April 19th, 2015 Full Text |

SUNDAY APRIL 19, 2015


SUBJECT — DOCTRINE OF ATONEMENT


GOLDEN TEXT: LUKE 22 : 42


“Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”— Christ Jesus



RESPONSIVE READING: Matthew 16 : 13, 16, 17, 21-25

13.     When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

16.     And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

17.     And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

21.     From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

22.     Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.

23.     But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

24.     Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

25.     For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.


LESSON SERMON

The Bible


1.     John 1 : 1, 14, 17, 18

1     In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

14     And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

17     For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

18     No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.


2.     John 2 : 13-16

13     And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,

14     And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:

15     And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;

16     And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.


3.     Luke 18 : 35-43

35     And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging:

36     And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant.

37     And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.

38     And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

39     And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

40     And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him,

41     Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight.

42     And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.

43     And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.


4.     John 5 : 17 (Jesus), 30

17     …Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.

30     I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.


5.     John 13 : 31 (Jesus)

31     …Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.


6.     John 14 : 1, 2, 6 (I), 10, 11

1     Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

2     In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

6     …I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

10     Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

11     Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.


7.     John 16 : 1-3

1     These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.

2     They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.

3     And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.


8.     John 17 : 1, 4-6, 19-23, 25, 26

1     These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:

4     I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

5     And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

6     I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.

19     And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

20     Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

21     That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

22     And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

23     I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

25     O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.

26     And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.


Science and Health


1.     18 : 1-9, 13-14 (to ,)

Atonement is the exemplification of man's unity with God, whereby man reflects divine Truth, Life, and Love. Jesus of Nazareth taught and demonstrated man's oneness with the Father, and for this we owe him endless homage. His mission was both individual and collective. He did life's work aright not only in justice to himself, but in mercy to mortals, — to show them how to do theirs, but not to do it for them nor to relieve them of a single responsibility.

The atonement of Christ reconciles man to God, not God to man; for the divine Principle of Christ is God.


2.     19 : 6-16

Jesus aided in reconciling man to God by giving man a truer sense of Love, the divine Principle of Jesus' teachings, and this truer sense of Love redeems man from the law of matter, sin, and death by the law of Spirit,— the law of divine Love.

The Master forbore not to speak the whole truth, declaring precisely what would destroy sickness, sin, and death, although his teaching set households at variance, and brought to material beliefs not peace, but a sword.


3.     20 : 14-23

Jesus bore our infirmities; he knew the error of mortal belief, and "with his stripes [the rejection of error] we are healed." "Despised and rejected of men," returning blessing for cursing, he taught mortals the opposite of themselves, even the nature of God; and when error felt the power of Truth, the scourge and the cross awaited the great Teacher. Yet he swerved not, well knowing that to obey the divine order and trust God, saves retracing and traversing anew the path from sin to holiness.


4.     25 : 17-21

By his obedience to God, he demonstrated more spiritually than all others the Principle of being. Hence the force of his admonition, "If ye love me, keep my commandments."


5.     33 : 3-30

His followers, sorrowful and silent, anticipating the hour of their Master's betrayal, partook of the heavenly manna, which of old had fed in the wilderness the persecuted followers of Truth.

Their bread indeed came down from heaven. It was the great truth of spiritual being, healing the sick and casting out error. Their Master had explained it all before, and now this bread was feeding and sustaining them. They had borne this bread from house to house, breaking (explaining) it to others, and now it comforted themselves.

For this truth of spiritual being, their Master was about to suffer violence and drain to the dregs his cup of sorrow. He must leave them. With the great glory of an everlasting victory overshadowing him, he gave thanks and said, "Drink ye all of it."

When the human element in him struggled with the divine, our great Teacher said: "Not my will, but Thine, be done!" — that is, Let not the flesh, but the Spirit, be represented in me. This is the new understanding of spiritual Love. It gives all for Christ, or Truth. It blesses its enemies, heals the sick, casts out error, raises the dead from trespasses and sins, and preaches the gospel to the poor, the meek in heart.

Christians, are you drinking his cup? Have you shared the blood of the New Covenant, the persecutions which attend a new and higher understanding of God?


6.     22 : 11-31

"Work out your own salvation," is the demand of Life and Love, for to this end God worketh with you. "Occupy till I come!" Wait for your reward, and "be not weary in well doing." If your endeavors are beset by fearful odds, and you receive no present reward, go not back to error, nor become a sluggard in the race.

When the smoke of battle clears away, you will discern the good you have done, and receive according to your deserving. Love is not hasty to deliver us from temptation, for Love means that we shall be tried and purified.

Final deliverance from error, whereby we rejoice in immortality, boundless freedom, and sinless sense, is not reached through paths of flowers nor by pinning one's faith without works to another's vicarious effort. Whosoever believeth that wrath is righteous or that divinity is appeased by human suffering, does not understand God.

Justice requires reformation of the sinner. Mercy cancels the debt only when justice approves.


7.     23 : 1-11

Wisdom and Love may require many sacrifices of self to save us from sin. One sacrifice, however great, is insufficient to pay the debt of sin. The atonement requires constant self- immolation on the sinner's part. That God's wrath should be vented upon His beloved Son, is divinely unnatural. Such a theory is man-made. The atonement is a hard problem in theology, but its scientific explanation is, that suffering is an error of sinful sense which Truth destroys, and that eventually both sin and suffering will fall at the feet of everlasting Love.


8.     24 : 27-2

The efficacy of the crucifixion lay in the practical affection and goodness it demonstrated for mankind. The truth had been lived among men; but until they saw that it enabled their Master to triumph over the grave, his own disciples could not admit such an event to be possible. After the resurrection, even the unbelieving Thomas was forced to acknowledge how complete was the great proof of Truth and Love.


9.     22 : 6-10

Waking to Christ's demand, mortals experience suffering. This causes them, even as drowning men, to make vigorous efforts to save themselves; and through Christ's precious love these efforts are crowned with success.


10.     21 : 1-5, 9-14

If Truth is overcoming error in your daily walk and conversation, you can finally say, "I have fought a good fight . . . I have kept the faith," because you are a better man. This is having our part in the at-one-ment with Truth and Love.

If the disciple is advancing spiritually, he is striving to enter in. He constantly turns away from material sense, and looks towards the imperishable things of Spirit. If honest, he will be in earnest from the start, and gain a little each day in the right direction, till at last he finishes his course with joy.



Love is the liberator.