God, Man, and Supreme
Chapter Nineteen—Faith and The Kingdom of Heaven
Faith is a gift given to us by the grace of God.
We may develop by our own efforts our own belief systems, but belief is not faith. Belief is founded on our own attempts to rationalize why we choose to see and understand things the way we do, but faith transcends belief. Faith not only affects how we see and interpret our world, it also adds a unifying insight into the interrelatedness of all things and ideas, adding penetrating layers of meanings and values to those life experiences that belief can only begin to understand. Belief understands the facts of things while faith comprehends the truth of things. Belief is built on intelligent observation and direct experience, but faith can comprehend things that mind alone fails to grasp. Faith can anticipate underlying relationships beneath the surface of reality—faith can comprehend things without seeing.
For example, even as a very young child I believed that if I drop an object from my hand, it will fall forthwith directly to the ground. My observations always seemed to validate this belief. If I threw a ball up into the air, it always fell to the ground. If I slipped on an icy sidewalk, I always fell to the ground. If I bumped too hard into a side table dislodging a lamp, the lamp always fell to the ground (and most of the time, it broke into pieces as well). I could always find examples to demonstrate my understanding of and control over this phenomenon of earth's gravity acting on falling objects. If you wanted evidence, I was happy to drop a water balloon off the top of any tall building.
However, as I grew older and more experienced, I learned that this belief had to be modified and qualified. I discovered that if I dropped a balloon filled with helium, it not only failed to fall to the ground, it actually did just the opposite by rising high into the air and on upward towards the clouds. In studying elementary physics in school, I learned that falling objects fell with a predictable accelerating speed that could be calculated using mathematical tools. At least this understanding was predictable if such an event were occurring in a vacuum and in close proximity to a sufficiently massive object such as the earth. Otherwise, things became much more complicated. I have recently discovered that I can drop a metal ball into a properly oriented magnetic field of sufficient strength and it will fail to hit the ground. Rather, it will fix itself suspended in the magnetic field indefinitely. In other words, I have learned to dismantle and rebuild my beliefs as the volume of my experiences and observations increase. I have learned to modify and evolve my beliefs over time as I progressively expand my experience with such phenomena.
Faith works a little differently than does belief. For example, I have evolved a faith that I will survive the death of my body, that my life will persist beyond the eventual disintegration of my physical vehicle of identity. How do I know this? I would certainly have a heck of a hard time demonstrating this assertion of faith. I would be hard pressed to convince many people who fail to share this same faith. The graveyards of the world are filled with the physical remains of the dearly departed, but we have no solid evidence of life-continuation for the deceased (spurious ghost sightings and seance-generated contacts excepted). We cannot firmly point to someone who has either returned from the dead (except for possibly Lazarus, although we have to take the historical testimony of this event as an act of faith). Nor can we without question recount an irrefutable instance where someone who once lived in this world has contacted us from the beyond. Nevertheless, my faith in this regard is firm and unshakeable. I am resolute in my expectation of an afterlife, and my faith in the afterlife has broad influence on how I live and interpret my life.
Belief is always limiting and binding; faith is expanding and releasing. Belief fixates, faith liberates. [101:8.2 (1114.6)]
Our rigid foundations for building belief systems are very fragile. These foundations can slowly and easily be dismantled through methodical argument and counter-experience, and sometimes these foundations can be shaken so severely and traumatically as to completely shatter the supporting structure leaving us very little to stand on. Seeing is believing, and believing can easily be influenced by experience and circumstance. Faith, on the other hand, cannot so easily be shaken. Faith is flexibly adaptable to changes in our life circumstances, and it ever reveals new insights of truth to us as we are confronted with new challenges. Our faith tends to expand and grow as we ourselves expand and grow as individuals. Faith builds on the secure foundation of our soul. In many ways, our spiritual development goes hand-in-hand with the expanding growth of our faith.
My faith that the universe is organized and friendly rather than chaotic and impersonal allows me to "see without seeing" that divine love permeates all of creation, that the heartbeat of the cosmos flows with the Father's love. I can give and share testimony of this faith, I can affirm my personal faith-experience with the Father's love, but I cannot demonstrate this faith-reality to someone who does not share in this faith. I cannot convince those without such faith that this is still true in the face of their denials and protestations and counter-arguments.
Those who know God have experienced the fact of his presence; such God-knowing mortals hold in their personal experience the only positive proof of the existence of the living God which one human being can offer to another. The existence of God is utterly beyond all possibility of demonstration except for the contact between the God-consciousness of the human mind and the God-presence of the Thought Adjuster that indwells the mortal intellect and is bestowed upon man as the free gift of the Universal Father. [1:2.8 (24.6)]
Faith is a gift by the grace of God. Our faith is not of ourselves, but rather it becomes a reality in our lives once we have been graced with the indwelling presence of the Father's loving spirit. If we are open to the Father's presence, we can be assured that he will indeed enter intimately into our lives. He will indwell us to the very depths of our consciousness and being with a fragment of his divine spirit, the divine Thought Adjuster. This is our true re-birth, the virtual transformation of mind and spirit that accompanies our entrance into the fellowship of the Father's kingdom and our realization of living sonship.
From the heights of eternal glory the divine Spirit descends, by a long series of steps, to meet you as you are and where you are and then, in the partnership of faith, lovingly to embrace the soul of mortal origin and to embark on the sure and certain retracement of those steps of condescension, never stopping until the evolutionary soul is safely exalted to the very heights of bliss from which the divine Spirit originally sallied forth on this mission of mercy and ministry. [34:6.3 (380.4)]
Is the Father's gift of faith given to all people? In a very real and practical sense, yes, I believe faith is given to some initial degree at that time a normal-minded child activates his top two adjutants of mind, "worship" and "wisdom" (a time we are told in The Urantia Book usually occurring on our world shortly before the age of six [111:1.3 (1216.4)]. The child initiates this by making his very first spiritually impacting freewill moral choice. This human milestone, whereby a courageous "leap of faith" redirects the personal focus of the immature child from himself to others like himself, completes the truth corollary that the recognition of our Father in Heaven directly implies the living truth of the brotherhood of man. This enlightened child begins to concern himself with the feelings and perceptions of those around him.
I think in practice, and to varying degrees, a young child discovers these connected truths of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man at least partially in tandem with each other. This child begins to sense that his decisions and actions have an impact on other children and even on adults as well. The child develops an alter ego that serves as a moral conscience. The emergence of this expanding faith-insight truly marks the child's escape from mammalian existence to that more exalted state as a potential son or daughter of the Paradise Father. What progresses beyond this spiritual awakening at such a young age is, of course, fully dependent on the freewill choices that are committed to by this very young freewill son or daughter of the Father of free will. Will such an ascending child prove spiritually fruitful in his life, will he mature and become a productive ambassador of the Father's kingdom? That, of course, is the real "dance" of living, and this great adventure is creatively built into the most basic foundations of the Father's purposes and plans.
This first-time jubilee of moral-decision making provides for indwelling of this fully functioning mortal mind with the spiritual presence of the Universal Father (in the form of the Father's bestowed Thought Adjuster). This infusion of the Father's divine spirit, in concert with the morally sensitive child's awakening intellect, activates the emergence of the immortal soul within the mind of such a new child of the kingdom. Such a soul has a final and divine destiny, but whether or not we personally share in this destiny by becoming one-in-identity with our souls is our spiritual life-challenge. The destiny of mortal ascension depends on the choice of soul-identification by the mortal personality. We must identify our innermost being with this immortal soul that we helped to give "birth". In the event that a mortal personality rejects the opportunity for post-death resurrection, The Urantia Book tells us the personality values of this "non-identitied" soul enter into final spiritual union with the personality of the emerging Supreme Being taking all of its spiritual contribution towards bringing "light and life" to the evolving grand universe. [16:9.3 (195.9)]
In most basic function, our assigned Guardian Seraphim can be considered soul guardians. They take protective responsibility for our souls. It is our post-death souls that are enseraphimed by our guardian angels for safekeeping preceding our resurrection on the mansion worlds. This is the real severity of these angels' trust, that all potential good of cosmic and supreme impact within God's finite creation will be safely kept for providential destiny. Nevertheless, do not overlook the love that our angels have for us individually—they desire that we survive with our soul-identity intact!
The gift of faith is given to us once we accept the indwelling of the Father's spirit presence. This gift of faith leads to soul expansion and spiritual progress, and this newfound spirituality is an outgrowth of the insight born of the activity of the divine presence. The "eyes" of a faithful mind perceive the presence of the Father's divine nature and the resulting communion of man with God leads to true spiritual insight.
Faith acts to release the superhuman activities of the divine spark, the immortal germ, that lives within the mind of man, and which is the potential of eternal survival. Plants and animals survive in time by the technique of passing on from one generation to another identical particles of themselves. The human soul (personality) of man survives mortal death by identity association with this indwelling spark of divinity, which is immortal, and which functions to perpetuate the human personality upon a continuing and higher level of progressive universe existence. The concealed seed of the human soul is an immortal spirit. The second generation of the soul is the first of a succession of personality manifestations of spiritual and progressing existences, terminating only when this divine entity attains the source of its existence, the personal source of all existence, God, the Universal Father. [132:3.6 (1459.6)]
We would do well to review the true nature and interactions of our mind, "the cosmic instrument on which the human will can play the discords of destruction, or upon which this same human will can bring forth the exquisite melodies of God identification and consequent eternal survival." [111:1.6 (1217.1)] It should be made very clear that we mortal beings are provided with a wealth of spiritualizing tools beyond the functioning of mortal mind for formulating our personal expressions of life-choice. We are the beneficiaries of special and divine gifts that are expressive of our Father's wise and all-consuming love for us as his own children.
The Mortal Decision - Making Framework
|Personality: The unique bestowal by the Universal Father
|Mind: The combined human intellect
|The Triune Spiritual Ministries: The attuned and symmetrical spiritual presence of the Father (adjuster), Son (Spirit of Truth), and Spirit (Holy Spirit)
Mind is the cosmic instrument on which the human will can play the discords of destruction, or upon which this same human will can bring forth the exquisite melodies of God identification and consequent eternal survival. [111:1.6 (1217.1)]
We of little faith should take heart in the assurance that the Father will always respond even to the faintest flicker of faith. Sometimes even the weakest faith "amounts to little more than an intellectual conformity to a passive attitude of assent to religions of authority" [155:6.17 (1733.5)], but the Father still responds. Just think of what that means! Even if I feel completely lost in my faith, if I would simply act as if I had such faith, then such an act can help to establish a behavioral pattern. The continuance of this behavioral pattern reinforces the established response, and this reinforcement provides the fertile ground for the Father to offer the insights of his truth for inspiring newfound faith through our experience of his grace. The gift of sonship is grounded in such seedling faith, and the Father's bountiful love and mercy will always bolster even the smallest show of faith.
But truth can never become man’s possession without the exercise of faith. This is true because man’s thoughts, wisdom, ethics, and ideals will never rise higher than his faith, his sublime hope. And all such true faith is predicated on profound reflection, sincere self-criticism, and uncompromising moral consciousness. Faith is the inspiration of the spiritized creative imagination. [132:3.5 (1459.5)]
Simply put, mortal man propels his own spiritual growth by first organizing his thinking. He applies the results of this scrutinized thinking, his reasoned and logical ideas, through his free-willed acts and decisions. He transforms these applied ideas into supernal ideals of practice. The indwelling Adjuster spiritizes these ideas and renders them available through our souls for faith-association by mortal mind. The accepted human complements of these elevated ideas are hence made subject to the truth-leadings of the Spirit of Truth. [101:6.7 (1112.3)]
When reason once recognizes right and wrong, it exhibits wisdom; when wisdom chooses between right and wrong, truth and error, it demonstrates spirit leading. And thus are the functions of mind, soul, and spirit ever closely united and functionally interassociated. [103:9.10 (1142.1)]
The Spirit of Truth teaches and leads to truth, and the indwelling spirit of the Father elevates man through his faith from his animalistic origins to his higher spiritual nature. This spiritual rebirth inevitably brings mortal man to actually bear the noble fruits of the spirit and promises everlasting joy within the kingdom of heaven. Living faith is always personal, and it displays a child-like trustfulness in the goodness of God. Living faith brings about a tranquil experience of supreme and unquestioned trust in God. At the same time, it adds the thrill of living in the very presence of the Father.
Without God the soul is a prisoner; to know God releases the soul. By meditation on God, by union with him, there comes deliverance from the illusions of evil and ultimate salvation from all material fetters. [131:4.7 (1449.2)]
The gift of faith sweeps away spiritual doubt. Faith leads to the certainty and security of the guidance and protection of the heavenly Father. Salvation-through-faith is the gift of the Father to the faithful. His Sons reveal the truth of this. Freewill faith makes such a believer a spiritual son or daughter of this same Paradise Father.
To material, evolutionary, finite creatures, a life predicated on the living of the Father’s will leads directly to the attainment of spirit supremacy in the personality arena and brings such creatures one step nearer the comprehension of the Father-Infinite. Such a Father life is one predicated on truth, sensitive to beauty, and dominated by goodness. Such a God-knowing person is inwardly illuminated by worship and outwardly devoted to the wholehearted service of the universal brotherhood of all personalities, a service ministry which is filled with mercy and motivated by love, while all these life qualities are unified in the evolving personality on ever-ascending levels of cosmic wisdom, self-realization, God-finding, and Father worship. 106:9.12 (1175.1)
Jesus made plain to his apostles the difference between the repentance of so-called good works as taught by the Jews and the change of mind by faith — the new birth — which he required as the price of admission to the kingdom. He taught his apostles that faith was the only requisite to entering the Father’s kingdom. John had taught them “repentance — to flee from the wrath to come.” Jesus taught, “Faith is the open door for entering into the present, perfect, and eternal love of God.” Jesus did not speak like a prophet, one who comes to declare the word of God. He seemed to speak of himself as one having authority. Jesus sought to divert their minds from miracle seeking to the finding of a real and personal experience in the satisfaction and assurance of the indwelling of God’s spirit of love and saving grace. [138:8.8 (1545.9)]
Jesus preached the good news of his gospel that all men are the sons of God, that the Fatherhood of God asserts the brotherhood of man, and that by faith all men may be saved. Jesus spoke of faith as the key to the entrance into the Father's kingdom of heaven. Nevertheless, this faith in the liberty and joy of divine sonship in the kingdom comes to us by the Father's grace in response to our willingness to accept and do his will. Only those who desire intimate partnership with the heavenly Father and choose to do his will are enrolled into the kingdom of heaven, and it is through the Father's gift of faith that mortal man becomes spirit-conscious that he is such a son of God. Salvation in the heavenly kingdom means survival beyond mortal death, and this inspiration for eternal life is a gift that all men receive by faith.
Jesus' "Good News" Gospel
1. The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
2. By faith in the fatherhood of God you may enter the kingdom of heaven, thus becoming the sons of God.
3. Love is the rule of living within the kingdom — supreme devotion to God while loving your neighbor as yourself.
4. Obedience to the will of the Father, yielding the fruits of the spirit in one’s personal life, is the law of the kingdom. [142:1.2-5 (1596.4-7)]
Salvation by faith dominates the combined attitudes of body, mind, and spirit. Starting with this influential foundation of faith, we all may participate in three key essentials of the kingdom. These three essentials have their primary impact on different aspects of our being. There is the intellectual recognition of the fact of God's sovereignty by mortal mind, there is the soul-belief in the spiritual truth that we are the children of God, and there is the personally exercised faith in our freewill effectiveness to do our Father's will.
The Three Essentials of the Kingdom [141:1.4 (1569.1)]
1. Recognition of the fact of the sovereignty of God
2. Belief in the truth of sonship with God
3. Faith in the effective will of the supreme human desire to do the will of the Father in heaven
It is that personal faith in the exceedingly great and precious promises of God for salvation that initiates the transformation of the mortal mind into a proper receptacle for God's spirit. "You are the temple of God, and the spirit of God dwells in you"—you are "first transformed by the Spirit of Truth and thereby strengthened in your inner soul by the constant spiritual renewing of your mind". [143:2.4 (1609.5)] In accordance with the Father's promises, this spiritually fertile mind becomes subject to God's spirit of love and saving grace. We who are thus born of the spirit of God will become increasingly aware of this God-presence, and we will begin to better discern the Father's will in our hearts. We will exercise a renewed sincerity in our faith that will bolster us to "fight the good fight of faith." [159:3.8 (1766.4)] The sincerity of our faith validates our citizenship within the Father's kingdom.
Faith, sincerity. To come as a little child, to receive the bestowal of sonship as a gift; to submit to the doing of the Father’s will without questioning and in the full confidence and genuine trustfulness of the Father’s wisdom; to come into the kingdom free from prejudice and preconception; to be open-minded and teachable like an unspoiled child. [170:2.21 (1861.3)]
The door of eternal life is wide open to all; “whosoever will may come”; there are no restrictions or qualifications save the faith of the one who comes. [139:12.7 (1566.6)]
Positive and living faith generates in man's heart a hunger for spiritual perfection, and this dynamic faith-attitude increases his capacity for further faith. This dynamic faith is confidant and hopeful, and it reinforces positively habitual mental attitudes and spirit reactions. A growing faith-trust in the absolute love of an infinite Father dominates personal thinking, feeling, and believing. The attitude of self-forgetfulness and spiritual conviction enables enhanced spiritual receptivity, it reinforces the desire for partnership with God in carrying out his will, and it generates an unbounded enthusiasm for exalting in the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.
The Four Faith Attitudes (The Beatitudes)
1. Humility - to be poor in spirit, to be humble, to be teachable and truth-seeking
2. Righteousness - to hunger after righteousness, to possess dynamic love, fatherly-brotherly affection
3. Meekness - to endure, to desplay the attituse of man cooperating with God with patience and forebrarance, "not my will but your will be done."
4. Spirit insight - to be pure in heart, to augment God-consciousness which confirms sonship and leads to fatherly-brotherly love.
The kingdom of heaven is an evolutionary process—you must continue to bring forth the fruits of the Father's indwelling spirit if you are to continue to ascend in the progressive life of divine fellowship. This effort begins right here on earth and will continue to progress up through each and every successive life station all the way to Paradise itself.
The spirit kingdom is that state of being whereby the faith sons of God give their wholehearted devotion to doing the will of the Father in heaven. This loving service is both enlightening and liberating to man in his struggle between the flesh and the spirit. Man's pursuit for the divine attainment of perfection leads him into the spiritual kingdom of God. The kingdom of heaven is a spiritual experience resulting from the enthronement of God in the hearts of men. However, this newly acquired kingdom experience often takes some measure of time before its secure lodgement in the soul of man will eventually lead to everlasting righteousness and eternal salvation. It is by virtue of the perfecting effort in the service of the heavenly Father that progressive righteousness and increasing joy will be attained.
You cannot become spiritually stagnate and remain in the eternal kingdom. You must seek and follow the Father's divine will energetically and wholeheartedly. The Father requires that his children continue to grow vigorously in grace and experience, that they live their lives righteously. In the kingdom, you must be righteous in order to do righteous things. As Jesus said, "Be you perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." [140:10.6 (1585.4)] Salvation is initiated by whole-hearted believing, by simple and sincere faith. Being righteous by faith precedes doing righteous things in one's daily life. The truth is that such practical comprehension of faith-righteousness must necessarily yield the eventual fruits of unselfish and everlasting service.
“But for you, my children, and for all others who would follow you into this kingdom, there is set a severe test. Faith alone will pass you through its portals, but you must bring forth the fruits of my Father’s spirit if you would continue to ascend in the progressive life of the divine fellowship." [140:1.4 (1569.1)]
The unassisted material mind of man "does not naturally bear the fruits of the divine Spirit"—the Spirit of Truth co-operates "with the indwelling Adjuster to bring forth the bountiful harvest of the character fruits of the spirit." [34:7.1 (382.1)] As you follow your spirit leanings, life will increasingly manifest itself to you in a new spiritual context. You will all the more be able to discern and choose to do the will of the heavenly Father. When you wholeheartedly seek the Father's will in all things, you will become re-born of the spirit and find enduring entrance into the kingdom of God. Your life will correspondingly become abundant in the manifold fruits of the spirit through loving service to your fellow brothers and sisters. The showing forth of these spiritual fruits becomes spontaneous in the lives of such ennobled souls, and such lives are filled with abundant joy and controlled self-mastery. Such life transformations lead to spiritual rebirth and citizenship within the holy kingdom of heaven.
How does someone know that they are doing the will of the Father? The life of Jesus in the flesh reveals a supreme example of dedicated living in accordance to the Father's will, but how can someone be assured that they are in spiritual harmony with the leading of the Father's inner presence? An individual's attunement with this indwelling presence of the Father (the Adjuster) is made apparent by that individual's outward manifestation of the fruits of the spirit—"By their fruits you shall know them." These spirit fruits are the tangible outworking of a true believer's honest efforts to follow the Father's will.
The consciousness of the spirit domination of a human life is presently attended by an increasing exhibition of the characteristics of the Spirit in the life reactions of such a spirit-led mortal, “for the fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.” Such spirit-guided and divinely illuminated mortals, while they yet tread the lowly paths of toil and in human faithfulness perform the duties of their earthly assignments, have already begun to discern the lights of eternal life as they glimmer on the faraway shores of another world; already have they begun to comprehend the reality of that inspiring and comforting truth, “The kingdom of God is not meat and drink but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.” And throughout every trial and in the presence of every hardship, spirit-born souls are sustained by that hope which transcends all fear because the love of God is shed abroad in all hearts by the presence of the divine Spirit. [34:6.13 (381.7)]
Faith conditions the right to enter the kingdom of God, but Jesus points out that there is a cost exacted for remaining in the progressive ascent of the kingdom. He maintains that "you must bring forth the fruits of my Father's spirit if you would continue to ascend in the progressive life of divine fellowship."[140:1.4 (1569.1)] The law of the kingdom is to obey the Father's will, yielding the fruits of the spirit in one's daily life. Your rebirth in the Father's spirit delivers you from the "bondage of life". You are released into the joys of his spirit kingdom "whence you spontaneously show forth the fruits of the spirit in your daily lives; and the fruits of the spirit are the essence of the highest type of enjoyable and ennobling self-control, even the heights of terrestrial mortal attainment—true self-mastery." [143:2.8 (1610.3)]
You cannot stand still in the affairs of the eternal kingdom. My Father requires all his children to grow in grace and in a knowledge of the truth. You who know these truths must yield the increase of the fruits of the spirit and manifest a growing devotion to the unselfish service of your fellow servants. [176:3.5 (1917.1)]
Jesus taught his apostles the better technique of proclaiming the kingdom of heaven as a positive and fulfilling proclamation that seeks not to replace or overpower the faulty misperceptions and erroneous beliefs of those who are seeking salvation. Rather, the kingdom is that open door that leads to the great and living truths that are destined to fill the emptiness in the hearts of all hungry souls.
When you have presented to mortal man the good news that God is his Father, you can the easier persuade him that he is in reality a son of God. And having done that, you have brought the light of salvation to the one who sits in darkness. [141:6.2 (1592.4)]
In instructing the apostles to preach the gospel, Jesus emphasized that they proclaim the glad tidings of the kingdom of heaven whereby man actually enters into the exquisite happiness therein. They must instruct believers by generously showing forth their own love, compassion, and sympathy.
You are to love all men as I have loved you; you are to serve all men as I have served you. With understanding sympathy and brotherly affection, fellowship all your brethren who are dedicated to the proclamation of the good news. Remember, as you love one another, all men will know that you are my disciples. [191:4.3 (2041.6)]
Jesus prevailed upon his disciples to be worthy ambassadors of this kingdom whereby they actually choose to live that new life that results from having tasted of the good spirit realities of the kingdom. All men who are witness to these reborn lives of the spirit will become sufficiently kingdom conscious to seek further inquiry concerning the joyous ways of the kingdom. The disciples ought to provide themselves as living examples of kingdom faith that will reveal the workings of God to the individual man and thus to lead him into son-consciousness, to become a faith-son of the living God.
In preaching the gospel of the kingdom, you are simply teaching friendship with God. And this fellowship will appeal alike to men and women in that both will find that which most truly satisfies their characteristic longings and ideals. [159:3.9 (1766.5)]
Jesus' gospel of the kingdom was more essentially the teaching of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man—sonship with God. This is analogous to a family relationship where the first familial commandment is love for the father, and the second commandment is the mutual love among the children. This quality of brotherly affection will inevitably manifest itself in unselfish and loving service.
To Jesus the kingdom was the sum of those individuals who had confessed their faith in the fatherhood of God, thereby declaring their wholehearted dedication to the doing of the will of God, thus becoming members of the spiritual brotherhood of man. [170:5.11 (1865.1)]
Jesus loved men so much that his love invariably awakened the responses of love in the human heart. This love is truly contagious and eternally creative. This love of Jesus is sublimely twofold: as the divine Creator Son of God he loves man with a fatherly affection, and as the human Son of Man Jesus loves man as a brother—as a man among men. As the sovereign Creator of our universe, he sends his Spirit of Truth to enrich each one of us. His presence in our hearts compellingly draws all children of light towards one another, and, along with his Father's co-inhabiting Adjuster presence, they are both able to live in the hearts and souls of every one of us. They are supremely able to make that love divinely real in all of our experiences of loving one another.
The universality of the Father's love for each and every individual as a beloved child in the heavenly family, without special distinction accorded to any one individual, brings about the relationship of the whole, the universal brotherhood. This divine family of all individuals manifests itself in the universal brotherhood of the freewill children in the kingdom of God.
This very love of God for the individual brings into being the divine family of all individuals, the universal brotherhood of the freewill children of the Paradise Father. And this brotherhood, being universal, is a relationship of the whole. Brotherhood, when universal, discloses not the each relationship, but the all relationship. Brotherhood is a reality of the total and therefore discloses qualities of the whole in contradistinction to qualities of the part. [12:7.10 (138.5)]
Sonship is the supreme relationship of man to God, creature to Creator. By recognizing sonship as a gift of God, God's children will discover that service in the kingdom is the supreme delight of life. Citizens within the kingdom naturally hunger for truth and righteousness, just as they thirst for divine perfection. They possess a secure faith in the certain triumph of righteousness in the world. Jesus declared himself to mankind as Son of God just as we are sons of God. This shared relationship to the Universal Father makes mankind and Jesus brethren in the flesh of earthly life by virtue of this final bestowal mission of this now sovereign Creator Son to our local universe. When Jesus portrays the divine nature and perfectly loving nature of his Father and our Father in Paradise, he knows whereof he speaks.
The Father loves each of his sons, and that affection is not less than true, holy, divine, unlimited, eternal, and unique — a love bestowed upon this son and upon that son, individually, personally, and exclusively. And such a love utterly eclipses all other facts. [40:10.13 (454.2)]
Brotherhood and service are the cornerstones of the gospel of the kingdom. This brotherhood is a natural outgrowth of the fatherhood of God. Consciousness of one's neighbor as a creature brother becomes possible when we are conscious of God as our Creator Father. This brotherhood is a relationship of the whole as rooted in the Father's universe presence to all moral creatures. We are driven to search out our brothers and sisters, to discover their problems, and to consequently learn to love them. This is the supreme experience of living our lives in this world. The better that we develop an understanding of our neighbor, the easier it becomes to love him.
The Urantia Book seems to recognize spiritual "fruits" on three categorical levels. The first level, The Fruits of the Spirit, categorizes the most basic recognizable characteristics of a newly born citizen of the kingdom of heaven. These personality traits comprise the spiritual foundation that distinguishes a newfound son or daughter of the kingdom, and it is on this foundation that this child of faith embarks on his mission to seek and do the Father's will and consequently change the supreme nature of the world. These fruits of the spirit "are the substance of the Supreme as he is realizable in human experience". [117:6.17 (1290.3)]
Fruits of the Spirit
9. Temperance [34:6.13 (381.7)]
The next categorical level, The Fruits of the Divine Spirit, seems to focus in on the personal repercussions in character development that result from a faith-child's efforts in doing the Father's will in loving ministry to his fellow brothers and sisters. These are the spiritual transformations enacted on a dedicated child of the kingdom. As we apply our "fruits of the spirit" to good use in carrying out the loving will of our Father, as we lovingly minister to our brothers and sisters, these fruits attain the shine of divinity within our souls. They become the earmark of a faith-pilgrim as he progresses through the psychic circles of cosmic attainment. These are the personally enjoyed fruits of the spirit in practical application, and they signify the harmonious functioning of the faith-child in the attainment of elevated mind, in the growth of the soul, and in the attunement with the indwelling Adjuster.
The Fruits of the Divine Spirit
1. Loving Service
2. Unselfish Devotion
3. Courageous Loyalty
4. Sincere Fairness
5. Enlightened Honesty
6. Undying hope
7. Confiding Trust
8. Merciful Ministry
9. Unfailing Goodness
10. Forgiving Tolerance
11. Enduring Peace [193:2.2 (2054.3)]
The last categorical level, The Fruits of Divinity, connotes the supreme impact of the socially applied "fruits of the spirit" (the "fruits of the divine spirit") on the collective meanings and values of spiritual ministry. There is manifested by evolving faith-pilgrims a divine unity in faith and reason, and this individualized quality of spiritual unity is impressed upon the world at large. There results a coordinated enhancement of the innate recognition for meanings and values, and this enhanced comprehension benefits both the individual child of faith (microcosm) and the totality of all cosmic reality (macrocosm).
The Fruits of Divinity
1. Intellectual Peace
2. Social Progreaa
3. Moral Satisfaction
4. Spiritual Joy
5. Cosmic Wisdom [56:10.20 9648.3)]
The purpose of cosmic evolution is to achieve unity of personality through increasing spirit dominance, volitional response to the teaching and leading of the Thought Adjuster. [112:2.15 (1229.2)]
Survival faith is living faith. The willingness to be freely guided by the spiritual shining of the Father's inner loving light brings about an inevitable transformation of personal soul-identity, and this change in self-identity brings about an outwardly visible renewal of personal expression and action. The Father inspires such a living faith that "increasingly manifests the fruits of that divine spirit which first inspired it in the human heart." [176:3.3 (1916.3)]
If you receive God as your Father, then indeed and in truth are you the sons of God. And if you are sons, then are you secure in the position and standing of all that concerns eternal and divine sonship. If you believe my words, you thereby believe in Him who sent me, and by thus believing in the Father, you have made your status in heavenly citizenship sure. If you do the will of the Father in heaven, you shall never fail in the attainment of the eternal life of progress in the divine kingdom. [142:5.2 (1601.2)]
We are compelled to imitate the loving perfection of the Father. The loving spirit of the Father becomes dominant in the day-to-day life of such a spirit-led believer, and this influence is expressed by a noticeable increase in the recognizable fruits of the spirit. This faith lovingly leads the way towards the fruitful carrying out of the Father's will in service for mankind. With the spiritual eye of living faith and the constant leading of Jesus' Spirit of Truth, the kingdom believer dedicates his life to the noble cause of leading mankind to search for the eternal realities of God. Such a faith shall see "that which eye has not seen, ear heard, nor the mortal mind conceived." [182:2.20 (1960.1)]
Entrance through the portals of the kingdom of heaven is enabled by faith, and living within the kingdom is guided by the golden rule of love. Being guided by the Father's will in the yielding of the fruits of the spirit is the law of the kingdom. A true believer is justified by faith, fellowshipped by grace, and "sanctified to the eternal service of the ever-advancing sons of the eternal God." [143:2.6 (1610.1)] By faith you are saved, and this regenerating salvation will lead you into real peace with God. The spirit of the Father indwells you and leads you to salvation. If you wholeheartedly follow his spirit guidance, you will "begin to see with the eyes of the spirit"—you will be re-born in the spirit, and "so finding yourself born of the spirit and happily in the kingdom of God, you would begin to bear in your daily life the abundant fruits of the spirit." [142:6.7 (1602.6)]
In order to yield the fruits of the spirit, you must be born of the spirit. You must be taught by the spirit and be led by the spirit if you would live the spirit-filled life among your fellows. [156:5.2 (1738.1)]
The self-realization of communion with the Father's spiritual presence is recognized in the soul consciousness, but this experience is made manifest in the abundant fruits of the spirit. There is a natural outworking of the inner faith of the soul, manifesting itself in the day-to-day harvesting of the fruits of the spirit. God's will becomes increasingly discernible in the spirit fruits that are borne in the lives of the spirit-led children of God. Jesus' Spirit of Truth co-operates with the Father's indwelling spirit presence "to bring forth the beautiful harvest of the character fruits of the spirit." [34:7.1 (382.1)]
It is through the ministry of selfless service as inspired by our true and all-consuming faith that we are "delivered from the darkness of doubt by the birth of the spirit into the light of faith—the kingdom of heaven." [152:6.3 (1705.3)] As mortal lives become dominated by spiritual soul-consciousness, they experience genuine joy in life and their days become filled with sublime peace and confident righteousness. These spirit-guided lives are progressively building upon a living and positive foundation of faith that provides a very real sense of spiritual certainty and empowerment. Such personal soul-experience of this fruit-bearing faith provides a sense of religious security that overcomes doubts, eliminates fears, and erases uncertainties.
The spiritual kingdom of God is neither a material nor an intellectual phenomenon—it results from the divine relationship between God and man. Man's collective desire to love God and to love every neighbor as he loves himself will inevitably lead to some form of ideal social order.
As the gospel of this kingdom shall spread over the world with its message of good cheer and good will to all men, there will grow up improved and better relations among the families of all nations. As time passes, fathers and their children will love each other more, and thus will be brought about a better understanding of the love of the Father in heaven for his children on earth. [142:2.2 (1597.2)]
Although the kingdom of heaven resides in the hearts of men, and is not therefore a social institution in and of itself, when the spirit kingdom has infiltrated the hearts of all men, such a worldwide spiritual brotherhood of God-knowing individuals will eventuate into a social phenomenon that is bound to repercuss in major social changes. The kingdom of God in the hearts of men will likely promote an ecumenical unity among the world's religions by eliminating their foundations for ecclesiastical authority. Religious sovereignty will return to the Universal Father as its proper source and center.
The spiritual transformation of humanity will lead to the worldwide brotherhood of man. This is the only technique that can accelerate the natural trend of social evolution. The spread of augmented moral insight and deepening of soul capacity of every mortal to love and understand his fellow mortal will lead to transcended civilization and the worldwide realization of the brotherhood of man. This ideal of social attainment can only be realized in the establishment of the divine kingdom.
And, sooner or later, these concealed truths of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of men will emerge to effectually transform the civilization of all mankind. [194:2.8 (2061.6)]
The world at large is in great need of spiritual light in order to expose and eliminate the age-old vestiges of hatred and intolerance. However, the majority of those lost souls who are fettered in this worldly darkness cannot by their own accord hope to benefit from this spiritual light. Without the Father's saving grace, they will by their own accord fail to find their "saving light". Though this saving light is shared in common by those who have found their place within the kingdom of heaven, this same light is not immediately apprehensible to those who have yet to find their way into the spirit-illuminated kingdom. By the grace of God, all sincere seekers for the truth are capable of finding their heart's desire and "are glad to hear the glad tidings of the faith gift which insures admission to the kingdom with its eternal and divine spirit realities." [141:7.3 (1593.4)]
The world is filled with hungry souls who famish in the very presence of the bread of life; men die searching for the very God who lives within them. Men seek for the treasures of the kingdom with yearning hearts and weary feet when they are all within the immediate grasp of living faith. [159:3.8 (1766.4)]
Jesus' gospel of the kingdom of heaven compels us to vigorously bring our sincere and loving service into the world at large. We can readily avail ourselves of his Spirit of Truth as a "power-multiplying fulcrum", as a "mighty social lever to uplift the races of darkness." [178:1.6 (1930.3)] Jesus exhorts us to become living channels of spiritual light to our brothers and sisters who languish in spiritual darkness. We are to be living lighthouses that lead men and women into the safe harbors of the Father's kingdom. We cannot forcefully drag our brothers and sisters into the Kingdom by the feet kicking and screaming, we must rather allow the spiritual attractiveness of our own inner light to be a welcome and beckoning beacon of salvation. If we are wholesome in personality, if we are sincere in producing the fruits of our loving service, and if our souls emanate this inner and loving shine, then we will naturally draw people by their own free will onto the path of salvation and into the kingdom of heaven.
You are the light of the world. A city set upon a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and be led to glorify your Father who is in heaven. [140:3.13 (1570.14)]
We who know firsthand the Father's loving light and saving grace must henceforth reach out into this worldly darkness in loving and gracious service. We must give forth the bounties of our own spiritual fruits. This is precisely how we can literally change the world and release it from the darkness of its depravity, and we can only accomplish this one loving encounter at a time.
Then Jesus spoke, saying: “Now that you are ambassadors of my Father’s kingdom, you have thereby become a class of men separate and distinct from all other men on earth. You are not now as men among men but as the enlightened citizens of another and heavenly country among the ignorant creatures of this dark world. It is not enough that you live as you were before this hour, but henceforth must you live as those who have tasted the glories of a better life and have been sent back to earth as ambassadors of the Sovereign of that new and better world. [140:3.1 (1570.2)]
As a true believer is connected to the spiritual "vine" in the form of a living "branch", such a faith-son of the living Father is expected to do just one thing—to yield with ever-increasing vigor the abundant fruits of the spirit. He must lovingly serve his brothers and sisters, these forlorn and lost children of the Paradise Father. The truth of this living law of dedicated and selfless service can best be found in the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, Son of Man and Son of God, the true and living vine, and the eternal way to personal salvation.
The Parable of the Vine: [180:2.1 (1945:4)]
Jesus is the vine
The Father is the husbandman (caretaker)
The followers of Jesus are the branches
The Father requires of the vine that the branches bare much fruit
If a branch bares no fruit, it will be pruned from the vine toincrease the vine's fruitfulness
If a branch bares fruit, it will be cleansed to increase the branch's fruitfulness
A branch will die if it is separated from the vine.
As the branch cannot bear fruit except it abides in the vine, so neither can you yield the fruits of loving service except you abide in me. Remember: I am the real vine, and you are the living branches. He who lives in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit of the spirit and experience the supreme joy of yielding this spiritual harvest. If you will maintain this living spiritual connection with me, you will bear abundant fruit. If you abide in me and my words live in you, you will be able to commune freely with me, and then can my living spirit so infuse you that you may ask whatsoever my spirit wills and do all this with the assurance that the Father will grant us our petition. [180:2.1 (1945.4)]
As living branches abiding in the vine of Jesus, we derive our spiritual sustenance from his Spirit of Truth and the proof of this lies in the abundance of our good fruit. We may be comforted in the knowledge that a pure and living faith can lay direct hold upon the creative power resident "in the Master's person". In the reported case of Veronica of Caesarea Philippi and her chance meeting with Jesus [152:0.2-3 (1698.2-3)], her pure and sincere faith alone enabled her to bring about a real and apparently miraculous cure for her particular malady over time. This cure was wrought without Jesus having in any sense consciously willed it. "With the faith she had, it was only necessary to approach the Master's person." [152:0.3 (1698.3)]
It is, then, our opinion that, in the personal presence of Jesus, certain forms of profound human faith were literally and truly compelling in the manifestation of healing by certain creative forces and personalities of the universe who were at that time so intimately associated with the Son of Man. It therefore becomes a fact of record that Jesus did frequently suffer men to heal themselves in his presence by their powerful, personal faith. [149:1.8 (1669.7)]
This faith-response that lay resident in the person of Jesus is available to us even today through the Master's living Spirit of Truth. If we personify a pure and sincere faith, we draw to ourselves the spirit presence of Jesus, and with our faith great things are possible. There is great power in Jesus' Spirit of Truth. Our faith takes on a healing nature, and it propels us into the world with joy and confidence proclaiming the good news of the Gospel. When we are baptized in the saving waters of Jesus' promised Comforter, this bestowed Spirit of Truth, we will "bravely and joyously go forth to meet the new experiences of proclaiming the good news of eternal life in the kingdom of God". [191:5.3 (2043.1)]
Never before Jesus was on earth, nor since, has it been possible so directly and graphically to secure the results attendant upon the strong and living faith of mortal men and women. To repeat these phenomena, we would have to go into the immediate presence of Michael, the Creator, and find him as he was in those days — the Son of Man. Likewise, today, while his absence prevents such material manifestations, you should refrain from placing any sort of limitation on the possible exhibition of his spiritual power. Though the Master is absent as a material being, he is present as a spiritual influence in the hearts of men. By going away from the world, Jesus made it possible for his spirit to live alongside that of his Father which indwells the minds of all mankind. [152:1.5 (1700.1)]
While the religious faith of each one of us is uniquely personal and individualized, the fruits that are produced from such a growing soul-spirit must nevertheless be directed into assorted social channels. Jesus called to the kingdom of heaven not only the would-be righteous, but also the sinners and "all who hunger and thirst for the righteousness of divine perfection." [137:8.16 (1537.3)] The good news of Jesus concerning the all-inclusive love of the heavenly Father for his children on earth "must be carried to all of the world", we are to tell "this good news to all creatures of every, race, tribe, and nation." [137:8.16 (1537.3)] It is by giving our love to our brothers and sisters as we are loved by God, and even as Jesus loves us, that we become abundant in the bearing of the fruits of the divine spirit.
The revelation I have made to you is a living revelation, and I desire that it shall bear appropriate fruits in each individual and in each generation in accordance with the laws of spiritual growth, increase, and adaptive development. From generation to generation this gospel must show increasing vitality and exhibit greater depth of spiritual power. It must not be permitted to become merely a sacred memory, a mere tradition about me and the times in which we now live. [178:1.15 (1931.6)]
The love of Jesus seeks the salvation of the righteous and the sinner alike by attempting to win them over to goodness and righteous survival—"Jesus loves men so much that his love awakens the response of love in the human heart." [188:5.2 (2018.1)] Even of the sinners, we are told "in the gospel of the kingdom the Father goes forth to find them even before they have seriously thought of repentance." [159:1.2 (1762.4)]
"Increasingly, must you yield the fruits of the spirit as you progress heavenward in the kingdom of God. You may enter the kingdom as a child, but the Father requires that you grow up, by grace, to the full stature of spiritual adulthood. And when you go abroad to tell all nations the good news of this gospel, I will go before you, and my Spirit of Truth shall abide in your hearts. My peace I leave with you.” [193:2.2 (2054.3)]
We who are established within the spiritual kingdom can attempt no less. This is our greatest gift back to the heavenly Father—to put our full faith into the goodness of his purpose and to devote ourselves to the doing of his merciful will in loving service.
If you would share the Master’s joy, you must share his love. And to share his love means that you have shared his service. [180:1.5 (1945.2)]
The social fruits of religion are love and service. Moral character is developed through unselfish service to community and through the building of loving relationships with one's brothers and sisters in the flesh. This type of growth cannot be accomplished while living like a secluded hermit in a cave. It is in dedicated service that the fruits of the spirit are demonstrated, and it is this "good fruit" which unfailingly nurtures a confident survival faith. Whereas the heavenly experience of the kingdom is one of personal joy for the individual, the spiritual fruits generated by this experience of grace are always directed outward to the community in unselfish and loving service. The socialized fruits of the spirit are manifested by the faith-children of the Father as generated by authentic spiritual experience. This call to service "is the natural outworking of this inner experience of the soul as it manifests the fruits of the spirit in the spontaneous daily ministry of genuine religious experience." [140:10.7 (1585.4)]
Any religious belief which is effective in spiritualizing the believer is certain to have powerful repercussions in the social life of such a religionist. Religious experience unfailingly yields the “fruits of the spirit” in the daily life of the spirit-led mortal. [99:5.6 (1091.5)]
Jesus' gospel of the spiritual kingdom has been subliminally changing the social practices of our world for the past two millennia. These subtle and superconscious influences are being manifested through the natural and inevitable outgrowths of the bountiful spiritual fruits yielded by his dedicated kingdom disciples. The intuitive recognition of the brotherhood of man coupled with the incessant spiritual drive towards loving service of one's fellows provides the impetus for changing the world. We are compelled to draw near to our worldly brothers and sisters in loving service, and it is in this process that we cast our spiritual light upon the darkness of their suffering.
It is not so important to love all men today as it is that each day you learn to love one more human being. If each day or each week you achieve an understanding of one more of your fellows, and if this is the limit of your ability, then you are certainly socializing and truly spiritualizing your personality. Love is infectious, and when human devotion is intelligent and wise, love is more catching than hate. But only genuine and unselfish love is truly contagious. If each mortal could only become a focus of dynamic affection, this benign virus of love would soon pervade the sentimental emotion-stream of humanity to such an extent that all civilization would be encompassed by love, and that would be the realization of the brotherhood of man. [100:4.6 (1098.3)]
You cannot sit on your laurels and remain an upstanding citizen within the spiritual kingdom of heaven. If you truly faith-grasp the all-encompassing truth of the Father's purpose and plan, how can you not increase your yield of the fruits of the spirit? How can you prove unwilling to heed the call of devoted service to your impoverished brothers and sisters? When you pass over from this world to the next, what accounting will you make of the many opportunities given you for sharing God's love, for comforting the suffering, and for contributing to the supreme vision of a better world for your children and your children's children?
You will someday assuredly be required to undergo a just and merciful reckoning" of your "endowments and stewardships of this world". [176:3.8 (1918.1)] Are you prepared to face such spiritual scrutiny with resolution and conviction, comforted by the heart-felt assurance that you have made a bold and gallant effort? Surely, a faith well exercised in loving service is our desired goal. Can there be greater joy than this?
Jesus has taught us that God lives in man; then how can we induce man to release these soul-bound powers of divinity and infinity? How shall we induce men to let go of God that he may spring forth to the refreshment of our own souls while in transit outward and then to serve the purpose of enlightening, uplifting, and blessing countless other souls? How best can I awaken these latent powers for good which lie dormant in your souls? [160:3.1 (1777.2)]
- Love is the secret of beneficial association between personalities. [12:9.2 (141.3)]
- Love is the desire to do good to others. [56:10.21 (648.4)]
- You cannot truly love your fellows by a mere act of the will. Love is only born of thoroughgoing understanding of your neighbor's motives and sentiments. [100:4.6 (1098.3)]
- Love is the rule of living within the kingdom—supreme devotion to God while loving your neighbor as yourself. [142:1.4 (1596.6)]
- The less of love in any creature's nature, the greater the love need, and the more does divine love seek to satisfy such need. Love is never self-seeking, and it cannot be self-bestowed. Divine love cannot be self-contained; it must be unselfishly bestowed. [156:5.11 (1739.6)]
- "You hold grudges and nurse vengefulness in direct proportion to your ignorance of the inner nature and true longings of your children and your fellow beings. Love is the outworking of the divine and inner urge of life. It is founded on understanding, nurtured by unselfish service, and perfected in wisdom." [1741.5 (1898.5)]
- Love is truly contagious and eternally creative. [188:5.2 (2018.1)]
- There is inherent joy in freewill existence, independent of all extraneous influences. [28:5.16 (312.3)]
- "The kingdom of God is not meat and drink but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit." [34:6.11 (382.0)]
- The pursuit of happiness is an experience of joy and satisfaction. [55:5.6 (630.3)]
- Spiritual growth yields lasting joy, peace which passes all understanding. [100:4.3 (1098.0)]
- Happiness and joy take origin in the inner life. You cannot experience real joy all by yourself. A solitary life is fatal to happiness. [111:4.7 (1220.6)]
- "Joy and happiness are the outcome of a good life." [131:3.5 (1447.2)]
- "But those who have found the kingdom, their joy will be full, and they shall be called the blest of all the earth." [137:6.5 (1533.3)]
- "And whatever it shall cost you in the things of the world, no matter what price you may pay to enter the kingdom of heaven, you shall receive manyfold more of joy and spiritual progress in this world, and in the age to come eternal life." [137:8.14 (1537.1)]
- "I bring you new joy and make it possible for you to experience new pleasure in knowing the delights of the bestowal of your heart's affection upon your fellow men." [180:1.2 (1944.5)]
- If you would share the Master's joy, you must share his love. And to share his love means that you have shared his service. [180:1.5 (1945.2)]
- Pentecost, then and now, signifies that the Jesus of history has become the divine Son of living experience. The joy of this outpoured spirit, when it is consciously experienced in human life, is a tonic for health, a stimulus for mind, and an unfailing energy for the soul. [194:3.22 (2065.7)]
- The great and immediate service of true religion is the establishment of an enduring unity in human experience, a lasting peace and a profound assurance. [5:4.2 (66.6)]
- Remember, even if prayer does not change God, it very often effects great and lasting changes in the one who prays in faith and confident expectation. Prayer has been the ancestor of much peace of mind, cheerfulness, calmness, courage, self-mastery, and fair-mindedness in the men and women of the evolving races. [91:4.5 (998.3)]
- One of the most amazing earmarks of religious living is that dynamic and sublime peace, that peace which passes all human understanding, that cosmic poise which betokens the absence of all doubt and turmoil. [100:6.6 (1101.1)]
- Peace in this life, survival in death, perfection in the next life, service in eternity--all these are achieved (in spirit) now when the creature personality consents—chooses—to subject the creature will to the Father's will. [111:5.4 (1221.5)]
- "Happiness and peace of mind follow pure thinking and virtuous living as the shadow follows the substance of material things." [131:3.2 (1446.5)]
- "When the faith of your religion has emancipated your heart, when the mind, like a mountain, is settled and immovable, then shall the peace of the soul flow tranquilly like a river of waters." [131:3.4 (1447.1)]
- "When you know that you are saved by faith, you have real peace with God. And all who follow in the way of this heavenly peace are destined to be sanctified to the eternal service of the ever-advancing sons of the eternal God." [143:2.6 (1610.1)]
- The peace which Michael gives his children on earth is that very peace which filled his own soul when he himself lived the mortal life in the flesh and on this very world. The peace of Jesus is the joy and satisfaction of a God-knowing individual who has achieved the triumph of learning fully how to do the will of God while living the mortal life in the flesh. The peace of Jesus' mind was founded on an absolute human faith in the actuality of the divine Father's wise and sympathetic overcare. [181:1.8 (1954.5)]
- The peace of Jesus is, then, the peace and assurance of a son who fully believes that his career for time and eternity is safely and wholly in the care and keeping of an all-wise, all-loving, and all-powerful spirit Father. And this is, indeed, a peace which passes the understanding of mortal mind, but which can be enjoyed to the full by the believing human heart. [181:1.10 (1955.1)]
- Pain and suffering are essential to progressive evolution. [86:2.1 (951.1])
- Much of what a mortal would call good luck might really be bad luck; the smile of fortune that bestows unearned leisure and undeserved wealth may be the greatest of human afflictions; the apparent cruelty of a perverse fate that heaps tribulation upon some suffering mortal may in reality be the tempering fire that is transmuting the soft iron of immature personality into the tempered steel of real character. [118:10.9 (1305.4)]
- "When the suffering servant obtains a vision of God, there follows a soul peace which passes all human understanding." [148:6.3 (1663.1)]
- Jesus was great because he was good, and yet he fraternized with the little children. He was gentle and unassuming in his personal life, and yet he was the perfected man of a universe. [100:7.17 (1103.5)]
- Jesus derived much of his unusual gentleness and marvelous sympathetic understanding of human nature from his father. [122:5.3 (1348.3)]
- With all of this physical and intellectual influence manifest in the Master's presence, there were also all those spiritual charms of being which have become associated with his personality—patience, tenderness, meekness, gentleness, and humility. [141:3.7 (1589.8)]
- "You are indeed to be gentle in your dealings with erring mortals, patient in your intercourse with ignorant men, and forbearing under provocation; but you are also to be valiant in defense of righteousness, mighty in the promulgation of truth, and aggressive in the preaching of this gospel of the kingdom, even to the ends of the earth." [178:1.14 (1931.5)]
- The more steadfastly you behold, and the more persistently you pursue, the concepts of divine goodness, the more certainly will you grow in greatness, in true magnitude of genuine survival character. [28:6.21 (317.3)]
- Goodness embraces the sense of ethics, morality, and religion—experiential perfection-hunger. [56:10.10 (647.1)]
- Goodness is the mental recognition of the relative values of the diverse levels of divine perfection. The recognition of goodness implies a mind of moral status, a personal mind with ability to discriminate between good and evil. But the possession of goodness, greatness, is the measure of real divinity attainment. [56:10.12 (647.3)]
- Goodness is always growing toward new levels of the increasing liberty of moral self-realization and spiritual personality attainment—the discovery of, and identification with, the indwelling Adjuster. [132:2.5 (1458.2)]
- Goodness is living, relative, always progressing, invariably a personal experience, and everlastingly correlated with the discernment of truth and beauty. Goodness is found in the recognition of the positive truth-values of the spiritual level, which must, in human experience, be contrasted with the negative counterpart—the shadows of potential evil. [132:2.7 (1458.4)]
- Jesus always insisted that true goodness must be unconscious, in bestowing charity not allowing the left hand to know what the right hand does. [140:8:26 (1583:0)]
- All men, good and evil, recognize these elements of goodness in Jesus. And yet never is his piety obtrusive or ostentatious. [161:2.4 (1785.4)]
- Goodness always compels respect, but when it is devoid of grace, it often repels affection. Goodness is universally attractive only when it is gracious. Goodness is effective only when it is attractive. [171:7.2 (1874.5)]
- Is faith—the supreme assertion of human thought—desirable? Then must the mind of man find itself in that troublesome predicament where it ever knows less than it can believe. [3:5.9 (51.8)]
- The consciousness of a victorious human life on earth is born of that creature faith which dares to challenge each recurring episode of existence when confronted with the awful spectacle of human limitations, by the unfailing declaration: Even if I cannot do this, there lives in me one who can and will do it, a part of the Father-Absolute of the universe of universes. And that is "the victory which overcomes the world, even your faith." [4:4.9 (59.5)]
- Few persons live up to the faith which they really have. Unreasoned fear is a master intellectual fraud practiced upon the evolving mortal soul. [48:7.4 (556.4)]
- Of Jesus it was truly said, "He trusted God." As a man among men he most sublimely trusted the Father in heaven. He trusted his Father as a little child trusts his earthly parent. His faith was perfect but never presumptuous. No matter how cruel nature might appear to be or how indifferent to man's welfare on earth, Jesus never faltered in his faith. He was immune to disappointment and impervious to persecution. He was untouched by apparent failure.[100:7.7 (1102.4)]
- Faith reveals God in the soul. [101:2.10 (1106.9)]
- Through religious faith the soul of man reveals itself and demonstrates the potential divinity of its emerging nature by the characteristic manner in which it induces the mortal personality to react to certain trying intellectual and testing social situations. [101:3.4 (1108.3)]
- Through the appropriation of the faith of Jesus, mortal man can foretaste in time the realities of eternity. [101:6.17 (1113.6)]
- Belief has attained the level of faith when it motivates life and shapes the mode of living. The acceptance of a teaching as true is not faith; that is mere belief. Neither is certainty nor conviction faith. A state of mind attains to faith levels only when it actually dominates the mode of living. [101:8.1 (1114.5)]
- True religion is designed to lessen the strain of existence; it releases faith and courage for daily living and unselfish serving. Faith promotes spiritual vitality and righteous fruitfulness. [155:3.7 (1727.7)]
- "But you who have been called out of darkness into the light are expected to believe with a whole heart; your faith shall dominate the combined attitudes of body, mind, and spirit." [155:6.17 (1733.5)]
- Faith is to religion what sails are to a ship; it is an addition of power, not an added burden of life. [159:3.7 (1766.4)]
- "When my children once become self-conscious of the assurance of the divine presence, such a faith will expand the mind, ennoble the soul, reinforce the personality, augment the happiness, deepen the spirit perception, and enhance the power to love and be loved." [159:3.11 (1766.8)]
- Jesus enjoyed a sublime and wholehearted faith in God. He experienced the ordinary ups and downs of mortal existence, but he never religiously doubted the certainty of God's watchcare and guidance. [196:0.1 (2087.1)]
- The faith of Jesus bore the transcendent fruits of the divine spirit. His faith was not immature and credulous like that of a child, but in many ways it did resemble the unsuspecting trust of the child mind. Jesus trusted God much as the child trusts a parent. He had a profound confidence in the universe—just such a trust as the child has in its parental environment. [196:0.11 (2089.1)]
- It should not be the aim of kingdom believers literally to imitate the outward life of Jesus in the flesh but rather to share his faith; to trust God as he trusted God and to believe in men as he believed in men. [196:1.5 (2091.1)]
- The meek shall inherit the earth and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. [131:2.9 (1445.3)]
- Genuine meekness has no relation to fear. It is rather an attitude of man co-operating with God—"Your will be done." It embraces patience and forbearance and is motivated by an unshakable faith in a lawful and friendly universe. It masters all temptations to rebel against the divine leading. Jesus was the ideal meek man of Urantia, and he inherited a vast universe. [140:5.11 (1574.4)]
- "You do well to be meek before God and self-controlled before men, but let your meekness be of spiritual origin and not the self-deceptive display of a self-conscious sense of self-righteous superiority." [149:6.11 (1676.5)]
- "I am indeed meek and humble in the presence of my Father, but I am equally and relentlessly inexorable where there is deliberate evildoing and sinful rebellion against the will of my Father in heaven." [159:3.9 (1766.5)]
- If you fail, will you rise indomitably to try anew? If you succeed, will you maintain a well-balanced poise--a stabilized and spiritualized attitude—throughout every effort in the long struggle to break the fetters of material inertia, to attain the freedom of spirit existence? [48:6.25 (555.3)]
- On this same occasion the Master talked to the group about the desirability of possessing well-balanced characters. He recognized that it was necessary for most men to devote themselves to the mastery of some vocation, but he deplored all tendency toward overspecialization, toward becoming narrow-minded and circumscribed in life's activities. He called attention to the fact that any virtue, if carried to extremes, may become a vice. Jesus always preached temperance and taught consistency—proportionate adjustment of life problems. He pointed out that overmuch sympathy and pity may degenerate into serious emotional instability; that enthusiasm may drive on into fanaticism. [149:4.3 (1673.3)]
- The all-consuming and indomitable spiritual faith of Jesus never became fanatical, for it never attempted to run away with his well-balanced intellectual judgments concerning the proportional values of practical and commonplace social, economic, and moral life situations. [196:0.7 (2088.2)]
We are told that the experience of personal relationships in every mortal life, whether with persons human or divine, possesses the greatest of all values. Each contact of a personal nature is an end unto itself. Love is simply the desire to do good to others, and this divine and inner urge of life is "founded on understanding, nurtured by unselfish service, and perfected in wisdom." [174:1.3 (1898.3)] By necessity, true love must be dynamic. It must not be simply reciprocated to only those who love you. Divine love is always outgoing in its manifestation. It seeks ever to satisfy those hungry for love, for it cannot be self-contained. The greater the expressed hunger for love, the more resourcefully does divine love strive to satisfy such need.
Love, unselfishness, must undergo a constant and living readaptative interpretation of relationships in accordance with the leading of the Spirit of Truth. Love must thereby grasp the ever-changing and enlarging concepts of the highest cosmic good of the individual who is loved. And then love goes on to strike this same attitude concerning all other individuals who could possibly be influenced by the growing and living relationship of one spirit-led mortal’s love for other citizens of the universe. And this entire living adaptation of love must be effected in the light of both the environment of present evil and the eternal goal of the perfection of divine destiny. [180:5.10 (1950.5)]
As a crude analogy, we might think of ourselves as water faucets. The love of the Father is like the thirst-quenching water that, when we taste of it, we hold onto it dearly within our very being. However, if we do not let go of this refreshing water by letting it flow freely through us and outward to our parched brothers and sisters, then we can be satisfied with only a miniscule amount of this revitalizing water. If we can be inspired to let go of this precious water, it will flow profusely through our very being, and then our fill will be immeasurable. Such is our gift for being our Father's conduit of love.
Love gives and craves for attention. It seeks for such understanding fellowship as exists naturally between parent and child. A dynamic love begins with that inward and spiritual fellowship with God as Father, and this relationship very directly manifests itself in the outpouring of loving ministry for one's fellow man. Because of this genuine personal experience with a personal and loving God, one gains the consciousness of being a member of a growing family, and this insight propels this new family member into the active and unselfish service for an ever-enlarging brotherhood.
The cross forever shows that the attitude of Jesus toward sinners was neither condemnation nor condonation, but rather eternal and loving salvation. Jesus is truly a savior in the sense that his life and death do win men over to goodness and righteous survival. Jesus loves men so much that his love awakens the response of love in the human heart. Love is truly contagious and eternally creative. Jesus’ death on the cross exemplifies a love which is sufficiently strong and divine to forgive sin and swallow up all evil-doing. Jesus disclosed to this world a higher quality of righteousness than justice — mere technical right and wrong. Divine love does not merely forgive wrongs; it absorbs and actually destroys them. The forgiveness of love utterly transcends the forgiveness of mercy. Mercy sets the guilt of evil-doing to one side; but love destroys forever the sin and all weakness resulting therefrom. [188:5.2 (2018.1)]
The greatest love the world has ever known is the love of Jesus. He loved man so much that he was willing to lay down his life for their better good. The love of Jesus is the highest ideal of love that we can emulate in our ministry for the welfare of our brothers and sisters. This sacred love is without qualification—it cares not whether the recipient is worthy of this love. It only desires the rehabilitation, healing, and salvation of all men through unselfish service in the devotion of love.
Jesus brought a new method of living to Urantia. He taught us not to resist evil but to find through him a goodness which effectually destroys evil. The forgiveness of Jesus is not condonation; it is salvation from condemnation. Salvation does not slight wrongs; it makes them right. True love does not compromise nor condone hate; it destroys it. The love of Jesus is never satisfied with mere forgiveness. The Master’s love implies rehabilitation, eternal survival. It is altogether proper to speak of salvation as redemption if you mean this eternal rehabilitation. [188:5.2 (2018.1)]
Jesus' gospel of the kingdom of heaven is an outgrowth of dynamic love that is first realized by recognizing the fact of God's sovereignty in the hearts of men. This recognition generates belief in the truth of sonship with this selfsame God, and this belief develops the saving faith that every desiring mortal being can effectively do the will of God—to be like God, to become perfect. The kingdom of heaven is founded on love, proclaimed in mercy, and established in unselfish service.
But when the Father’s will becomes truly your will, then are you in very truth in the kingdom because the kingdom has thereby become an established experience in you. [141:2.2 (1588.5)]
The reality of a personal God facilitates fellowship, and the fellowship between God and man is only experiencible provided both parties are persons. Mortal man can literally experience the full and undiminished impact of the infinite Father's love in all of its unlimited quality, even though he can never know the full extent of the Father's infinitude. As a person, God is approachable—the Father is attainable. The dynamic force of his divine love opens the way for advancement of every worthy person in the entire universe of universes to the very Paradise presence of the Universal Father.
We, as mortal ascenders, will continue in the enhancement of our love for God in the same way that a child increases its love over time for its earthy parent. The Universal Father forever loves and seeks the welfare of his created sons and daughters just a human father, a real father, a true father loves his earthly children. The very fact of our deepest need for love and affection is more than sufficient to unleash the continual flow of the Father's tender mercies and saving grace.
The love of the Father absolutely individualizes each personality as a unique child of the Universal Father, a child without duplicate in infinity, a will creature irreplaceable in all eternity. The Father’s love glorifies each child of God, illuminating each member of the celestial family, sharply silhouetting the unique nature of each personal being against the impersonal levels that lie outside the fraternal circuit of the Father of all. [12:7.9 (138.4)]
When the mortal child of this heavenly Father dedicates his human will to the doing of the Father's will, the Father responds by making that man more than he is. The Father makes him a son of divine destiny. This consecration of the mortal will constitutes man's choicest gift of supreme value to the Paradise Father.
The love of God becomes individualized to each human soul by the indwelling of the Adjuster, the actual spirit fragment of the Father himself. The indivisibility of the Father does not interfere with the bestowal of his own spirit in the form of Thought Adjusters whose destinies are to live in the hearts of mortal man. This gift of bestowal is the greatest manifestation of the Universal Father's divine love for mortal beings. Spiritually, this gift is a great equalizer by which all men are truly equal in the eyes of God, for the Father loves each and every one of his children with the same fullness of his infinite love. The presence of Father fragment within the intellect of every normal-minded and morally conscious mortal being gives positive assurance of man's divine fellowship with the living God.
The Adjusters reveal a supernal love and spiritual ministry in their relationship to mortal creatures. When an evolving mortal becomes dominated by the love of his fellows and consecrated to unselfish ministry to his brethren in the flesh, then does an Adjuster most effectively indwell the mind of such a mortal minister. The love that this Thought Adjuster brings is the most truly divine affection in all creation. It is touchingly sublime and divinely Fatherlike. There is nothing in the entire universe of universes to compare with their marvelous ministry to the children of the evolutionary worlds.
The Adjusters are the actuality of the Father’s love incarnate in the souls of men; they are the veritable promise of man’s eternal career imprisoned within the mortal mind; they are the essence of man’s perfected finaliter personality, which he can foretaste in time as he progressively masters the divine technique of achieving the living of the Father’s will, step by step, through the ascension of universe upon universe until he actually attains the divine presence of his Paradise Father. [107:0.2 (1176.2)]
Man can discover the full extent that God's divine spirit is working in his mind, he can determine that degree to which he is yielding to the teaching and guidance of the heavenly Father's indwelling spirit, by taking account of his growing ability to show forth love for his fellow man. The Father's indwelling presence, along with the assistance of his Son's Spirit of Truth as it is poured out upon all flesh, bears witness to man's intended reality as sons and daughters of God. The spiritual capacity for the reactive growth of the evolving soul is man's enhancing faith in truth and his increasing love for his fellow man.
Considering all that the Father and his Son do for mankind in their combined loving ministry, we not only possess the ability to share this affection with our brothers and sisters, but we also have an opportunity to contribute to the emergence of the Supreme Being. All experiences of love and service in all the universe of universes manifest themselves in the actualization of the Supreme Being.
The motivation of faith makes experiential the full realization of man’s sonship with God, but action, completion of decisions, is essential to the evolutionary attainment of consciousness of progressive kinship with the cosmic actuality of the Supreme Being. [110:6.17 (1211.2)]
The kingdom of God exists in the hearts of mortal man, but when this kingdom establishes a brotherhood that encompasses a world and even a universe, then the Supreme Being has attained sovereignty.
Man can discover the Father in his heart, but he will have to search for the Supreme in the hearts of all other men; and when all creatures perfectly reveal the love of the Supreme, then will he become a universe actuality to all creatures. And that is just another way of saying that the universes will be settled in light and life. [117:6.23 (1290.9) ]