying no responsibility, thinking of themselves, pleasing themselves, will be placed by the Judge of all the earth with those who did evil.  They receive the same condemnation.”

Ed 264 “Those who reject the privilege of fellowship with Christ in service, reject the only training that imparts a fitness for participation with Him in His glory.”

Conclusion

“Christian life is not a way out, but a way through life.”  Not a destination, but a journey.  “Christianity is not devotion to work, or to a cause, or a doctrine, but devotion to a person, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Oswald Chambers, Bible Illustrator

“I do always the will of Him who sent me.”  Such conviction can come only from a converted and committed life.  What life is your choice?  “…but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15.

“Dwight L. Moody, by his own admission, made a mistake on the eighth of October 1871 — a mistake he determined never to repeat.

   He had been preaching in the city of Chicago.  That particular night drew his largest audience yet. His message was “What will you do then with Jesus who is called the Christ?”

   By the end of the service, he was tired.  He concluded his message with a presentation of the gospel and a concluding statement:  “Now I give you a week to think that over.  And when we come together again, you will have opportunity to respond.”

   A soloist began to sing.  But before the final note, the music was drowned out by clanging bells and wailing sirens screaming through the streets.  The great Chicago Fire was blazing.  In the ashen aftermath, hundreds were dead and over a hundred thousand were homeless.

   Without a doubt, some who heard Moody’s message had died in the fire.  He reflected remorsefully that he would have given his right arm before he would ever give an audience another week to think over the message of the gospel.” Bible Illustrator

“Christ’s unique contribution to the human race is the salvation of the soul!  Philosophy could not accomplish that.  Nor art.  Nor literature.  Nor music.  Nor education.  Only Jesus Christ can speak peace to the human heart, strengthen the weak, and give life to those who are spiritually dead.” Bible Illustrator

2 Cor 6:2 “…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

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