August 29, 2018

bible study imageSubject: Adoption

Golden text: Ephesians 1:3-5 (The Message)

How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ.

Act 7:2-8 *

And Stephen said:

“Brothers and fathers, hear me. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, and said to him, ‘Go out from your land and from your kindred and go into the land that I will show you.’ Then he went out from the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran. And after his father died, God removed him from there into this land in which you are now living. Yet he gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot’s length, but promised to give it to him as a possession and to his offspring after him, though he had no child. And God spoke to this effect—that his offspring would be sojourners in a land belonging to others, who would enslave them and afflict them four hundred years. ‘But I will judge the nation that they serve,’ said God, ‘and after that they shall come out and worship me in this place.’ And he gave him the covenant of circumcision. And so Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day, and Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs [including Joseph].

21st Century Science and Health**

The whole human family can be redeemed through the excellence of Christ—through the perception and acceptance of Truth. For this magnificent result, Christian or divine Science lights the torch of spiritual understanding.

The Scriptures are sacred. Our aim must be to have them understood spiritually, for only by this understanding can truth be gained. The true theory of the universe, including person, is not in material history but in spiritual development. Inspired thought, call it mental evolution or ascension, relinquishes changeable, superficial, mortal theories of the universe and adopts the spiritual and immortal.

It is this spiritual perception of Scripture which lifts humanity out of disease and death and inspires faith.

Acts 7:9-13

 “And the patriarchs, jealous of Joseph, sold him into Egypt; but God was with him 10 and rescued him out of all his afflictions and gave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who made him ruler over Egypt and over all his household. 11 Now there came a famine throughout all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction, and our fathers could find no food. 12 But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent out our fathers on their first visit. 13 And on the second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and Joseph’s family became known to Pharaoh.

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. Mental freedom follows the explanation of Truth and an improved state is won; but with some individuals the morbid moral or physical symptoms constantly reappear. I have never witnessed so decided effects from the use of temporary remedies as from the use of spiritual.

We dirty our garments with conservatism and afterward we must wash them clean. When the spiritual sense of Truth unfolds its harmonies, you take no risks in the policy of error. Expect to heal simply by repeating my words, by right talking and wrong acting, and you will be disappointed. Such a practice does not demonstrate the Science by which divine Mind heals the sick.

Acting from bad motives destroys your power to heal from the right motive. On the other hand, if you had the inclination or power to practice destructively and then should adopt divine Science, the wrong power can be destroyed. We do not deny the mathematician’s right to distinguish between correct and incorrect mathematical answers; we do not refuse to believe the musicians ability to distinguish harmony from discord; in like manner, it should be granted that I understand what I am saying.

Acts 7:14-22

14 And Joseph sent and summoned Jacob his father and all his kindred, seventy-five persons in all. 15 And Jacob went down into Egypt, and he died, he and our fathers, 16 and they were carried back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a sum of silver from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.

17 “But as the time of the promise drew near, which God had granted to Abraham, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt 18 until there arose over Egypt another king who did not know Joseph. 19 He dealt shrewdly with our race and forced our fathers to expose their infants, so that they would not be kept alive. 20 At this time Moses was born; and he was beautiful in God’s sight. And he was brought up for three months in his father’s house, 21 and when he was exposed, Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him and brought him up as her own son. 22 And Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was mighty in his words and deeds.

21st Century Science and Health

From the infinite One in divine Science comes one Principle and its infinite idea. From this infinite one Source comes spiritual rules, laws, and their demonstration. It is “the same yesterday and today and forever.”[1]

Divine Science is demonstrable. There is one suitable arrangement of ideas in its teaching. Those who depart from this approach forfeit their claims to belong to its Science. A student of Christian Science does not adhere to a doctrinal system, and does not adhere to teachings peculiar to a human organization or philosopher. In other words, there is no adherence to, or adoption of, the opinions of Socrates, Plato, Jean-Paul Sartre, Michel Foucault, or some other thinker. Although the opinions of great thinkers have gleams of divinity, borrowed from that truly divine Science which eschews human-made teaching practices, these opinions remain human in their origin and tendency and are not scientifically Christ-like.

Truth has furnished the key to the kingdom, and with this key Christian Science has opened the door of the human understanding. None may pick the lock or enter by some other door. The secular teachings are material and not spiritual. Christian Science teaches that which is spiritual and divine. Spiritual sense is unmistaken; whereas, human personal perceptions make mistakes.

Bear in mind, people who adopt New Age techniques, mysticism, or hypnotism, may be more spiritual than individuals who shun or avoid their practices. Therefore, my contest is not with those practitioners, but with the false systems. I love humanity, and will continue to labor and to endure.

Acts 7:37-40

37 This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers.’ 38 This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our fathers. He received living oracles to give to us. 39 Our fathers refused to obey him, but thrust him aside, and in their hearts they turned to Egypt, 40 saying to Aaron, ‘Make for us gods who will go before us.

Psalms 77:16, 19-20

When the waters saw you, O God,
when the waters saw you, they were afraid;
indeed, the deep trembled.

19 Your way was through the sea,
your path through the great waters;
yet your footprints were unseen.
20 You led your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

21st Century Science and Health

The loss of earthly hopes and pleasures brightens the spiritual path.

The life of false egos is found to have no resemblance to divine Life. Its false claims are fickle implications of an existence which ends in quitting. Mistaken mentalities charge their lies to Truth and repeats: “The Lord knows false egos and allowed dysfunction.” But, what’s happening here is that error is participating in its own nature, regurgitating its own false nature. If we believe dysfunction is a part of God’s eternity, our spiritual path will be full of obstacles. If we regard Mind as both reliable and unreliable, then every sin or fleeting pain and pleasure seems normal.

The term Lord, as used in the Old Testament, is often synonymous with Yahweh, and expresses a rudimental human concept not yet elevated to deific understanding through spiritual transfiguration. Yet the word Lord gradually approaches a higher significance, as the human mind’s concept of God yields to diviner meaning. The human mind’s sense of personality admits a more expansive thought of God and us as the infinite Principle and infinite idea—as one Father-Mother with a universal family held in the gospel of Love. The Lamb’s wife presents the unity of male and female as no longer two wedded individuals, but as two individual natures in one; and this compounded spiritual individuality reflects God as Father-Mother, not as a physical being. In this divinely united spiritual consciousness, there is no impediment to eternal happiness, no inhibition to the perfectibility of God’s creation.

What establishes Life? Does Life begin with human mind or with divine Mind? Is Life sustained by material molecules or by Spirit? Certainly not by both, since flesh wars against Spirit and the flesh can take no cognizance of Spirit. At no point does the theory of mortal life resemble the scientific record of spiritual beings, as described in the first chapter of Genesis. Did God at first create one person unaided, but afterward require Adam or the union of the two sexes to produce more children? Did God then require In Vitro Fertilization to sustain the human family? No! God made and governs all.

Truth has no starting point. Divine Mind is our Soul and gives us unending dominion to image forth good. We were not crafted from an indefensible basis. We were not commanded to obey human laws which Spirit never made. Our sphere is in the higher law of Mind.

The calm, strong forces of true spirituality are manifest as health, purity, and a magnanimous self. Spiritual mindedness must expand the human experience until the beliefs of temporal being are clearly exposed as impositions. Confusion, danger, and disorder will then give everlasting place to the scientific demonstration of divine Spirit and to God’s radiant offspring.

*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] Heb. 13:8

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