Whose are the fathers - Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, the twelve patriarchs, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, etc., etc., without controversy, the greatest and most eminent men that ever flourished under heaven. From these, is an uninterrupted and unpolluted line, the Jewish people had descended; and it was no small glory to be able to reckon, in their genealogy, persons of such incomparable merit and excellency.
And of whom, as concerning the flesh Christ came - These ancestors were the more renowned, as being the progenitors of the human nature of the Messiah. Christ, the Messiah, κατα σαρκα, according to the flesh, sprang from them. But this Messiah was more than man, he is God over all; the very Being who gave them being, though he appeared to receive a being from them.
Here the apostle most distinctly points out the twofold nature of our Lord - his eternal Godhead and his humanity; and all the transpositions of particles, and alterations of points in the universe, will not explain away this doctrine. As this verse contains such an eminent proof of the deity of Christ, no wonder that the opposers of his divinity should strive with their utmost skill and cunning to destroy its force. And it must be truly painful to a mind that has nothing in view but truth, to see the mean and hypocritical methods used to elude the force of this text. Few have met it in that honest and manly way in which Dr. Taylor, who was a conscientious Arian, has considered the subject. "Christ," says he, "is God over all, as he is by the Father appointed Lord, King, and Governor of all. The Father hath committed all judgement to the Son, John 5:22; has given all things into his hands, Matthew 28:18; he is Lord of all, Acts 10:36. God has given him a name above every name, Philemon 2:9; above every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come; and has put all things (himself excepted, 1 Corinthians 15:27;) under his feet and given him to be head over all things, Ephesians 1:21, Ephesians 1:22. This is our Lord's supreme Godhead. And that he is ευλογητος, blessed for ever, or the object of everlasting blessing, is evident from Revelation 5:12, Revelation 5:13; : Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power - and blessing and honor be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. Thus it appears the words may be justly applied to our blessed Lord." Notes, p. 329. Yes, and when we take other scriptures into the account, where his essential Godhead is particularly expressed, such as Colossians 1:16, Colossians 1:17; : For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created By him, and For him: and he is Before all things, and By him do all things consist; we shall find that he is not God by investiture or office, but properly and essentially such; for it is impossible to convey in human language, to human apprehension, a more complete and finished display of what is essential to Godhead, indivisible from it, and incommunicable to any created nature, than what is contained in the above verses. And while these words are allowed to make a part of Divine revelation, the essential Godhead of Jesus Christ will continue to be a doctrine of that revelation.
I pass by the groundless and endless conjectures about reversing some of the particles and placing points in different positions, as they have been all invented to get rid of the doctrine of Christ's divinity, which is so obviously acknowledged by the simple text; it is enough to state that there is no omission of these important words in any MS. or version yet discovered.
In this letter Paul gave free expression to his burden in behalf of the Jews. Ever since his conversion, he had longed to help his Jewish brethren to gain a clear understanding of the gospel message. “My heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is,” he declared, “that they might be saved.” AA 374.1
It was no ordinary desire that the apostle felt. Constantly he was petitioning God to work in behalf of the Israelites who had failed to recognize Jesus of Nazareth as the promised Messiah. “I say the truth in Christ,” he assured the believers at Rome, “my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: who are Israelites, to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever.” AA 374.2
The Jews were God's chosen people, through whom He had purposed to bless the entire race. From among them God had raised up many prophets. These had foretold the advent of a Redeemer who was to be rejected and slain by those who should have been the first to recognize Him as the Promised One. AA 374.3Read in context »
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 247.2
The world was made by Him, “and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3). If Christ made all things, He existed before all things. The words spoken in regard to this are so decisive that no one need be left in doubt. Christ was God essentially, and in the highest sense. He was with God from all eternity, God over all, blessed forevermore. 1SM 247.3
The Lord Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God, existed from eternity, a distinct person, yet one with the Father. He was the surpassing glory of heaven. He was the commander of the heavenly intelligences, and the adoring homage of the angels was received by Him as His right. This was no robbery of God. “The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way,” He declares, “before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: while as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth” (Proverbs 8:22-27). 1SM 247.4Read in context »
Jesus took the nature of humanity, in order to reveal to man a pure, unselfish love, to teach us how to love one another. 5BC 1126.1
As a man Christ ascended to heaven. As a man He is the substitute and surety for humanity. As a man He liveth to make intercession for us. He is preparing a place for all who love Him. As a man He will come again with power and glory, to receive His children. And that which should cause us joy and thanksgiving is, that God “hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained.” Then we may have the assurance forever that the whole unfallen universe is interested in the grand work Jesus came to our world to accomplish, even the salvation of man (Manuscript 16, 1890). 5BC 1126.2Read in context »