Chapter 12: ~ “WE NEED TO CONSIDER…”

Once again, it is through the Spirit of Prophecy that God has given us light and direction:

“In the highest sense the work of education and the work of redemption are one… In order to understand what is comprehended in the work of education, we need to consider both the nature of man and the purpose of God in creating him. We need to consider also the change in man’s condition through the coming in of a knowledge of evil, and God’s plan for still fulfilling His glorious purpose in the education of the human race.”  {Education 30 & 14, 15}


I would like to break this chapter into two parts. Part one is important. Part two is critical. In part one I would like to “consider the change in man’s condition through the coming in of a knowledge of evil.” In part two I would like to “consider God’s plan for still fulfilling His glorious purpose.” Both parts will be primarily a collection of quotes. Every quote (in the two groups) will contain the word “nature.” Please read them carefully; especially the second group.


Part I—“the change in man’s condition…”

“By nature the heart is evil.”  {Desire of Ages 172}

“By nature we are alienated from God.”  {Steps to Christ 43}

“By nature man has no love for God.”  {Review & Herald, March 12, 1901}

“Men are selfish by nature.”  {Review & Herald, January 6, 1891}

“The heart of man is by nature cold and dark and unloving.”  {Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing 21}


While the Spirit of Prophecy is clear that every one of us is “born with propensities of disobedience”, in the very same paragraph we are told just as clearly, “Not for one moment was there in Him an evil propensity.” {5BC 1128} In similar manner, while it is true that, “He took upon Him our sinful nature;” it is also just as true that, “not for one moment” can any of the above quotes be properly applied to Christ.


Part II—“God’s plan…”

“By nature we are alienated from God… God desires to heal us, to set us free. But since this requires an entire transformation, a renewing of our whole nature, we must yield ourselves wholly to Him.”  {Steps to Christ 43}

“Teach the children that because of God’s great love their natures may be changed and brought into harmony with His.”  {Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing 98}

“Having taken our fallen nature, [Christ] showed what it might become…”  {3 Selected Messages 134}

“Jesus took upon Himself man’s nature, that He might leave a pattern for humanity, complete, perfect. He proposes to make us like Himself, true in every purpose, feeling, and thought—true in heart, soul, and life. This is Christianity. Our fallen nature must be purified, ennobled, consecrated by obedience to the truth.”  {5 Testimonies 235}

“The forgiveness of sins is not the sole result of the death of Jesus. He made the infinite sacrifice, not only that sin might be removed, but that human nature might be restored, rebeautified, reconstructed from its ruins, and made fit for the presence of God.”  {5 Testimonies 537}

In the book Education we are told:

“The central theme of the Bible, the theme about which every other in the whole book clusters, is the redemption plan, the restoration in the human soul of the image of God…
“He who grasps this thought…has the key that will unlock to him the whole treasure house of God’s word.”  {Education 125, 126}

In like manner, he (or she) who not only grasps the thought, but has written in his heart and fulfilled in his life the truths contained in that last series of quotes, will have the key that will unlock to him the answer to this whole question. He will not only know in head knowledge, but infinitely more important, he will know by experience, that “the man Christ Jesus,” the man of whom it is written,

“For there stood in the world One who was a perfect representative of the Father.”  {1 Selected Messages 254}

was never “drawn away of His own lust,” neither was He “drawn away of His own evil desires.”