Redeemed, Not Condemned
DO you ever wonder if God really is planning to condemn most of us at the ``end''? Sometimes we may feel that we couldn't possibly be worthy of God's love. Yet God's love is the ``good news'' Christ Jesus tells us about. Once when Jesus was teaching, he spoke about his mission in terms that make clear that God's purpose for man is always good. He said, ``God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.''1
The point, then, of Jesus' ministry wasn't to condemn mankind but to help all people -- including you and me -- see and know the love of God. This love, understood, is what frees us from whatever would condemn us, by showing us our actual worth as the sons and daughters of God. Such saving activity is the work of the Christ, and the Christ is the divine Truth that Jesus taught and lived so fully. Through Christ, Truth, we learn that we are inseparable from God, good, and that our nature is wholly spiritual.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, explains the nature of Jesus' ministry. She writes, ``Jesus aided in reconciling man to God by giving man a truer sense of Love, the divine Principle of Jesus' teachings, and this truer sense of Love redeems man from the law of matter, sin, and death by the law of Spirit, -- the law of divine Love.''2 This ``truer sense of Love'' helps us to see that God, Love, is always with us. And the presence of Love helps us to choose what is good and right to do. Even if we make mistakes, a greater closeness to God will enable us to correct our error more quickly. We find that love, peace, joy, hope, are becoming a fuller part of our lives.
I remember that before I learned about Christian Science, the struggle against sin seemed hopeless. I didn't need God to condemn me -- I was doing a good job of it all by myself! Despite my knowledge of Jesus' mission, I thought more in terms of ``the final judgment'' and how poorly I would fare there, than of redemption and freedom. Then I began to learn of my real spiritual identity and inseparability from God, from Love. Instead of having to work up to God, I learned that I already was His spiritual child, perfect and loved by Him. This knowledge brought about a remarkable change because it emphasized my relationship to God instead of hopeless sinfulness.
It soon became clear to me that if I really was spiritual, then sin -- which has its basis in materiality -- didn't have any more appeal for me than eating live earthworms would. It simply wasn't anything that I would naturally want to do. I could also see that since all of us are God's children, then this spirituality was natural to my colleagues at work, my friends, and even strangers. I was learning that God is Love -- universal and infinite -- and that if He loves me, He loves all His children.
To say that this study transformed my life is an understatement. It helped me to stop condemning myself for past mistakes and present failures, because I was actively looking to see God's presence in my life. This meant learning from past mistakes and taking steps to avoid repeating them. These steps involved a stronger effort to express more of my true spirituality by striving to be more loving, patient, truthful, pure, and good.
This love of God isn't limited just to me or to a select few. It is yours too. And as you learn how to live in accord with this divine promise, it will bring joy and peace into your life.
1John 3:17. 2Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 19.