Atonement or condemnation?

For the Lesson titled "Doctrine of Atonement" from April 15 - 21, 2013

Often, the Gospels in the New Testament describe moral situations where Christ Jesus chooses atonement when others want to condemn. This week’s Christian Science Bible Lesson, titled “Doctrine of Atonement,” summons us to answer for ourselves what at-one-ment with God might mean in the details of our daily lives.

Teaching ethics at a major university led me to better understand the necessity of raising decisionmaking standards above the legal system baseline. If students are working in a country where bribery is legal and expected, but not part of their moral standards, they are in a moral dilemma. They can either raise the bar to include their moral standards or suffer in their moral dilemma. If they raise the bar, the original law is not destroyed; instead, a higher sense of law is brought into play. We hear a similar message from Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.

Jesus states, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil” (Matthew 5:17, citation 9). The Jewish laws (doctrine) for atoning sins are outlined in Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy. We can think of them as the baseline for first-century Jewish decisionmaking and atonement.

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The Touch of Class
Becoming a better healer
April 15, 2013

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