Thursday, December 25, 2008

“Atonement and Universal Harmony”

The basic idea that our Lesson 13 author wishes us to get is in part 3 of the questions for Friday, December 26: “Think about what God offers us” (emphasis added).

Let’s revise that statement to say, “Let’s think about what God GIVES us ...”

The Lesson dwells on the “cosmic” wonders of the new life that God provides in the resurrection and in the process of translation at the second coming of Christ. Eternal life will be a new kind of life, life shared with the Father and His vast universe.

That eternal life begins even now; we do not have to wait until the resurrection to know this new quality of life:

(a) We begin even now to live “in Christ,” which means we share His thinking and His loving concern for others.

(b) We see people now with new vision—we see them as He sees them.

(c) That means we love even the unlovable people, because the love we have for them has become agape.

(d) Fear has been cast out of our thinking, which means we no longer fear anyone or what anyone can do to us (that’s a huge step forward!). Fear is not the reason why we keep the Sabbath or pay tithe, etc. The love (agape) of Christ motivates us to live for Him and not for self.

(e) We can think differently about people who have annoyed us, or shown contempt for us; in other words, our “enemies.” We see them as little children who have been harmed by the wrong education they have received; and we are enabled to “see” them for what they could be if their “education” had been Christlike.

(f) The whole world has become “new” and now we walk “in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). Fear having been eliminated “in Christ,” we are free to grow and develop our hitherto buried talents. No one is stamping on the little new plants that have just begun to germinate!

(g) Please remember the seven great promises that the Lord makes to us in the New Covenant, in Genesis 12:2, 3. The Lord made those promises to Abraham; but they are also made one hundred percent to you.

(h) Now believe them!

And walk out in liberty (Gal. 5:1).

Robert J. Wieland