Education and Redemption
FOURTH QUARTER 2020
SABBATH SCHOOL INSIGHT #8
NOVEMBER 21, 2020
“EDUCATION AND REDEMPTION”
The basis of true education, of redemption and of creation is love.
Education and redemption are one in purpose. This purpose is also that of creation. In the beginning, God created man with the ability to think and to do. The creation of planet earth and of man, the members of the Godhead worked with one purpose in mind. Mankind was to be made in the image of God. In Genesis 1:1-2 the Spirit of God hovered over the waters. The term “hover” means to “cherish” and to “move gently” (Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon, p. 934). The word reveals the value God placed on the creation of earth and later in the formation of Adam and Eve. God must have been moved with great emotion, of joy, and of delight as He set about His mighty work of creation – especially that of mankind (Proverbs 8:31). The songs and shouts of joy expressed by angels, as they saw creation week unfold before their very eyes (Job 38:17), were but a reflection of the joy and ecstasy God experienced during that same week.
God’s plan involved the creation of a garden paradise for mankind, who was created at the end of creation week. As the Godhead worked in concert during that week, we observe the crowning act at the end of the week (probably Friday) when One of the Members declared, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). The unity of the Godhead is shown in these words.
Waggoner put it this way: “He [Christ] brought all things into existence, and He preserves them in existence. His word caused them to exist, and His word upholds them. In all these things He acts, not independently, but conjointly with the Father. Said He: ‘I and my Father are one.’ John 10:30. Not a thought does one have that is not the thought of the other. Their unity in creation is shown in the words, ‘And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness.’ Genesis 1:26. This union of the Father and the Son serves to explain why the Hebrew word which is rendered ‘God’ is in the plural number.” (E. J. Waggoner, Bible Echo and Signs of the Times, September 15, 1889).
Although Adam was formed of the dust of the ground, God set him over all His works of earth (Genesis 2:7; 1:28). Being but dust, Adam had “no more power in himself than the dust of earth on which he walked” (Waggoner, American Sentinel, July 29, 1897). Being made out of dust, but in the image of God, Adam was given “power akin to that of the Creator--individuality, power to think and to do” (Education, p. 17). Adam and Eve were given dominion over all the earth.
But that mighty power manifested in Adam was not his own power at all. It was the derived power of God working in and through him. God worked in him “both to will and to do of His good pleasure” without restricting Adam’s liberty, his individuality and his ability to think and to do. Adam’s liberty and ability were especially manifested when Adam chose to go against the will of his Creator. Upon hearing Eve’s testimony after she ate the forbidden fruit from the forbidden tree, Adam deliberately chose to sin and to die rather than to lose his wife. He chose to lose his own soul rather than to be separated from Eve.
Think of the agony within the Godhead when Adam and Eve rebelled. Angel’s, too, in their grief filled hearts ceased singing songs of praise. Earlier they heard the death sentence God pronounced on Adam, if he should eat of the forbidden fruit: “in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17). With bated breath they must have anticipated the complete destruction of Adam and Eve, and consequently all future posterity.
But no! They saw instead, a grief-stricken God pursuing the couple who were on the run. They fled because of the terror in their hearts because of being in the presence of God. What a change took place in their hearts and mind. Before sin they were delighted to be in His presence; now they felt nothing but fear. When the second Person of the Godhead pursued them, found them, questioned them and shared with them what He would do in order to redeem them. He promised to die in their place. When angels heard the news that Christ would take the place of fallen man and would exhaust the penalty of the broken law, the angels saw the love of God displayed more clearly than ever conceived before. We are told that “The angels . . . offered to become a sacrifice for man. But an angel's life could not pay the debt; only He Who created man had power to redeem Him.” (The Faith I Live By, p. 79).
“The angels, as God's intelligent messengers, were under the yoke of obligation; no personal sacrifice of theirs could atone for the guilt of fallen man. Christ alone was free from the claims of the law to undertake the redemption of the sinful race. He had power to lay down His life and to take it up again…. The Son of God came voluntarily to accomplish the work of atonement. There was no obligatory yoke upon Him, for He was independent and above all law.” 4T 120-121).
Christ stepped in between eternal death and the pair who sinned. This death was the second death and Jesus took upon Himself our debt of death. He died the equivalent of the second death. “By dying in our behalf, He gave an equivalent for our debt. Thus, He removed from God all charge of lessening the guilt of sin. By virtue of my oneness with the Father, He says, my suffering and death enable me to pay the penalty of sin. By My death a restraint is removed from His love. His grace can act with unbounded efficiency.” (Youth Instructor, December 16, 1897).