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So now we come to our final episode on Urantia Paper 196, The Faith of Jesus.
We've had such a great time reviewing this paper with old friends and Urantia Book scholars. It may have taken 5 weeks to get through it, but it's so rich, it deserves to be savored. So we hope you'll join us again, for the last bite of this sumptuous spiritual feast.
In the last few weeks we've read and discussed his exquisite faith, pondering teachings like this, "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."
We've explored his nearness to us, his humility and approachability: "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."
We've marveled at his personal religious devotion and service: "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?"
This week offers us one more dance with the Universe: "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."
We can't think of a better way to start the new year than with the final paper of The Urantia Book, Paper 196 - The Faith of Jesus! We want to give particular emphasis in this episode to his life of unselfish service.
Paper 196 is the exquisite capstone of a literary masterpiece on the life and teachings of Jesus and what a magnificent summation The Faith of Jesus provides for an epochal revelation of truth. What could be more sublime than to begin 2016 by exploring together this magnificent piece of literature. The authors of Part IV of The Urantia Book call Jesus "the author and finisher of our faith." Truly, his exquisite life is truly a monumental example of sublime devotion and living faith.
Consider the following:
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.
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.
196:3.33.Be not discouraged; human evolution is still in progress, and the revelation of God to the world, in and through Jesus, shall not fail.
We hope you will join this week, as we celebrate and discuss together The Faith of Jesus!
This week we continue with Paper 196 of The Urantia Book - The Faith of Jesus.
In the past three weeks we've had some amazing callers like Jim McNelly, Will Sherwood, Annette Crawford and Chuck Thurston, who discussed this remarkable paper with us. We covered the sublime faith of Jesus and the importance of Jesus' humanity. We explored the value of the religion of Jesus, the religion of personal spiritual experience, vs. the religion about Jesus. We marveled at the keen insights and wisdom that comes shining through the authors of this paper its teachings.
This week we dive deep into the heart of this paper. We will learn that Jesus, "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?"
And in The Supremacy of Religion: "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"
Also: "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."
We hope to finish this paper this week, but we hate to see it end. What a splendid and lively discussion we've had on it. Please join us!
This week we continue our exploration of Paper 196 of The Urantia Book, The Faith of Jesus.
Some thoughts to ponder:
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 had faith in humankind, "He was always ready and willing to stop a sermon or detain a multitude while he ministered to the needs of a single person, even to a little child. Great things happened not only because people had faith in Jesus, but also because Jesus had so much faith in them."
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. Man's challenge on earth is to achieve better communication with the fragment of God that dwells within him.
Be not discouraged; human evolution is still in progress, and the revelation of God to the world, in and through Jesus, shall not fail!
This week we will continue to read and study Paper 196 of The Urantia Book, The Faith of Jesus. It is the exquisite capstone of a literary masterpiece on the life and teachings of Jesus and a magnificent summation of Jesus' faith.
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 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.
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.
We hope you will join this week, as we celebrate and discuss together this magnificent piece of literature.
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Our series continues discussing paper 196:
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.
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...
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.
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.
Please join us in the continuing discussion and pleasure of engaging with each other in this amazing discovery.
21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in[h] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,[i] through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—
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From the public domain Fifth Epochal Revelation of Truth:
100:2.7 Jesus portrayed the profound surety of the God-knowing mortal when he said: “To a God-knowing kingdom believer, what does it matter if all things earthly crash?” Temporal securities are vulnerable, but spiritual sureties are impregnable. When the flood tides of human adversity, selfishness, cruelty, hate, malice, and jealousy beat about the mortal soul, you may rest in the assurance that there is one inner bastion, the citadel of the Spirit, which is absolutely unassailable; at least this is true of every human being who has dedicated the keeping of his soul to the indwelling spirit of the eternal God.
100:2.8 After such spiritual attainment, whether secured by gradual growth or specific crisis, there occurs a new orientation of personality as well as the development of a new standard of values. Such Spirit-born individuals are so remotivated in life that they can calmly stand by while their fondest ambitions perish and their keenest hopes crash; they positively know that such catastrophes are but the redirecting cataclysms which wreck one’s temporal creations preliminary to the rearing of the more noble and enduring realities of a new and more sublime level of universe attainment.
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From the supernal 2097 page The Urantia Book in the public domain
149:2.5 The teachers of the religion of Jesus should approach other religions with the recognition of the truths which are held in common (many of which come directly or indirectly from Jesus' message) while they refrain from placing so much emphasis on the differences.
95:7.6 The strength of Islam has been its clear-cut and well-defined presentation of Allah as the one and only Deity; its weakness, the association of military force with its promulgation, together with its degradation of woman. But it has steadfastly held to its presentation of the One Universal Deity of all, "who knows the invisible and the visible. He is the merciful and the compassionate." "Truly God is plenteous in goodness to all men." "And when I am sick, it is he who heals me." ...
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