Sunday, May 5th, 2019
“To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him.”
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1. Lord, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob.
2. Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin.
3. Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger.
4. Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease.
5. Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations?
6. Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?
7. Shew us thy mercy, O Lord, and grant us thy salvation.
8. I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.
9. Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.
1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.
10 Now will I rise, saith the Lord; now will I be exalted; now will I lift up myself.
11 Ye shall conceive chaff, ye shall bring forth stubble: your breath, as fire, shall devour you.
12 And the people shall be as the burnings of lime: as thorns cut up shall they be burned in the fire.
13 Hear, ye that are far off, what I have done; and, ye that are near, acknowledge my might.
14 The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?
15 He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;
16 He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.
22 For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.
24 And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.
1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan,
1 Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.
2 And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.
3 And he spake this parable unto them, saying,
4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:
12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.
37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
God created all through Mind, and made all perfect and eternal.
When speaking of God's children, not the children of men, Jesus said, "The kingdom of God is within you;" that is, Truth and Love reign in the real man, showing that man in God's image is unfallen and eternal. Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick. Thus Jesus taught that the kingdom of God is intact, universal, and that man is pure and holy.
In proportion to his purity is man perfect; and perfection is the order of celestial being which demonstrates Life in Christ, Life's spiritual ideal.
God, or good, never made man capable of sin.
God is as incapable of producing sin, sickness, and death as He is of experiencing these errors. How then is it possible for Him to create man subject to this triad of errors, — man who is made in the divine likeness?
God is "of purer eyes than to behold evil." We sustain Truth, not by accepting, but by rejecting a lie.
Jesus said of personified evil, that it was "a liar, and the father of it." Truth creates neither a lie, a capacity to lie, nor a liar. If mankind would relinquish the belief that God makes sickness, sin, and death, or makes man capable of suffering on account of this malevolent triad, the foundations of error would be sapped and error's destruction ensured;
Sin has the elements of self-destruction. It cannot sustain itself. If sin is supported, God must uphold it, and this is impossible, since Truth cannot support error.
The destruction of sin is the divine method of pardon. Divine Life destroys death, Truth destroys error, and Love destroys hate. Being destroyed, sin needs no other form of forgiveness.
To cause suffering as the result of sin, is the means of destroying sin. Every supposed pleasure in sin will furnish more than its equivalent of pain, until belief in material life and sin is destroyed.
To suppose that God forgives or punishes sin according as His mercy is sought or unsought, is to misunderstand Love and to make prayer the safety-valve for wrong-doing.
Jesus uncovered and rebuked sin before he cast it out. Of a sick woman he said that Satan had bound her, and to Peter he said, "Thou art an offence unto me." He came teaching and showing men how to destroy sin, sickness, and death.
Sorrow for wrong-doing is but one step towards reform and the very easiest step. The next and great step required by wisdom is the test of our sincerity, — namely, reformation. To this end we are placed under the stress of circumstances. Temptation bids us repeat the offence, and woe comes in return for what is done. So it will ever be, till we learn that there is no discount in the law of justice and that we must pay "the uttermost farthing." The measure ye mete "shall be measured to you again," and it will be full "and running over."
Grafting holiness upon unholiness, supposing that sin can be forgiven when it is not forsaken, is as foolish as straining out gnats and swallowing camels.
The scientific unity which exists between God and man must be wrought out in life-practice, and God's will must be universally done.
Vibrating like a pendulum between sin and the hope of forgiveness, — selfishness and sensuality causing constant retrogression, — our moral progress will be slow. 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.
"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.
If a man is an inebriate, a slave to tobacco, or the special servant of any one of the myriad forms of sin, meet and destroy these errors with the truth of being, — by exhibiting to the wrong-doer the suffering which his submission to such habits brings, and by convincing him that there is no real pleasure in false appetites. A corrupt mind is manifested in a corrupt body. Lust, malice, and all sorts of evil are diseased beliefs, and you can destroy them only by destroying the wicked motives which produce them. If the evil is over in the repentant mortal mind, while its effects still remain on the individual, you can remove this disorder as God's law is fulfilled and reformation cancels the crime. The healthy sinner is the hardened sinner.
Truth bestows no pardon upon error, but wipes it out in the most effectual manner.
Through repentance, spiritual baptism, and regeneration, mortals put off their material beliefs and false individuality. It is only a question of time when "they shall all know Me [God], from the least of them unto the greatest." Denial of the claims of matter is a great step towards the joys of Spirit, towards human freedom and the final triumph over the body.