Rejoicing in God's tender mercy

For the Lesson titled "Everlasting Punishment" from April 29 - May 5, 2013

How long does a student get punished for writing 3+3=8 on tests? What if the student knows it’s wrong, but still does it? Whether the error is ignorant or intentional, the “punishment,” a bad grade, will continue until the thought is corrected. When the laws of mathematics are consistently applied, limitless opportunities of progress open up as student and teacher rejoice together!

This week’s Christian Science Bible Lesson, titled “Everlasting Punishment,” shows how this same idea operates on a deeper level. A math error is a misapplication of the laws of mathematics. Sin is a turning away from the laws of God. In the Responsive Reading, after the Psalmist’s prayer of gratitude for God’s mercy, Isaiah presents a compelling reason to stop sinning. At a time when the kingdom of Judah was controlled by Assyria, Judah’s leaders were seeking an alliance with Egypt rather than relying on God for their security. Isaiah brought them God’s message: “In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength” (30:15). Returning from sinful thoughts and actions to a quiet trust in God brings strength, freedom, and salvation—to individuals as well as to nations.

Throughout the Lesson shines the assurance of God’s tender mercy and love. So—why is punishment mentioned at all? Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “Do you ask wisdom to be merciful and not to punish sin? Then ‘ye ask amiss.’ Without punishment, sin would multiply” (p. 10, citation 2). 

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The Touch of Class
Moved with joy
April 29, 2013

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