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Wed, October 29, 2014
Jesus Preached 'Original Innocence'
By TruthBook Staff
Here's an article that will warm the hearts of all who love Jesus, and certainly it will appeal to all Urantia Book reader/students out there. It is titled:
"Sure, the Pharisees Preached Original Sin -- But Jesus Preached Original Innocence"
The article is a good read: Click to read the article
Original Sin - True?
The idea of original sin is such a distasteful and hopeless kind of doctrine. Many people grow up believing that they have been born under forfeit of original sin - that they are basically bad from the get-go; the churches teach, of course, that Jesus came as the ransomer, to save mankind from this forfeit and take all the blame on himself. This can leave the sincere believer in the position of feeling like a passive and undeserving recipient of God's graces - not really expected to DO anything, but just to accept their badness, and then accept that Jesus magically takes the badness away through his suffering. And somehow, we are expected to accept that this is the behavior of a loving heavenly Father.
One thing I really like about this article is this passage:
"Sin is not the default nature we are born with. If it were, then Jesus himself would have been a sinner simply because he was human, but the reality is actually the opposite. That is precisely why we shouldn't shun our humanity or the humanity of others, but rather embrace our humanity, including the quirky, complicated, and uniqueness of it all, so that we can be liberated to truly love. For we are all human, and in our humanity we were made in the image of God, and God is love. It is our core image."
Teachings of Jesus About Sin:
"Do not become discouraged by the discovery that you are human. Human nature may tend toward evil, but it is not inherently sinful. Be not downcast by your failure wholly to forget some of your regrettable experiences. The mistakes which you fail to forget in time will be forgotten in eternity. Lighten your burdens of soul by speedily acquiring a long-distance view of your destiny, a universe expansion of your career."
And this is from the section called Jesus' Teaching at Tyre, and that whole section is worth a read.
And this...Jesus is speaking to the apostle Thomas, and is from the section called Evil, Sin, And Iniquity:
"It was the habit of Jesus two evenings each week to hold special converse with individuals who desired to talk with him, in a certain secluded and sheltered corner of the Zebedee garden. At one of these evening conversations in private Thomas asked the Master this question: "Why is it necessary for men to be born of the spirit in order to enter the kingdom? Is rebirth necessary to escape the control of the evil one? Master, what is evil?" When Jesus heard these questions, he said to Thomas:
" 'Do not make the mistake of confusing evil with the evil one, more correctly the iniquitous one. He whom you call the evil one is the son of self-love, the high administrator who knowingly went into deliberate rebellion against the rule of my Father and his loyal Sons. But I have already vanquished these sinful rebels. Make clear in your mind these different attitudes toward the Father and his universe. Never forget these laws of relation to the Father's will:
" 'Evil is the unconscious or unintended transgression of the divine law, the Father's will. Evil is likewise the measure of the imperfectness of obedience to the Father's will.
" 'Sin is the conscious, knowing, and deliberate transgression of the divine law, the Father's will. Sin is the measure of unwillingness to be divinely led and spiritually directed.
" 'Iniquity is the willful, determined, and persistent transgression of the divine law, the Father's will. Iniquity is the measure of the continued rejection of the Father's loving plan of personality survival and the Sons' merciful ministry of salvation.
" 'By nature, before the rebirth of the spirit, mortal man is subject to inherent evil tendencies, but such natural imperfections of behavior are neither sin nor iniquity. Mortal man is just beginning his long ascent to the perfection of the Father in Paradise. To be imperfect or partial in natural endowment is not sinful. Man is indeed subject to evil, but he is in no sense the child of the evil one unless he has knowingly and deliberately chosen the paths of sin and the life of iniquity. Evil is inherent in the natural order of this world, but sin is an attitude of conscious rebellion which was brought to this world by those who fell from spiritual light into gross darkness.
" 'You are confused, Thomas, by the doctrines of the Greeks and the errors of the Persians. You do not understand the relationships of evil and sin because you view mankind as beginning on earth with a perfect Adam and rapidly degenerating, through sin, to man's present deplorable estate. But why do you refuse to comprehend the meaning of the record which discloses how Cain, the son of Adam, went over into the land of Nod and there got himself a wife? And why do you refuse to interpret the meaning of the record which portrays the sons of God finding wives for themselves among the daughters of men?
" 'Men are, indeed, by nature evil, but not necessarily sinful. The new birth—the baptism of the spirit—is essential to deliverance from evil and necessary for entrance into the kingdom of heaven, but none of this detracts from the fact that man is the son of God. Neither does this inherent presence of potential evil mean that man is in some mysterious way estranged from the Father in heaven so that, as an alien, foreigner, or stepchild, he must in some manner seek for legal adoption by the Father. All such notions are born, first, of your misunderstanding of the Father and, second, of your ignorance of the origin, nature, and destiny of man.
" 'The Greeks and others have taught you that man is descending from godly perfection steadily down toward oblivion or destruction; I have come to show that man, by entrance into the kingdom, is ascending certainly and surely up to God and divine perfection. Any being who in any manner falls short of the divine and spiritual ideals of the eternal Father's will is potentially evil, but such beings are in no sense sinful, much less iniquitous.'"
Here, Jesus redefines sin for us...he describes evil and iniquity, and outlines the differences between these three tendencies of mankind, but never does he say that man is inherently sinful.
This is information that the world needs to hear - the real teachings of Jesus as related in Part IV of The Urantia Book.
No more does man have to feel that he is a hopeless worm of the earth; instead, the religion of Jesus elevates and ennobles mankind through affirming that man is a child of God, and that he can proactively co-create his own destiny with God - a destiny of achievement, joy, adventure, and eventual union with God in Paradise. This is done by deliberate choosing - by actively pursuing truth, goodness and beauty in our everyday lives, and by growing in grace so that we begin to exhibit the fruits of spirit in our relations with others.
No more do we have to feel that we are worth-less. The religion of Jesus elevates the ordinary human being to an extraordinary child of God, able to realize daily the ennobling power of the love of God
Why Did Jesus Call Himself The "Son of Man?"
As an aside, I also want to comment on the author's question about why Jesus chose to refer to himself as the "Son of man..."
In The Urantia Book, we learn of the Master's WHOLE life - not just the Biblical stories that have been heretofore available. And so we learn that when Jesus was 15 years old, he decided upon this title for himself:
126:3.6 "In the course of this year Jesus found a passage in the so-called Book of Enoch which influenced him in the later adoption of the term "Son of Man" as a designation for his bestowal mission on Urantia. He had thoroughly considered the idea of the Jewish Messiah and was firmly convinced that he was not to be that Messiah. He longed to help his father's people, but he never expected to lead Jewish armies in overthrowing the foreign domination of Palestine. He knew he would never sit on the throne of David at Jerusalem. Neither did he believe that his mission was that of a spiritual deliverer or moral teacher solely to the Jewish people. In no sense, therefore, could his life mission be the fulfillment of the intense longings and supposed Messianic prophecies of the Hebrew scriptures; at least, not as the Jews understood these predictions of the prophets. Likewise he was certain he was never to appear as the Son of Man depicted by the Prophet Daniel.
"But when the time came for him to go forth as a world teacher, what would he call himself? What claim should he make concerning his mission? By what name would he be called by the people who would become believers in his teachings?
"While turning all these problems over in his mind, he found in the synagogue library at Nazareth, among the apocalyptic books which he had been studying, this manuscript called "The Book of Enoch"; and though he was certain that it had not been written by Enoch of old, it proved very intriguing to him, and he read and reread it many times. There was one passage which particularly impressed him, a passage in which this term "Son of Man" appeared. The writer of this so-called Book of Enoch went on to tell about this Son of Man, describing the work he would do on earth and explaining that this Son of Man, before coming down on this earth to bring salvation to mankind, had walked through the courts of heavenly glory with his Father, the Father of all; and that he had turned his back upon all this grandeur and glory to come down on earth to proclaim salvation to needy mortals. As Jesus would read these passages (well understanding that much of the Eastern mysticism which had become admixed with these teachings was erroneous), he responded in his heart and recognized in his mind that of all the Messianic predictions of the Hebrew scriptures and of all the theories about the Jewish deliverer, none was so near the truth as this story tucked away in this only partially accredited Book of Enoch; and he then and there decided to adopt as his inaugural title "the Son of Man." And this he did when he subsequently began his public work. Jesus had an unerring ability for the recognition of truth, and truth he never hesitated to embrace, no matter from what source it appeared to emanate. "
You've heard it here before, but I want to say again that the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it is the most important knowledge that any of us can have. In The Urantia Book, we have this knowledge, and it's yours for the taking. It may just transform your life
Link to External Source Article
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