PAPER 196 – THE FAITH OF JESUS

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  • #11859
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

    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.]

    #11860
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

    .

    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.

    #11861
    Ray
    Ray
    Participant

    His faith is a personal unique expression exemplifying a wholeness, a oneness of a perfectly balanced nature; acquired living the material life dealt Him. “Why do you call me good?!” A challenge?

    Walk with God. May His Peace be unto you.

    #11862
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant
    Ray wrote: His faith is a personal unique expression exemplifying a wholeness, a oneness of a perfectly balanced nature; acquired living the material life dealt Him. “Why do you call me good?!” A challenge?

    Hey, no fair skipping ahead to tomorrow’s OPAD reading, Ray  ;-)  Just kidding, it’s ok.

    How does Jesus’ question challenge you? If he can’t attain the level of God’s goodness, can we? Maybe you are suggesting we can at least aspire to it?

    .

    #11880
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

    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.]

    #11881
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

    .

    Greetings Ray, nelsong, Mark, Keryn, Rick B, Brad, Bonita, 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 144At 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 in:

    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.

    #11887
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

    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.]

    #11888
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

    .

    Good day Ray, nelsong, Mark K, Keryn, Brad, Bonita, Rick B, 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 inPaper 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.

    #11904
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

    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.]

    #11912
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

    .

    Greetings nelsong, Ray, Mark K, Rick B, Brad, Bonita, Keryn, 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.

    #11916
    Ray
    Ray
    Participant

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

    Secularism – thouroughly humanitarn ideals? I see the USA in a great flux of change. Seems? or so it seems a secular movement. Yet, can not the Thought Adjusters be the motivating influence behind these well doers – just not yet internalized as a religious experience? Far fetched perhaps – but a force of compassion, forgiving youth – not spiritually matured – but progressing. Is an imprimator or religious stamp of approval needed for this movement? Perhaps more human than morontial face value! An edging towards brotherhood? Since institutions are failing – can not a sectarian movement be mislabled? We are humans – no.

    Walk with God. May His Peace be unto you.

    #11917
    Bonita
    Bonita
    Participant

    I think this quote answers your questions Ray:

    102:7.4    True, many apparently religious traits can grow out of nonreligious roots. Man can, intellectually, deny God and yet be morally good, loyal, filial, honest, and even idealistic. Man may graft many purely humanistic branches onto his basic spiritual nature and thus apparently prove his contentions in behalf of a godless religion, but such an experience is devoid of survival values, God-knowingness and God-ascension. In such a mortal experience only social fruits are forthcoming, not spiritual. The graft determines the nature of the fruit, notwithstanding that the living sustenance is drawn from the roots of original divine endowment of both mind and spirit.

    #11919
    Ray
    Ray
    Participant

    Super response! Thank you!

    Walk with God. May His Peace be unto you.

    #11923
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

    Thank you both. Great question and reply.

    Secularism, I’ve come to agree with the Midwayers, is adrift in a tossing sea of competing, anchor-less, ideas and ideals. Another nature metaphor: The leaf can’t long exist without the branch and the root.

     

    #11927
    Rick Warren
    Rick Warren
    Participant

     

    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.]

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