February 3, 2016

bible study imageSubject: Of the Spirit

Golden text: John 3:8*

The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.

Matthew 3:1-3, 13-17

In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said,

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
make his paths straight.’”

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

From 21st Century Science and Health**

The Teacher easily read the thoughts of humankind, and this insight better enabled him to direct those thoughts usefully. What would be said today of an irreverent blasphemer who hints that Jesus used his power to hurt others? Jesus read human minds on a scientific basis, that of the omnipresence of Mind. Readings that resemble Jesus’ readings indicate spiritual improvement and a unity with the infinite capacities of the one Mind. Jesus could injure no one by his Mind-reading. The effect of his Mind-reading was always to heal and to save, and this is the only genuine Science of reading human mind. Jesus’ holy motives and aims were blamed and condemned by the sinners of that period, as they would be today if Jesus were personally present. We approach God, Life, as our fidelity to Truth and Love expands; and in that ratio we can know all human need and be able to discern the thought of the sick and the sinning for the purpose of healing them. Error of any kind can’t hide from the law of God. Paul said, “The mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.”[1]

Whoever reaches the spiritual point of moral culture and goodness can’t harm others, and must do them good. The greater or lesser ability of a Mind-reader to discern thought scientifically depends upon his or her genuine spirituality. The special characteristic of spiritually intuitive mind-reading is not clairvoyance, but is important to success in healing.

We welcome the increase of knowledge and the end of error, because even human invention must have its day.

The nature of spirituality is peaceful and blessed. In order to enter into the realm of Spirit, the anchor of hope must be thrown past the veil of matter into the Shekinah that Jesus showed us. This advance beyond superficial thinking comes through the joys and triumphs of the righteous, as well as through their sorrows and afflictions. We must leave mortal impressions of fleshly being, and advance into immortal expressions of spiritual being.

Acts 16: 1-15

16 Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the brothers at Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily.

And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

11 So, setting sail from Troas, we made a direct voyage to Samothrace, and the following day to Neapolis, 12 and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city some days. 13 And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together. 14 One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. 15 And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.

From 21st Century Science and Health

The human form or physical structure can’t be made the basis of any true idea of infinite God. Physical eyes and ears have not seen or heard Spirit.

The physical ear does not really hear. Sound is a mental impression made on human belief. Divine Science reveals sound as communicated through the senses of Soul—through spiritual understanding.

Because Spirit is not physically tangible, it doesn’t communicate through tangible electromagnetism or physical energy fields.

God is Spirit; therefore the language of Spirit must be, and is, spiritual. Divine Science attaches no physical characters and significance to the Supreme Being and manifestation.

It is better to make our minds and bodies available to follow God’s rule, because we then can receive Love’s blessing and work out our own salvation.

Progress removes the restraints imposed on human beings. The finite must yield to the infinite. Advancing to a higher level of activity, consciousness pierces the materialist view and discovers the spiritual view. Thought shakes off the scholastic and mortal and moves toward the inspirational and immortal. All things are created spiritually. Mind, not matter, is the creator. Love, the divine Principle, is the Father-Mother of the universe, including person.

Happy is the person who sees the need of others and supplies it, seeking his or her own supply in someone else’s good.

Psalms 51: 7-12

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.

From 21st Century Science and Health

If we follow Christ on all moral questions, but are in darkness as to the physical exemption which spirituality includes, then we must have more faith in God on this subject and be more alive to Spirit’s promises. It is easier to cure the most malignant disease than it is to cure sin. I have revitalized the dying, partly because they were willing to be restored, while I have struggled long, and perhaps in vain, to lift a student out of a chronic sin. Under all modes of pathological treatment, the sick recover more rapidly from disease than does the sinner from sin. Healing is easier than teaching, if the teaching is faithfully done.

Every law of physics or the body, supposed to govern people, is rendered null and void by the law of Life, God. Unaware of our God-given rights, we allow unjust decisions and make excuses for imperfection. Our education system is biased, expounding homogeny and marketing a resignation to poor choices. Become aware metaphysically. Be no more willing to suffer the illusion that you are sick or that some disease is developing in the system, than you are willing to suffer giving into a sinful temptation on the ground that sin has its necessities.

The eternal Truth destroys what human beings have learned from error, and our real selfhood comes to light. Truth lived is eternal life. Human beings can never advance from the temporal debris of error—belief in sin, sickness, and death—until we learn that God is the only Life. We progress out of the thinking that life and sensation are in the body by understanding what constitutes ourselves as the image of God, and then Spirit will have overcome the flesh.

Science reveals Spirit, Soul, as reflected by spiritual beings. God is not in a body, but God is reflected by spiritual beings. The belief that the eternal can be constrained in the temporal is an error that creates problems. A leading point in the Science of Soul is that Principle is not controlled by its idea. Spirit, Soul, has never been confined to human beings, and is never in matter. If we reason from effect to cause, we will believe God created matter, and sure enough, material existence becomes a mystery. We cannot interpret Spirit, Mind, through matter, because matter does not really see, hear, or feel. So, improve the thought process; reason from cause to effect and Spirit will be found giving the true mental idea.

Reasoning from cause to effect in the Science of Mind, we begin with Mind, which must be understood through the idea which expresses it and cannot be learned from matter.

Question. What is the scientific statement of being?

Answer. There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is divine Truth; matter is human error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and we are Spirit’s image and likeness. Therefore person is not mortal, but is immortal.

*Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

** Text from 21st Century Science and Health,5th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

[1] Rom. 8:6

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