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Sunday: The Brother as a Redeemer — 12 Comments

  1. If any of you have a brother or sister, you have probably grown up with sibling rivalry. I know that there are families where siblings are the best of mates and always watch out for one another. But, for the rest of us, we have had siblings that have competed with us for most of the formative years of our lives. I have two grandsons, brothers, and it is interesting to see the scheming, blame-passing, and careful manipulation of the truth to gain the advantage of one over the other.

    I have a brother and a sister and what I see happening to my grandsons is very similar to what we siblings got up to when we were young. I even dropped a concrete block on my brother's head once and he, in turn, pushed me into a patch of blackberry brambles. And together, my brother and I would tease our sister mercilessly.

    Yet for all that now that we are older and more mature we share and support one another. When I have a problem with my house and need a bit of advice, my brother is the first person I call. He in turn gets advice from me about computers and electronics. My sister lives in another country and we currently cannot visit her, or she visit us, because of the Covid travel restrictions. We still maintain contact through video chats. We can still provide sibling support and love when needed.

    The brother (inclusive of sister) metaphor works for me, although it took quite a while to mature. I think the writer of Proverbs had a wry grin when he wrote:

    A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Prov 18:24KJV

    I find the reference to the responsibilities of a brother or near kinsman informing. While there was a legal footing for redemption, there is the notion that such redemption was based on love more than a sense of duty. Perhaps we need to go back and read the story of Ruth and her redemption by Boaz. I wonder why that story from Christ's human ancestry is recorded in the Old Testament.

  2. Isaiah 55:8-9 asserts that God's ways are higher than our ways. But how are we to come to understand God's higher ways when all we know is what we are familiar with - our ways?

    Because of the way our mind operates by default (unless we grow and train it to do otherwise), unfortunately we 'autofill' our understanding of metaphors and words based on what we already know - and then we stop there. If God's ways were merely the same as our ways, we would not need to go beyond this. But because they are "higher", it is necessary that, in harmony with the Holy Spirit, we grow in our capacity to progressively more and more see and understand these higher ways (John 14:26)*. Thus, the autofill awareness of what is similar needs to continue on to consideration of "but what is also different".

    Today's lesson focuses of the metaphor of Jesus as our kinsman redeemer and also includes the sub-metaphor of justice-avenger. While it will come easy to you to consider what the similarities of these metaphors are - I would invite you to inteintionally go further and also consider how God's higher ways express these metaphors differently.

    * Incase anyone might think we are not meant to stretch our minds beyond what we we understand thus far about God and His ways, you might find what Ellen White had to say on this topic in Education p 170.4 interesting (read the wider chapter if you wish). If what Ellen White is proposing is true, while there is much that is beyond our capacity to currently understand, that does not mean that God does not at the same time want to grow us beyond our current understanding - which also involves revision of our current understanding.

    • Phil, thank you for the reference link. I watched a video on neuroplasticity for the uninitiated like myself, which explains that as you learn more, you become capable of learning even more through new neural pathways. I have experienced this myself, when I changed jobs and learned a whole new set of information in just a few days. I told my boss who was training me that I felt like my brain was stuffed and I literally felt as though I could feel new connections forming. If it was possible in just about a week to form new connections, imagine how much more so in an ongoing, intensive study of God's Word! Blessings to all who study together here, may we grow and learn by the grace of God!

  3. Hebrews 2:11
    11 For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers,

    1) One source - This is powerful to me because Christ does not have an edge over me. The same power to resist and overcome is available to me.
    2) Ashamed - How quickly I distance/disassociate myself with those who are not reputable yet Christ is not ashamed.
    3) Brothers - Tells me; he considers me as his brother. In the story of Ruth there was a kinsman refused to rescue the Naomi's inheritance instead of refusing He infused himself to become my redeemer.
    In summary: He has provided the source. He is not ashamed. He is our elder brother to redeem us. All He is asking for us to submit our life unto him.

  4. Reading Heb.2:14-16, I became aware of what brings man into bondage, and why it was so important that the Son of God, our Creator, became Man to intervene on our behalf. The Son of God came to us in our flesh and blood to conquer the fear of death, showing us that we do not need to fear death by His resurrection from the dead. In Him we have the examples that demonstrate that loving the Father by faith in doing His Will does overcome the fear of dying. It showes the faithful believer that His faith in the Word of God is well placed; that he will not be disappointed or left to confusion and disillusionment.

    Those who live in fear of death are willing to make moral and ethical compromises in order to safe their life. Our Creator, being in the flesh and form of a man, has experienced the pressures of the temptations man experiences that tempt him to leave the sure way of Light and Life. But He stayed strong in faith and love, never compromising the integrity of His Faith due to fear of dying, and so with overcame 'the fear of death'.
    Hosea 13:14 - ’I will ransom them from the power(fear) of the grave; I will redeem them from death. O Death, I will be your plagues (determinedly pushing back against fear through faith)! O Grave, I will be your destruction (our resurrection)! Pity is hidden from My eyes (our Creator is faithful, does not compromise His edict)!’ (paraphrased) This is what our Creator has done for us because He loves His creature - man.

    There is only One who can be closer to us than our most beloved friend, family member, or faith sister or brother. Our God - Creator, Redeemer, Savior which we call Christ Jesus - asks us to be our most cherished friend and brother. By deeply loving Him, wanting to be even closer to Him than the most beloved earthly family member or friend, we offer ourselves to be His home; His abode through which to encourage us and guide us to do the Will of the Father.
    He is ever present, always ready to listen and talk with us about our ‘fears and temptations'. He encourages us to keep following the narrow road of faith and love with Him as our faithful guide. And why does He do this? - to lead us to everlasting life.

  5. Hebrews 2:14 depicts us as children and He the same. Going back to verse 11, verse 14 is putting it a different way that means the same. If we come to God through Christ we are brothers. We may not be blood line brothers but we can be adopted into the family of God if we consent to let Him work in us. If Robert were here he would say, if we confess our sins and repent, which is the same as letting Him work in us, I do believe.

  6. When did Seventh-day Adventists begin considering Christ as being one "adopted"? I've noticed that term being used repeatedly in these lessons in reference to Christ. Wasn't that the heresy that Ellen White denounced in the "Baker Letter"? While it is true that there has been an adoption (Ephesians 1:5), it is we who have been adopted by virtue of our inheritance in Christ (verse 11). Christ is not now and has never been an "adopted" Son.

    • From now on I will avoid every question in relation to the humanity of Christ, because I most likely would be misunderstood.

      • John, it seems to me that your comment on this day's lesson is perfectly in line with what Leslie points out and what the Bible teaches.

        On the other hand, Christ was not "adopted." He is the only and unique true Son.

        The lesson author says that "Jesus 'adopted' human nature" which is not strictly true because Jesus was already human. I think the lesson author means that the second Person of the Godhead "adopted" human nature, and thus became Jesus Christ, the divine-human Son of man and Son of God

  7. Yes you are right.
    "We may not be blood line brothers but WE(not Christ)can be adopted into the family of God if we consent to let Him work in us."

    I do not believe that Seventh-day-Adventist are even considering at all that Christ is adopted. Go back and reread Hebrews 2. God bless you in your search of SDA beliefs.

    • Amen & Amen my brother. SDA has never cited or promoted Christ is adopted. We, sinful men, are adopted into the family of Christ through his blood by redemption.
      Ephesians 1:5 (ESV)
      5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,

  8. The thing I really struggle with in this lesson is the statement that “there is a death penalty that our sin required” and Romans 6:23 is the reference they give. But it only says that the wages of sin is death. In other words, if we separate ourselves from The Life Giver, we will die. In The Desire of Ages p 761, it is made clear that Satan is the one demanding death, not God. The entire chapter is amazing to read, and for me, it goes hand in hand with John 17.


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