THIS WEEK'S Bible Lesson poses very basic theological questions. Is humankind entirely mortal? Are we a combination of mortality and immortality? Or is it possible that we are completely immortal here and now? The writer of First John backs the third position, and declares, "Now are we the sons of God" (I John 3:2, citation 20).

Mary Baker Eddy agrees with First John: "To the five corporeal senses, man appears to be matter and mind united; but Christian Science reveals man as the idea of God, and declares the corporeal senses to be mortal and erring illusions" (Science and Health, p. 477, cit. 3).

In addition to the writer of First John, other individuals in Bible times also considered questions about mortality and immortality. We read that "by faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death" (Heb. 11:5, cit. 5). Nicodemus, a Pharisee, someone thoroughly schooled in Jewish law, came to Jesus in the night and was told by Jesus that he must be "born again." This is a Greek phrase that means "begotten from above," "from God," "begotten of water and the spirit." Nicodemus, a literal-minded individual, asked if one could "enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?" Jesus' reply gave Nicodemus a clear distinction between the mortal and the immortal: "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:4, 6, cit. 9).

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Smooth stone
November 1, 2010

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