From Miserable Sinners to Masters

By Eric Butterworth
From Miserable Sinners to Masters

Christianity has been exclusive and sectarian, but if Jesus' concept of the Divinity of Man could be clearly understood and widely disseminated, His teaching would sweep the world and create a great spiritual revolution. He taught, "Ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). Man hungers for freedom from want, from sickness, from oppression, and most of all from his own fears. The religion about Jesus has failed to open the way to this freedom. However, in the simple but dynamic teachings of Jesus, we have a message that is universal and practical. It contains the keys to the kingdom of health and prosperity and peace and freedom. …

We see then that the heart and core of Jesus' teachings concerned not His divinity, but the Divinity of Man—the principle of divine sonship. He discovered this principle in general, and the divine potential in Himself in particular. He demonstrated the Christ-Spirit in action in His own life. But His ministry was devoted to teaching the universality of the principle, and to helping people rise from their, sins to self-mastery. "And nothing shall be impossible unto you." Nothing!

We need to get this idea into our consciousness—that man, made in the image and likeness of God, is no mere figure of speech. It is a practical fact, a dynamic Truth. When the people sought to stone Jesus for saying that God was His Father (John 10: 34), He replied by quoting Psalm 82: "I have said ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High." And He added, "The scripture cannot be broken" (AV). He was saying in effect, "I am only saying of myself what your own law says of you. I don't set myself forth as an exception, but as an example of what the nature of man really is."

Charles Fillmore, who had one of the keenest insights into the Divinity of Man, writes:

What Jesus did we all can do, and it is fair to say that His is the normal standard for every individual and that every other expression of life is abnormal, the result of insufficient Christ elements .... We need not look for another in whom to witness the Christ, as did John, the Baptist, but we must look for Christ in ourselves, precisely as the man, Jesus, found the Christ in Himself.

Jesus' heart went out to people because He could see that they were not living up to the best within them. So He urged them to pick up their bed and walk and to go and sin no more. He didn't enter into any debate considering the worthiness of the individual to be healed. This is one of the things that disturbed the Pharisees. They felt He was usurping God's power of forgiveness of sin.

But you see, Jesus believed in the divinity of each individual, in each person's innate right to health and fulfillment. He insisted that the power that supported Him can also inspire and support each of us to a beneficial expression of the creative urge within us. This does not mean that we can all become a Michelangelo, an Einstein, or a Schweitzer. We wouldn't really want to, for this would be imitation, and Emerson was probably right when He said that imitation is suicide. But there is a divinely inspired potentiality for creative expression within each one of us that the world needs and is awaiting.

Jesus saw the divinity in people, and He challenged all men to see the good, the God-self, in all people with whom they associated. …

Consider the question, "What is man?" Not what is this man or that man in which cases we might be influenced by "flesh and blood" considerations; but what is man in general? This is not easy to say, because we have seen so many different levels of expression of men. Even considering one man specifically, we see a whole performance of his possibilities in various degrees of manifestation. It is like trying to answer the question, "What is a dandelion? It is a tiny seed. It is a small green shoot coming out of the ground. It is like a miniature golden sunflower. And it is a puffball that disintegrates into a shower of tiny silver jewels with a gust of wind. But what is a dandelion? It is the whole performance.

What is an acorn? It is an oak tree in the making. What is an egg? It is the first stage of a performance that will lead to a bird. What is man? A man is what he can be. And what is that? Only spiritual perception can tell. Answer the question from the "f1esh-and-blood" level, and you will define man as being limited to only one part of the eternal performance of the soul on its journey to mastery. Is the dandelion only the tiny shoot? Are you only the limited person you appear to be or think you are? No! You are what you can be. And what can you be? From the standpoint of your divinity, you can be a perfect, healthy, confident, radiant expression of the living God.

Thus, when life demands of you, “Who do you think you are?” speak the word of Truth. Affirm for yourself, “I am a spiritual being, I am whole and free. I am confident and capable. I am the master of my life.” …

No matter where you are or what you may be, no matter how much you have lost or how little you have gained, no matter how far you may think yourself to be from the heights you have set for yourself or feel that God has set for you, the power to become is your is your divine inheritance. You can overcome, you can succeed, you can be healed—If you believe in your divinity, bless it, act as if it were the real and true of you. … 

This excerpt is from Eric Butterworth's book, Discover the Power Within You. For more about his teachings, visit EricButterworth.com.