January 16, 2019

bible study imageSubject: Humility

Golden text: Proverbs 22:4*

The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.

Daniel 4:4-5, 8, 13-16, 24-25, 33-36

I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at ease in my house and prospering in my palace. I saw a dream that made me afraid. As I lay in bed the fancies and the visions of my head alarmed me.

At last Daniel came in before me—he who was named Belteshazzar after the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods—and I told him the dream, saying,

13 “I saw in the visions of my head as I lay in bed, and behold, a watcher, a holy one, came down from heaven. 14 He proclaimed aloud and said thus: ‘Chop down the tree and lop off its branches, strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the beasts flee from under it and the birds from its branches. 15 But leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, amid the tender grass of the field. Let him be wet with the dew of heaven. Let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth. 16 Let his mind be changed from a man’s, and let a beast’s mind be given to him; and let seven periods of time pass over him.

24 this is the interpretation, O king: It is a decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king, 25 that you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. You shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and you shall be wet with the dew of heaven, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.

28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 At the end of twelve months…

33 Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles’ feathers, and his nails were like birds’ claws.

34 At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever,

for his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
and his kingdom endures from generation to generation;
35 all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
and he does according to his will among the host of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth;
and none can stay his hand
or say to him, “What have you done?”

36 At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me.

21st Century Science and Health**

It would sometimes seem as if truth were rejected because humility and spirituality are the conditions of its acceptance, while Christendom generally demands so much less.

Praying fervently for humility doesn’t always mean humility is desired. If you turn away from people who have fewer advantages, you are not ready to be blessed by our divine Father-Mother who blesses everyone.

[P]eople are slow to understand truth because they are obsessed with fashion, pride, bodies, and opinions. Mortal fixations make us weary and old because they go against our higher nature. At some point, we will break through the fleeting and false and learn how Spirit, the great architect, has created us in Science.

The arrogance of being a church official is a ruler of this world. Arrogance has nothing in Christ. Humility, honesty, and charity have divine authority. Mortals think wrongly, consequently they seem to work against themselves and others. They think sickly thoughts, and so become sick. If sin makes sinners, Truth and Love alone can unmake them. If a sense of disease produces suffering and a sense of ease antidotes suffering, disease is mental. Logic has it that human mind suffers, and that divine Mind alone heals.

The effective prayer is a fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, humility, love, and good deeds.

If we feel the aspiration, humility, gratitude, and love which our words express, God accepts this.

Matthew 18:1-4

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

21st Century Science and Health

Jesus loved little children because of their freedom from wrong and their receptiveness to right. While adults hesitate between opinions or argue with false beliefs, youth makes easy and rapid strides toward Truth.

Our real identity is spiritual and immortal. We can lay aside the counterfeit version of God’s children as improper. Mortality is put off and spirituality is put on in proportion as human beings realize the Science of true identity and seek the true model.

Prophets looked for something higher than the systems of their times; hence their foresight of the new dispensation of Truth, but they lacked a systematic teaching of God in Truth’s more infinite meanings. The demonstration that overcomes sin, sickness, and death establishes the definition of omnipotence and maintains the Science of Spirit.

The apostles who were Jesus’ students, as well as Paul who was not his student, healed the sick and reformed the sinner by their religion. Hence the mistake which allows words, rather than works, to follow such examples! Whoever is first to press along the line of gospel-healing humbly and conscientiously, is considered a heretic.

Christian Science is sometimes disapproved of because it claims God as the only absolute Life and Soul, and person to be God’s idea—that is, Spirit’s image. However, Scriptures confirm the claim, saying that God created “man” (a generic term for person given in many Bible versions), “in our image, in our likeness.”[1] Is it sacrilegious to theorize that God’s likeness is not found in fleshly beings, sinful, sick, and dying? In reality, the person referred to as God’s image represents the normal, healthful, and sinless condition of individuals in divine Science.

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 the efficacy of its rules, it would be fair to observe the Scriptural precept, “Do not judge.”[2]

Complementary and alternative medicines (CAM), osteopathy, chiropractic care, and conventional medicine are employed to treat disease. However, Jesus did not need any of these methods. The divine method which he preached and practiced certainly healed and it should be presented to the whole world.

Why would a person refuse to investigate Jesus’ method of treating disease when it was shown to work? Why default to the conventional mainstream systems when surgeries, harmful drug reactions, and substance abuse cause complications? Is it because health insurance pays for those systems? Is it because orthodoxy is more fashionable?

In the Bible, the word Spirit is so commonly applied to Deity that Spirit and God are often regarded as synonymous terms; and Spirit is exactly how God is understood in Christian Science. It is evident that the likeness of Spirit can’t be what we call quanta, therefore doesn’t it follow that God can’t be in Spirit’s unlikeness and work through ever-fluctuating energy to heal the sick? When the omnipotence of God is preached and Spirit’s absoluteness is conveyed, the sick will be healed.

In his book, Healing and Christianity, Morton Kelsey presents a history of healing in the Christian church. Kelsey then points out that spiritual healing is often overlooked, because the connection between religion and healing is difficult to explain. Students of theology and philosophy may even criticize religious leaders who heal through Christ, Truth, to cover up their own lack of healing ability. Kelsey states, “There are some who, on the side, poke fun at the theological vagaries of Mary Baker Eddy.”[3] A person who understands divine Science can heal the sick via divine Principle, and this practical proof is the only feasible evidence that one does understand this Science well enough to pass judgment on it. The theology of divine Science, including Christian healing, is consistent. In this volume, there are no contradictory statements apparent to those who understand its propositions.

When we are able to perceive the inconsistency between God’s idea and poor humanity, we ought to be able to discern the distinction, made by Science between individuals made by God and the sinning race of Adam.

The apostle says: “For if those who are nothing think they are something, they deceive themselves.”[4] However, the thought of human material nothingness enrages the human ego and is the main cause of its resistance to new ideas.

The distinction needs to be clear between God’s ideal, person, and the human’s idea of person. God’s ideal is perfect, however, there is no perfect mortal human. To achieve the ideal of God, you must be careful not to fall into the human mind’s tendency to believe that a particular human routine or lifestyle will guarantee spirituality. To insist on a scrupulous human way of life as a means of achieving perfection, doesn’t achieve God’s ideal. For example, someone who thinks, “We do not seek sex; we do not try drugs; we do not take medicine; we do not go to doctors,”[5] will be disappointed. To avoid sex, drugs, medicine, and doctors, is the same as robotically having sex, taking drugs, and going to a doctor. Neither are a means of reaching the spiritual ideal. The imperative point is to understand God’s ideal and let the divine understanding impel your thoughts and actions as a part of humanity. Our ideal directs our lifestyles, not vice versa. The teachings found in Science and Health, uncover spirituality and the understanding of God’s ideal.

Thought must stay open to metaphysical ideas in science, theology, and medicine. Thought cannot obsess or fixate on lifestyles, symbols, or a favorite rule; otherwise people will lose touch with reason and develop a narrow and blurred view of reality—they will make mistakes, errors. Consider a successful math student. The student can’t focus on only the rule of addition when working out a problem that also involves subtraction or division. Fixations cause confusion, the penchant to guess, and a lack of mental improvement. We must be receptive to all of the principles in Science and they need to be learned and applied in life’s situations, otherwise error will be an unbroken head-wind.

The Christ-spirit comes now as of old, preaching the good news to receptive minds, healing the sick, and destroying that which violates our dignity. Can materiality, human intellect, or any human invention, restore the essential element of spirituality—namely, apostolic, divine healing? No, the Science of Christ is restoring it and is the light shining in darkness, a darkness that does not overcome the light.

*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] Gen. 1:26

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

[3] Kelsey, Morton T. Healing and Christianity. New York: Harper & Row, 1973.

[4] Gal. 6:3 (NRSV)

[5] The Unseen Shore by Thomas Simmons. Copyright © 1991 by Thomas Simmons. Reprinted by permission of Beacon Press, Boston.

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