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PAPER 196 - THE FAITH OF JESUS

FAITH OF JESUS

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#1 Rick Warren

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 07:11 PM

Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 196 - The Faith Of Jesus

 

 

[INTRODUCTION - PART 1 of 2]

 

   JESUS enjoyed a sublime and wholehearted faith in God. He experienced the ordinary ups and downs of mortal existence, but he never religiously doubted the certainty of God’s watchcare and guidance. His faith was the outgrowth of the insight born of the activity of the divine presence, his indwelling Adjuster. His faith was neither traditional nor merely intellectual; it was wholly personal and purely spiritual.

 

(2087.2)196:0.2 The human Jesus saw God as being holy, just, and great, as well as being true, beautiful, and good. All these attributes of divinity he focused in his mind as the “will of the Father in heaven.” Jesus’ God was at one and the same time “The Holy One of Israel” and “The living and loving Father in heaven.” The concept of God as a Father was not original with Jesus, but he exalted and elevated the idea into a sublime experience by achieving a new revelation of God and by proclaiming that every mortal creature is a child of this Father of love, a son of God.

 

(2087.3)196:0.3 Jesus did not cling to faith in God as would a struggling soul at war with the universe and at death grips with a hostile and sinful world; he did not resort to faith merely as a consolation in the midst of difficulties or as a comfort in threatened despair; faith was not just an illusory compensation for the unpleasant realities and the sorrows of living. In the very face of all the natural difficulties and the temporal contradictions of mortal existence, he experienced the tranquillity of supreme and unquestioned trust in God and felt the tremendous thrill of living, by faith, in the very presence of the heavenly Father. And this triumphant faith was a living experience of actual spirit attainment. Jesus’ great contribution to the values of human experience was not that he revealed so many new ideas about the Father in heaven, but rather that he so magnificently and humanly demonstrated a new and higher type of living faith in God. Never on all the worlds of this universe, in the life of any one mortal, did God ever become such a living reality as in the human experience of Jesus of Nazareth.

 

(2087.4)196:0.4 In the Master’s life on Urantia, this and all other worlds of the local creation discover a new and higher type of religion, religion based on personal spiritual relations with the Universal Father and wholly validated by the supreme authority of genuine personal experience. This living faith of Jesus was more than an intellectual reflection, and it was not a mystic meditation.

 

(2087.5)196:0.5 Theology may fix, formulate, define, and dogmatize faith, but in the human life of Jesus faith was personal, living, original, spontaneous, and purely spiritual. This faith was not reverence for tradition nor a mere intellectual belief which he held as a sacred creed, but rather a sublime experience and a profound conviction which securely held him. His faith was so real and all-encompassing that it absolutely swept away any spiritual doubts and effectively destroyed every conflicting desire. Nothing was able to tear him away from the spiritual anchorage of this fervent, sublime, and undaunted faith. Even in the face of apparent defeat or in the throes of disappointment and threatening despair, he calmly stood in the divine presence free from fear and fully conscious of spiritual invincibility. Jesus enjoyed the invigorating assurance of the possession of unflinching faith, and in each of life’s trying situations he unfailingly exhibited an unquestioning loyalty to the Father’s will. And this superb faith was undaunted even by the cruel and crushing threat of an ignominious death.

 

(2088.1)196:0.6 In a religious genius, strong spiritual faith so many times leads directly to disastrous fanaticism, to exaggeration of the religious ego, but it was not so with Jesus. He was not unfavorably affected in his practical life by his extraordinary faith and spirit attainment because this spiritual exaltation was a wholly unconscious and spontaneous soul expression of his personal experience with God.

 

 

(2088.2)196:0.7 The all-consuming and indomitable spiritual faith of Jesus never became fanatical, for it never attempted to run away with his well-balanced intellectual judgments concerning the proportional values of practical and commonplace social, economic, and moral life situations. The Son of Man was a splendidly unified human personality; he was a perfectly endowed divine being; he was also magnificently co-ordinated as a combined human and divine being functioning on earth as a single personality. Always did the Master co-ordinate the faith of the soul with the wisdom-appraisals of seasoned experience. Personal faith, spiritual hope, and moral devotion were always correlated in a matchless religious unity of harmonious association with the keen realization of the reality and sacredness of all human loyalties — personal honor, family love, religious obligation, social duty, and economic necessity.

 

 

 

***

 

 

[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us.]



#2 Rick Warren

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 07:17 PM

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Greetings Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Visitors!

 

WELCOME to the OPAD presentation of Paper 196. This Paper has slightly more than ten pages but only three Sections.

 

Contents of: Paper 196 - THE FAITH OF JESUS


1. Jesus — The Man

 

2. The Religion of Jesus

 

3. The Supremacy of Religion

 

 

On the first reading I very well remember wondering how the celestial authors would end this magnificent, unique masterpiece, this book for the ages. How should the Revelatory Commission finish this, the latest epochal revelation to be given Urantia since Jesus' time? The Urantia Book , as it should, begins and ends revealing God:

 

The first line of Paper 1 is:

 

 "...THE Universal Father is the God of all creation, the First Source and Center of all things and beings...." (21.1)1:0.1

 

The last line of Paper 196:

 

"...When all is said and done, the Father idea is still the highest human concept of God...."

 

***

 

Paper 196 also begins by referring to God, and the Master's unreserved trust in our Universal Father:
 

...JESUS enjoyed a sublime and wholehearted faith in God.... (2087.1)196:0.1

 

The Midwayers go on to say it was his Adjuster who engendered such great faith:


...His faith was the outgrowth of the insight born of the activity of the divine presence, his indwelling Adjuster.... (2087.2)196:0.2

 

Thanks to the grace and goodness of the heavenly Father, these exact same fragments of God indwell us all, therefore is that same outgrowth of faith possible for us all.

 

Are the Thought Adjusters important to our spiritual growth? The authors seem to think so. They are mentioned in over 800 paragraphs. There are six whole Papers about them in Part III, all written by a Solitary Messenger:

 

107. Origin and Nature of Thought Adjusters
108. Mission and Ministry of Thought Adjusters

109. Relation of Adjusters to Universe Creatures
110. Relation of Adjusters to Individual Mortals
111. The Adjuster and the Soul
112. Personality Survival

 

 

***

 

In the second paragraph of the introduction to this Paper, there is yet another use the TB&G trio:
 

...The human Jesus saw God as being holy, just, and great, as well as being true, beautiful, and good.... (2087.2)196:0.2

 

84 Uses of Truth, Beauty & Goodness In 16 Languages

 

If the human Jesus had not been born, lived and taught here, we wouldn't have this vastly enlarged concept of the nature and character of God:
 

...he exalted and elevated the idea into a sublime experience.... (2087.2)196:0.2

 

...and we would not have known we are God's children.

 

 

***
 

In the third paragraph of today's text the Midwayers address the contribution of the living faith of this God-man:


...he so magnificently and humanly demonstrated a new and higher type of living faith in God.... (2087.3)196:0.3
 

The word FAITH appears in over 500 places in the book. Paper 101 has a whole Section on the subject:
 

8. Faith and Belief

 

Paper 102 is much about faith:

 

102. The Foundations of Religious Faith

 

1. Assurances of Faith

2. Religion and Reality

3. Knowledge, Wisdom, and Insight

4. The Fact of Experience

5. The Supremacy of Purposive Potential

6. The Certainty of Religious Faith

7. The Certitude of the Divine

8. The Evidences of Religion


 

And what validates our religious faith? From today's reading:


 ...wholly validated by the supreme authority of genuine personal experience.... (2087.4)196:0.4
 

Many are the references to genuine and personal religious experiences. This quote in Paper 1 addresses the validation of faith in God's personal presence:

 

...The prepersonal divine spirit which indwells the mortal mind carries, in its very presence, the valid proof of its actual existence, but the concept of the divine personality can be grasped only by the spiritual insight of genuine personal religious experience. Any person, human or divine, may be known and comprehended quite apart from the external reactions or the material presence of that person.... (30.3)1:6.4
 

 

***

 

The Midwayers point to a common problem with certain people who have had personal religious experiences:
 

 ...In a religious genius, strong spiritual faith so many times leads directly to disastrous fanaticism, to exaggeration of the religious ego, but it was not so with Jesus....(2088.1)196:0.6
 

Also, in Paper 110, the Solitary Messenger author cites this problem:


 ...Even when they do find it possible to flash a gleam of new truth to the evolving mortal soul, this spiritual revelation often so blinds the creature as to precipitate a convulsion of fanaticism or to initiate some other intellectual upheaval which results disastrously. Many a new religion and strange “ism” has arisen from the aborted, imperfect, misunderstood, and garbled communications of the Thought Adjusters.... (1207.5)110:4.5
 

 

***

 

This list of Jesus' human loyalties in the last paragraph of today's OPAD deserves highlighting:


 ...personal honor, family love, religious obligation, social duty, and economic necessity.... (2088.2)196:0.7
 

The order of their presentation may be significant, eh?

 

 

***

 

 

SYNOPSIS OF PAPER 196

 

Jesus magnificently demonstrated living faith in God. He never doubted the certainty of God's watch care. His faith was not merely intellectual; it was a profound conviction which securely held him in the living reality of God and destroyed every desire that conflicted with the will of the Father. Jesus never failed to exhibit unquestioning loyalty to God's will.

 

Jesus trusted God as a child trusts his father. His complete dependence on God gave Jesus the assurance of absolute personal security. Jesus had confidence in the goodness of the universe. He wants his followers to believe in the reality of the Father's love so that they too can experience the confidence that comes from knowing they are children of God.

 

Jesus was the most truly religious person who ever lived on earth. If the religion of Jesus suddenly replaced the religion about Jesus, the social, economic, and moral transformations that would occur would be revolutionary.

 

Christianity is founded on the personal religious experience of Paul, but the gospel of the kingdom is founded on the personal religious experience of Jesus. We should not literally imitate Jesus' life; we need to trust God as Jesus trusts God and to believe in each other as he believes in us. The greatest of all human knowledge is knowing the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it.

 

Jesus' life reveals a pattern of religious growth that started with early primitive awe, moved through personal spiritual communion, and arrived at advanced consciousness of oneness with the Father. He grew from the humble mortal status that prompted his words, "Why do you call me good?" to the sublime consciousness of divinity which led him to say, "Which one of you convicts me of sin?"

 

Jesus did not believe, as Paul did, that the world was fundamentally evil. He viewed humans positively. Jesus saw men as sons of God and knew of the magnificent futures awaiting those who chose survival. Jesus was willing to devote himself to mortal service because of the high value that he placed on people. We are uplifted by his extraordinary faith in us.

 

There are three evidences that spirit indwells the human mind. The first is love-only a spirit-indwelt mind is capable of altruism. The second is wisdom-only a spirit-indwelt mind can discern that the universe is friendly. The third is worship-only a spirit-indwelt mind can realize the divine presence and seek experience with divinity.

 

The human mind does not create value. It can only discover, recognize, interpret, and choose values and meanings. Human survival is dependent on choosing those values selected by the indwelling Adjuster, the spirit-value sorter. Man's challenge on earth is to achieve better communication with this indwelling Monitor.

 

Be not discouraged; human evolution is still in progress, and the revelation of God in the world, in and through Jesus, shall not fail.

 

SYNOPSIS SOURCE

 

 

The_Urantia_Book_Word_Cloud_196_375.jpg

WORD CLOUD OF PAPER 196

 

 

***

 

Tomorrow’s reading is the last half of the Introduction to Paper 196. The Midwayers go on to discuss Jesus' faith and spiritual values, his goodness, his service, his trust, his belief, and his life's purpose.

 

Listen to Paper 196: (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 

Thanks for reading. Members’ thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today’s OPAD presentation are invited.

 

Much love, Rick/OPAD host.



#3 Rick Warren

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 03:41 PM


Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 196 - The Faith Of Jesus

 

[INTRODUCTION - PART 2 of 2]

 

   The faith of Jesus visualized all spirit values as being found in the kingdom of God; therefore he said, “Seek first the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus saw in the advanced and ideal fellowship of the kingdom the achievement and fulfillment of the “will of God.” The very heart of the prayer which he taught his disciples was, “Your kingdom come; your will be done.” Having thus conceived of the kingdom as comprising the will of God, he devoted himself to the cause of its realization with amazing self-forgetfulness and unbounded enthusiasm. But in all his intense mission and throughout his extraordinary life there never appeared the fury of the fanatic nor the superficial frothiness of the religious egotist.

 

(2088.4)196:0.9 The Master’s entire life was consistently conditioned by this living faith, this sublime religious experience. This spiritual attitude wholly dominated his thinking and feeling, his believing and praying, his teaching and preaching. This personal faith of a son in the certainty and security of the guidance and protection of the heavenly Father imparted to his unique life a profound endowment of spiritual reality. And yet, despite this very deep consciousness of close relationship with divinity, this Galilean, God’s Galilean, when addressed as Good Teacher, instantly replied, “Why do you call me good?” When we stand confronted by such splendid self-forgetfulness, we begin to understand how the Universal Father found it possible so fully to manifest himself to him and reveal himself through him to the mortals of the realms.

 

(2088.5)196:0.10 Jesus brought to God, as a man of the realm, the greatest of all offerings: the consecration and dedication of his own will to the majestic service of doing the divine will. Jesus always and consistently interpreted religion wholly in terms of the Father’s will. When you study the career of the Master, as concerns prayer or any other feature of the religious life, look not so much for what he taught as for what he did. Jesus never prayed as a religious duty. To him prayer was a sincere expression of spiritual attitude, a declaration of soul loyalty, a recital of personal devotion, an expression of thanksgiving, an avoidance of emotional tension, a prevention of conflict, an exaltation of intellection, an ennoblement of desire, a vindication of moral decision, an enrichment of thought, an invigoration of higher inclinations, a consecration of impulse, a clarification of viewpoint, a declaration of faith, a transcendental surrender of will, a sublime assertion of confidence, a revelation of courage, the proclamation of discovery, a confession of supreme devotion, the validation of consecration, a technique for the adjustment of difficulties, and the mighty mobilization of the combined soul powers to withstand all human tendencies toward selfishness, evil, and sin. He lived just such a life of prayerful consecration to the doing of his Father’s will and ended his life triumphantly with just such a prayer. The secret of his unparalleled religious life was this consciousness of the presence of God; and he attained it by intelligent prayer and sincere worship — unbroken communion with God — and not by leadings, voices, visions, or extraordinary religious practices.

 

(2089.1)196:0.11 In the earthly life of Jesus, religion was a living experience, a direct and personal movement from spiritual reverence to practical righteousness. The faith of Jesus bore the transcendent fruits of the divine spirit. His faith was not immature and credulous like that of a child, but in many ways it did resemble the unsuspecting trust of the child mind. Jesus trusted God much as the child trusts a parent. He had a profound confidence in the universe — just such a trust as the child has in its parental environment. Jesus’ wholehearted faith in the fundamental goodness of the universe very much resembled the child’s trust in the security of its earthly surroundings. He depended on the heavenly Father as a child leans upon its earthly parent, and his fervent faith never for one moment doubted the certainty of the heavenly Father’s overcare. He was not disturbed seriously by fears, doubts, and skepticism. Unbelief did not inhibit the free and original expression of his life. He combined the stalwart and intelligent courage of a full-grown man with the sincere and trusting optimism of a believing child. His faith grew to such heights of trust that it was devoid of fear.

 

(2089.2)196:0.12 The faith of Jesus attained the purity of a child’s trust. His faith was so absolute and undoubting that it responded to the charm of the contact of fellow beings and to the wonders of the universe. His sense of dependence on the divine was so complete and so confident that it yielded the joy and the assurance of absolute personal security. There was no hesitating pretense in his religious experience. In this giant intellect of the full-grown man the faith of the child reigned supreme in all matters relating to the religious consciousness. It is not strange that he once said, “Except you become as a little child, you shall not enter the kingdom.” Notwithstanding that Jesus’ faith was childlike, it was in no sense childish.

 

(2089.3)196:0.13 Jesus does not require his disciples to believe in him but rather to believe with him, believe in the reality of the love of God and in full confidence accept the security of the assurance of sonship with the heavenly Father. The Master desires that all his followers should fully share his transcendent faith. Jesus most touchingly challenged his followers, not only to believe what he believed, but also to believe as he believed. This is the full significance of his one supreme requirement, “Follow me.”

 

(2090.1)196:0.14 Jesus’ earthly life was devoted to one great purpose — doing the Father’s will, living the human life religiously and by faith. The faith of Jesus was trusting, like that of a child, but it was wholly free from presumption. He made robust and manly decisions, courageously faced manifold disappointments, resolutely surmounted extraordinary difficulties, and unflinchingly confronted the stern requirements of duty. It required a strong will and an unfailing confidence to believe what Jesus believed and as he believed.

 

 

 

***

 

 

[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us.]



#4 Rick Warren

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 03:45 PM

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Greetings Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Guests,

 

More than once, in the Bible and the UB, we are advised to first find God, then attempt to discern and enact his wishes. From today's text:

 

   ...The faith of Jesus visualized all spirit values as being found in the kingdom of God; therefore he said, “Seek first the kingdom of heaven...." (2088.3)196:0.8

 

After that, all things will fall into place.

 

From Jesus in Paper 140:
 

“...Your message to the world shall be: Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and in finding these, all other things essential to eternal survival shall be secured therewith...." (1569.2)140:1.5


Jesus again in Paper 140:
 

"...Seek first the kingdom of God, and when you have found entrance thereto, all things needful shall be added to you...” (1577.7)140:6.13


From the Midwayers in Paper 195:

 

...The higher a civilization climbs, the more necessitous becomes the duty to “seek first the realities of heaven” in all of man’s efforts to stabilize society and facilitate the solution of its material problems.... (2075.4)195:5.1

 

From Matthew 6:
 

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
 

From Luke 12:
 

31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.

 

Just about everyone who is even vaguely familiar with Christianity has heard this in the first paragraph of today's reading:
 

“...Your kingdom come; your will be done...." (2088.3)196:0.8
 

It is from the "Lord's Prayer" of course. Jesus also used it at his Baptism, in Paper 136:
 

"...My Father who reigns in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come! Your will be done on earth, even as it is in heaven.” When he had prayed, the “heavens were opened...." (1511.3)136:2.4
 

He used it again when he taught the apostles his version of the Lord's Prayer (Paper 144):

 

...Jesus said: “If, then, you still desire such a prayer, I would present the one which I taught my brothers and sisters in Nazareth”:

 

Our Father who is in heaven,

Hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come; your will be done

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our bread for tomorrow;

Refresh our souls with the water of life.

And forgive us every one our debts

As we also have forgiven our debtors.

Save us in temptation, deliver us from evil,

And increasingly make us perfect like yourself.... (1619.6)144:3.2

 

 

And we see it used again in Paper 170:


 ...Long had the Master taught his followers to pray: “Your kingdom come; your will be done...." (1860.6)170:2.11
 

 

***

 

This quote about goodness in the second paragraph of today's OPAD (the one Ray highlighted yesterday):

 

...when addressed as Good Teacher, instantly replied, “Why do you call me good?” When we stand confronted by such splendid self-forgetfulness, we begin to understand how the Universal Father found it possible so fully to manifest himself to him and reveal himself through him to the mortals of the realms.... (2088.4)196:0.9

 

...first appeared in the Bible. Matthew, Mark and Luke each have a version of it.

 

From Matthew 19:

 

17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God


From Mark 10:

 

18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

 

 

From Luke 18:

 

19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.

 


It is repeated in Section 2 of Paper 196.


This idea of self-forgetfulness is repeated several times in the UB, twice in today's reading.

 

This is from Paper 143:
 

...Prayer is self-reminding — sublime thinking; worship is self-forgetting — superthinking.... (1616.9)143:7.7
 

Another from Paper 143, the lesson on self-mastery:
 

 "...But I come with a new message of self-forgetfulness and self-control. I show to you the way of life as revealed to me by my Father in heaven...." (1609.3)143:2.2


From Paper 180:


...The old religion taught self-sacrifice; the new religion teaches only self-forgetfulness, enhanced self-realization in conjoined social service and universe comprehension.... (1951.1)180:5.12

 

 

***

 

The Midwayers launch one of their longest sentences in today's reading. It begins with:
 

...To him prayer was.... (2088.5)196:0.10
 

...and is followed by 22 definitions. Prayer is of course a deep and wide river that runs throughout the book. But there are two Papers that center on prayer, 91 and 144:
 

91. The Evolution of Prayer

 

1. Primitive Prayer
2. Evolving Prayer

3. Prayer and the Alter Ego
4. Ethical Praying
5. Social Repercussions of Prayer
6. The Province of Prayer
7. Mysticism, Ecstasy, and Inspiration
8. Praying as a Personal Experience
9. Conditions of Effective Prayer

 

 

From Paper 144: At Gilboa and in the Decapolis


2. The Discourse on Prayer
3. The Believers Prayer
4. More about Prayer
5. Other Forms of Prayer

 

 

And there is one more whole Section on prayer, in Paper 168:
 

4. The Answer to Prayer

 

 

Jesus connected with God via sincere prayer and worship. But how he did NOT connect? From today's text:

 

 ...not by leadings, voices, visions, or extraordinary religious practices.... (2088.5)196:0.10
 

Compare that with this admonition in Paper 77:


 ...it should be made clear that the midway creatures are not involved in the sordid performances taking place under the general designation of “spiritualism.” The midwayers at present on Urantia, all of whom are of honorable standing, are not connected with the phenomena of so-called “mediumship”; and they do not, ordinarily, permit humans to witness their sometimes necessary physical activities or other contacts with the material world, as they are perceived by human senses....(865.6)77:8.13

 

***

 

This childlike trust, cited in today's reading:

 

...Jesus’ wholehearted faith in the fundamental goodness of the universe very much resembled the child’s trust in the security of its earthly surroundings....(2089.1)196:0.11
 

...is alluded to in several places in both the Bible and the UB.

 

From Paper 131, the discourse on Judaism:


“...The Lord is near to those who are brokenhearted; he saves all who have a childlike spirit...." (1445.4)131:2.10
 

From Paper 170:
 

 ...Though Jesus taught that faith, simple childlike belief, is the key to the door of the kingdom, he also taught that, having entered the door, there are the progressive steps of righteousness which every believing child must ascend in order to grow up to the full stature of the robust sons of God.... (1861.9)170:3.2


Compare with this from today's reading:

 

 "...Except you become as a little child, you shall not enter the kingdom.” Notwithstanding that Jesus’ faith was childlike, it was in no sense childish.... (2089.2)196:0.12

 

And compare that with these Bible verses from:

 

Mark 10:
 

15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.


Luke 18:
 

17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.


 

***

 

Evidently a strong will is an asset with regard to living one's faith. The Midwayers end Paper 196's long introduction with this inspiring statement:

 

...It required a strong will and an unfailing confidence to believe what Jesus believed and as he believed.... (2090.1)196:0.14

 

Can we achieve such strength? Maybe not, but we can attempt to believe with all our being and try to live like the sons and daughters of God we are.

 

 

***

 

In tomorrow’s reading, Section 1. Jesus — The Man, the Midwayers discuss his devotion, his invitation to: "Follow me", his unlettered status as the world's greatest religionist, and they name the seven stages of his progress through his bestowal here on Urantia.

 

 

Contents of: Paper 196 - THE FAITH OF JESUS


1. Jesus — The Man

 

2. The Religion of Jesus

 

3. The Supremacy of Religion

 

 

Listen to Paper 196: (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 

Thanks for reading. Members’ thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today’s OPAD presentation are invited.

 

Much love, Rick/OPAD host.



#5 Rick Warren

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 07:13 PM


Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 196 - The Faith Of Jesus

 

1. Jesus — The Man

 

   Jesus’ devotion to the Father’s will and the service of man was even more than mortal decision and human determination; it was a wholehearted consecration of himself to such an unreserved bestowal of love. No matter how great the fact of the sovereignty of Michael, you must not take the human Jesus away from men. The Master has ascended on high as a man, as well as God; he belongs to men; men belong to him. How unfortunate that religion itself should be so misinterpreted as to take the human Jesus away from struggling mortals! Let not the discussions of the humanity or the divinity of the Christ obscure the saving truth that Jesus of Nazareth was a religious man who, by faith, achieved the knowing and the doing of the will of God; he was the most truly religious man who has ever lived on Urantia.

 

(2090.3)196:1.2 The time is ripe to witness the figurative resurrection of the human Jesus from his burial tomb amidst the theological traditions and the religious dogmas of nineteen centuries. Jesus of Nazareth must not be longer sacrificed to even the splendid concept of the glorified Christ. What a transcendent service if, through this revelation, the Son of Man should be recovered from the tomb of traditional theology and be presented as the living Jesus to the church that bears his name, and to all other religions! Surely the Christian fellowship of believers will not hesitate to make such adjustments of faith and of practices of living as will enable it to “follow after” the Master in the demonstration of his real life of religious devotion to the doing of his Father’s will and of consecration to the unselfish service of man. Do professed Christians fear the exposure of a self-sufficient and unconsecrated fellowship of social respectability and selfish economic maladjustment? Does institutional Christianity fear the possible jeopardy, or even the overthrow, of traditional ecclesiastical authority if the Jesus of Galilee is reinstated in the minds and souls of mortal men as the ideal of personal religious living? Indeed, the social readjustments, the economic transformations, the moral rejuvenations, and the religious revisions of Christian civilization would be drastic and revolutionary if the living religion of Jesus should suddenly supplant the theologic religion about Jesus.

 

(2090.4)196:1.3 To “follow Jesus” means to personally share his religious faith and to enter into the spirit of the Master’s life of unselfish service for man. One of the most important things in human living is to find out what Jesus believed, to discover his ideals, and to strive for the achievement of his exalted life purpose. Of all human knowledge, that which is of greatest value is to know the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it.

 

(2090.5)196:1.4 The common people heard Jesus gladly, and they will again respond to the presentation of his sincere human life of consecrated religious motivation if such truths shall again be proclaimed to the world. The people heard him gladly because he was one of them, an unpretentious layman; the world’s greatest religious teacher was indeed a layman.

 

(2091.1)196:1.5 It should not be the aim of kingdom believers literally to imitate the outward life of Jesus in the flesh but rather to share his faith; to trust God as he trusted God and to believe in men as he believed in men. Jesus never argued about either the fatherhood of God or the brotherhood of men; he was a living illustration of the one and a profound demonstration of the other.

 

(2091.2)196:1.6 Just as men must progress from the consciousness of the human to the realization of the divine, so did Jesus ascend from the nature of man to the consciousness of the nature of God. And the Master made this great ascent from the human to the divine by the conjoint achievement of the faith of his mortal intellect and the acts of his indwelling Adjuster. The fact-realization of the attainment of totality of divinity (all the while fully conscious of the reality of humanity) was attended by seven stages of faith consciousness of progressive divinization. These stages of progressive self-realization were marked off by the following extraordinary events in the Master’s bestowal experience:

 

1. The arrival of the Thought Adjuster.

 

2. The messenger of Immanuel who appeared to him at Jerusalem when he was about twelve years old.

 

3. The manifestations attendant upon his baptism.

 

4. The experiences on the Mount of Transfiguration.

 

5. The morontia resurrection.

 

6. The spirit ascension.

 

7. The final embrace of the Paradise Father, conferring unlimited sovereignty of his universe.

 

 

***

 

[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us.]



#6 Rick Warren

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 07:16 PM


.

 

Good day Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Visitors,

 

How often do we humans think of and discuss the humanity of Jesus? Mostly he's seen as a holy being who manifested his divine self in a body. The Midwayers use this second Section of the last Paper to bring forth the neglected human side of our incarnate God.

 

It's important because his human life validated one of his greatest teachings, that faith is the only key needed to unlock the door to eternity.

 

Compare this in today's reading:
 

   ...Jesus of Nazareth was a religious man who, by faith, achieved the knowing and the doing of the will of God.... (2090.2)196:1.1

 

...with this from a Melchizedek in Paper 101:
 

 ...In Jesus there is abundantly demonstrated both the beginnings and endings of the faith experience of humanity, even of divine humanity.... (1113.6)101:6.17
 

The Midwayers wrote this very instructive paragraph about his humanity and divinity in Paper 136:


...In your consideration of the life and experience of the Son of Man, it should be ever borne in mind that the Son of God was incarnate in the mind of a first-century human being, not in the mind of a twentieth-century or other-century mortal. By this we mean to convey the idea that the human endowments of Jesus were of natural acquirement. He was the product of the hereditary and environmental factors of his time, plus the influence of his training and education. His humanity was genuine, natural, wholly derived from the antecedents of, and fostered by, the actual intellectual status and social and economic conditions of that day and generation. While in the experience of this God-man there was always the possibility that the divine mind would transcend the human intellect, nonetheless, when, and as, his human mind functioned, it did perform as would a true mortal mind under the conditions of the human environment of that day.... (1521.2)136:8.7

 

There can be no doubt about Jesus' humanity. In Paper 182:3 the Midwayers make these two poignant statements about his human feelings, feelings that we might also have in a similar situation:

 

 ...During the years that Jesus lived among his followers, they did, indeed, have much proof of his divine nature, but just now are they about to witness new evidences of his humanity. Just before the greatest of all the revelations of his divinity, his resurrection, must now come the greatest proofs of his mortal nature, his humiliation and crucifixion.... (1968.6)182:3.5
 

...Jesus’ humanity was not insensible to this situation of private loneliness, public shame, and the appearance of the failure of his cause. All these sentiments bore down on him with indescribable heaviness. In this great sorrow his mind went back to the days of his childhood in Nazareth and to his early work in Galilee. At the time of this great trial there came up in his mind many of those pleasant scenes of his earthly ministry. And it was from these old memories of Nazareth, Capernaum, Mount Hermon, and of the sunrise and sunset on the shimmering Sea of Galilee, that he soothed himself as he made his human heart strong and ready to encounter the traitor who should so soon betray him.... (1969.5)182:3.10


We are told "the time is ripe" to figuratively resurrect Jesus. That sounds odd on the surface, but it does make good sense on reflection, to not let the Christ concept obscure the whole picture of him.

 

From today's text:


 ...Jesus of Nazareth must not be longer sacrificed to even the splendid concept of the glorified Christ.... (2090.3)196:1.2
 

The Midwayers made this bold and inspiring declaration in the previous Paper:


 ...The hour is striking for a rediscovery of the true and original foundations of present-day distorted and compromised Christianity — the real life and teachings of Jesus.... (2083.1)195:9.5

 

***

 

People have asked the same questions the Midwayers do. What if we, all of a sudden, tried to live as Jesus instructed? The Midwayers answer in today's reading, and in no uncertain terms:
 

 ...Indeed, the social readjustments, the economic transformations, the moral rejuvenations, and the religious revisions of Christian civilization would be drastic and revolutionary if the living religion of Jesus should suddenly supplant the theologic religion about Jesus.... (2090.3)196:1.2


***

 

About this lofty statement on human education in today's text:
 

...Of all human knowledge, that which is of greatest value is to know the religious life of Jesus and how he lived it.... (2090.4)196:1.3
 

Shouldn't this become known to everyone on the planet--if it does indeed contain the greatest of all value? How do we do that?

However we do it, we can say a doctor's degree is not necessary. From today's OPAD:
 

 ...The people heard him gladly because he was one of them, an unpretentious layman; the world’s greatest religious teacher was indeed a layman....(2090.5)196:1.4
 

Compare that with this from a Melchizedek in Paper 102:


...Many of the world’s most notable religious teachers have been virtually unlettered. The wisdom of the world is not necessary to an exercise of saving faith in eternal realities.... (1127.6)102:8.2
 

 

***

 

More than once we are advised not to attempt to mimic Jesus. From today's text:


 ...It should not be the aim of kingdom believers literally to imitate the outward life of Jesus....(2091.1)196:1.5
 

He said this in Paper 181:

 

“...If you would follow after me when I leave you, put forth your earnest efforts to live in accordance with the spirit of my teachings and with the ideal of my life — the doing of my Father’s will. This do instead of trying to imitate my natural life in the flesh as I have, perforce, been required to live it on this world...." (1953.5)181:1.3

 

And an Archangel made this remarkable declaration in Paper 48:


...Even on Urantia, these seraphim teach the everlasting truth: If your own mind does not serve you well, you can exchange it for the mind of Jesus of Nazareth, who always serves you well.... (553.7)48:6.26
 

 

***

 

Finally, we are reminded of the seven stages of Jesus' spiritual expansion during his short life, beginning with:
 

1. The arrival of the Thought Adjuster.

 

From Paper 123:

 

...In something more than a year after the return to Nazareth the boy Jesus arrived at the age of his first personal and wholehearted moral decision; and there came to abide with him a Thought Adjuster, a divine gift of the Paradise Father.... (1357.5)123:2.1

 

 

2. The messenger of Immanuel who appeared to him at Jerusalem when he was about twelve years old.

 

From Paper 124:

 

...during the night, for the first time in his earth career, there appeared to him an assigned messenger from Salvington, commissioned by Immanuel, who said: “The hour has come. It is time that you began to be about your Father’s business...." (1376.1)124:6.15

 

 

3. The manifestations attendant upon his baptism.

 

By "manifestations" I am presuming the Midwayers are pointing to this incident in Paper 136:

 

...As John laid his hands upon Jesus to baptize him, the indwelling Adjuster took final leave of the perfected human soul of Joshua ben Joseph. And in a few moments this divine entity returned from Divinington as a Personalized Adjuster and chief of his kind throughout the entire local universe of Nebadon. Thus did Jesus observe his own former divine spirit descending on its return to him in personalized form. And he heard this same spirit of Paradise origin now speak, saying, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” And John, with Jesus’ two brothers, also heard these words. John’s disciples, standing by the water’s edge, did not hear these words, neither did they see the apparition of the Personalized Adjuster. Only the eyes of Jesus beheld the Personalized Adjuster.... (1511.2)136:2.3

 

 

4. The experiences on the Mount of Transfiguration.

 

Those experiences are revealed in Paper 158:
 

The Mount of Transfiguration
 

1. The Transfiguration
2. Coming down the Mountain
3. Meaning of the Transfiguration

 

 

5. The morontia resurrection.

 

His resurrection is detailed in Paper 189:


...At two forty-five Sunday morning, the Paradise incarnation commission, consisting of seven unidentified Paradise personalities, arrived on the scene and immediately deployed themselves about the tomb. At ten minutes before three, intense vibrations of commingled material and morontia activities began to issue from Joseph’s new tomb, and at two minutes past three o’clock, this Sunday morning, April 9, A.D. 30, the resurrected morontia form and personality of Jesus of Nazareth came forth from the tomb.... (2020.4)189:1.1


 

 

6. The spirit ascension.

 

His ascension is reported in Paper 193:

 

...When the morontia Master had thus spoken, he vanished from their sight. This so-called ascension of Jesus was in no way different from his other disappearances from mortal vision during the forty days of his morontia career on Urantia.... (2057.5)193:5.3

 

 

7. The final embrace of the Paradise Father, conferring unlimited sovereignty of his universe.


That last embrace is recorded in Paper 193:

 

 ...The Master went to Edentia by way of Jerusem, where the Most Highs, under the observation of the Paradise Son, released Jesus of Nazareth from the morontia state and, through the spirit channels of ascension, returned him to the status of Paradise sonship and supreme sovereignty on Salvington.

 

 It was about seven forty-five this morning when the morontia Jesus disappeared from the observation of his eleven apostles to begin the ascent to the right hand of his Father, there to receive formal confirmation of his completed sovereignty of the universe of Nebadon....(2057.6)193:5.4&5

 

 

***

 

There is one statement in today's reading that parallels one in the Bible:

 

...The common people heard Jesus gladly....(2090.5)196:1.4

 

From Mark 12:
 

37 ...And the common people heard him gladly.
 

 

***

 

Tomorrow’s reading, part 1 of Section 2. The Religion of Jesus, is about Peter's unintentional error in founding the religion about him, the devastating flaw in the Bible's New Testament, Paul's mistakes in ignoring his humanity, and (in spite of these crippling faults) the triumphant faith we may all lay claim to.

 

 

Contents of: Paper 196 - THE FAITH OF JESUS


1. Jesus — The Man

 

2. The Religion of Jesus

 

3. The Supremacy of Religion

 

 

Listen to Paper 196: (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 

Thanks for reading. Members’ thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today’s OPAD presentation are invited.

 

Much love, Rick/OPAD host.



#7 Rick Warren

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 05:42 PM


Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 196 - The Faith Of Jesus

 

2. The Religion of Jesus

 

[Part 1 of 2]

 

   Some day a reformation in the Christian church may strike deep enough to get back to the unadulterated religious teachings of Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. You may preach a religion about Jesus, but, perforce, you must live the religion of Jesus. In the enthusiasm of Pentecost, Peter unintentionally inaugurated a new religion, the religion of the risen and glorified Christ. The Apostle Paul later on transformed this new gospel into Christianity, a religion embodying his own theologic views and portraying his own personal experience with the Jesus of the Damascus road. The gospel of the kingdom is founded on the personal religious experience of the Jesus of Galilee; Christianity is founded almost exclusively on the personal religious experience of the Apostle Paul. Almost the whole of the New Testament is devoted, not to the portrayal of the significant and inspiring religious life of Jesus, but to a discussion of Paul’s religious experience and to a portrayal of his personal religious convictions. The only notable exceptions to this statement, aside from certain parts of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, are the Book of Hebrews and the Epistle of James. Even Peter, in his writing, only once reverted to the personal religious life of his Master. The New Testament is a superb Christian document, but it is only meagerly Jesusonian.

 

(2091.11)196:2.2 Jesus’ life in the flesh portrays a transcendent religious growth from the early ideas of primitive awe and human reverence up through years of personal spiritual communion until he finally arrived at that advanced and exalted status of the consciousness of his oneness with the Father. And thus, in one short life, did Jesus traverse that experience of religious spiritual progression which man begins on earth and ordinarily achieves only at the conclusion of his long sojourn in the spirit training schools of the successive levels of the pre-Paradise career. Jesus progressed from a purely human consciousness of the faith certainties of personal religious experience to the sublime spiritual heights of the positive realization of his divine nature and to the consciousness of his close association with the Universal Father in the management of a universe. He progressed from the humble status of mortal dependence which prompted him spontaneously to say to the one who called him Good Teacher, “Why do you call me good? None is good but God,” to that sublime consciousness of achieved divinity which led him to exclaim, “Which one of you convicts me of sin?” And this progressing ascent from the human to the divine was an exclusively mortal achievement. And when he had thus attained divinity, he was still the same human Jesus, the Son of Man as well as the Son of God.

 

(2092.1)196:2.3 Mark, Matthew, and Luke retain something of the picture of the human Jesus as he engaged in the superb struggle to ascertain the divine will and to do that will. John presents a picture of the triumphant Jesus as he walked on earth in the full consciousness of divinity. The great mistake that has been made by those who have studied the Master’s life is that some have conceived of him as entirely human, while others have thought of him as only divine. Throughout his entire experience he was truly both human and divine, even as he yet is.

 

(2092.2)196:2.4 But the greatest mistake was made in that, while the human Jesus was recognized as having a religion, the divine Jesus (Christ) almost overnight became a religion. Paul’s Christianity made sure of the adoration of the divine Christ, but it almost wholly lost sight of the struggling and valiant human Jesus of Galilee, who, by the valor of his personal religious faith and the heroism of his indwelling Adjuster, ascended from the lowly levels of humanity to become one with divinity, thus becoming the new and living way whereby all mortals may so ascend from humanity to divinity. Mortals in all stages of spirituality and on all worlds may find in the personal life of Jesus that which will strengthen and inspire them as they progress from the lowest spirit levels up to the highest divine values, from the beginning to the end of all personal religious experience.

 

(2092.3)196:2.5 At the time of the writing of the New Testament, the authors not only most profoundly believed in the divinity of the risen Christ, but they also devotedly and sincerely believed in his immediate return to earth to consummate the heavenly kingdom. This strong faith in the Lord’s immediate return had much to do with the tendency to omit from the record those references which portrayed the purely human experiences and attributes of the Master. The whole Christian movement tended away from the human picture of Jesus of Nazareth toward the exaltation of the risen Christ, the glorified and soon-returning Lord Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

***

 

 

[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us.]



#8 Rick Warren

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 05:45 PM

.
 
Greetings Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Guests,

 

A popular saying these days is: "Walk your talk". The Midwayers infer the same concept in today's reading, but more formally, more eloquently:
 

...You may preach a religion about Jesus, but, perforce, you must live the religion of Jesus.... (2091.10)196:2.1

 

Acting, doing something with religion, is a broad theme in the UB. This is from a Melchizedek, in Paper 103:
 

...Religion has to do with feeling, acting, and living, not merely with thinking.... (1140:8) 103:9.2

 

Mistakes, blunders and abuses are inevitable, but that must not prevent acting. From Paper 102:
 

...True religion must act. Conduct will be the result of religion when man actually has it, or rather when religion is permitted truly to possess the man. Never will religion be content with mere thinking or unacting feeling.... (1121.1)102:2.8

 

We are not blind to the fact that religion often acts unwisely, even irreligiously, but it acts. Aberrations of religious conviction have led to bloody persecutions, but always and ever religion does something; it is dynamic! (1121.2)102:2.9

 


***

 

About Paul's conversion cited in today's text:
 

...The Apostle Paul later on transformed this new gospel into Christianity, a religion embodying his own theologic views and portraying his own personal experience with the Jesus of the Damascus road.... (2091.10)196:2.1


 From Paper 100:
 

...It should be made clear that professions of loyalty to the supreme ideals — the psychic, emotional, and spiritual awareness of God-consciousness — may be a natural and gradual growth or may sometimes be experienced at certain junctures, as in a crisis. The Apostle Paul experienced just such a sudden and spectacular conversion that eventful day on the Damascus road.... (1099.1)100:5.3

 

The book of Acts in the Bible's New Testament records Paul's conversion, in chapter 9:

 

And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

 

***

 

So, regrettably, Christianity and the Bible produced a "meagerly Jesusonian" religion, much about the Master's resurrection and Paul's conversion experience. The Midwayers lament this, but point to certain New Testament books that do reflect some measure of the truth of his life. From today's reading:


...Almost the whole of the New Testament is devoted, not to the portrayal of the significant and inspiring religious life of Jesus, but to a discussion of Paul’s religious experience and to a portrayal of his personal religious convictions. The only notable exceptions to this statement, aside from certain parts of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, are the Book of Hebrews and the Epistle of James.... (2091.10)196:2.1


Hebrews has 13 chapters, and James has five. This is from Hebrews 12:

 

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

 

It reflects the first sentence of today's reading:

  

...Some day a reformation in the Christian church may strike deep enough to get back to the unadulterated religious teachings of Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.... (2091.10)196:2.1

 

Authorship of Hebrews is sometimes attributed to Paul. From Wikipedia:
 

Epistle to the Hebrews, or Letter to the Hebrews, is the traditional name of the text that the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament simply called To the Hebrews. Although traditionally called the "Letter to the Hebrews", its author refers to it as a "word of exhortation", using the same term used in Acts 13:15 to describe a sermon. Since the earliest days of the Church, its authorship and canonicity have been debated. Once commonly attributed to Paul the Apostle, it is now considered anonymous.

 

Authorship of the Epistle of James probably should be assigned to Jesus' brother, not to James Alpheus. From Paper 194:


...within one month from the death of Stephen the church at Jerusalem had been organized under the leadership of Peter, and James the brother of Jesus had been installed as its titular head.... (2068.2) 194:4.12
 

There is scholarly confusion about the origin of James' epistle. From Wikipedia:
 

In Christianity, the Epistle of James, usually referred to simply as James, is a letter (epistle) in the New Testament. The earliest extant manuscripts of James usually date to the mid-to-late third century.

 

The author identifies himself as "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ" and the epistle is traditionally attributed to James the Just.

 

...James (the Just), who died in 62 or 69 AD, was an important figure of the Apostolic Age...James was called the "bishop of bishops, who rules Jerusalem, the Holy Assembly of Hebrews, and all assemblies everywhere"

 

From Paper 194:
 

...within one month from the death of Stephen the church at Jerusalem had been organized under the leadership of Peter, and James the brother of Jesus had been installed as its titular head.... (2068.2)194:4.12


***

 

The two quoted questions in the second paragraph of today's OPAD reading:
 

"...Why do you call me good? None is good but God,” to that sublime consciousness of achieved divinity which led him to exclaim, “Which one of you convicts me of sin?” (2091.11)196:2.2
 

...appear in the Bible, Mark's Gospel, chapter 10:


18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
 

...also in John 8:
 

46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?
 

...and in two Papers. From 100:7:

 

...He was reverential of true holiness, and yet he could justly appeal to his fellows, saying, “Who among you convicts me of sin?” (1103.4)100:7.16

 

From 162:7:
 

“...Which of you convicts me of sin? If I, then, proclaim and live the truth shown me by the Father, why do you not believe?" (1797.1)162:7.4

***

 

Why do you think the Midwayers say Jesus is still human? From the end of the third paragraph of today's text:
 

...Throughout his entire experience he was truly both human and divine, even as he yet is.... (2092.1)196:2.3
 

 

This in today's reading is reassuring, comforting and inspiring:


...Mortals in all stages of spirituality and on all worlds may find in the personal life of Jesus that which will strengthen and inspire them as they progress from the lowest spirit levels up to the highest divine values, from the beginning to the end of all personal religious experience.... (2092.2)196:2.4
 

The term "personal religious experience" appears in 20 places, from the Foreword:


...even more certainly we know that these spirits of the Divine Presence are able to assist man in the spiritual appropriation of all truth contributory to the enhancement of the ever-progressing reality of personal religious experience — God-consciousness.... (17.2)0:12.13

 

...to the last Section of the last Paper:

 

...Personal religious experience consists in two phases: discovery in the human mind and revelation by the indwelling divine spirit.... (2095.1)196:3.17

 

***

 

The final paragraph of today's OPAD reveals why Jesus' humanity was ignored by the New Testament authors:
 

...This strong faith in the Lord’s immediate return had much to do with the tendency to omit from the record those references which portrayed the purely human experiences and attributes of the Master.... (2092.3)196:2.5
 

The apostles misconstrued his promise to return. The Midwayers removed the confusion, but added mystery, in Paper 176:4. The Return of Michael:
 

...We most positively believe that Michael will again come in person to Urantia, but we have not the slightest idea as to when or in what manner he may choose to come. Will his second advent on earth be timed to occur in connection with the terminal judgment of this present age, either with or without the associated appearance of a Magisterial Son? Will he come in connection with the termination of some subsequent Urantian age? Will he come unannounced and as an isolated event? We do not know. Only one thing we are certain of, that is, when he does return, all the world will likely know about it, for he must come as the supreme ruler of a universe and not as the obscure babe of Bethlehem. But if every eye is to behold him, and if only spiritual eyes are to discern his presence, then must his advent be long deferred.... (1919.2)176:4.5

 

Long deferred. Maybe another 1000 years??

 

 

***

 

In tomorrow’s reading, the second half of Section 2. The Religion of Jesus, Jesus' legacy is discussed: the lamentable sectarianism that has beset the religion in his name, his "hard sayings", his attainments that foreshadow our attainments, and the eventual realization of the divine kingdom on Urantia.

 

 

Contents of: Paper 196 - THE FAITH OF JESUS


1. Jesus — The Man

 

2. The Religion of Jesus

 

3. The Supremacy of Religion

 
 

Listen to Paper 196: (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 
Thanks for reading. Members’ thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today’s OPAD presentation are invited.
 
Much love, Rick/OPAD host.



#9 Rick Warren

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Posted 05 December 2014 - 04:24 PM


Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 196 - The Faith Of Jesus

 

2. The Religion of Jesus

 

[Part 2 of 2]

 

   Jesus founded the religion of personal experience in doing the will of God and serving the human brotherhood; Paul founded a religion in which the glorified Jesus became the object of worship and the brotherhood consisted of fellow believers in the divine Christ. In the bestowal of Jesus these two concepts were potential in his divine-human life, and it is indeed a pity that his followers failed to create a unified religion which might have given proper recognition to both the human and the divine natures of the Master as they were inseparably bound up in his earth life and so gloriously set forth in the original gospel of the kingdom.

 

(2093.1)196:2.7 You would be neither shocked nor disturbed by some of Jesus’ strong pronouncements if you would only remember that he was the world’s most wholehearted and devoted religionist. He was a wholly consecrated mortal, unreservedly dedicated to doing his Father’s will. Many of his apparently hard sayings were more of a personal confession of faith and a pledge of devotion than commands to his followers. And it was this very singleness of purpose and unselfish devotion that enabled him to effect such extraordinary progress in the conquest of the human mind in one short life. Many of his declarations should be considered as a confession of what he demanded of himself rather than what he required of all his followers. In his devotion to the cause of the kingdom, Jesus burned all bridges behind him; he sacrificed all hindrances to the doing of his Father’s will.

 

(2093.2)196:2.8 Jesus blessed the poor because they were usually sincere and pious; he condemned the rich because they were usually wanton and irreligious. He would equally condemn the irreligious pauper and commend the consecrated and worshipful man of wealth.

 

(2093.3)196:2.9 Jesus led men to feel at home in the world; he delivered them from the slavery of taboo and taught them that the world was not fundamentally evil. He did not long to escape from his earthly life; he mastered a technique of acceptably doing the Father’s will while in the flesh. He attained an idealistic religious life in the very midst of a realistic world. Jesus did not share Paul’s pessimistic view of humankind. The Master looked upon men as the sons of God and foresaw a magnificent and eternal future for those who chose survival. He was not a moral skeptic; he viewed man positively, not negatively. He saw most men as weak rather than wicked, more distraught than depraved. But no matter what their status, they were all God’s children and his brethren.

 

(2093.4)196:2.10 He taught men to place a high value upon themselves in time and in eternity. Because of this high estimate which Jesus placed upon men, he was willing to spend himself in the unremitting service of humankind. And it was this infinite worth of the finite that made the golden rule a vital factor in his religion. What mortal can fail to be uplifted by the extraordinary faith Jesus has in him?

 

(2093.5)196:2.11 Jesus offered no rules for social advancement; his was a religious mission, and religion is an exclusively individual experience. The ultimate goal of society’s most advanced achievement can never hope to transcend Jesus’ brotherhood of men based on the recognition of the fatherhood of God. The ideal of all social attainment can be realized only in the coming of this divine kingdom.

 

 

 

 

***

 

 

 

[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us.]



#10 Rick Warren

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Posted 05 December 2014 - 04:27 PM


.
 
Good Day Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Visitors,

 

Compare the first sentence of today's reading:
 

...Jesus founded the religion of personal experience in doing the will of God and serving the human brotherhood....  (2092.4)196:2.6


...with this from Paper 195:


...Jesus did not found the so-called Christian church, but he has, in every manner consistent with his nature, fostered it as the best existent exponent of his lifework on earth.... (2085.1)195:10.9

 

***

 

The absence of unity in the religion that claims Jesus is evidence that his teachings have been perverted, mangled and/or ignored. The Midwayers label it a pity in today's text:
 

 ...it is indeed a pity that his followers failed to create a unified religion.... (2092.4)196:2.6
 

It might also be called a tragedy, even a default. So, the inevitable question becomes: What should we do now, now that we have this new revelation that decries the lack of unity in the religion that supposedly follows the Master's teachings? Will the world listen to, respect, and adopt a religion that has 40,000 disagreeing sects? Even the nascent Urantia community has its sectarian divides. Will we carry on as our Christian predecessors did with unending subdivisions, competing and irreconcilable versions of Jesus' religion that divide and drive believers apart?
 

***

 

What "hard saying" do you think the Midwayers are referring to in today's OPAD?:

 

...Many of his apparently hard sayings were more of a personal confession of faith and a pledge of devotion than commands to his followers.... (2093.1)196:2.7


That term, "hard sayings" appears in two other places. The first is where Mary is pleading with her son to perform a miracle at the Cana wedding, in Paper 137:

 

...Jesus replied: “Again I declare that I have not come to do things in this wise. Why do you trouble me again with these matters?” And then, breaking down in tears, Mary entreated him, “But, my son, I promised them that you would help us; won’t you please do something for me?” And then spoke Jesus: “Woman, what have you to do with making such promises? See that you do it not again. We must in all things wait upon the will of the Father in heaven.”

 

Mary the mother of Jesus was crushed; she was stunned! As she stood there before him motionless, with the tears streaming down her face, the human heart of Jesus was overcome with compassion for the woman who had borne him in the flesh; and bending forward, he laid his hand tenderly upon her head, saying: “Now, now, Mother Mary, grieve not over my apparently hard sayings, for have I not many times told you that I have come only to do the will of my heavenly Father? Most gladly would I do what you ask of me if it were a part of the Father’s will — “ and Jesus stopped short, he hesitated. Mary seemed to sense that something was happening. Leaping up, she threw her arms around Jesus’ neck, kissed him, and rushed off to the servants’ quarters, saying, “Whatever my son says, that do.” But Jesus said nothing. He now realized that he had already said — or rather desirefully thought — too much.... (1530.1)137:4.9

 

The other is in Paper 140:

 

...Then asked Nathaniel: “Master, shall we give no place to justice? The law of Moses says, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ What shall we say?” And Jesus answered: “You shall return good for evil. My messengers must not strive with men, but be gentle toward all. Measure for measure shall not be your rule. The rulers of men may have such laws, but not so in the kingdom; mercy always shall determine your judgments and love your conduct. And if these are hard sayings, you can even now turn back. If you find the requirements of apostleship too hard, you may return to the less rigorous pathway of discipleship....” (1577.3)140:6.9

 

 

***

 

Sad as it is, this provides a measure of comfort:
 

...He saw most men as weak rather than wicked, more distraught than depraved.... (2093.3)196:2.9
 

We want to follow his teachings, most of us, but we simply haven't been taught how. We can take more comfort knowing if it was easy and simple, we wouldn't need the long morontia regime for spiritual realignment and rehabilitation. From Paper 48:

 

...There is a definite and divine purpose in all this morontia and subsequent spirit scheme of mortal progression, this elaborate universe training school for ascending creatures. It is the design of the Creators to afford the creatures of time a graduated opportunity to master the details of the operation and administration of the grand universe, and this long course of training is best carried forward by having the surviving mortal climb up gradually and by actual participation in every step of the ascent.... (557.17)48:8.2

 

***

 

About human value, cited in today's text:
 

 ...He taught men to place a high value upon themselves in time and in eternity.... (2093.4)196:2.10
 

From Paper 12:
 

...The love of God strikingly portrays the transcendent value of each will creature, unmistakably reveals the high value which the Universal Father has placed upon each and every one of his children from the highest creator personality of Paradise status to the lowest personality of will dignity among the savage tribes of men.... (138.4)12:7.9


From Paper 100:

 

 ...Jesus loved men so much because he placed such a high value upon them.... (1098.1)100:4.4

 

Self-respect has a high place in the religion of Jesus. This is from his teachings on the positive nature of religion, Paper 159:

 

...It is the purpose of this gospel to restore self-respect to those who have lost it and to restrain it in those who have it. Make not the mistake of only condemning the wrongs in the lives of your pupils; remember also to accord generous recognition for the most praiseworthy things in their lives. Forget not that I will stop at nothing to restore self-respect to those who have lost it, and who really desire to regain it.

 

Take care that you do not wound the self-respect of timid and fearful souls.... (1765.5)159:3.3&4


 

***

 

The Midwayers end this Section on Jesus' religion with a frank and inescapable declaration that should alert us all to the fact that high flying peace movements, contentious political strivings, moral idealism, and charitable work will amount to little, unless and until our priorities are set right:

 

...The ideal of all social attainment can be realized only in the coming of this divine kingdom.... (2093.5)196:2.11

 

It should eventually become obvious to all discerning minds and every sincere seeker that the fatherhood of God over the family of humanity trumps all other ideas, plans, purposes and goals.

 

***

 

In tomorrow’s reading, the first of four parts of the final Section of the book: 3. The Supremacy of Religion, the Midwayers discuss the primary aspects of faith: Genuine spiritual experience, fundamental elements of reality, soul progress, and the indwelling presence of a fragment of God himself, living and working with and for us.

 

 

Contents of: Paper 196 - THE FAITH OF JESUS


1. Jesus — The Man

 

2. The Religion of Jesus

 

3. The Supremacy of Religion

 
 

Listen to Paper 196: (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 
Thanks for reading. Members’ thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today’s OPAD presentation are invited.
 
Much love, Rick/OPAD host.



#11 Rick Warren

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Posted 06 December 2014 - 07:47 PM


Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 196 - The Faith Of Jesus

 

3. The Supremacy of Religion

 

[Part 1 of 4]

 

   Personal, spiritual religious experience is an efficient solvent for most mortal difficulties; it is an effective sorter, evaluator, and adjuster of all human problems. Religion does not remove or destroy human troubles, but it does dissolve, absorb, illuminate, and transcend them. True religion unifies the personality for effective adjustment to all mortal requirements. Religious faith — the positive leading of the indwelling divine presence — unfailingly enables the God-knowing man to bridge that gulf existing between the intellectual logic which recognizes the Universal First Cause as It and those positive affirmations of the soul which aver this First Cause is He, the heavenly Father of Jesus’ gospel, the personal God of human salvation.

 

(2094.1)196:3.2 There are just three elements in universal reality: fact, idea, and relation. The religious consciousness identifies these realities as science, philosophy, and truth. Philosophy would be inclined to view these activities as reason, wisdom, and faith — physical reality, intellectual reality, and spiritual reality. We are in the habit of designating these realities as thing, meaning, and value.

 

(2094.2)196:3.3 The progressive comprehension of reality is the equivalent of approaching God. The finding of God, the consciousness of identity with reality, is the equivalent of the experiencing of self-completion — self-entirety, self-totality. The experiencing of total reality is the full realization of God, the finality of the God-knowing experience.

 

(2094.3)196:3.4 The full summation of human life is the knowledge that man is educated by fact, ennobled by wisdom, and saved — justified — by religious faith.

(2094.4)196:3.5 Physical certainty consists in the logic of science; moral certainty, in the wisdom of philosophy; spiritual certainty, in the truth of genuine religious experience.

 

(2094.5)196:3.6 The mind of man can attain high levels of spiritual insight and corresponding spheres of divinity of values because it is not wholly material. There is a spirit nucleus in the mind of man — the Adjuster of the divine presence. There are three separate evidences of this spirit indwelling of the human mind:

 

1. Humanitarian fellowship — love. The purely animal mind may be gregarious for self-protection, but only the spirit-indwelt intellect is unselfishly altruistic and unconditionally loving.

 

2. Interpretation of the universe — wisdom. Only the spirit-indwelt mind can comprehend that the universe is friendly to the individual.

 

3. Spiritual evaluation of life — worship. Only the spirit-indwelt man can realize the divine presence and seek to attain a fuller experience in and with this foretaste of divinity.

 

(2094.9)196:3.10 The human mind does not create real values; human experience does not yield universe insight. Concerning insight, the recognition of moral values and the discernment of spiritual meanings, all that the human mind can do is to discover, recognize, interpret, and choose.

 

(2094.10)196:3.11 The moral values of the universe become intellectual possessions by the exercise of the three basic judgments, or choices, of the mortal mind:

 

1. Self-judgment — moral choice.

 

2. Social-judgment — ethical choice.

 

3. God-judgment — religious choice.

 

(2094.14)196:3.15 Thus it appears that all human progress is effected by a technique of conjoint revelational evolution.

 

 

(2094.15)196:3.16 Unless a divine lover lived in man, he could not unselfishly and spiritually love. Unless an interpreter lived in the mind, man could not truly realize the unity of the universe. Unless an evaluator dwelt with man, he could not possibly appraise moral values and recognize spiritual meanings. And this lover hails from the very source of infinite love; this interpreter is a part of Universal Unity; this evaluator is the child of the Center and Source of all absolute values of divine and eternal reality.

 

 

 

 

 

***

 

 
 

 

[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us.]



#12 Rick Warren

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Posted 06 December 2014 - 07:51 PM


.
 
Greetings Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Guests,

 

What would the universe be like if God were merely an IT, and not a PERSON?? Is such a universe desirable, or even possible? Cold indeed would be a universe of truth without goodness and beauty.

 

If Jesus is the highest and most perfect human expression of the nature and character of God, then I want to know God, I have to. Jesus was so personable and lovable, "hard sayings" and all, that I will do whatever it takes, no matter how long it takes, to follow him to our Paradise Father, the one the Midwayers name in today's reading, "the personal God of human salvation."

 

***

 

These three elements of reality, named in the second paragraph of today's text:
 

...We are in the habit of designating these realities as thing, meaning, and value.... (2094.1)196:3.2
 

...also appear in Paper 9:
 

...Energy is thing, mind is meaning, spirit is value.... (102.5)9:4.5
 

...and in Paper 16:


 ...Matter-energy is recognized by the mathematical logic of the senses; mind-reason intuitively knows its moral duty; spirit-faith (worship) is the religion of the reality of spiritual experience. These three basic factors in reflective thinking may be unified and co-ordinated in personality development, or they may become disproportionate and virtually unrelated in their respective functions. But when they become unified, they produce a strong character consisting in the correlation of a factual science, a moral philosophy, and a genuine religious experience. And it is these three cosmic intuitions that give objective validity, reality, to man’s experience in and with things, meanings, and values.... (192.6)16:6.10

 

...and in Paper 100:
 

...Spirituality enhances the ability to discover beauty in things, recognize truth in meanings, and discover goodness in values.... (1096.1)100:2.4

 

...and in Paper 102:


 ...mind can never succeed in this unification of the diversity of reality unless such mind is firmly aware of material things, intellectual meanings, and spiritual values; only in the harmony of the triunity of functional reality is there unity, and only in unity is there the personality satisfaction of the realization of cosmic constancy and consistency....
 (1120.2)102:2.5

 

...and in Paper 103:


...Reason is the act of recognizing the conclusions of consciousness with regard to the experience in and with the physical world of energy and matter. Faith is the act of recognizing the validity of spiritual consciousness — something which is incapable of other mortal proof. Logic is the synthetic truth-seeking progression of the unity of faith and reason and is founded on the constitutive mind endowments of mortal beings, the innate recognition of things, meanings, and values.... (1139.5)103:7.13

 

And there are others: 105:5:10, 106:0:19

 

 

***

 

Now we know what full enlightenment is. From today's reading:
 

...The experiencing of total reality is the full realization of God, the finality of the God-knowing experience.... (2094.2)196:3.3
 

So, what constitutes "total reality"? These Papers attempt to convey its definition:
 

103. The Reality of Religious Experience


1. Philosophy of Religion
2. Religion and the Individual
3. Religion and the Human Race
4. Spiritual Communion
5. The Origin of Ideals
6. Philosophic Co-ordination
7. Science and Religion
8. Philosophy and Religion
9. The Essence of Religion

 

105. Deity and Reality

 

1. The Philosophic Concept of the I AM
2. The I AM as Triune and as Sevenfold
3. The Seven Absolutes of Infinity
4. Unity, Duality, and Triunity
5. Promulgation of Finite Reality
6. Repercussions of Finite Reality
7. Eventuation of Transcendentals

 

 

106. Universe Levels of Reality
 

1. Primary Association of Finite Functionals

2. Secondary Supreme Finite Integration  

3. Transcendental Tertiary Reality Association  

4. Ultimate Quartan Integration  

5. Coabsolute or Fifth-Phase Association  

6. Absolute or Sixth-Phase Integration  

7. Finality of Destiny

8. The Trinity of Trinities

9. Existential Infinite Unification
 

 

***

 

Compare this in today's text:
 

...The full summation of human life is the knowledge that man is educated by fact, ennobled by wisdom, and saved — justified — by religious faith.... (2094.3)196:3.4

 

...with this in the New Testament, Romans, chapter 3:


28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.


From Romans 5:


1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

 

From Galatians 2:


16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

 

From Galatians 3:

 

11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

 

24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.


 

***

 

About the three certainties, cited in today's reading:
 

...Physical certainty consists in the logic of science; moral certainty, in the wisdom of philosophy; spiritual certainty, in the truth of genuine religious experience.... (2094.4)196:3.5


Compare with this in Paper 103:


...Although both science and philosophy may assume the probability of God by their reason and logic, only the personal religious experience of a spirit-led man can affirm the certainty of such a supreme and personal Deity. By the technique of such an incarnation of living truth the philosophic hypothesis of the probability of God becomes a religious reality.... (1140:1) 103:8.1

 

Genuine and personal religious experience is a major theme in the book. Personal religious experience is presented as the one thing that proves the existence of God. From Paper 1:


...The existence of God is utterly beyond all possibility of demonstration except for the contact between the God-consciousness of the human mind and the God-presence of the Thought Adjuster that indwells the mortal intellect and is bestowed upon man as the free gift of the Universal Father.... (24.6)1:2.8

 

In today's reading the Midwayers add three concomitants of personal religious experience that augment certainty: Love, Wisdom and Worship, also broad and deep themes in the Papers.

 

But is there absolute certainty in religious experience? Compare the Midwayers words in today's text with this from a Perfector of Wisdom in Paper 26:

 

...That, then, is the primary or elementary course which confronts the faith-tested and much-traveled pilgrims of space. But long before reaching Havona, these ascendant children of time have learned to feast upon uncertainty, to fatten upon disappointment, to enthuse over apparent defeat, to invigorate in the presence of difficulties, to exhibit indomitable courage in the face of immensity, and to exercise unconquerable faith when confronted with the challenge of the inexplicable.... (291.3)26:5.3

 

 

***

 

We are informed in today's reading that values aren't created, they are chosen. And there are three levels of choice:
 

1. Self-judgment — moral choice.

2. Social-judgment — ethical choice.

3. God-judgment — religious choice.

 

The first two must be advised and constrained by the third, no?

 

 

Next we are given the formula for evolutionary progress, and in italics:

 

...Thus it appears that all human progress is effected by a technique of conjoint revelational evolution.... (2094.14)196:3.15

 

Jesus taught this in Paper 170:

 

...In the course of this Sabbath afternoon’s sermon Jesus noted no less than five phases, or epochs, of the kingdom, and they were:

 

1. The personal and inward experience of the spiritual life of the fellowship of the individual believer with God the Father.

 

2. The enlarging brotherhood of gospel believers, the social aspects of the enhanced morals and quickened ethics resulting from the reign of God’s spirit in the hearts of individual believers.

 

3. The supermortal brotherhood of invisible spiritual beings which prevails on earth and in heaven, the superhuman kingdom of God.

 

4. The prospect of the more perfect fulfillment of the will of God, the advance toward the dawn of a new social order in connection with improved spiritual living — the next age of man.

 

5. The kingdom in its fullness, the future spiritual age of light and life on earth.... (1862.9)170:4.1

 

 

Compare those five phases with these five revelational epochs listed in Paper 92: The Gift Of Revelation:
 

...There have been many events of religious revelation but only five of epochal significance. These were as follows:

 

1. The Dalamatian teachings.

 

2. The Edenic teachings.

 

3. Melchizedek of Salem.

 

 4. Jesus of Nazareth.

 

 5. The Urantia Papers.... (1007.4)92:4.4

 

 

***

 

Though they do not name the Thought Adjuster, the Mystery Monitor, in the last paragraph of today's OPAD, there can be no doubt the Midwayers are pointing to this same Indweller, this:

 

...divine lover...interpreter, evaluator...[who] is the child of the Center and Source of all absolute values of divine and eternal reality.... (2094.15)196:3.16

 

Even our God.

 

 

***

 

Tomorrow’s reading, the second of four parts of this final Section of the book: 3. The Supremacy of Religion, touches on several points: Morality, survival into the next life, sonship, worship, idealism, and the necessary unification and activation of divine values in the life of ascenders, specifically truth, beauty and goodness.

 

 

Contents of: Paper 196 - THE FAITH OF JESUS


1. Jesus — The Man

 

2. The Religion of Jesus

 

3. The Supremacy of Religion

 
 

Listen to Paper 196: (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 
Thanks for reading. Members’ thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today’s OPAD presentation are invited.
 
Much love, Rick/OPAD host.



#13 Rick Warren

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 02:27 PM


Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 196 - The Faith Of Jesus

 

3. The Supremacy of Religion

 

[Part 2 of 4]

 

   Moral evaluation with a religious meaning — spiritual insight — connotes the individual’s choice between good and evil, truth and error, material and spiritual, human and divine, time and eternity. Human survival is in great measure dependent on consecrating the human will to the choosing of those values selected by this spirit-value sorter — the indwelling interpreter and unifier. Personal religious experience consists in two phases: discovery in the human mind and revelation by the indwelling divine spirit. Through oversophistication or as a result of the irreligious conduct of professed religionists, a man, or even a generation of men, may elect to suspend their efforts to discover the God who indwells them; they may fail to progress in and attain the divine revelation. But such attitudes of spiritual nonprogression cannot long persist because of the presence and influence of the indwelling Thought Adjusters.

 

(2095.2)196:3.18 This profound experience of the reality of the divine indwelling forever transcends the crude materialistic technique of the physical sciences. You cannot put spiritual joy under a microscope; you cannot weigh love in a balance; you cannot measure moral values; neither can you estimate the quality of spiritual worship.

 

(2095.3)196:3.19 The Hebrews had a religion of moral sublimity; the Greeks evolved a religion of beauty; Paul and his conferees founded a religion of faith, hope, and charity. Jesus revealed and exemplified a religion of love: security in the Father’s love, with joy and satisfaction consequent upon sharing this love in the service of the human brotherhood.

 

(2095.4)196:3.20 Every time man makes a reflective moral choice, he immediately experiences a new divine invasion of his soul. Moral choosing constitutes religion as the motive of inner response to outer conditions. But such a real religion is not a purely subjective experience. It signifies the whole of the subjectivity of the individual engaged in a meaningful and intelligent response to total objectivity — the universe and its Maker.

 

(2095.5)196:3.21 The exquisite and transcendent experience of loving and being loved is not just a psychic illusion because it is so purely subjective. The one truly divine and objective reality that is associated with mortal beings, the Thought Adjuster, functions to human observation apparently as an exclusively subjective phenomenon. Man’s contact with the highest objective reality, God, is only through the purely subjective experience of knowing him, of worshiping him, of realizing sonship with him.

 

(2095.6)196:3.22 True religious worship is not a futile monologue of self-deception. Worship is a personal communion with that which is divinely real, with that which is the very source of reality. Man aspires by worship to be better and thereby eventually attains the best.

 

(2095.7)196:3.23 The idealization and attempted service of truth, beauty, and goodness is not a substitute for genuine religious experience — spiritual reality. Psychology and idealism are not the equivalent of religious reality. The projections of the human intellect may indeed originate false gods — gods in man’s image — but the true God-consciousness does not have such an origin. The God-consciousness is resident in the indwelling spirit. Many of the religious systems of man come from the formulations of the human intellect, but the God-consciousness is not necessarily a part of these grotesque systems of religious slavery.

 

(2095.8)196:3.24 God is not the mere invention of man’s idealism; he is the very source of all such superanimal insights and values. God is not a hypothesis formulated to unify the human concepts of truth, beauty, and goodness; he is the personality of love from whom all of these universe manifestations are derived. The truth, beauty, and goodness of man’s world are unified by the increasing spirituality of the experience of mortals ascending toward Paradise realities. The unity of truth, beauty, and goodness can only be realized in the spiritual experience of the God-knowing personality.

 

 

 

***

 

 

 

[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us.]



#14 Rick Warren

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 02:29 PM


.
 
Good day Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Visitors,

 

Morality without religion is like a train without tracks. Its existence is a statement, but it doesn't go anywhere, it can't serve as it should.

 

Compare the first sentence of today's OPAD:

 

   ...Moral evaluation with a religious meaning — spiritual insight — connotes the individual’s choice between good and evil, truth and error, material and spiritual, human and divine, time and eternity....  (2095.1)196:3.17


...with this from Jesus' discourse on the soul, in Paper 133:
 

"...Moral self-consciousness is true human self-realization and constitutes the foundation of the human soul, and the soul is that part of man which represents the potential survival value of human experience...." (1478:4) 133:6.5

 

Morality can be an aid to soul growth when it is directed by spirit, or a detriment to soul progress when it has no spiritual center. Morality can be abused, misused and perverted. This is from a Divine Counselor in Paper 2:
 

 ...The overstressed and isolated morality of modern religion, which fails to hold the devotion and loyalty of many twentieth-century men, would rehabilitate itself if, in addition to its moral mandates, it would give equal consideration to the truths of science, philosophy, and spiritual experience, and to the beauties of the physical creation, the charm of intellectual art, and the grandeur of genuine character achievement.... (43.2)2:7.9

 

***
 

This is a noteworthy insight on genuine religious experience in the first paragraph of today's reading:
 

...Personal religious experience consists in two phases: discovery in the human mind and revelation by the indwelling divine spirit.... (2095.2)196:3.18

 

Evidently both phases of religious experience are inevitable in true seekers, thanks to the seven Adjutant Mind Spirits bestowed by the Divine Mother, and the ministrations of the Indweller given by the Universal Father. From the last sentence of the first paragraph of today's read:
 

...such attitudes of spiritual nonprogression cannot long persist because of the presence and influence of the indwelling Thought Adjusters.... (2095.2)196:3.18

 

Of course the Spirit of Truth assists when it has been bestowed. From Paper 194:

 

...And so did the bestowal of the Spirit of Truth bring to the world and its peoples the last of the spirit endowment designed to aid in the ascending search for God.... (2062:9) 194:2.20

 

 

Apparently morality (evolved ideals of behavior) and science can augment religious experience, but both can be misapplied, misdirected and corrupted. From the second paragraph of today's text:


 ...This profound experience of the reality of the divine indwelling forever transcends the crude materialistic technique of the physical sciences.... (2095.2)196:3.18
 

This is from the Master's teachings on "True Values", in Paper 132:


...The materialistic scientist and the extreme idealist are destined always to be at loggerheads. This is not true of those scientists and idealists who are in possession of a common standard of high moral values and spiritual test levels. In every age scientists and religionists must recognize that they are on trial before the bar of human need. They must eschew all warfare between themselves while they strive valiantly to justify their continued survival by enhanced devotion to the service of human progress. If the so-called science or religion of any age is false, then must it either purify its activities or pass away before the emergence of a material science or spiritual religion of a truer and more worthy order.... (1457.3)132:1.4

 

 

***

 

This in today's reading:

 

...The Hebrews had a religion of moral sublimity; the Greeks evolved a religion of beauty; Paul and his conferees founded a religion of faith, hope, and charity. Jesus revealed and exemplified a religion of love.... (2095.3)196:3.19

 

...has a close relative in Paper 5:

 

...The Hebrews based their religion on goodness; the Greeks on beauty; both religions sought truth. Jesus revealed a God of love, and love is all-embracing of truth, beauty, and goodness.... (67.4)5:4.6

 

***

 

Next the Midwayers make several references to objective and subjective points of view. This is a simple definition of the two:

 

Subjective refers to personal perspectives, feelings, or opinions entering the decision making process.

 

Objective refers to the elimination of subjective perspectives and a process that is purely based on hard facts.

 

Definition Source: Business Dictionary

 

 

It's a fascinating paradox isn't it? The greatest subjective experience somehow makes contact with the greatest objective experience! From today's reading:


...The one truly divine and objective reality that is associated with mortal beings, the Thought Adjuster, functions to human observation apparently as an exclusively subjective phenomenon....(2095.5)196:3.21
 

Such is reality for the time/space ascender.

 

 

***

 

Atheists often accuse religionists of merely talking to themselves, rather than making inner contact with God. The Midwayers refute that in today's text:
 

 ...True religious worship is not a futile monologue of self-deception.... (2095.6)196:3.22
 

Many are the references to the meaning, purpose and value of worship in the UB. This is from today's reading:

 

...Man aspires by worship to be better and thereby eventually attains the best.... (2095.6)196:3.22

 

This is from Paper 146:

 

...The spirit of the Father speaks best to man when the human mind is in an attitude of true worship. We worship God by the aid of the Father's indwelling spirit and by the illumination of the human mind through the ministry of truth.... (1641:1) 146:2.17

 

There are whole Sections on worship. From Paper 5:

 

3. True Worship

 

Paper 85 is all about the evolution and practice of worship:
 

The Origins of Worship

 

1. Worship of Stones and Hills
2. Worship of Plants and Trees
3. The Worship of Animals
4. Worship of the Elements
5. Worship of the Heavenly Bodies
6. Worship of Man
7. The Adjutants of Worship and Wisdom

 

***

 

Truth, beauty and goodness appear three times in the last two paragraphs of today's reading. Two of those admonish us not to put truth, beauty and goodness above their high spiritual source--God:
 

 ...The idealization and attempted service of truth, beauty, and goodness is not a substitute for genuine religious experience — spiritual reality.

 

...The truth, beauty, and goodness of man’s world are unified by the increasing spirituality of the experience of mortals ascending toward Paradise realities. The unity of truth, beauty, and goodness can only be realized in the spiritual experience of the God-knowing personality.... (2095.7)196:3.23

 

Compare the third use of TB&G in today's OPAD:


...God is not a hypothesis formulated to unify the human concepts of truth, beauty, and goodness; he is the personality of love from whom all of these universe manifestations are derived.... (2095.8)196:3.24

 

...with this use in Paper 2:


...Truth, beauty, and goodness are divine realities, and as man ascends the scale of spiritual living, these supreme qualities of the Eternal become increasingly co-ordinated and unified in God, who is love.... (43.3) 2:7.10
 

The authors use this trio throughout the book. They employ them seven times in Paper 196.

 

84 Uses of Truth, Beauty & Goodness In 16 Languages

 

 

***

 

In tomorrow’s reading, the third of four parts of this final Section of the book: 3. The Supremacy of Religion, the Midwayers continue to discourse on morality as it intersects with religion. They go on offering insights into love, art, philosophy, science, pursuing Godlikeness, and learning to "do righteousness".

 

Contents of: Paper 196 - THE FAITH OF JESUS


1. Jesus — The Man

 

2. The Religion of Jesus

 

3. The Supremacy of Religion

 
 

Listen to Paper 196: (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 
Thanks for reading. Members’ thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today’s OPAD presentation are invited.
 
Much love, Rick/OPAD host.



#15 Rick Warren

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 07:20 PM


Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 196 - The Faith Of Jesus

 

3. The Supremacy of Religion

 

[Part 3 of 4]

 

   Morality is the essential pre-existent soil of personal God-consciousness, the personal realization of the Adjuster’s inner presence, but such morality is not the source of religious experience and the resultant spiritual insight. The moral nature is superanimal but subspiritual. Morality is equivalent to the recognition of duty, the realization of the existence of right and wrong. The moral zone intervenes between the animal and the human types of mind as morontia functions between the material and the spiritual spheres of personality attainment.

 

(2096.2)196:3.26 The evolutionary mind is able to discover law, morals, and ethics; but the bestowed spirit, the indwelling Adjuster, reveals to the evolving human mind the lawgiver, the Father-source of all that is true, beautiful, and good; and such an illuminated man has a religion and is spiritually equipped to begin the long and adventurous search for God.

 

(2096.3)196:3.27 Morality is not necessarily spiritual; it may be wholly and purely human, albeit real religion enhances all moral values, makes them more meaningful. Morality without religion fails to reveal ultimate goodness, and it also fails to provide for the survival of even its own moral values. Religion provides for the enhancement, glorification, and assured survival of everything morality recognizes and approves.

 

(2096.4)196:3.28 Religion stands above science, art, philosophy, ethics, and morals, but not independent of them. They are all indissolubly interrelated in human experience, personal and social. Religion is man’s supreme experience in the mortal nature, but finite language makes it forever impossible for theology ever adequately to depict real religious experience.

 

(2096.5)196:3.29 Religious insight possesses the power of turning defeat into higher desires and new determinations. Love is the highest motivation which man may utilize in his universe ascent. But love, divested of truth, beauty, and goodness, is only a sentiment, a philosophic distortion, a psychic illusion, a spiritual deception. Love must always be redefined on successive levels of morontia and spirit progression.

 

(2096.6)196:3.30 Art results from man’s attempt to escape from the lack of beauty in his material environment; it is a gesture toward the morontia level. Science is man’s effort to solve the apparent riddles of the material universe. Philosophy is man’s attempt at the unification of human experience. Religion is man’s supreme gesture, his magnificent reach for final reality, his determination to find God and to be like him.

 

(2096.7)196:3.31 In the realm of religious experience, spiritual possibility is potential reality. Man’s forward spiritual urge is not a psychic illusion. All of man’s universe romancing may not be fact, but much, very much, is truth.

 

(2096.8)196:3.32 Some men’s lives are too great and noble to descend to the low level of being merely successful. The animal must adapt itself to the environment, but the religious man transcends his environment and in this way escapes the limitations of the present material world through this insight of divine love. This concept of love generates in the soul of man that superanimal effort to find truth, beauty, and goodness; and when he does find them, he is glorified in their embrace; he is consumed with the desire to live them, to do righteousness.

 

 

 

 

***

 

 
 

 

[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us.]



#16 Rick Warren

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 07:24 PM


.
 
Greetings Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Guests,

 

Have you noticed how morals evolve, change over the years? Morality is an arbitrary and ever shifting set of rules and beliefs usually prescribed, sanctioned and enforced by church and/or law. What is considered moral and acceptable in one age or nation may not be in another time or place. Morality cannot be depended on for enduring guidance and lasting support, unlike Divine Truth. The Midwayers are succinct in today's reading:
 

...The moral nature is superanimal but subspiritual.... (2096.1)196:3.25

 

***

 

We find the 81st use of the Truth, Beauty and Goodness trio in the second paragraph of today's text:

 

...the bestowed spirit, the indwelling Adjuster, reveals to the evolving human mind the lawgiver, the Father-source of all that is true, beautiful, and good.... (2096.2) 196:3.26

 

Truth, Beauty and Goodness are the words chosen by the many UB authors to depict God's nature and character. Adjusters and TBG are found together in five other of the 84 Truth, Beauty & Goodness quotes:
 

44. ...In a sense the Adjusters may be fostering a certain degree of planetary cross-fertilization in the domains of truth, beauty, and goodness.... (1199.1) 109:4.6 

 

46. ...You can consciously augment Adjuster harmony by...Choosing to respond to divine leading; sincerely basing the human life on the highest consciousness of truth, beauty, and goodness, and then co-ordinating these qualities of divinity through wisdom, worship, faith, and love.... (1206.4) 110:3.6
 
 47. ...The Adjuster bestowed upon man is, in the last analysis, impervious to evil and incapable of sin, but mortal mind can actually be twisted, distorted, and rendered evil and ugly by the sinful machinations of a perverse and self-seeking human will. Likewise can this mind be made noble, beautiful, true, and good--actually great--in accordance with the spirit-illuminated will of a God-knowing human being.... (1217.1) 111:1.6 

 

60. ...Goodness is always growing toward new levels of the increasing liberty of moral self-realization and spiritual personality attainment--the discovery of, and identification with, the indwelling Adjuster. An experience is good when it heightens the appreciation of beauty, augments the moral will, enhances the discernment of truth, enlarges the capacity to love and serve one's fellows, exalts the spiritual ideals, and unifies the supreme human motives of time with the eternal plans of the indwelling Adjuster.... (1458.2)132:2.5 

 

84. ...Even that which is true, beautiful, and good may not perish in human experience. If man does not choose to survive, then does the surviving Adjuster conserve those realities born of love and nurtured in service.... (2097.3) 196:3.35

 

 

***

 

This in today's reading very well sums up why we can't convincingly explain our personal religious experiences to those who haven't yet had one:
 

...finite language makes it forever impossible for theology ever adequately to depict real religious experience....(2096.4)196:3.28
 

 

Here, in today's OPAD, the Midwayers move from a discussion of morality to love, and use truth, beauty and goodness for the 82 time:
 

...love, divested of truth, beauty, and goodness, is only a sentiment, a philosophic distortion, a psychic illusion, a spiritual deception.... (2096.5)196:3.29
 

Compare that with this from a Melchizedek in Paper 103:


...Through truth man attains beauty and by spiritual love ascends to goodness.... (1142:1) 103:9.10

 

 

***

 

Next the Midwayers point to the focal center of Section 3, the supremacy of true and pure religion over art, science, philosophy:

 

 ...Religion is man’s supreme gesture, his magnificent reach for final reality, his determination to find God and to be like him.... (2096.6)196:3.30

 

Godlikeness is another important theme in the book, a relatively new idea and ideal for humanity.

 

...An experience is good when it heightens the appreciation of beauty, augments the moral will, enhances the discernment of truth, enlarges the capacity to love and serve one's fellows, exalts the spiritual ideals, and unifies the supreme human motives of time with the eternal plans of the indwelling Adjuster, all of which lead directly to an increased desire to do the Father's will, thereby fostering the divine passion to find God and to be more like him.... (1458.2)132:2.5 

...Revealed truth, personally discovered truth, is the supreme delight of the human soul; it is the joint creation of the material mind and the indwelling spirit. The eternal salvation of this truth-discerning and beauty-loving soul is assured by that hunger and thirst for goodness which leads this mortal to develop a singleness of purpose to do the Father's will, to find God and to become like him.... (1459.4)132:3.4
 
...In substance Jesus said: The will of God is the way of God, partnership with the choice of God in the face of any potential alternative. To do the will of God, therefore, is the progressive experience of becoming more and more like God, and God is the source and destiny of all that is good and beautiful and true.... (1431.2) 130:2.7
 
...These divine qualities are perfectly and absolutely unified in God. And every God-knowing man or angel possesses the potential of unlimited self-expression on ever-progressive levels of unified self- realization by the technique of the never-ending achievement of Godlikeness--the experiential blending in the evolutionary experience of eternal truth, universal beauty, and divine goodness.... (507.5) 44:7.4

 

 

***

 

More than once the Midwayers refer to this innate forward "spiritual urge". From today's OPAD:
 

...Man’s forward spiritual urge is not a psychic illusion.... (2096.7)196:3.31
 

From Paper 194:
 

...The spiritual forward urge is the most powerful driving force present in this world; the truth-learning believer is the one progressive and aggressive soul on earth.... (2063:2) 194:3.4

 

***

 

This is a curious and intriguing statement in today's reading:
 

 ...All of man’s universe romancing may not be fact, but much, very much, is truth.... (2096.7)196:3.31
 

What exactly do the Midwayers mean by that?

 

 

Romance is also cited in Paper 112, by a Solitary Messenger:
 

...What an adventure! What a romance! A gigantic creation to be administered by the children of the Supreme.... (1239.7)112:7.18

 

That would be us!

 

 

***

 

Lastly, in today's reading, the Midwayers discuss the transcendence of mere success by love, using Truth, Beauty and Goodness for the 83rd time:
 

...This concept of love generates in the soul of man that superanimal effort to find truth, beauty, and goodness; and when he does find them, he is glorified in their embrace; he is consumed with the desire to live them, to do righteousness.... (2096.8)196:3.32
 

Love appears in many of the 84 Truth, Beauty & Goodness Quotoes:

 

...The God of universal love unfailingly manifests himself to every one of his creatures up to the fullness of that creature's capacity to spiritually grasp the qualities of divine truth, beauty, and goodness....  (26.7)1:4.5
 

...Truth, beauty, and goodness are divine realities, and as man ascends the scale of spiritual living, these supreme qualities of the Eternal become increasingly co-ordinated and unified in God, who is love.... (43.3) 2:7.10
 

...Truth is coherent, beauty attractive, goodness stabilizing. And when these values of that which is real are co-ordinated in personality experience, the result is a high order of love conditioned by wisdom and qualified by loyalty.... (43.5) 2:7.12
 

...The Hebrews based their religion on goodness; the Greeks on beauty; both religions sought truth. Jesus revealed a God of love, and love is all-embracing of truth, beauty, and goodness.... (67.4) 5:4.6
 

...In the Trinity Teacher Sons the love, mercy, and ministry of the three Paradise Deities are co-ordinated on the highest time-space value-levels and are presented to the universes as living truth, divine goodness, and true spiritual beauty.... (232.6)20:10.3
 

...Mortal man must, through the recognition of truth, the appreciation of beauty, and the worship of goodness, evolve the recognition of a God of love and then progress through ascending deity levels to the comprehension of the Supreme.... (641.4) 56:6.3
 

...To finite man truth, beauty, and goodness embrace the full revelation of divinity reality. As this love-comprehension of Deity finds spiritual expression in the lives of God-knowing mortals, there are yielded the fruits of divinity: intellectual peace, social progress, moral satisfaction, spiritual joy, and cosmic wisdom.... (648.3) 56:10.20
 

...religion is genuine and worth while if it fosters in the individual an experience in which the sovereignty of truth, beauty, and goodness prevails, for such is the true spiritual concept of supreme reality. And through love and worship this becomes meaningful as fellowship with man and sonship with God.... (1089.12)99:4.4
 

...Spirituality enhances the ability to discover beauty in things, recognize truth in meanings, and discover goodness in values. Spiritual development is determined by capacity therefor and is directly proportional to the elimination of the selfish qualities of love.... (1096.1) 100:2.4
 

...Reason deals with factual knowledge; wisdom, with philosophy and revelation; faith, with living spiritual experience. Through truth man attains beauty and by spiritual love ascends to goodness.... (1142.1) 103:9.10 

...a Father life is one predicated on truth, sensitive to beauty, and dominated by goodness. Such a God-knowing person is inwardly illuminated by worship and outwardly devoted to the wholehearted service of the universal brotherhood of all personalities, a service ministry which is filled with mercy and motivated by love....
(1175.1) 106:9.12

 

...The understandings of truth, beauty, and goodness, morality, ethics, duty, love, divinity, origin, existence, purpose, destiny, time, space, even Deity, are only relatively true.... (1206.3) 110:3.5
 

...An experience is good when it heightens the appreciation of beauty, augments the moral will, enhances the discernment of truth, enlarges the capacity to love and serve one's fellows, exalts the spiritual ideals, and unifies the supreme human motives of time with the eternal plans of the indwelling Adjuster.... (1458.2)132:2.5 
 

...He revealed a goodness equal to God. He exalted love--truth, beauty, and goodness--as the divine ideal and the eternal reality.... (1583.5) 140:8.31
 

"...Devote your life to proving that love is the greatest thing in the world. It is the love of God that impels men to seek salvation. Love is the ancestor of all spiritual goodness, the essence of the true and the beautiful...." (2047.5) 192:2.1
 

...We find God through the leadings of spiritual insight, but we approach this insight of the soul through the love of the beautiful, the pursuit of truth, loyalty to duty, and the worship of divine goodness. But of all these values, love is the true guide to real insight.... (2076.5) 195:5.14

 

 

***

 

Tomorrow’s reading is the last three paragraphs of Section: 3. The Supremacy of Religion, and the end of the book. The authors of the Life and Teachings of Jesus end this revelation on a positive note of encouragement, a challenge to modern humanity, and our highest possible concept of God.

 

Contents of: Paper 196 - THE FAITH OF JESUS


1. Jesus — The Man

 

2. The Religion of Jesus

 

3. The Supremacy of Religion

 
 

Listen to Paper 196: (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 
Thanks for reading. Members’ thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today’s OPAD presentation are invited.
 
Much love, Rick/OPAD host.



#17 Rick Warren

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Posted 09 December 2014 - 02:18 PM


Welcome to The OPAD Online Study Session

 

Today’s Presentation

 

Paper 196 - The Faith Of Jesus

 

3. The Supremacy of Religion

 

[Part 4 of 4]

 

Be not discouraged; human evolution is still in progress, and the revelation of God to the world, in and through Jesus, shall not fail.

 

(2097.2)196:3.34 The great challenge to modern man is to achieve better communication with the divine Monitor that dwells within the human mind. Man’s greatest adventure in the flesh consists in the well-balanced and sane effort to advance the borders of self-consciousness out through the dim realms of embryonic soul-consciousness in a wholehearted effort to reach the borderland of spirit-consciousness — contact with the divine presence. Such an experience constitutes God-consciousness, an experience mightily confirmative of the pre-existent truth of the religious experience of knowing God. Such spirit-consciousness is the equivalent of the knowledge of the actuality of sonship with God. Otherwise, the assurance of sonship is the experience of faith.

 

(2097.3)196:3.35 And God-consciousness is equivalent to the integration of the self with the universe, and on its highest levels of spiritual reality. Only the spirit content of any value is imperishable. Even that which is true, beautiful, and good may not perish in human experience. If man does not choose to survive, then does the surviving Adjuster conserve those realities born of love and nurtured in service. And all these things are a part of the Universal Father. The Father is living love, and this life of the Father is in his Sons. And the spirit of the Father is in his Sons’ sons — mortal men. When all is said and done, the Father idea is still the highest human concept of God.

 

 

***

 

 

[Each OPAD presentation is copied from The Urantia Book published by Urantia Foundation. Questions and comments related to the Paper under discussion are welcome and encouraged. In-depth questions and related topics may be studied in branch threads in the OPAD, or other subforums, as you require. Thank you for studying with us.]



#18 Rick Warren

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Posted 09 December 2014 - 02:24 PM


.
 
Good day Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Visitors,

 

These last three paragraphs encapsulate so many of the major themes of this remarkably enlightening book composed and delivered by our celestial siblings. The Midwayer authors of Part IV wanted to end on a promising and encouraging note:


...Be not discouraged; human evolution is still in progress, and the revelation of God to the world, in and through Jesus, shall not fail.... (2097.1)196:3.33
 

From that I infer Urantia may look like a disaster in slow motion now, but God always triumphs. And so will the Master's teachings be restated, re-examined, tested, proved and finally integrated into the lives of our successors, our children. How long will it take is the obvious question, and doesn't that depend on us in a measure? Urantia is waiting for and wanting us to live these teachings. Michael and God too.

 

In the second paragraph of today's OPAD, we are offered yet another challenge:

 

...The great challenge to modern man is to achieve better communication with the divine Monitor that dwells within the human mind.... (2097.2)196:3.34
 

Compare that with this challenge in Paper 2:7:


 ...The religious challenge of this age is to those farseeing and forward-looking men and women of spiritual insight who will dare to construct a new and appealing philosophy of living out of the enlarged and exquisitely integrated modern concepts of cosmic truth, universe beauty, and divine goodness. Such a new and righteous vision of morality will attract all that is good in the mind of man and challenge that which is best in the human soul.... (43.3)2:7.10
 

And there is this challenge in a Supreme Paper, 117:4:


...The great challenge that has been given to mortal man is this: Will you decide to personalize the experiencible value meanings of the cosmos into your own evolving selfhood? or by rejecting survival, will you allow these secrets of Supremacy to lie dormant, awaiting the action of another creature at some other time who will in his way attempt a creature contribution to the evolution of the finite God? But that will be his contribution to the Supreme, not yours.... (1284.6)117:4.10

 

In Paper 160:2, we are shown the source of inspiration that will enable us to meet all challenges:
 

...Only a glimpse of the circle of eternity can inspire man to do his best and can challenge the best in him to do its utmost. And when man is thus at his best, he lives most unselfishly for the good of others, his fellow sojourners in time and eternity.... (1776.3)160:2.9

 

 

Here is a challenge (and predicted result) for the institution of religion that well relates to the 21st century's problems. From Paper 195:4:


...Religion is now confronted by the challenge of a new age of scientific minds and materialistic tendencies. In this gigantic struggle between the secular and the spiritual, the religion of Jesus will eventually triumph.... (2075.3)195:4.5
 

 

The second paragraph continues quite poetically and beautifully:


...Man’s greatest adventure in the flesh consists in the well-balanced and sane effort to advance the borders of self-consciousness out through the dim realms of embryonic soul-consciousness in a wholehearted effort to reach the borderland of spirit-consciousness — contact with the divine presence.

 

Someday we will meet God in his Paradise home, receive the divine embrace, and then head out to the open fields of untapped adventure in "outer space", there to help the Universal Father with the further unfolding and realization of the potentials now concealed in his bottomless reservoirs. What a grand adventure! And we are all invited to contribute, to interact with God, each in our unique way.

 

 

***

 

About God-consciousness, cited in the second paragraph:
 

...Such an experience constitutes God-consciousness, an experience mightily confirmative of the pre-existent truth of the religious experience of knowing God.

 

The indwelling God fragment that we may become conscious of is referred to as the Thought Adjuster. A description of the nature and function of these "pilots" occupies a whole block of Papers, 107-112:

 

 

107. Origin and Nature of Thought Adjusters

 

1. Origin of Thought Adjusters
2. Classification of Adjusters
3. The Divinington Home of Adjusters
4. Nature and Presence of Adjusters
5. Adjuster Mindedness
6. Adjusters as Pure Spirits
7. Adjusters and Personality

 

 

108. Mission and Ministry of Thought Adjusters

 

 

109. Relation of Adjusters to Universe Creatures

 

1. Development of Adjusters

 

 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 

 

This last sentence of the second paragraph is a fascinating statement:

 

...Such spirit-consciousness is the equivalent of the knowledge of the actuality of sonship with God. Otherwise, the assurance of sonship is the experience of faith.

 

To become God conscious is equal to the realization of sonship. But until awareness of God within is achieved, faith must fill the void. Does that mean faith is not needed in God conscious beings? There is this in Paper 101:5:

 

...Increasingly throughout the morontia progression the assurance of truth replaces the assurance of faith.... (1111:4) 101:5.14

 

 

***

 

The last paragraph has the final use of the words true, beautiful and good:
 

 ...Even that which is true, beautiful, and good may not perish in human experience....(2097.3)196:3.35
 

TB&G quotes are found throughout the book. They are worthy of a study all by themselves. They are the foundation stones of a new philosophy that is destined to change Urantia for the better. How can a world improve if its philosophy is backward looking, confused, and error prone? Urantia must have a newer and greater philosophy to guide it into the arms of true religion, and steer it toward real science--religion based in genuine spiritual truth and science rooted in factual truth. Only a divinely inspired philosophy can reconcile the truth experience of religion and the facts derived from scientific experiment.

 

84 Uses of Truth, Beauty & Goodness In 16 Languages

 

 

***

 

Compare this in today's reading:

 

...If man does not choose to survive, then does the surviving Adjuster conserve those realities born of love and nurtured in service.... (2097.3)196:3.35

 

...with this from the Adjuster Papers. This is in 109:6:
 

 ...a mortal creature may reject survival; still the life experience is not wasted; the eternal Adjuster carries the worth-while features of such an apparent life of failure over into some other world and there bestows these surviving meanings and values upon some higher type of mortal mind, one of survival capacity. No worth-while experience ever happens in vain; no true meaning or real value ever perishes.... (1200.1)109:6.1
 

...which also complements this pithy sentence in the last of today's reading:

 

...Only the spirit content of any value is imperishable.... (2097.3)196:3.35

 

 

***

 

Cosmic integration is also cited in the final paragraph of today's text:
 

 ...God-consciousness is equivalent to the integration of the self with the universe, and on its highest levels of spiritual reality.... (2097.3)196:3.35

 

...and appears in several other Papers. From Paper 99:4, on transition problems, integration in relation to religion:
 

...if religion is to stimulate individual development of character and augment integration of personality, it must not be standardized. If it is to stimulate evaluation of experience and serve as a value-lure, it must not be stereotyped. If religion is to promote supreme loyalties, it must not be formalized.... (1089.11)99:4.3

 

Here integration is examined from the artistic or creative perspective. Paper 111:4:

 

...Inner creativity contributes to ennoblement of character through personality integration and selfhood unification.... (1221.1)111:4.12

 

 

In this quote a Melchizedek reveals the Root of integration, from Paper 115:2:
 

...The Original is what makes possible the coexistence and integration of man the actual, man the potential, and man the eternal.... (1263.2)115:3.15

 

At the other end of the time/space universe is the Supreme Being, the Great Integrator of cosmic values. This is from the Supreme Papers, 115:3:
 

 ...Man’s universe integration — the increase of human insight plus the increase of human experiential achievement brings him into closer harmony with the unifying presences of Supremacy — Paradise Trinity and Supreme Being. And this is what establishes the sovereignty of the Supreme on the worlds long settled in light and life. Such advanced planets are indeed poems of harmony, pictures of the beauty of achieved goodness attained through the pursuit of cosmic truth. And if such things can happen to a planet, then even greater things can happen to a system and the larger units of the grand universe as they too achieve a settledness indicating the exhaustion of the potentials for finite growth.... (1306.4)118:10.15

 

 

One day Urantia will be settled in light and life. The authors revealed what that will look like, and the route to get there. We are already on our way, we just need something that will unify us, like this great revelation. But it will take considerable time, don't you think?
 

 

***

Might we be more accurately called the grandchildren of God? From the next to last sentence of the book:

 

...And the spirit of the Father is in his Sons’ sons — mortal men.... (2097.3)196:3.35
 


Compare this last sentence of the book:


 ...When all is said and done, the Father idea is still the highest human concept of God....(2097.3)196:3.35
 

...with the first line of the Foreword:
 

 ...IN THE MINDS of the mortals of Urantia — that being the name of your world — there exists great confusion respecting the meaning of such terms as God, divinity, and deity.... (1.1)0:0.1

 

So, has the confusion been cleared away?

 

***

 

Thus ends the fifth epochal revelation to our quarantined planet. The Urantia Book will surely stand as the spiritual touchstone for billions of people, if not now then in the foreseeable future. The Revelators must be thanked and complimented for such a monumental accomplishment. We are in their debt.

 

Tomorrow, the OPAD study session will end with an epilogue, a final few words of reflection from your host, and any comments you would like to make.

 

Contents of: Paper 196 - THE FAITH OF JESUS


1. Jesus — The Man

 

2. The Religion of Jesus

 

3. The Supremacy of Religion

 
 

Listen to Paper 196: (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)

 
Thanks for reading. Members’ thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today’s OPAD presentation are invited.
 
Much love, Rick/OPAD host.



#19 Rick Warren

Rick Warren

    Rick Warren

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Posted 10 December 2014 - 03:48 PM

OPAD EPILOGUE

 

 

Greetings!

 

OPAD began here on the Invision Forum July 20, '09, and ends here today. Fragments of OPAD were also duplicated on UAI's two succeeding websites. This Forum has remained open during the launch of the other two Forums to finish the OPAD study session and have it all in one place. It is the only Forum that has the full sequence of OPAD presentations.

 

It is due to be archived soon. When it is archived, it can be found at: UAI's FORUM ARCHIVE

 

Responses to this epilogue may be viewed HERE.

 

Everyday since July 20, '09, an examination was made of each paragraph and sentence. Occasionally a single word of that day's page was scrutinized. It is the way I always wished to study this revelation, slow, steady, and thorough. And you must be given the credit. Hosting OPAD would have been impractical and illogical without knowing it was serving another, that someone, somewhere on Urantia, was counting on finding it here everyday. Thank you all!

 

My understanding of this astonishing book improved exponentially over these five years. So often it improved because someone added their perspective and opened a new avenue for thinking about the item at hand. I am certain of my basic knowledge of the UB now, and happily trying to live these supernal teachings, albeit quite imperfectly. And just as OPAD is ending, my next big project has already begun. After my daughter's untimely death several weeks ago, I've become a caregiver for two bright and beautiful young ones, my grandchildren. Such a rich life indeed!

 

(If you are reading this in the UAI ARCHIVE, you will find replies to this post in the New OPAD Forum.)


Thanks again. Much love. Rick/OPAD host.

 

PS. Urantia Foundation must be thanked for preserving and providing the Standardized Text, the Contents, the maps and topical studies. The synopses for each Paper are from Urantia Fellowship, as is the The Urantia Book Paramony. Thanks most of all to Urantia Association for providing the Forums and its staff of willing helpers, counselors, and friends.

 

.





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