True Christianity #56

True Christianity (Rose translation)

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56. 3. In the universe and everything in it, God's omnipotence follows and works through the laws of its design. God is omnipotent, because he has all power from himself. All others have power from him. God's power and his will are one. Because he wills nothing but what is good, he cannot do anything but what is good. In the spiritual world no one can do anything against his or her will - a condition there that comes from God, from the fact that his power and his will are one. God is in fact goodness itself. When he does something good, he is in himself. He cannot walk away from himself.

Clearly then, his omnipotence fills, and works within, the sphere of the extension of goodness, a sphere that is infinite. At a deep level, this sphere pervades the universe and everything in it. At a deep level, this sphere also governs things outside of itself to the extent that they become part of it through their own design. If things do not become part of that sphere, it still sustains them. It tries in every way to bring them back to a design in harmony with the universal design that God inhabits with his omnipotence and follows in his actions. If things against the design are not brought back into the design, they are cast out of God; but there he still sustains them from deep within.

From all this you can see that divine omnipotence cannot move outside itself into contact with any evil, nor can it move evil away from itself. Evil turns itself away, which is how it ends up being completely separated from God and thrown into hell. Between heaven, where God is, and hell, there is a huge chasm.

From these few points you can see how insane people are who think that God can condemn anyone, curse anyone, throw anyone into hell, predestine anyone's soul to eternal death, avenge wrongs, or rage against or punish anyone. People are even more insane if they actually believe this, let alone teach it. In reality, God cannot turn away from us or even look at us with a frown. To do any such thing would be against his essence, and what is against his essence is against himself.

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

True Christian Religion 89, 341

Other New Christian Commentary

God Is Good, All the Time 1


Thanks to the Swedenborg Foundation for the permission to use this translation.


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