In the physical universe we may see divine beauty, in the intellectual world we may discern eternal truth, but the goodness of our Father is found only in the spiritual world of personal religious experience. In its true essence, religion is your faith-trust in the goodness of God. God could be great and absolute, somehow, in philosophy, even intelligent and personal; but in religion, God must also be moral; He must be good! We might fear a great God, but we trust and love only a good God. This goodness of God is a part of His personality, and its full revelation appears only in the personal religious experience of His truly believing children of us mortal human beings.
Religion implies that the superworld of spirit nature is cognizant of, and responsive to, the fundamental needs of our human world. Evolutionary religion may become ethical, but only personally revealed religion becomes truly and spiritual moral.
The “richness of the goodness of God leads the erring mortal to repentance.” “Every good gift and every perfect gift comes down from our Father of lights.” “God is good; He is the eternal refuge of our immortal soul.” He is “The Most Beneficent.” “Our Lord God is Merciful and Gracious. He is long suffering and abundant in goodness and truth.” “Taste and see that our Lord is good! Blessed is the one who trusts Him.” He is “The Most Gracious, The Most Compassionate.” “He is the God of our salvation.” “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up the wounds of our soul.” God loves us not like a father, but as a Father. He is the Paradise Father of us all!
Righteousness implies that God is the source of the moral law of our universe. Truth exhibits God as a revealer, as a teacher. But God’s love gives and craves affection: He seeks understanding fellowship- such as exists between a parent and child. Righteousness may be divine, but love is our Father’s attitude. The erroneous supposition that the righteousness of God was irreconcilable with His selfless love, presupposed absence of unity in the nature of His Deity and led directly to the elaboration of the atonement doctrine-a doctrine which is a philosophic assault upon both His unity and His free-willness.
Our affectional Heavenly Father, whose spirit indwells our lowly earthly minds, is not a divided personality-one of justice and one of mercy; neither does it require a mediator to secure His favor or forgiveness. Divine righteousness is not dominated by strict retributive justice; God as our Father transcends God as our Judge; however, it is true that His wisdom does often restrain His love, while His justice conditions His rejected mercy. His love of righteousness cannot help being exhibited as equal hatred for sin. But God is never wrathful, vengeful, or angry. Our Father is not an inconsistent personality; His divine unity is Perfect!
God loves the sinner and the sin. He loves the sinner because the mortal is a personality; while towards sin, He strikes no personal attitude. God is a transcendent personality person – and persons can only love and hate other persons. Sin is not a person-it is not a spiritual reality. Thus the justice of our Father only takes cognizance of the sin’s existence.
The love of God saves the sinner, but the law of God destroys the sin. This attitude of the divine nature would apparently change if the sinner finally identified himself, or herself, wholly with sin. Such a sin-identified mortal would then become wholly unspiritual in nature, and therefore personally unreal, and thus would experience eventual extinction of being. Unreality, even incompleteness of creature nature, cannot exist forever in a progressively real and increasingly spiritual universe.
The goodness of our Great Eternal God rests in His universal tendency to love, show mercy, manifest patience, and minister forgiveness. Facing the world of personality, God is discovered to be a loving person; facing the spiritual world, He is a personal love; in our personal religious experience, He is both!
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