February 24, 2016

bible study imageSubject: Christ Jesus

Golden text: John 1:17*

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

From 21st Century Science and Health**

As the individual ideal of Truth, Christ Jesus came to help us unlearn false teachings, sickness, and death. The purpose of Jesus’ earthly career was to point out and demonstrate the way of Truth and Life. Jesus showed the difference between the offspring of Soul and of fleshly sense, of Truth and of error.

Revelation 21:1-8

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

From Science and Health

The Revelator had not yet passed the transitional stage in human experience called death, but he already saw a new heaven and a new earth. How did this vision come to John? The spiritual interpretation of heaven and earth didn’t come through the physical visual organs for seeing, for human optics is inadequate to take in so wonderful a scene.

When governed by God, the ever-present Mind who understands all things, we know that with God all things are possible. One example, of this way to living Truth which heals the sick, is found in the Science of divine Mind as taught and demonstrated by Christ Jesus.

To reduce inflammation, dissolve a tumor, or cure disease, I have found divine Truth more potent than all temporal remedies. And why not, since Mind, God, is the source and condition of all existence? Before deciding that the body (molecular organization) is disordered, it would be better to ask, “Who indeed are you, a human being, to argue with God? Will what is molded say to the one who molds it, ‘Why have you made me like this?’”[1] Matter, which can neither suffer nor enjoy, has no partnership with pain and pleasure, but human belief has such a partnership.

Christ Jesus was an excellent example. Like him, the healer should speak to disease as having authority over it, leaving Soul to prevail over the false evidences of the physical senses and to assert Spirit’s claims over mortality and disease. The same Principle cures both sin and sickness. When divine Science overcomes faith in a fleshly mind; and faith in God destroys all faith in temporal thinking and methods of healing, then sin, disease, and death will disappear.

Revelation 21:9-19

Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12 It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed— 13 on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15 And the one who spoke with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. 16 The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width. And he measured the city with his rod, 12,000 stadia. Its length and width and height are equal. 17 He also measured its wall, 144 cubits by human measurement, which is also an angel’s measurement. 18 The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, like clear glass. 19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel.

From Science and Health

This ministry of Truth, this message from divine Love, carried John away in spirit. It exalted him until he became conscious of the spiritual facts of being and the “New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God”[2]—until he became aware of the spiritual outpouring of bliss and glory, which he describes as the city which “was laid out like a square.”[3] The beauty of this text is that the sum total of human misery, represented by the seven angelic vials full of seven plagues, has full compensation in the law of Love. Note this, that the very message, or swift-winged thought which poured forth hatred and torment, brought also the experience which at last lifted the seer to behold the great city, the four equal sides of which were heaven-given and heaven-giving.

Spiritual sense discerns the Principle and proof of the manifestation of God. Jesus was instrumental in setting forth Principle. His Christ-like proofs showed—by healing the sick, driving out evils, and destroying death (“the last enemy to be destroyed”[4]), his disregard of human mind and its fragmented laws.

Christ Jesus overruled the mistake which would impose penalties for transgressing physical laws of health. He annulled laws of physics which only have human approval for their validation. Laws of matter have no divine authority.

If half the attention given to hygiene were given to the study of divine Science and to the spiritualization of thought, this alone would usher in the millennium. Skin exfoliates or scrubs used to remove unhealthy secretions or add a healthy look, receive a useful rebuke from Jesus’ precept, “Do not worry…about your body.”[5] We must beware of making clean merely the “outside of the cup and dish.”[6]

People who haven’t been inundated with health laws are more receptive to spiritual power and faith in one God. People who are devoted to supposed health laws, and who think they need to teach others these contradictory laws, would be better off considering the health laws “more honored in the breach than the observance”?[7] A patient thoroughly booked in medical theories is more difficult to heal through Mind than one who is not. This verifies Jesus’ saying: “Anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”[8]

Revelation 21: 21-27

21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

22 And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, 25 and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. 26 They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. 27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

From Science and Health

There was no temple—that is, no material structure in which to worship God, for Principle must be worshipped in spirit and in love. The word temple also means body. The Revelator was familiar with Jesus’ use of this word, as when Jesus spoke of his physical body as the temple to be temporarily rebuilt. What further indication than this do we need of our spirituality? John saw heaven and earth, but “did not see a temple [body] in the city.”[9] This kingdom of God “is within you,”[10] is within reach of people’s consciousness here, and the spiritual idea reveals it. In divine Science, people consciously possess this recognition of harmony as they continue to understand God.

To understand all of Jesus’ sayings as recorded in the New Testament, followers must advance into that stature of selfhood in Christ Jesus which enables them to interpret the ongoing vital spiritual meaning. Spiritual understanding knows how Truth dissolves error and heals the sick. Jesus’ words were the offspring of his deeds, both of which must be understood. Unless the works are comprehended which his words explained, the words are blind.

In divine Science, person is the true image of God. The divine nature was skillfully personified by Christ Jesus, who shed light on a powerful concept of God. He shifted the people’s thought to experience something better than what they had been trained to think was normal. Jesus served to remove the stereotypical view of people as sinners, destined to be sick and dying. The Christ-like understanding of scientific being and divine healing includes a perfect Principle and idea―complete God and complete person―as the basis of thought and demonstration.

*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 9:20; Isa. 29:16; Isa. 45:9 (NRSV)

[2] Rev. 21:2

[3] Rev. 21:16

[4] I Cor. 15:26

[5] Matt. 6:25; Luke 12:22

[6] Matt. 23:25; Luke 11:39

[7] Shakespeare, William (1564–1616) Hamlet, Act 1, iv.

[8] Mark 10:15; Luke 18:17

[9] Rev. 21:22 (Brackets added by Mary Baker Eddy)

[10] Luke 17:21

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