The God and Father of our Lord - Here is a very solemn asseveration; an appeal to the ever blessed God for the truth of what he asserts. It is something similar to his asseveration or oath in 2 Corinthians 11:10; of this chapter; see also Romans 9:5, and Galatians 1:20. And from these and several other places we learn that the apostle thought it right thus to confirm his assertions on these particular occasions. But here is nothing to countenance profane swearing, or taking the name of God in vain, as many do in exclamations, when surprised, or on hearing something unexpected, etc.; and as others do who, conscious of their own falsity, endeavor to gain credit by appeals to God for the truth of what they say. St. Paul's appeal to God is in the same spirit as his most earnest prayer. This solemn appeal the apostle makes in reference to what he mentions in the following verses. This was a fact not yet generally known.
The God and Father - Paul was accustomed to make solemn appeals to God for the truth of what he said, especially when it was likely to be called in question; see 2 Corinthians 11:10; compare Romans 9:1. The solemn appeal which he here makes to God is made in view of what he had just said of his sufferings, not of what follows - for there was nothing in the occurrence at Damascus that demanded so solemn an appeal to God. The reason of this asseveration is probably that the transactions to which he had referred were known to but few, and perhaps not all of them to even his best friends; that his trials and calamities had been so numerous and extraordinary that his enemies would say that they were improbable, and that all this had been the mere fruit of exaggeration; and as he had no witnesses to appeal to for the truth of what he said, he makes a solemn appeal to the ever-blessed God. This appeal is made with great reverence. It is not rash, or bold, and is by no means irreverent or profane. He appeals to God as the Father of the Redeemer whom he so much venerated and loved, and as himself blessed for evermore. If all appeals to God were made on as important occasions as this, and with the same profound veneration and reverence, such appeals would never be improper, and we should never be shocked as we are often now when people appeal to God. This passage proves that an appeal to God on great occasions is not improper; it proves also that it should be done with profound veneration.
Christ did not make believe take human nature; He did verily take it. He did in reality possess human nature. “As the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same” (Hebrews 2:14). He was the son of Mary; He was of the seed of David according to human descent. He is declared to be a man, even the Man Christ Jesus. “This man,” writes Paul, “was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house” (Hebrews 3:3). 1SM 247.1
But while God's Word speaks of the humanity of Christ when upon this earth, it also speaks decidedly regarding His pre-existence. The Word existed as a divine being, even as the eternal Son of God, in union and oneness with His Father. From everlasting He was the Mediator of the covenant, the one in whom all nations of the earth, both Jews and Gentiles, if they accepted Him, were to be blessed. “The Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). Before men or angels were created, the Word was with God, and was God. 1SM 247.2Read in context »
Day by day we may be laying up a good foundation against the time to come. By self-denial, by the exercise of the missionary spirit, by crowding all the good works possible into our life, by seeking so to represent Christ in character that we shall win many souls to the truth, we shall have respect unto the recompense of reward. It rests with us to walk in the light, to make the most of every opportunity and privilege, to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, and so we shall work the works of Christ, and ensure for ourselves treasure in the heavens (The Review and Herald, January 29, 1895). 6BC 1105.1
7. Giving Grudgingly Mocks God—It were better not to give at all than to give grudgingly; for if we impart of our means when we have not the spirit to give freely, we mock God. Let us bear in mind that we are dealing with One upon whom we depend for every blessing, One who reads every thought of the heart, every purpose of the mind (The Review and Herald, May 15, 1900). 6BC 1105.2Read in context »