June 10, 2015

bible study imageSubject: Repentance and restoration

Golden text: Jeremiah 15:19*

Therefore this is what the Lord says: “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman.

II Chronicles 33:1-3, 10-15, 18

Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites.

10 The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. 11 So the Lord brought against them the army commanders of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon. 12 In his distress he sought the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors. 13 And when he prayed to him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God.

14 Afterward he rebuilt the outer wall of the City of David, west of the Gihon spring in the valley, as far as the entrance of the Fish Gate and encircling the hill of Ophel; he also made it much higher.

15 He got rid of the foreign gods and removed the image from the temple of the Lord, as well as all the altars he had built on the temple hill and in Jerusalem; and he threw them out of the city.

18 The other events of Manasseh’s reign, including his prayer to his God and the words the seers spoke to him in the name of the Lord, the God of Israel, are written in the annals of the kings of Israel.

From 21st Century Science and Health*

Prayer is not to be used as a confession, leaving the chance to repeat our offenses. Such an error holds back true religion. If prayer feeds the thinking that human beings are made better merely by praying, prayer is an evil. Repentance is needed. New thoughts are needed. Those who imagine wrongdoing can be excused, and so repeat the wrongdoing, will worsen. Shady, sinister activities are forgiven only as they are replaced by the Christ idea—Truth and Life. Wrongdoing isn’t cancelled, but is destroyed by truthful prayer.

Repentance is more than contrition or feeling really bad. It must be lived out with sincerity. Effective repentance reforms thinking and enables human beings to do the will of wisdom.

Luke 3: 2- 16

[T]he word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:

“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.
Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight,
the rough ways smooth.
And all people will see God’s salvation.’”

John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

10 “What should we do then?” the crowd asked. 11 John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”

12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?” 13 “Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.

14 Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?” He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”

15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. 16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire

17 Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. 18 They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. 20 “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people all about this new life.”

21 At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people.

From 21st Century Science and Health

If a person is an alcoholic, a sex or drug addict, or has compulsive behavior, meet and destroy these errors with the truth of being. Point out to the person the suffering that comes along with indulging in bad habits. Convince him or her that there is no real pleasure in false appetites. A depraved mind is manifest in a depraved body. Lust, malice, and all sorts of evil are diseased beliefs, and you can destroy them only by destroying the wicked motives which produce them. If the evil is overcome in the repentant human mind, while its effects still remain on the individual, you can remove this disorder as God’s law if fulfilled and reformation cancels the crime. The healthy sinner is the hardened sinner.

Through repentance, spiritual baptism, and reformation, humanity advances past beliefs and false individuality. It is only a question of time when “they will all know me [God], from the least of them to the greatest.”[1]

Acts 5: 21-35, 39

When the high priest and his associates arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin—the full assembly of the elders of Israel—and sent to the jail for the apostles. 22 But on arriving at the jail, the officers did not find them there. So they went back and reported, 23 “We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside.” 24 On hearing this report, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests were at a loss, wondering what this might lead to.

25 Then someone came and said, “Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people.” 26 At that, the captain went with his officers and brought the apostles. They did not use force, because they feared that the people would stone them.

27 The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.”

29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings! 30 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross. 31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. 32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

33 When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death. 34 But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. 35 Then he addressed the Sanhedrin: “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men.

39if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

With due respect, here [is a] statement to think about.

“The materials we need to reach a new level of discourse are in our grasp; we have only to abandon outmoded approaches/disciplines to achieve an enlightening beginning for a new science.” From The Anthropology of Medicine: From Culture to Method, Third Edition.[2]

Experiments support the fact that mind governs the body, not in one instance, but in every instance. The indestructible faculties of Spirit exist without the conditions of matter and also without the false beliefs of a mortal existence.

Divine Science brings to the body the sunlight of Truth, which invigorates and purifies. Christian Science acts as a medicinal, neutralizing error with Truth. It balances the hormonal reactions, expels harmful fluids, dissolves tumors, rehabilitates degenerated or injured muscles, and restores bones to wellness. The effect of this Science is to adapt the human mind to an improved attitude from which it may yield to the peace and order of divine Mind.

[Love] restores my soul [spiritual sense]. [Love] guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. [3]

 *THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®. Text from 21st Century Science and Health, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

[1] Jer, 31:34; Heb. 8:11 (Brackets added by Mary Baker Eddy)

[2] The Anthropology of Medicine: From Culture to Method, Third Edition. Edited by Lola Romanucci-Ross, Daniel E. Moerman, Laurence R. Tancredi. Copyright © 1997 by Lola Romanucci-Ross, Daniel E. Moerman, and Laurence R. Tancredi. Reproduced with permission of Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc., Westport, CT.

[3] Ps. 23 (Brackets added by Mary Baker Eddy)

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