Subject: Guilt and Innocence
Golden text: Psalm 19: 9-10 NKJV copyright Thomas Nelson
The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold.
Joshua 7:1-7, 10-11, 16, 19-20, 25-26
But the children of Israel committed a trespass regarding the accursed things, for Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed things; so the anger of the Lord burned against the children of Israel.
2 Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Beth Aven, on the east side of Bethel, and spoke to them, saying, “Go up and spy out the country.” So the men went up and spied out Ai. 3 And they returned to Joshua and said to him, “Do not let all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai. Do not weary all the people there, for the people of Ai are few.” 4 So about three thousand men went up there from the people, but they fled before the men of Ai. 5 And the men of Ai struck down about thirty-six men, for they chased them from before the gate as far as Shebarim, and struck them down on the descent; therefore the hearts of the people melted and became like water.
6 Then Joshua tore his clothes, and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the Lord until evening, he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads. 7 And Joshua said, “Alas, Lord God, why have You brought this people over the Jordan at all—to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us?
10 So the Lord said to Joshua: “Get up! Why do you lie thus on your face? 11 Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them.
16 So Joshua rose early in the morning and brought Israel by their tribes, and the tribe of Judah was taken.
19 Now Joshua said to Achan, “My son, I beg you, give glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession to Him, and tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me.” 20 And Achan answered Joshua and said, “Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and this is what I have done:
25 And Joshua said, “Why have you troubled us? The Lord will trouble you this day.” So all Israel stoned him with stones; and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones.
26 Then they raised over him a great heap of stones, still there to this day. So the Lord turned from the fierceness of His anger. Therefore the name of that place has been called the Valley of Achor to this day.
Psalm 73:22, 27-28
22 I was so foolish and ignorant;
I was like a beast before You.
27 For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish;
You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry.
28 But it is good for me to draw near to God;
I have put my trust in the Lord God,
That I may declare all Your works.
21st Century Science and Health, copyright by Cheryl Petersen
Suffering is a means of destroying limited thinking and wrongdoing. Every material pleasure will come with a measure of pain until spiritual life is taken on.
Humanity moves toward good or evil as time passes. If mortals are not progressive, past failures will be repeated until all wrong work is erased or corrected. If there is any satisfaction in wrongdoing, we must learn to loathe it. If we are now content with spiritual idleness, we must become dissatisfied with it. Remember that humankind must sooner or later, either by suffering or by Science, be convinced of the error that is to be overcome.
Reform comes by understanding there really is no lasting pleasure in ill-will. Reform comes by gaining an affection for good according to Science which reveals the immortal fact that pleasure, pain, appetite, and emotionalism can’t exist in or of human mind. Divine Mind can and does purge the false beliefs of the human mind.
Malice or hate, finding satisfaction in revenge, is pathetic. Evil is sometimes believed to our right until we learn its self-destructiveness. As the pleasure in wickedness is lost, the wrongdoing becomes a torment. The way to escape the misery of sin is to stop sinning. There is no other way. Sin is the image of the beast to be wiped out through mental improvement.
It can be an agonizing ordeal.
The effort to unlearn false perceptions includes forfeiting those views completely. Then error will be submissive to Truth. The divine method of becoming responsible for every thought and action involves unwinding our snarls and learning from experience how to divide between the human and the spiritual.
To hold yourself superior to negativity, because God made you superior to it and governs us, is true wisdom. To fear wrongdoing is to misunderstand the power of Love and the divine Science of being in our relation to God—to doubt and distrust Soul’s omnipotent care. To hold yourself superior to downward spiraling behaviors is equally wise, and is in accordance with divine Science. To fear them is impossible, when you fully understand God and know that disharmony is no part of Life’s existence.
Science reveals the glorious possibilities of our spirituality, forever unlimited by the mortal senses.
Proof of spirituality distinguishes between the Truth that is sinless and the falsity of sinful sense.
It is foolish to take a hesitant position or sit on the fence when it comes to our spirituality. Expecting to work equally with Spirit and matter, Truth and error, is not wise. There is but one way—namely, God and Truth’s idea—which leads to spiritual being. The scientific government of the body must be accomplished through the divine Mind. It is impossible to gain control over the body in any other way. On this fundamental point, timid or self-righteous conservatism are inadmissible. Only by advancing from the root of Truth can scientific healing power be realized.
Substituting good words for a good life, and pretending a straightforward character, is a shallow veneer for the weak and worldly who think the standard of Christian Science too high.
Universal salvation rests on spiritual improvement and proof, and is unattainable without them. Heaven is not a locality, but is a divine state of Mind in which all the manifestations of Mind are harmonious and immortal because sin is not there. God’s person is found having no self-righteousness, but is in possession of “the mind of the Lord”
An intelligent sinless God precedes an intelligent sinless creation. God did not create sin, and sin can’t be self-creative because God is the only Creator. There is not a second creator making people who need to be corrected.
 I Cor. 2:16