A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple

To gain the most from A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple, we recommend that
you read the corresponding chapter and section in the Text of the Second or
Third Edition of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace.

Chapter 3: The Innocent Perception

Section I: Atonement without Sacrifice

Read ACIM Chapter 3, Section I (pages 36-38)

What correction does Jesus make regarding the idea of atoning for sin?

In this section Jesus focuses on correcting mistaken ideas fostered in many current Christian teachings. One of the first corrections he makes is the idea that God requires sacrifice to atone for sin. The idea that God would kill to atone for the sins of the world is clearly the opposite of a merciful, kind and loving God. It is a projection of the upside down thinking of the ego thought system. We need to understand that God could not be a vengeful God, because He is only Love and Love does not condemn. The idea of retribution could never be of God.

The old testament taught that sacrifice was necessary to be washed clean of sin. That belief was carried forward in the new Testament where God was portrayed as requiring the sacrifice of his only Son. This is what we have been taught Atonement is. Jesus tells us, “Can you believe our Father really thinks this way? It is so essential such thinking be dispelled that we must be sure that nothing of this kind remains in your mind.” (2:8-9)

What does Jesus say about the crucifixion and the resurrection?

The crucifixion and resurrection are central concepts in Christianity. Jesus points out that the true meaning is frequently not understood. Rather than the crucifixion, it is the resurrection that established the Atonement because it demonstrated that nothing can destroy truth. (see 1:2 and 7:6)

Why does Atonement not require sacrifice?

We are being shown that rather than requiring sacrifice, the Atonement is really a blessing that comes with the undoing of our mistaken belief in separation. With the undoing of separation comes the recognition of perfect innocence. Nothing can change what God created as pure and innocent. Because we are God’s creations, we are as pure and innocent as God Himself for God could not create anything unlike Himself.

God, being Love, does not know of evil. It is inconceivable to a Mind That is only Love. Only a mind that believes that it has separated from Love believes that loss and lack of Love (sin and evil) are possible. This is the core of the ego thought system. It then projects this idea of lack of Love on God, portraying Him as capable of vengeance and demanding sacrifice.

God knows only of innocence. When we return to our true state of mind, we will see only like God. Innocence and only innocence is the truth. Anything else is illusion, based on the mistaken ideas of the ego. “Innocence is wisdom because it is unaware of evil, and evil does not exist.” (7:4) “Innocence is incapable of sacrificing anything, because the innocent mind has everything and strives only to protect its wholeness.” (6:1) Love, being complete, makes no demands.

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