March 2, 2016

bible study imageSubject: Individuals and individuality

Golden text: I Corinthians 12:27

 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

Genesis 42: 1-8

When Jacob learned that there was grain for sale in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you look at one another?” And he said, “Behold, I have heard that there is grain for sale in Egypt. Go down and buy grain for us there, that we may live and not die.” So ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain in Egypt. But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, with his brothers, for he feared that harm might happen to him. Thus the sons of Israel came to buy among the others who came, for the famine was in the land of Canaan.

Now Joseph was governor over the land. He was the one who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed themselves before him with their faces to the ground. Joseph saw his brothers and recognized them, but he treated them like strangers and spoke roughly to them. “Where do you come from?” he said. They said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food.” And Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him.

From 21st Century Science and Health

As human beings do not comprehend even mortal existence, they must be ignorant of the all-knowing Mind and of the creation of Spirit.

Physical sense creates its own forms of thought, and gives the forms imaginative titles, before worshiping and fearing them.

Human mind is unaware of its false ego or it could never be self-deceived. If this mortal mind knew how to be better, it would. When human mind tries to believe in something besides itself, it only promotes its own image as deity, thereby becoming an idolater. Out of the necessity to maintain its identity the human mind has other gods and believes in more than one Mind.

God doesn’t have a human personality, but is the One Person, reflected uniquely by individual ideas, therefore, a very close personal relationship can be felt. Our personal relationship with Principle is higher and grander than human mortal friendships which are often selective, exclusive, or fickle.

If we allow the same reality to discord as to harmony, discord has as lasting a claim on us as harmony. If evil is as real as good, evil is also immortal. If death is as real as Life, immortality is a myth. If pain is as real as the absence of pain, both must be immortal; and if so, harmony cannot be the law of being.

Only as the mortal, false mind yields to God or spiritual Mind, is our identity found in the image of Love.

You will not lose your identity through the understanding which Science gives. The possibility of a lost identity is more absurd than to conclude that individual musical tones are lost in a grand symphony.

Genesis 45: 1-15

Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him. He cried, “Make everyone go out from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept aloud, so that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence.

So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” And they came near. And he said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; do not tarry. 10 You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, and your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. 11 There I will provide for you, for there are yet five years of famine to come, so that you and your household, and all that you have, do not come to poverty.’ 12 And now your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see, that it is my mouth that speaks to you. 13 You must tell my father of all my honor in Egypt, and of all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.” 14 Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them. After that his brothers talked with him.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Right and wrong, truth and error will be at strife in the minds of students, until victory rests on the side of invincible truth.

Individual characteristics are understood in, and formed by, Spirit, not by mortal genes and environments. Whatever reflects Mind, Life, Truth, and Love, is spiritually conceived and brought forth, but the statements that person is conceived and evolved eternally and temporarily, or by both God and human beings, contradicts that eternal truth. All the vanity of the ages can never make contraries true. Divine Science obliterates the illusion that life or mind is formed by, or is in, the temporal body.

Teach your students that they must know their own self before they can know others and minister to human needs. Honesty is spiritual power. Dishonesty is human weakness, which forfeits divine help. You uncover sin, not in order to hurt, but in order to bless the human being; and a right motive has its reward.

The consciousness and individuality of person is the reflection of God; the emanation of Person who is Life, Truth, and Love. Immortal person is not and never was humanistic, but always spiritual and eternal.

The spiritual universe, including individual person, is a united idea, reflecting the divine substance of Spirit.

Matthew 16: 13-19

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

Jesus didn’t assume a mortal selfhood. It was his spirituality that made it possible for Jesus to heal the sick, drive out evil, and raise the dead. His spiritual identity was distinct from the unspiritual minded and this caused the selfish materialist to hate him.

Lack of immortal awareness, which is identical to intentional wrong, is not Science. Ignorance must be seen and corrected before we can reach harmony. Chaotic and contradictory beliefs commit identity theft, giving matter the identity of Mind. These beliefs also set their own imaginations up as all-important (even as heroes), and thereby isolate themselves to, or confine themselves in, what they create.

Some individuals realize truth more readily than others, but any student, who remains true to the divine rules of spiritual Science and becomes one with the spirit of Christ, can demonstrate Science, overcome error, heal the sick, and add continually to their supply of spiritual understanding, power, enlightenment, and success.

Jesus understood individuality, whose Life is God, to be spiritual. He knew that God’s children do not have an outer shell and an inner being, one to be destroyed and the other to be made indestructible.

Our individual expression of Soul manifests God’s attributes and power, just as the human likeness seen in a mirror repeats the color, form, and action of the person in front of the mirror. Our spirituality reflects Spirit.

The universe of Spirit is peopled with spiritual beings, and its government is divine Science. Man and woman are the offspring of the highest qualities of Mind. We understand spiritual existence in proportion to our understanding of Truth and Love. Humans must gravitate Godward. Humans will become more humane as their desires and aims grow spiritual. As sin and mortality are discardeddiscarded, human beings catch the broader interpretations of being and secure a lasting sense of the infinite.

The approach of divine Science is to recognize the spiritual identity of people and to see and understand God’s creation―all the glories of earth and heaven and its inhabitants.

There is but one I, or Us, but one divine Principle, or Mind, governing all existence; people unchanged forever in their individual characters, even as numbers which never blend with each other, though they are controlled by one Principle.

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