Thursday: Christ’s Mission
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After considering who Jesus was, we are in a better position to understand what He came to do for us.

Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com

Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com

Satan made accusations against God. In order to meet those accusations, Jesus came to represent the Father’s character, and to correct the false concept that many had developed about the Godhead. He wanted us to know God, because to know Him is indispensable in order to have eternal life (John 17:3). However, we need more than knowledge to be saved. We need God to provide us a Savior, which is precisely the meaning of the name Jesus: Yahweh is salvation (Matt. 1:21). Jesus described His mission in very clear terms: the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10, NKJV). In Eden, humans lost their relationship with God, lost their holiness, lost their home, and lost eternal life. Jesus came to restore everything: He reestablishes our relationship with the Father (John 1:51); He forgives us our sins (Matt. 26:28); He gives us an example how to live (1 Pet. 2:21); and, of course, He gives us eternal life (John 3:16).

How did Jesus define the essence of His mission? John 10:11, Matt. 20:28.

Why did Jesus have to die? It was because He voluntarily took our place and bore the punishment of our sin. We are all sinners (Rom. 3:10-12) and, as such, deserve eternal death (Rom. 6:23). The price for our salvation was so high that only the life of the Son of God was enough to pay for it.

The broken law of God demanded the life of the sinner. In all the universe there was but one who could, in behalf of man, satisfy its claims. Since the divine law is as sacred as God Himself, only one equal with God could make atonement for its transgression. None but Christ could redeem fallen man from the curse of the law and bring him again into harmony with Heaven. — Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 63.

Look around at our world and the fate of us all in this world. If everything ended in the grave, what hope would we have? We would have none at all, were it not for the plan of salvation. How, then, can we show our gratefulness to God for what He has done for us in Christ?

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Thursday: Christ’s Mission — 36 Comments

  1. We can show our gratefulness to God for sending His son to die in our place and offering us the gift of everlasting life by living for Jesus Christ,Being Christians in the true sense of the word.

    Like(16)
    • The way to achieve this impossible goal is the same way Jesus did--by the basic motivation given by the Holy Spirit with our consent.

      Jesus gave the formula we must follow continuously--"Watch and pray lest ye fall into temptation."

      We are watching to see evidence of our basic motivation (who is motivating us) and we are praying to give consent for the Holy Spirit to be in charge of our basic motivations of thoughts and feelings. Whatever spirit motivates our thoughts and feelings determines and directs what we do.

      Like(3)
    • Larry, you can watch the video "The Most Costly and Convincing Evidence" (also titled "Why did Jesus have to Die?") by Graham Maxwell.
      He explains in great detail many (maybe not all) reasons why Jesus had to die. I posted the link in this thread. If you scroll down you should see it.

      Like(0)
    • In a word: Substitute. Study the story of Isaac and the ram. Study the sin offerings of the Sanctuary. Study closely the Day of Atonement.

      Learn where the garments of skin (and another chance) given to Adam and Eve by God came from. How can God be just and justifier of sinners?

      Like(0)
  2. In deed life without Jesus is like travelling to no destination. The promise of eternal life gives us hope and caurage to push forward harder day by day towards the prize eternal. We have to follow Christs example in our life. Jesus paid it all for me to have the assuarance of salvation.

    Like(5)
  3. Brother George Eldridge puts right this way;
    Two Gardens
    Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.—Matthew 26:36

    When we read that our Lord entered the garden outside Jerusalem called Gethsemane we are immediately reminded of another garden, the Garden of Eden.

    The contrasts between the two are indeed striking!

    Eden was delightful and perfect; Gethsemane was dark and foreboding.
    In Eden Adam and Even spoke with the enemy, Satan; in Gethsemane Jesus sought his Father in prayer.
    It was in Eden that Adam sinned; it was in Gethsemane that Jesus agonized over the suffering for that sin.
    Eden was the scene of Adam’s fall; our Lord stood forth when they came for him in Gethsemane.
    The conflict of Eden took place in the daytime; Gethsemane’s conflict occurred at night.
    In Eden, Adam fell before Satan; in Gethsemane the soldiers fell before Christ.
    The race that was to come from Adam was lost in Eden; in Gethsemane Christ lost none of them which God had given him.
    Adam took the proffered fruit from Eve in Eden; it was in Gethsemane where Christ received the cup from the Father’s hand.
    Adam hid himself from God in Eden; in Gethsemane Christ boldly showed himself.
    It was in Eden where God sought Adam; it was in Gethsemane where Christ sought God.
    God drove Adam out from Eden; the soldiers led Christ forth from Gethsemane.
    The sword was drawn to block Adam from life in Eden; in Gethsemane the sword was sheathed to open the way to life in Christ.

    These contrasts, so wonderfully shown in Scripture, are a picture of the first and the last Adam. They show failure and triumph. We were dead in Adam; we are now alive in Christ.

    Like(25)
  4. The author wrote the following comments:

    "Why did Jesus have to die? It was because He voluntarily took our place and bore the punishment of our sin."

    My question is: If Jesus had to die, then why did the angel promise to Mary, the mother of Jesus, that he would sit on David's throne and rule over Israel?

    And why did Ellen White stated that, had the nation of Israel accepted Jesus as their promised Messiah and King, that his kingdome would eventually extend to all the world??

    Why do we insist that the only alternative was for Jesus to be rejected? If suffering was the price for sin, then heaven has sufferer enough already. Ellen White told us that the cross was simply a window designed to help us understand the suffering God was subjected to since the inception of sin.

    God's suffering did not start in Gethsemane, but rather in heaven the moment rebellion broke in heaven. The cross of Christ was not a payment for sin, but rather an overpayment due to our blindness. The Lamb of God was slain from the foundation of the world.

    Like(1)
    • While I often wonder what would have happened if Israel had accepted Jesus; I think Brother Tyler Is right here.
      Graham Maxwell reminds us that the cross (among other things) was necessary to show the universe that sin really does bring death naturally. The enemy had insinuated that sin itself does not kill--God does. In other words, he was saying that sin is not deadly in itself--it's only God who has a problem with it; This further implied that if God would just leave us alone we'd be fine and happy and complete in our sinning. The cross showed that to be untrue.

      He lays this out in his talk: "The most Costly and Convincing Evidence"

      http://vimeo.com/14280085

      Like(2)
  5. It seems to me that, as long as we believe that Jesus had to die to pay some debt (based on a faulty Roman Law)for some substitutionary reason, we will never be set free. Satan is the one that said every sin must meet it's punishment not God. Payment, Payment, Payment.

    Jesus didn't come here to die in my place, He came he to show the Father and the way I am to live. His life is what counts to show me how to live as revealed in the character of God and His death shows that he would not act selfishly to save His life (which answered one of the accusations of Satan) as revealed in the character of the saints that are ready for Jesus to come. That last paragraph on Thursday is not well written. I just get so angry with the mis representation of God because we need transformation not payment.

    Like(2)
    • Yes, Jesus was/is our example, I felt the same way you expressed in your comment about the idea of punishment. I don't believe God's intentions toward us were changed by the death of Jesus. Rather I believe our intentions toward Him are changed by this overature toward us to pay for our transgression instead of just letting it go as no big deal. Sin is bad and separates us from our Creator and life. Jesus' showed us how to live as a human in the character of God by the work of the Holy Spirit in our life.

      Like(2)
      • God gave us many metaphors of salvation to try to complete the picture of what he did for us on the cross.
        We'll apparently be studying this for eternity.
        Larry has found the limitations of the "payment model".
        One might ask *who* Jesus paid the price to. God forbid the answer be: the Father!

        This doesn't mean that Jesus didn't pay the price for our sins. It just means--to me--that that's not the entire picture and that that statement is incomplete by itself.

        Like(2)
    • Larry, I have to ask this question: Did Jesus come to earth to save us, or to show us how to be saved? No, it's not a trick question. :-)

      Like(7)
    • Larry, it was God, not Satan, who told Adam; "in the day you eat of it you will surely die." I recall Satan saying something quite different, and still does today.

      The law demands payment, and makes it's demands on every trangressor, not Satan. Satan can destroy the body only, but God can destroy both body and soul of the unrepentant forever.

      Jesus paid for my sin and teaches me how to live like Him. I cannot do the latter without the former. What is the point of living like Jesus without being first justified? Read the story of Mark 2:1-12 to see how this works.

      What do you take to be the meaning of verses such as Romans 5:1, John 3:16, 1 Cor 15:3...etc?

      Like(3)
      • Robert, I read your comment with mixed emotion because I agree and yet I disagree. I honestly feel that Larry and many others have a valid point to make but at the same time I am not willing to push this to the point of fanaticism.
        This whole business of the science of salvation is so deep and involved that to me one cannot say that one point is true to the exclusion of all the others. I think we can get a glimpse of the complexity by realizing that Satan with all his brilliance and knowledge didn’t see the other possible outcome of what he had planned at the cross. To him what he needed to do was to stress Christ out to the breaking point so that He would finally rebel against the plan laid out from eternity. If He had done that then Satan would have won his basic argument against God and His law.
        What he didn’t see coming was that in stressing Christ the way he did he inadvertently opened the eyes of the universe and laid bare his agenda, goals, and the philosophy of his government. That is something he never intended to do. For nearly 4000 years he carefully hid everything in nebulous mystery using lies and deceit but at the cross everyone saw what his game plan was from the beginning and that severed any tie he had to the other angels and the rest of the universe. How can one who has no trouble at all in tripping me up be so blind to his own doing? To me it is because there is more to the cross than the simple way we tend to look at it.
        I cannot say that God didn’t buy us back because the Bible tells us He did (1 Cor 6:20; 2 Pet 2:1). I cannot say that God didn’t redeem us because that language is used throughout the entire Bible concerning our salvation nor can I argue against the concepts of sacrifice for the same reason. But, neither can I say that God was indebted to a death in order to save someone for He is absolutely sovereign who answers to no one. He can do what He wants, when He wants, and how He wants. That means that if wants to save Robert, Robert is saved, cross or no cross. BUT there are issues involved that made the cross necessary to save man and I believe that is one of the things we will be studying throughout eternity.

        Like(1)
        • Tyler, salvation is not complicated, unless we make it so. I have no confusion on what Jesus did at the cross, after settling the matter in Gethsemane. I was addressing Larry's comment concerning the idea of payment, as if it was a false concept. He also stated that it is Satan who requires payment and not God. How can such expressions go without response?

          This does not mean we must unravel the whole process and solve every mystery that the subject of salvation involves, for eternity will not be sufficient. I addressed only Larry's comments, and it simply is not complicated and clearly taught in God's word. Every discussion does not need to be burdened with every side issue that can be brought into it. The question raised seemed honest and I did my best to answer it directly.

          Yes, Satan continues to shoot himself in the foot on a consistent basis and will to the very last. That topic was not indicated in Larry's comments.

          Tyler, IF God is sovereign, then I would suggest He cannot do "what he wants" if it departs from the perfect Law of liberty that He authored Himself. If He could have saved His creation without the death of His own Son, He would have done it. Jesus, who is One with the Father, entreated His Father for another way if it were possible, but accepted God's will at last. This was the only way and will ever be the only way possible. God's Law, and thus His very character, demanded a death for transgression, and justly so. You have to understand the sinfulness of sin or the idea will seem absurd. Sin affects every particle of creation. It is like a smoker in the room, everyone must breathe his foul taint and eventually mourn his death after seeing him suffer the effects of cancer, and perhaps the death of an innocent victim of 2nd hand smoke as well. This is just a small sample of how sin affects every creature. Look at our earth and the innocent creatures that suffer by man's corrupt behavior. Need I go on?

          Sin must perish as well as all who stubbornly hold fast to it, for they hate all others while in rebellion. This is a bible teaching. God will purify His creation at last and by the death of Christ, we can be part of that sinless kingdom, though having been sinners ourselves.

          This was required by the perfect Law of liberty and always will be. God is the author of that law, and thus demands payment for sin. This is just and is echoed in all societies that have just laws for criminals. If someone stole something of great value from you or took the life of a loved one, would you be ok with it? Would you protest the law that demands punishment for the crime and work to save the criminal from any responsibility? Would you wish him to be free and accepted by society so he could continue his destructive ways upon others?

          Just a few years ago a young child was abducted, taken to the desert, molested, raped and killed, then left buried in a shallow grave, all this done by a trusted neighbor. The whole region cried for justice and rightfully demanded payment for this terrible assault against that child's freedom. This terrible act affected all who heard of it and deeply affected the family. Everyone was robbed of their peace from this one action against God's law.

          I think that should answer the question of payment for all who have any understanding of what is just and true. Sin requires payment in a just universe. Aren't you glad there is a Substitute offered?

          Like(3)
        • Robert, it is not that I am saying that one of you is correct and the other wrong but rather that both you and Larry are correct and present different views of salvation.

          You said in your last comment:

          Larry, it was God, not Satan, who told Adam; "in the day you eat of it you will surely die." I recall Satan saying something quite different, and still does today.
          The law demands payment, and makes it's demands on every trangressor, not Satan. Satan can destroy the body only, but God can destroy both body and soul of the unrepentant forever.

          And in this one you said, “IF God is sovereign, then I would suggest He cannot do "what he wants" if it departs from the perfect Law of liberty that He authored Himself.”

          I think stating it that way is a problem and an oxymoron of sorts because it separates God from His law. To me what we need to recognize is that the law is a transcript of His character. It is the essence what He is! What was stated at Sinai was a rather concisely expressed description of God put in human language which is expanded throughout the rest of the Bible, especially in Christ’s ministry.

          Further, the whole idea of demanding death for transgression makes what God said to Adam sound like a threat from a despotic tyrant rather than a warning from a loving God. It is as though He told Adam that if the pair ever departed from the command that He would kill them. That kind of conceptual understanding of God is something that I have a lot of problems with because that is the foundation of Satan’s government and virtually every dictatorship that has ever risen in the history of man.

          So as a matter of warning if a person reads a warning label on a bottle that says “do not ingest, contents can be fatal” and yet goes ahead and drinks it anyway is God the one responsible for the person’s death? Did God kill him? To me neither is true. From what I see God set up His creation with certain laws for reasons I don’t fully understand that stipulate a certain outcome for a particular action. If you jump off a bridge and land below in such a way that you break your leg it is because you chose to violate the law of gravity that was put in place as a benefit rather than a prohibition. If gravity did not exist then nothing would stay in place and we would have no atmosphere or bodies of water and would float around without control. So while laws are put in place that are necessary for life those same laws have flip sides to them that can be hazardous to life if violated.

          Besides that, your whole idea of God being constrained by the law He made is to me also problematic. I have always understood God as being outside the confines of His creation that operates independently and not indebted to what He created for anything. If that were not so then He would not be God who is Lord and master over what He made but a creation Himself. While the Bible does say that God chooses to be a servant to His creation that is not the same as being enslaved by it.

          Neither am I comfortable with your example of the abducted child. Humans are what they are, sinful creatures that often desire revenge which is something that Jesus taught against (Mat 5: 38-39; Lk 6:27-28; Lk 9:52—56) as did Paul (Rom 12:19-20). While you call it justice it is really a desire to severely punish the offender from a sense of outrage and anger rather than the redemption of a gross sinner.

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        • Tyler, I will only request that you keep my words in their context and not pit my thoughts against each other. Time and space does not permit my being able to unravel what you are trying to do with those thoughts.

          In every example you take, they are complete and do not contradict if kept in their context.

          I must at least point out this one; the story of the child's misfortune was to illustrate the effect of sin on society, not a lesson on revenge. The point was that even among sinners, payment for such gross disregard for the free will of others must be addressed. Still, I could share the same verses as you have and more besides to show God's teaching on us taking revenge ourselves, but even that has it's proper context doesn't it? Also, the conclusion of that study would show that God will avenge all wrong Himself. It is God who will demand payment in the end. So why do you interject this subject where it isn't even an issue in the point being made? Please discuss the topic and don't add to it when it's not warranted. Why all the side issues in a public discussion?

          Like(0)
        • Robert, I hope you haven’t overlooked that several comments ago I said that I agreed with you concerning your debate with Larry. I think a lot of what you say is biblical. The problem as I see it is that both you and Larry are taking the same basic approach to one another by saying that your view is right and the other is totally wrong.

          What is most troubling to me is not so much what you believe, although I don’t totally agree, but the arguments you use to back up your thesis. This whole matter is really about the character of God and what you are saying in response to Larry’s position to me is perhaps more troubling and even damaging than the narrow view he has taken.

          As far as I am concerned the picture you are painting of God is making Him out to be a unfeeling tyrant devoid of love. Inge has posted the video of Graham Maxwell speaking of the very points you two are discussing. He even deals with the subject of punishment as it pertains to the cross. My suggestion is to listen to the video and try to understand the issues at stake in your debate.

          Like(0)
        • Tyler, my response to Larry concerning God (not Satan)warning Adam of the certain death as "the wages of sin", has nothing to do with God being a tyrant, unloving or vindictive. God was stating a truth, given as an honest warning. It would be like saying to your child; "if you get close to the hot stove you could get hurt". That's not the same as saying "If you touch the stove I'll slap you silly!"

          You have a decent understanding of scripture Tyler, and I think the extreme examples are not really warranted. We both know God gave ample warnings, but never threats. His motive was to save from terrible results, not to frighten into submission. God created the world, the garden, planted both trees in the middle of it and left them with a choice to make, but not without adequate warnings of what was at stake.

          We both know that Satan's reply was "you won't DIE!!" His motive was to get them in trouble and thus the lie. Once he entices us to sin, he is before God accusing us as worthy of eternal banishment.

          Nothing I have stated comes close to showing God as unloving, angry or threatening, since I don't believe it.

          As for saying "I'm right" or "You're wrong", it would be impossible to have a discussion from opposite sides without that being the perception of some. This is how discussions operate. I simply don't agree with Larry on the points addressed and I state why. The Bible speaks for itself in the scriptures I cited. Nothing about vengeance or anger in any of them. The law does demand payment. Abel's blood crying out for justice was a metaphor to reveal the demands of a violated law. No violation, no demands. Very simple.

          I have watched the video and have placed one comment so far concerning it.

          Like(0)
    • Larry I get upset and critical of some of the things that are written due to a different opinion or focus also. One of the reason for the use of payment for our sins, is because Paul uses that terminology in Romans 6:23. Penalty could have been used instead of wages. Yes, Jesus did come to earth to represent God the Father but that was not the entire plan of salvation. All have sinned and come short of the Glory, Romans 3:23. We are all deserving of eternal death. Jesus died that eternal death, for our sins. God the father acceptd that sacrifice, and resurrected the Son because the penalty had been paid, or executed. We are recipiants of that gift because we are His, and His unlimited love for us, is beyond our complete understanding.

      Like(2)
    • Larry, the various views of the atonement remind me of the story of the blind men and the elephant.The blind man who feels a leg says the elephant is like a pillar; the one who feels the tail says the elephant is like a rope; the one who feels the trunk says the elephant is like a tree branch; the one who feels the ear says the elephant is like a hand fan; the one who feels the belly says the elephant is like a wall; and the one who feels the tusk says the elephant is like a solid pipe.

      Just like the blind men, we are limited in our understanding of the atonement. Throughout Scripture, God used various ways to teach us about His way of making us once more "at one" with Him.

      The element of substitution is clearly in the Bible narrative, being most explicitly demonstrated in the experience of Abraham on Mt Moriah and most of the sanctuary services. But that's not nearly all. Jacob saw a ladder, symbolic of Christ, connecting earth and heaven. The relational covenant model is inextricably interwoven with the substitutionary model throughout the Bible. And Paul talks of "reconciliation," which means something very similar to "atonement." God repeatedly refers to himself as a husband or lover of His people. The "atonement" is thus likened to a marriage. Then there's the citizenship model, in which the saved become citizens of heaven and Paul even says that we even now sit in heavenly places. There's the family model, in which sinners are adopted by the heavenly Father. The shepherd model, in which the divine Shepherd seeks the lost sheep and brings it home. There's the redemption model in which Christ our near kinsman, redeems not only us, the sinners, but also our dominion of this planet. (This is acted out in the story of Boaz and Ruth.) Redemption is also part of the freedom vs. slavery model. It requires redemption to move from slavery to freedom, and that requires a payment. There's the change of masters model, in which we choose God as Master, instead of Satan. There's the drawing or demonstration model in which Christ so convincingly demonstrates God's character of love that sinners are drawn to love Him and are thus reconciled to Him. In the new birth model, we are born into the Kingdom of heaven. In the heart transplant model, God provides the new heart. In the healing model, Christ heals us from all our diseases, including the disease of sin. The various models contain aspects of relationship and aspects of law - some are more relational, others more legal.

      I'm sure there's more that I've not mentioned. Since these are all various ways of looking at the atonement, we can go astray when we try to make one model carry the full burden of the teaching. We need to recognize that each has its limitations and needs other models to complement it.

      I personally see sin as being rebellion against the Lifegiver, resulting in separation. The natural consequence of separation from the Source of life is death - instant death. But Christ stepped into the breach to allow mankind a probationary time during which each has a chance to choose whether or not to trust our Creator God with all of our lives. (Remember Adam and Eve's sin was a matter of distrusting God.) And when we choose to trust Him, He begins the process of transforming us from the inside out. But I notice that some fear that this explanation waters down the truth ... or whatever. For them there are other models.

      I find it highly ironic and probably distressing to God that the subject of at-one-ment is such a subject of heated and divisive discussion.

      I wish we could all recognize that we each have only a partial view of the atonement, which will take us eternity to understand. Thus we need to be patient with others who see things differently and perhaps learn to incorporate their understanding into ours so that we might have a more complete view.

      I do hope you've taken time to review Graham Maxwell's talk on "The Most Convincing Evidence." While he majors in the demonstration model, in answering questions after his talk, he also explicitly recognizes other aspects of the atonement. And I think we would do well to do the same.

      Like(1)
    • 1. If Jesus did not die for us, how do you explain Romans 5:8.
      2. It was not Satan who declared that the wages of sin is death....it was God. God stated what the punishment for sin will be.
      It puzzles me some that you would believe that Jesus did not come to die in your place. Where are you getting your theology from? You need to read the Word all over again under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. These issues are elementary!

      Like(0)
  6. Sometimes I think we have an entirely too narrow view of Christ’s ministry. Certainly what Jesus did here on earth has a special and very important meaning to the human race. However, in focusing on our particular needs of the cross we tend to think that what Jesus did was just for us and us alone.

    When the controversy broke out in Heaven earth was essentially set as a stage or theater where the principles of the two sides of the controversy were to be exposed. We understand through Rev 12 that 1/3 of the angels decided to go with Lucifer. What we haven’t been told is that many of the 2/3’s still had questions and some sympathy with Lucifer.

    The entire universe had to have a revelation of God and the thirty some years of ministry and the cross were to provide that revelation. If Christ had not done what He did the questions would have only grown and the rebellion would have spread. So in a sense the entire universe was lost and needed to be reclaimed.

    The reasons why God decided to do things the way He did to me is a mystery. I can see things from my narrow perspective but to simply ask how God was going to stop a rebellion while ensuring freedom and to save as much as possible and end up having the controversy finally settled with no doubts requires far more than my analytical ability to reason the whole thing out. To me the plan of salvation was as complex as life itself yet to us rather simple.

    Like(7)
  7. @ Larry Jesus did not come to show us how to be saved for by grace are we saved through faith and it is a gift from God. Even if we were to live and do everything Christ did we (suppose we can) we will not be saved, lest we would boast, but like the memory verse of this week shows us that Christ had to give His life as a ransom for this sinful world (mark 10:45)

    Like(4)
  8. jesus came to save the one sheep that sinned. 99 others were saved. God is just such that instead of immediately killing lucifer he waited so that all the other heavens and 99 sheep would see the fatal result of sin. by right humanity should be punished as well because we sin. but jesus has come in our place to take our punishement and that is how Jesus saves us the human Race. lucifer will receive his punishement in hell but we as humans have hope for life through jesus.

    Like(2)
  9. Hi Larry. I share your view towards the notion that Payment is required and I am happy you made mention of it.

    I share a little bit of my journey around this topic rather than making a good argument for or against.

    I am not a theologian or Bible scholar of note. I grew up in the SDA church and during my time as a student I discovered that, should I have not been raised a Christian, I would not have responded with overwhelming gratefulness and love to the narrative of a Saviour that died in my place, despite it being a very cruel death. It did not add up for me. Much less am I going to go out there and try to convince other people to respond to something I cannot respond to.

    This troubled me deeply. It was not about being rebellious, I was very serious about God, and about doing the right thing. So I had a serious identity crises about being an Adventist, but even more about being a Christian. I remember it being a very emotional time for me for this reason.

    Luckily, in Adventistdom I discovered the most incredible world view. I state it briefly to make a point. God make us so that we can experience relationship and He can experience us. He endows us with the building blocks required for this namely emotion, communication, free will etc. (explains ‘in His image’). A society where this high ideal for being conscience can be practiced, is a delicate one, for the building blocks also allows you to harm, and to experience harm. We can decide to trust God and His ways of society, or we can dangle our fishing line in the lake of experiences God never intended for anyone to have. Our race did. Problem is evil is hard to remove from your head, and you only really get to a position to trust God and his way after you really know where this leads to. (No one puts this better than EG White in the first couple of chapters of Education). In our history it is revealed that creation will even kill the Creator, this is how bad things get. Enter the millennium, where we collectively finally ‘get it’. Our transformation for a life eternal is not through a wizard’s wand, but takes a 1000 years! State of the dead is an essential concept. Sabbath celebrates all of this proudly. Who will live forever? Those who did not repeatedly refuse Christ but finally gave in to a miraculous transformation of character, at least to the point where, after an additional 1000 years of therapy, you are ok to live a life with its original purpose. God will eternally be lonely for those who would never adapt.

    Who else has such a story?! Just as a story in itself it trumps all the other world views out there. I would love to tell you the responses I get from all sorts of people, Buddhists, newagers, atheist, but I am dragging on a bit already as it is.

    So there I was with what is to me an incredible narrative on the one hand, and another that demands payment and blood that does not matter how I look at it, seems to me (please bare with me) like God painted himself in a corner and found a trick to make all things right. I felt guilty seeing it this way. I also knew for a fact there are others who experience it like I do.

    I started to ask around very carefully and soon found someone who just happened to write a Christology doctorate on exactly this issue (this was around 1994, I understand the author is now a lecturer in Philosophy at Andrews) which basically showed that both views are acknowledged by the SDA church and that there are no consensus in our denomination that favour one above the other. Can you imagine what an incredible relief that was for me back then? I know this is simplifying a big topic a lot, but fundamentally this is the case. I cannot overstate what it meant to me.

    God is merciful, for he quickly taught me also that, although it might be too much for my thick head to understand, that the ‘traditional’ story of the cross is a Legitimate narrative that He communicates through, and that I have no way of understanding the many different ways God meets different individuals, and that I have to respect that. But I also understood that the spectacles I happen to look through are also legitimate.

    I am so thankful for the Adventist body of doctrine, because without that I, with my particular personality, would still have been unhappy and searching. Because of what I know I have developed an enormous respect for God and the way He manage His agenda. To the extend where I can honestly say that even if it all goes to pot, even if the impossible happens and evil destroys everything, I will still be like a proud knight loyal to my King. That is how I feel. And I did not get that from the payment and blood narrative.

    OK so finally Larry. I am frustrated that Adventist world view option 2 (if I may be so arrogant to state it) seriously lacks air time in our body of literature. (Can you point me to some good authors in our midst?)

    Perhaps this is just a matter of working harder at developing appropriate language for sectors of the society that we traditionally have missed, or have only recently came in to existence (a la Jon Paulien).

    Like(2)
    • I agree with you as well.
      Ellen White says that one of the reasons that the Bible is so large, is that everybody sees things differently.
      Don't let anybody guilt you because you don't see things their way.
      And don't make anyone else feel guilty either!

      For view number two in Adventism see Jack Provonsha and Graham Maxwell among others.

      Like(1)
      • Andrew, that quote does not say there will be different versions of truth, but that there are many different ways of teaching the same Truth that will be accepted by all that will be saved. One way to Life and it is narrow, which few will find. The broad way leads to death.

        John's gospel might make it clear for you while Mark's might make it more clear for me, but we will come to the same conclusion.

        This is not about seeing things "their way" but God's way. He has made Truth simple and clear, making provision for any to find it who seek with all their heart.

        Many misleading ideas are coming into the church. How can we know which is the right way?

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        • There might well be one fundamental truth Robert, but that does not mean that everyone will see it in the same light. I remember a story of some bees that landed on a stained glass window. The colour the bees were sitting on determined their view of what they saw through the window. I am an academic and see things in a different light that my non-academic friends. That does not make either of us right; it is simply a difference of background and experience.

          Truth does not have a bell on it that rings when you see it properly. Determining what is truth is a lifetime journey.

          Obviously there are some gross errors around that we should not accept, but on the other hand there are different points of view that we need to be tolerant of and accept that are simply the way some people see it.

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      • Hi Andrew.

        Thank you for your kind reply and the name of these authors. I will find them.

        I really liked Tyler’s comment: “He can do what He wants, when He wants, and how He wants. That means that if He wants to save Robert, Robert is saved, cross or no cross. BUT there are issues involved that made the cross necessary to save man and I believe that is one of the things we will be studying throughout eternity.”

        I think we should assume that we will find a world view that unifies the different options. Just the journey of searching for it is definitely very rewarding, even if it takes a long time. Almost like the scientists trying to find one law that will describe all the forces of nature we know. We have to keep at it because it is in front of us.

        And would it not be grand if we find it in a better understanding of the one doctrine that is unique to us as Adventists, the Sanctuary :-)

        Like(1)
  10. The more I learn about the plan of salvation, the more I realize that there is so much yet to understand. I can believe the statement that this will be the redeemed subject of study throughout eternity. Is it any wonder then that we still have a lot to learn and unlearn during our short span of life?

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  11. God salvation is there for everyone.It was jesus christ who completed it and fill the gap between man and his God.He ,Jesus, lead us unto the father because he paid the price for us.

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  12. Don and Larry, Christ said to Nicodemus in John 3:14,15: "As Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, even so the Son of Man must be lifted up on the cross, for you to have eternal life."

    Larry and Don, you must read Christ Object Lessons page 118, paragraph 1 and 2, it essentially tells us the same thing. Let me give you one sentence in paragraph 2 to stimulate your appetite for the truth. "He collected all the riches of the universe and laid them down to buy pearls. You may find it at www.ellenwhiteestate.org, online books. Larry and Don the pearls are you and I, if we choose to put on the wedding garment of Matthew 22:12. If we don't choose, we are choosing not to believe that Christ came into this world to die in our stead. As for me and my house we choose to believe what Jesus taught in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

    There is a song I love to quote parts of: "God said it and I believe it and that settles it for me. Though some may doubt it, I've chosen to believe it, and that settles it for me.

    Happy Sabbath

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  13. I find it interesting,the different views of what should be basic knowledege about the plan of salvation, instituted by the Triune God. Some very convoluted and complicated, some very limited. I choose what Jesus said in a number of different places. Salvation is granted to those that believe in Him. The most notable and well known is John 3:16. That whosever believes will not parish but have everlasting life. Adding to this, our opinions and intellect does not enhance or detract from the message in that well known verse. What we choose to believe can be accurate or questionable. For instance we cannot grasp what eternity or something without a beginning is. But some will venture to predict how it will be spent. That is indicative of our limited brain power.

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