December 28, 2016

bible study imageSubject: Good

Golden text: Psalm 4:6*

There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!”

Matthew 19:16-30

 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

23 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 27 Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

From 21st Century Science and Health**

Human mind must part with error, must put off itself with its deeds, and then spirituality, the Christ ideal, will appear. Faith should enlarge its borders and strengthen its foundation by resting on Spirit instead of matter.

Heaven is not a locality, but a divine state of Mind in which all the manifestations of Mind are harmonious and immortal because sin is not there and God’s person is found having no self-righteousness, but is in possession of “the mind of the Lord,”[1] as the Scripture say.

I Timothy 1:5-11 (The Message)

The whole point of what we’re urging is simply love—love uncontaminated by self-interest and counterfeit faith, a life open to God. Those who fail to keep to this point soon wander off into cul-de-sacs of gossip. They set themselves up as experts on religious issues, but haven’t the remotest idea of what they’re holding forth with such imposing eloquence.

8-11 It’s true that moral guidance and counsel need to be given, but the way you say it and to whom you say it are as important as what you say. It’s obvious, isn’t it, that the law code isn’t primarily for people who live responsibly, but for the irresponsible, who defy all authority, riding roughshod over God, life, sex, truth, whatever! They are contemptuous of this great Message I’ve been put in charge of by this great God.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Human beings assume that they can live without goodness, when God is good and the only real Life. What is the result? They understand little about the divine Principle which saves and heals, and they get rid of sin, sickness, and death only in the temporal imagination. These errors thereby are not really destroyed. All that is unlike God will taint mortals until, here or hereafter, they gain the true understanding of God in the Science which destroys human delusions and reveals the grand realities of Spirit’s allness.

Acts 14:8-18

 Now at Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet. He was crippled from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, 10 said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he sprang up and began walking. 11 And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds. 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out, 15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. 16 In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. 17 Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” 18 Even with these words they scarcely restrained the people from offering sacrifice to them.

From 21st Century Science and Health

The five physical senses are the avenues and instruments of human error. The limited senses bear witness to the entrenched human belief that life, substance, and intelligence is a mixture of the temporal and the eternal. This thinking constantly campaigns for error and carries within itself the seeds of all error.

Students of divine Science, who start with its letter and think to succeed without the spirit, will either weaken their faith or get sadly off course. They must not only seek, but strive, to enter the narrow path of Life, “for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it.”[2] We walk in the direction toward which we look, and where our gratification is, there will our heart be also. If our hopes and inclinations are spiritual, they come from enlightenment, not from trained thinking, and they produce the fruits of the Spirit.[3]

Psalm 52

Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man? The steadfast love of God endures all the day.
Your tongue plots destruction, like a sharp razor, you worker of deceit.
You love evil more than good, and lying more than speaking what is right. Selah
You love all words that devour, O deceitful tongue.

But God will break you down forever; he will snatch and tear you from your tent;
he will uproot you from the land of the living. Selah
The righteous shall see and fear, and shall laugh at him, saying,
“See the man who would not make God his refuge, but trusted in the abundance of his riches
and sought refuge in his own destruction!”

But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God
forever and ever.
I will thank you forever, because you have done it. I will wait for your name, for it is good,
in the presence of the godly.

From 21st Century Science and Health

People don’t die young because they occupy the most important jobs and perform the most vital functions in society. If leading thinkers and doers die young, it’s not because they occupied an important position. Think of Anglo-Irish explorer Ernest Shackelton,[4] and his expedition crew, who all survived overwhelming adversity in their 1914–1916 Antarctic expedition. Persons who act on integrity and goodness do not pay severe penalties. By adhering to the realities of spirituality—instead of reading studies on the inconsistent assumption that death comes in obedience to the law of life, and that God punishes people for doing good—one cannot suffer as the result of any labor of love, but grows stronger because of it. It is a law of so-called human mind, misnamed matter, which causes all things discordant.

The history of Christianity furnishes sublime proofs of the supporting influence and protecting power bestowed on us by our heavenly Father-Mother. Omnipotent Mind gives us faith and understanding whereby to safeguard our self, not only from temptation, but also from bodily suffering.

Here is a summary of four fundamental propositions of divine metaphysics. To me, they are self-evident. The propositions agree in statement and proof even if reversed.

  1. God is All-in-all.
  2. God is good. Good is Mind.
  3. God, Spirit, being all, nothing is matter.
  4. Life, God, omnipotent good, deny death, evil, sin, disease. Disease, sin, evil, death, deny good, omnipotent God, Life.

The dream that human mind and error are real or permanent must yield to reason and enlightenment. Then human beings will perceive the insubstantiality of sin and sickness, and sin and sickness will disappear from consciousness. The harmonious will appear real and the inharmonious will become extinct.

The false claim of error continues its delusions until the goal of goodness is steadfastly earned and won.

Immortal and divine Mind presents the idea of God: first, in light (enlightenment), second, in reflection, third, in spiritual and immortal forms of beauty and goodness.

*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] I Cor. 2:16

[2] Matt. 7:13 (NRSV)

[3] Gal. 5:22

[4] Ernest Shackleton (1874–1922) Irish explorer.

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