February 1, 2017

bible study imageSubject: Faith

Golden text: I Thessalonians 5:8*

But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.

Judges 6:1, 7, 11-15

The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord gave them into the hand of Midian seven years.

When the people of Israel cried out to the Lord on account of the Midianites, the Lord sent a prophet to the people of Israel.

11 Now the angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites. 12 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” 13 And Gideon said to him, “Please, my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.” 14 And the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?” 15 And he said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”

From 21st Century Science and Health**

Mental poverty alienates faith and understanding.

Every test of our faith in God makes us stronger. The more difficult seems the fleshly condition to be overcome by Spirit, the stronger should be our faith and the purer our love.

It is fatal to believe that error is as real as Truth or that evil is equal in power to good if not superior. Misperceptions not only work against the hope of being free from sickness and sin, but also depress the inspiration that encourages perfection. When we come to have more faith in the truth of being than we have in error, more faith in Spirit than in matter, more faith in living than in dying, more faith in spiritual being than in human beings, then no material suppositions can prevent us from healing the sick and destroying error.

Judges 7: 1-9

Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him rose early and encamped beside the spring of Harod. And the camp of Midian was north of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley.

The Lord said to Gideon, “The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’ Now therefore proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return home and hurry away from Mount Gilead.’” Then 22,000 of the people returned, and 10,000 remained.

And the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many. Take them down to the water, and I will test them for you there, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ shall go with you, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ shall not go.” So he brought the people down to the water. And the Lord said to Gideon, “Every one who laps the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set by himself. Likewise, every one who kneels down to drink.” And the number of those who lapped, putting their hands to their mouths, was 300 men, but all the rest of the people knelt down to drink water. And the Lord said to Gideon, “With the 300 men who lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hand, and let all the others go every man to his home.” So the people took provisions in their hands, and their trumpets. And he sent all the rest of Israel every man to his tent, but retained the 300 men. And the camp of Midian was below him in the valley.

That same night the Lord said to him, “Arise, go down against the camp, for I have given it into your hand.

From 21st Century Science and Health

We must realize the ability of mental might to offset human misconceptions and to replace them with the life which is spiritual, not limited.

Physical sense never helps human beings understand Spirit. Through spiritual sense only, we comprehend and love the Almighty.

Judges 7: 16-21

16 And he divided the 300 men into three companies and put trumpets into the hands of all of them and empty jars, with torches inside the jars. 17 And he said to them, “Look at me, and do likewise. When I come to the outskirts of the camp, do as I do. 18 When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then blow the trumpets also on every side of all the camp and shout, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon.’”

19 So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outskirts of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, when they had just set the watch. And they blew the trumpets and smashed the jars that were in their hands. 20 Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the jars. They held in their left hands the torches, and in their right hands the trumpets to blow. And they cried out, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” 21 Every man stood in his place around the camp, and all the army ran. They cried out and fled.

Hebrews 11:32-35

And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection.

From 21st Century Science and Health

When the divine precepts are understood, they reveal cooperation between creatures, because we all have one Spirit, God, one intelligent source, compatible to the Scriptural command: “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.”[1] We, and our Maker have a reciprocal relationship in divine Science, and real consciousness is cognizant only of the things of God.

Once it is realized that disorder is illusory, a new perspective comes into light. Objects and thoughts are presented to the human view as beautiful and spiritually substantial. Harmony in us is as real and immortal as in music.

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.

Spirit, Mind forms its own images, subdivides and radiates their borrowed light or intelligence, and so explains the Scripture paraphrase, the seed is in itself. Thus God’s ideas “increase in number” and “fill the earth.”[2] Divine Mind supports the resplendency, magnitude, and infinitude of Her spiritual work.

Mark 2: 1-5, 11-12

And when [Jesus] returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

11 “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.”

12 And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”

From 21st Century Science and Health

We should remember that Life is God, and that God is omnipotent. To forget that God is our Life, is unconsciously to enable suffering instead of contradict it. Not understanding divine Science, the sick usually have little faith in it until they feel its altruistic influence. This shows that faith is not the healer in such cases. The sick admit the reality of affliction, whereas, they should defy it. We should stand up against the testimony of the deceitful senses, while maintaining our spirituality and ongoing likeness to God.

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.

Truth and error seem to be in conflict. Remember though, the contention is only the mental conflict between the evidence of the spiritual perceptions and the testimony of the human imprints. Through faith in, and the understanding of divine Love, the battle between Spirit and flesh will settle all questions.

Superstition and understanding can never unite. When the final physical and moral effects of divine Science are fully understood, the conflict between truth and error, understanding and belief, Science and material sense, will cease, and spiritual harmony will prevail. This harmony was predicted by the prophets and introduced by Jesus. The lightning and thunderbolts of error burst and flash, but the clouds will clear and the tumult will die away in the distance. Then the raindrops of divinity refresh the earth.

Realities dawn in faith and glow full-orbed in spiritual understanding.

*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] Phil. 2:5

[2] Gen. 1:28

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