MEMORY VERSE: "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered." Hebrews 5:8.
SUGGESTED READING: The Acts of the Apostles, 576; Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, 33, 34.
INTRODUCTION: "How exactly their [the Jewish converts’] condition represents the condition of many of the people of God today, who have had every advantage, every privilege, and who, feeling the burden of God’s work, ought to be saying with the whole heart, Here I am, Lord; send me. But in the place of being teachers, as they might be, they themselves can not bear the plain application of the Word of God. They do not discern the value of Bible truth. They are not a strength to the church. Had they thoroughly consecrated themselves to the Lord from their first reception of the truth, surrendering themselves unreservedly to him, and obeying the call, ‘Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me,’ [Mark 8:34] they would have walked in the companionship of Christ, learning his lessons, receiving his divine impress. They would have recognized the claims of Christ, and would not have been half Christians and half worldlings, but whole-hearted Christians, believing and practicing the word, enlightened continually, not dwelling on vague generalities, but proclaiming Christ as the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world." Review and Herald, June 16, 1903.
1 As the Son of God, was Christ subject to suffering and temptation? Hebrews 5:8. Compare Hebrews 2:18; 4:15.
NOTE: "In Christ were united the human and the divine. His mission was to reconcile God and man, to unite the finite with the infinite. This was the only way in which fallen men could be exalted through the merits of the blood of Christ to be partakers of the divine nature. Taking human nature fitted Christ to understand man’s trials and sorrows, and all the temptations wherewith he is beset. Angels who were unacquainted with sin could not sympathize with man in his peculiar trials. Christ condescended to take man’s nature and was tempted in all points like as we, that He might know how to succor all who should be tempted. [See Hebrews 2:18.]" Testimonies, vol. 2, 201.
2 What did Christ learn by suffering? Hebrews 5:8, last part.
NOTE: "It was not only on the cross that Christ gave Himself for humanity, not only in the wilderness of temptation and in Gethsemane that He overcame in our behalf. Every day’s experience was an outpouring of His life; every day he learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And because the life of Jesus was a life of perfect trust His service for heaven and earth was without failure or faltering. He met and resisted all the temptations that man must meet because in his humanity he relied upon divine power." The Columbia Union Visitor, October 2, 1912.
3 Being made perfect, what did He become? Hebrews 5:9.
NOTE: "He [Christ] was the Son of Jehovah, and the Author of our salvation. He labored and suffered for us. He denied Himself, and His whole life was one continued scene of toil and privation. Had He chosen so to do, He could have passed His days in a world of His own creating, in ease and plenty, and claimed for Himself all the pleasures and enjoyment the world could give Him. But He did not consider His own convenience. He lived not to please Himself, but to do good and lavish His blessings upon others." Testimonies, vol. 3, 18.
4 What is meant by the expression, "when for the time"? Hebrews 5:12, first part.
NOTE: "Those who have long known the truth need to seek the Lord most earnestly, that their hearts may be filled with a determination to work for their neighbors. My brethren and sisters, visit those who live near you, and by sympathy and kindness seek to reach their hearts. Be sure to work in a way that will remove prejudice instead of creating it. And remember that those who know the truth for this time and yet confine their efforts to their own churches, refusing to work for their unconverted neighbors, will be called to account for unfulfilled duties." The Publishing Ministry, 370.
"We are not to conceal the truth for this time. It is to stand forth in its power and purity. The trumpet is to give a certain sound; for there are those who, though they have long known the truth, need to be awakened. They have closed their eyes to the result of walking contrary to the light that God has given." Review and Herald, November 5, 1903.
5 How were those who were not quick to discern the truths of God described? Hebrews 5:11, last part.
NOTE: "Paul could not speak to the Jewish converts as plainly as he desired regarding the mystery of godliness. Because of their spiritual weakness, their lack of perception, he could not utter the truth, which, could they have heard aright, with intelligent comprehension, would have been to them a savor of life unto life.
"The fault was not with their instructors, but with themselves. They were dull of understanding. Abundant advantages had been given them. They could have increased in understanding regarding Christ, his work, his power to save to the uttermost all who come to him. But they had not pressed onward and upward, improving their opportunity to learn more and still more of the Saviour. Because they had not received in faith the truths imparted to them, their memory was weak. They could not retain in their minds the truths essential to success in character-building." Review and Herald, June 16, 1903.
6 Of what need had the dull of hearing? Hebrews 5:12.
NOTE: "Unbelief will ever find cause to doubt and reason away
the most positive proof. The Jews stood constantly upon guard, lest they should be forced by overwhelming evidence to yield their prejudice and unbelief. Though their understanding was convinced, they refused to surrender their pride and self-righteousness, admitting that they, who had boasted of their wisdom over all the rest of the world, themselves needed a teacher." The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 277.
7 How was the dull of hearing’s need for the primary truths of Christian doctrine described? Hebrews 5:12, last half.
NOTE: "Let the truth be presented as it is in Jesus, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little. Speak of the love of God in words easy to be understood. Bible truth, presented in the meekness and love of Jesus will have a telling influence upon many minds." Evangelism, 199.
"But let laborers have discretion and not give strong meat to those who are babes; feed them with the sincere milk of the Word. In no case mingle your own spirit and ideas with the truth and cover up the precepts of God by traditions or suppositions. Let the people have the truth as it is in Jesus.—Manuscript 39, 1895." Evangelism, 252.
8 What is meant by "leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ"? Hebrews 6:1.
NOTE: "We are not always to remain children in our knowledge and experience in spiritual things. We are not always to express ourselves in the language of one who has just received Christ; but our prayers and exhortations are to grow in intelligence as we advance in experience in the truth. The language of a child of six in a child of ten years of age would not be pleasing to us, and how painful would it be to hear expressions of childish intelligence in one who had arrived at years of maturity. When a person becomes of age, we expect from him a corresponding intelligence, according to his years and opportunities. . . . But if we expect this manifestation of growing intelligence in the child, as he advances in years, should we not also expect to see the Christian grow in grace and experience? . . ." Sons and Daughters of God, 330.
"It is positively necessary for those who believe the truth, to be making continual advancement, growing up unto the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. There is no time for backsliding and indifference. Each one must have a living experience in the things of God. Have root in yourselves. Become grounded in the faith, so that having done all you may stand, with unwavering confidence in God, through the time that will try every man’s work and character. Exercise your powers in spiritual things, till you can appreciate the deep things of God’s word, and go on from strength to strength." Review and Herald, January 10, 1888.
9 What principles of the doctrine of Christ are given? Hebrews 6:2.
NOTE: "We may safely seek to be of one accord in doctrine and spirit, and if this were done, we would be in harmony with God’s will. If selfishness and pride and vanity and evil surmising were put away, we would become strong in God, and the door of our heart would be open for the entrance of Christ; the baptism of the Holy Ghost would fall upon us, and we should be filled with all the fullness of God." Review and Herald, April 22, 1890.
10 What is said of those who were once enlightened and fall away? Hebrews 6:4–6.
NOTE: "In heaven God is all in all. There, holiness reigns supreme; there is nothing to mar the perfect harmony with God. If we are indeed journeying thither, the spirit of heaven will dwell in our hearts here. But if we find no pleasure now in the contemplation of heavenly things; if we have no interest in seeking the knowledge of God, no delight in beholding the character of Christ; if holiness has no attractions for us—then we may be sure that our hope of heaven is vain. Perfect conformity to the will of God is the high aim to be constantly before the Christian. He will love to talk of God, of Jesus, of the home of bliss and purity which Christ has prepared for them that love Him. The contemplation of these themes, when the soul feasts upon the blessed assurances of God, the apostle represents as tasting ‘the powers of the world to come.’ [Hebrews 6:5.]" My Life Today, 293.
"Jesus says, ‘I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.’ John 12:32. And as one is drawn to behold Jesus uplifted on the cross, he discerns the sinfulness of humanity. He sees that it is sin which scourged and crucified the Lord of glory. He sees that, while he has been loved with unspeakable tenderness, his life has been a continual scene of ingratitude and rebellion. He has forsaken his best Friend and abused heaven’s most precious gift. He has crucified to himself the Son of God afresh and pierced anew that bleeding and stricken heart. He is separated from God by a gulf of sin that is broad and black and deep, and he mourns in brokenness of heart.
"Such mourning ‘shall be comforted.’ God reveals to us our guilt that we may flee to Christ, and through Him be set free from the bondage of sin, and rejoice in the liberty of the sons of God. In true contrition we may come to the foot of the cross, and there leave our burdens." Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 9, 10.
11 What lesson is taught in Hebrews 6:7?
NOTE: "The Christian is represented by the figure of the earth, which drinks in the rain that comes upon it, and brings forth fruit to the one who dresses and cares for it. The follower of Christ is to gather sap and nourishment from the living Vine. He is to produce fruit to the glory of God. The Lord requires that every plant in his garden should be thrifty, and bear fruit in abundance,—some thirty, some sixty, and some an hundred fold. We are not to be satisfied with momentary flashes of light; but we are constantly to seek for the illumination of the Spirit of God. It is our privilege to study the word of truth, and to obey it. We are not safe unless we are often found before God, offering up, in faith, fervent and effectual prayers. We must draw water from the wells of salvation. We may raise the soul from its common earthliness into a heavenly atmosphere which will purify, elevate, and refine it for the paradise of God. Those who keep the commandments of God, have a right to appropriate the rich promises that he has given." Review and Herald, July 31, 1888.
12 What warning against slighting the grace and blessing of Heaven is given? Hebrews 6:8.
NOTE: "Whenever pride and ambition are indulged, the life is marred, for pride, feeling no need, closes the heart against the infinite blessings of Heaven. He who makes self-glorification his aim will find himself destitute of the grace of God, through whose efficiency the truest riches and the most satisfying joys are won. But he who gives all and does all for Christ will know the fulfillment of the promise, ‘The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow with it.’ [Proverbs 10:22.]" Conflict and Courage, 194.