April 20, 2016

bible study imageSubject: Seeing neighbors through the eyes of Grace

Golden text: II Timothy 4:22*

The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.

Luke 10: 25-29

And behold, a lawyer stood up to put [Jesus] to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

From 21st Century Science and Health

Love is not in a hurry to rescue us from temptation, for Love means that we shall be tested and purified.

On an individual and collective mission, Jesus’ lifework was done in justice to himself and in mercy to humanity. Jesus gave an excellent example of reconciliation, however, he did not do our work for us. Jesus showed us how to be responsible for our own thoughts and actions. He acted boldly, not only against the self-authorized evidence of human perceptions, but also Pharisaical dogma and practices.

It is “easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle,”[1] than for materialist convictions to enter the kingdom of heaven, eternal harmony. 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.”[2] Denying the claims of matter/energy is taking an important step toward the joys of Spirit, toward human freedom and the final triumph over the body.

People can learn to distinguish between fake happiness and true. We can feel the pleasure of loving unselfishly, working patiently, and conquering all that is unlike God as we highly value spiritual perceptions.

Luke 10: 29-37

But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

To love our neighbor’s spiritual nature as we love our own spirituality, is a divine idea; but this idea can never be seen, felt, or understood through the physical senses. Excite the organ of admiration or religious faith and a person manifests profound adoration. Excite the feelings of anger or pessimism and the person curses God. These effects, however, do not proceed from spirituality. Idolization and irreverence are both a spin-off of mortal belief.

People are more than a material shell with a mind stuck inside. Spirituality is more than a soul trying to escape a human experience in order to be immortal. We reflect infinity, and this reflection is the true idea of God.

Allow unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, and love to control your mind and body. As the kingdom of heaven is found within, then sin, disease, and death will diminish until they finally disappear.

The divine law of loving our neighbor as ourselves unfolds as we realize that there is one Mind. On the flip side, a belief in many ruling minds hinders humanity’s advancement toward the one Mind, one God. The assumption that there are numerous minds takes us down dead end roads where selfishness dominates.

Isaiah 30: 15-19

For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel,
“In returning and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
But you were unwilling, 16 and you said,
“No! We will flee upon horses”;
therefore you shall flee away;
and, “We will ride upon swift steeds”;
therefore your pursuers shall be swift.
17 A thousand shall flee at the threat of one;
at the threat of five you shall flee,
till you are left
like a flagstaff on the top of a mountain,
like a signal on a hill.

18 Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you,
and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
blessed are all those who wait for him.

19 For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Were it more fully understood that Truth heals and error causes disease, maybe opponents of a demonstrable Science would mercifully withhold their harmful misrepresentations. Until the opponents of divine Science test its efficacy according to its rules, which reveal its usefulness or uselessness, it would be fair to observe the Scriptural precept, “Do not judge.”[3]

The miracle of grace is not a miracle to Love. Jesus demonstrated the inability of the human body, as well as the infinite ability of Spirit. This helps the inconsistent human consciousness abandon its own convictions and seek safety in divine Science. Reason, rightly directed, serves to correct the errors of fleshly sense. Sin, sickness, and death will continue to seem real (even as the experiences of the sleeping dream seem real) until the Science of man and woman’s harmony breaks their illusion with the unbroken reality of scientific being.

Question. What is God?

Answer. God is bodiless, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love.

Question. Are these terms synonymous?

Answer. They are. They refer to one absolute God. They are also intended to express the nature, essence, and fullness of Almighty God. The attributes of God are justice, mercy, integrity, wisdom, goodness, and so on.

DNA surely does not possess Mind or a consciousness. God is the life or intelligence which forms and preserves the individuality, consciousness, and identity of the universe, of people, and of animals.

Galatians 6:1-6

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.

Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches.

From 21st Century Science and Health

As people lose all satisfaction in error and in idle thinking, they find satisfaction in Soul-sense.

Whether mortals learn of Soul-sense sooner or later depends on the tenacity of mistaken mindsets. Until we learn of Soul-sense, we suffer from attachment to material based pleasures and pains.

Looking to Soul, and not human evidence, we will become aware of people’s true nature.

Teaching or practicing in the name of Truth, but contrary to its spirit or rule, is most dangerous quackery. Strict adherence to the divine Principle and rules of the scientific method has secured the only success of the students of divine Science. Only this on-going integrity is worthy of prominence in the community, worthy of a reputation experimentally justified by the people’s efforts.

Genuine faith relies on an understood Principle. An understood Principle releases people from problems, and reveals the self-perpetuating and harmonious phases of everything. These teachings are confirmed by healing.

*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] Matt. 19:24; Mark 10:25; Luke 18:25

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

[3] Matt. 7:1; Luke 6:37; John 7:24

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