June 6, 2018

bible study imageSubject: Neighbors

Golden text: Romans 15:2*

Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.

Exodus 3:15-22

 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations. 16 Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt, 17 and I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey.”’ 18 And they will listen to your voice, and you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; and now, please let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.’ 19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand. 20 So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all the wonders that I will do in it; after that he will let you go. 21 And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and when you go, you shall not go empty, 22 but each woman shall ask of her neighbor, and any woman who lives in her house, for silver and gold jewelry, and for clothing. You shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.”

From 21st Century Science and Health**

To reconstruct timid justice and place the fact above the falsehood, is the work of time.

Insisting on the evidence or indulging the demands of wrongdoing, disease, or loss, we virtually work against the control of Mind over body and deny the power of Mind to heal. This misdirected method is as though the defendant should argue for the plaintiff in favor of a decision which the defendant knows will be turned against the plaintiff.

Material wealth, fame, and social organizations have no authority or influence in the presence of God. We attain clearer views of Principle as we break up cliques, level monetary wealth with honesty, and let worth be judged according to wisdom. We also get better views of humanity as we remove ourselves from biased personal perceptions.

Matthew 5:2, 43-45

And [Jesus] opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

From 21st Century Science and Health

The first requirement of this Science is, “You shall have no other gods before me.”[1] This me is Spirit. Therefore, the command means this: You shall have no intelligence, no life, no substance, no truth, and no love, except the unlimited. The second command, you shall “love your neighbor as yourself”[2] is like the first.

It should be thoroughly understood that all people have one Mind, one God and Parent, one Life, Truth, and Love. The fulfillment of real identities will be realized as that fact is understood.

Science reveals Spirit, Soul, as reflected by spiritual beings. Soul is not in a body but is reflected by spiritual beings. The belief that the eternal reality can be constrained in relative matter is an error that creates problems. A leading point in the Science of Soul is that Principle is not controlled by its idea. Spirit, Soul, has never been confined to human beings. If we reason from effect to cause, we will believe God created mortal humans, and sure enough, physical existence and God becomes a mystery. We cannot interpret Spirit, Mind, through inconsistent perceptions, different for different people. So, improve the thought process; reason from cause to effect and Spirit will be found giving the true mental perception.

Reasoning from cause to effect in the Science of Mind, we begin with Mind, which must be understood through the idea which expresses it and cannot be learned from changeable ideas. We arrive at Truth or intelligence, which evolves its own complete idea, when we don’t equate reality with human illusions. If Soul sinned, it would be mortal. Sin is mortal because it kills itself. If Truth is immortal, error must be mortal, because error is unlike Truth. Because Soul is immortal, Soul cannot sin, for sin is not the reality of being.

Proverbs 11:10-14

When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices,
and when the wicked perish there are shouts of gladness.
11 By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
but by the mouth of the wicked it is overthrown.
12 Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense,
but a man of understanding remains silent.
13 Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets,
but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.
14 Where there is no guidance, a people falls,
but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.

From 21st Century Science and Health

There is great danger in teaching Mind-healing indiscriminately, thus disregarding the morals of the student and caring only for the payments. Recall words that have been credited to Thomas Jefferson concerning slavery, “I tremble, when I remember that God is just.”[3] I tremble whenever I see a person, for the petty reward of money, teaching his or her slight knowledge of Mind-power—increasing the probability of communicating the teacher’s own bad morals. This sad state deals pitilessly with a community unprepared for self-defense.

The great miracle to human sense is divine Love, and the grand purpose of life is to gain the true idea of what constitutes the kingdom of heaven in us. This goal is never reached while we hate our neighbor or get hung up on a person whom God has appointed to voice His Word. The message, not the messenger is crucial, and this correct sense allows us to see the highest visible idea and understand its divine Principle.

We have a difficult time glimpsing God when distracted by measurable, fluctuating energy. By adjusting the out-of-tune thinking and getting in tune with Truth, we then can perceive the divine image in some word or deed, which indicates the true idea—the supremacy and reality of good, the nothingness and unreality of evil.

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.

Selfishness pushes the weight of human existence toward the side of error, not toward Truth. Denial of the oneness of Mind causes our energy to veer into the gutter of mortality, rather than stay on track with Spirit, good.

When we fully understand our relation to the Divine, we can have no other Mind—no other Love, wisdom, or Truth; we are conscious of divine Life, and with that divine relationship there is no sense or consciousness of beginnings and endings, starts and stops, comings and goings.

It is only productive to exercise human will-power in subordination to Truth. Human-will has the tendency to misguide our decisions and bring out inferior tendencies. Mistaken human wills injure our self and others. It is the function of spiritual sense to direct us aright.

Human will-power is liable to all evil. The willfulness of human mind can never heal the sick. Contrastingly, the exercise of spirituality—hope, faith, love—is the prayer of the righteous. The healing prayer is governed by Science instead of personal mortal senses.

James 4:10-12

10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

11 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

From 21st Century Science and Health

Our intuitive perception discerns essential facts. Science enables a person to read the human mind, but not as a clairvoyant. Science enables one to heal through Mind, but not as a hypnotist.

The computer doesn’t know what software programs are installed on its hardware. Outer-space isn’t aware of the comets propelling through its atmosphere. The sea is unaware of the oil buried under its waters. Yet this stuff is all there. Do not assume that any mental concept is gone because you do not think of it. The strong impressions produced on human mind by friendships or any intense feelings are lasting, and mind-readers can perceive and reproduce these impressions. The true concept is never lost.

Human mind is the worst enemy of the body, while divine Mind is its best friend.

Luke 15:3, 8-10

So [Jesus] told them this parable:

“[W]hat woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ 10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

As the individual ideal of Truth, Christ Jesus came to help us unlearn false teachings and destructive behaviors. 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.

Some people condemn Christian Science because Science and Health refers to God as Principle. Misleading comments are made such as, “It is therefore important to remember that Eddy never believed in a personal God nor does any true Christian Scientist today.”[4] God doesn’t have a human personality, but is the One Person, reflected uniquely by individual ideas, therefore, a very close personal relationship to Love can be felt. Our personal relationship with Principle is higher and grander than human mortal friendships which are often unreliable, biased, or fragile.

Effective repentance reforms thinking and enables human beings to do the will of wisdom. We feel secure in God’s goodness when we try to demonstrate, even a little bit at a time, the divine Principle of the teachings and practice of the Teacher.

*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, 6th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

[1] Ex. 20:3; Deut. 5:7

[2] Matt. 19:19, 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; Rom. 13:9; Gal. 5:14; James 2:8

[3] Jefferson, Thomas (1743–1826) Political philosopher. Founding Father. Principal author of Declaration of Independence. The third President of the United States.

[4] Martin, Walter, and Zacharias, Ravi, The Kingdom of the Cults, Revised and Updated and Expanded Edition. Minnesota: Bethany House, 2003.

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