Drawing close to God

For the lesson titled "Doctrine of Atonement" from October 8 - 14, 2012

This week’s Bible Lesson,  titled “Doctrine of Atonement,” shows us the way to “draw nigh unto God” (Golden Text, Hebrews 7:19 ). How? Not through rituals and creeds, but through “our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement” (Romans 5:11 , citation 16). The Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, defines atonement as “the exemplification of man’s unity with God …” (p. 18 , cit. 5) and highlights the original meaning of the word, at-one-ment (see pp. 19, 45, and 21, cits. 14, 26, and 29). Being “at one” is being in harmony with God. 

Atonement is an integral element of both Jewish and Christian theology, having its roots in the Mosaic Law. According to Leviticus 16, once a year the high priest was to go within the veil (a curtain concealing and protecting the sacred inner sanctuary) to “make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins” (verse 34 , cit. 1). Animal sacrifices were used and the laws and rituals associated with this day were intended to renew a right relationship of the people with God and to absolve them from their sins.

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