Jimmy Carter, Sunday School Teacher

The former president on why he believes Jesus will save everyone, and how his faith complicated--and sustained--his presidency.

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And he said, "The things that people desire and are their main ambitions for money and a beautiful life and public approbation and fame and security and even long life are the things that we spend our existence working to achieve and it's legitimate ambitions. "But," Paul said, "those are insignificant in the eyes of God."



The things that are significant are, to repeat myself, the things you cannot see. And, of course, the things that you cannot see are the principles of Jesus Christ.



He had no money. He didn't have any ostentatious house. He didn't even have a donkey to ride on permanently. He was abandoned by his friends. His fame dissipated at the time of his trial and execution. He only lived to be 33 years old.



But, he exemplifies all the things that are important in the eyes of God. And that's kind of a provocative, you know, part of the Bible that I like to think about often.



But, I think everybody likes John 3:16, and everybody likes the statements of Paul's that we are saved through the grace of God through our faith in Jesus Christ, and the first verse of the eighth chapter of Romans where Paul has described all of his own sins and failures and he knows about what he ought to do, but he never does do it, and then, the first verse says that "there is therefore now no condemnation of those in Jesus Christ."



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And so, those are some of my favorites just off the top of my head.



Has your faith ever led you to do or say things that have hurt you personally or professionally?

Well, I've had a few times in my public life when my faith was incompatible with my sworn duty. The one that troubles me is abortion. It did when I was President.



I'm against abortion. I've done everything I could, as Governor, as President, to minimize abortions through improved adoption procedures and through education for young people so that girls won't get pregnant without desiring to do so.



'I've had a few times in my public life when my faith was incompatible with my sworn duty. The one that troubles me is abortion.'

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