July 3, 2019

bible study imageSubject: Love

Golden text: Psalm 26:3*

For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness.

I Corinthians 13:1-13

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

21st Century Science and Health**

We read in the Bible, “God is love.”[1] Inspiration allows us to understand love as more than an attribute of God, but God itself. Love is God. We can know the love of Love. With the use of capitalization, we can speak of the truth of Truth and of the life of Life, for Christ said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.”[2]

Metaphors are plentiful in the Bible. Names are often expressive of spiritual ideas. It is reasonably agreed upon that Scriptures have both a spiritual and literal meaning. Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary says: “Interpreting the Bible correctly demands that we listen to what the text itself is saying, and then draw the meaning out of the passage.”[3]

Inspired writers interpret the Word spiritually, while the ordinary historian interprets it literally. When the text is literally taken, contradictions appear and divine Love, which blessed the earth and its inhabitants, is represented as mutable. The literal meaning also implies that God withheld from people the opportunity to reform, unless people should improve it and become better. However, the literal interpretation doesn’t depict the nature of God. God is Love always—Love infinitely wise and altogether lovely, who “is not self-seeking.”[4]

We have less pain and sorrow as we have more love and spirituality.

A child drinks in the outward world through the eyes and rejoices in the draught. He is as sure of the world’s existence as he is of his own; yet he cannot describe the world. He finds a few words, and with these he stammeringly attempts to convey his feeling. Later, the tongue voices the more definite thought, though still imperfectly.

For centuries—yes, always—natural science has not really been considered a part of religion. Even now many people consider the conventional sciences to have no proper connection to faith and spirituality. However, mystery does not obscure Christ’s teachings. Truth’s instructions are not theoretical and fragmentary, but are practical and open to new discoveries that reveal ongoing completion and law. And being practical and comprehensive, God’s laws are not deprived of their essential vitality.

The way through which immortality and life are learned is not ecclesiastical but divine, not human but holy, not physical but metaphysical, not material but scientifically spiritual.

Love is the source of might, immortality, and goodness, which shine through all as the blossom shines through the bud. God’s ideas are simple, yet great, and through a sharing process these ideas are strengthened and found to be interconnected, as they have the same Principle, or Parent. Happy is the individual who sees the need of others and supplies it, seeking his or her own supply in someone else’s good. All the diverse expressions of God reflect health, holiness, immortality—infinite Life, Truth, and Love.

Matthew 5:43-48

[Jesus said] “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. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

21st Century Science and Health

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.

No wisdom is wise but Mind’s wisdom; no truth is true, no love is lovely, no life is Life but the divine; no good is, but the good God gives.

The Bible contains the recipe for healing. “The leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.”[6] Sin and sickness are healed by the same Principle. The tree symbolizes our divine Principle which is equal to every emergency. Love offers full salvation from sin, sickness, and death. Sin will submit to the Science of Christ when, in place of customs and routines, the power of God is understood and demonstrated in the healing of human beings both mind and body. “Perfect Love casts out fear.”[7]

The Science of being uncovers misperceptions, and spiritual perception assisted by Science reaches Truth.

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. The Apostle John says: “There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror!…he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].”[8]

Christianity and Science can be viewed as one and the same in demonstration, otherwise one or the other is false and useless. Christianity as Jesus taught it was neither a creed nor a system of scared ceremonies, nor a special gift from a ritualistic Yahweh; but it was the demonstration of divine Love overcoming error and healing the sick, not merely in the name of Truth, but in demonstration of Truth—as in the ongoing cycles of divine light.

At all times and under all circumstances, overcome evil with good. Know yourself, and God will supply the wisdom and the occasion for a victory over evil. Love is a protective covering. Wear it! Wrapped in love, human hatred can’t reach you. The confirmation of a higher humanity will unite all interests in the one divinity.

Wicked human beings are not the rulers of upright neighbors. Let it be understood that success in error is defeat in Truth. The password of divine Science is Scriptural: “Let the wicked abandon their ways and the evil their thoughts.”[9]

To discover our progress, we must learn to what we are attached. What do we acknowledge and obey as power? If divine Love is becoming nearer, dearer, and more real to us, then hate and fear are submitting to Spirit. The goals we pursue and the spirit we manifest reveal our standpoint and show what we are winning.

Fear, sin, and our neglect of spirituality is what brings on and feeds all sickness. Disease is always induced by a false sense mentally entertained, not destroyed. Disease is an image of thought externalized. The mental state is called a physical state. Whatever is cherished in human mind as the physical condition is imaged forth on the body.

Always begin your spiritual treatment by quieting the fear of patients. Silently reassure them as to their exemption from disease and danger. Watch the result of this simple rule of Mind-healing and you will find that it alleviates the symptoms of every disease. If you succeed in wholly removing the fear, your patient is healed. The great fact that God lovingly controls all—which naturally causes the self-punishment of anything that works against Life, Truth, and Love—is your standpoint from which to advance and destroy the human fear of sickness. Mentally and silently plead the case scientifically for Truth. You may adapt the reasoning to meet the peculiar or general symptoms of the case you treat, but be thoroughly persuaded in your own mind concerning the truth which you think or speak, and you will be the winner.

You may call the disease by name when you mentally deny it; however, in some circumstances, you are liable to impress disease on the thought by naming it audibly. The power of Christ’s Science and divine Love is omnipotent, indeed adequate, to unlock the grip of and destroy disease, sin, and death.

Human mind is the acknowledged seat of human motives; it designs limited concepts and produces all bodily malfunctions. Action proceeding from erring human mind is inappropriate and ends in sin, sickness, and failure. Appropriate action proceeds from the divine Mind. Those two opposite thought sources never mingle in cause or effect. Imperfect human mind projects outward its own imperfections of which the wise man said, “Everything is meaningless.”[10] The perfect Mind expresses perfection. God is meaningful Mind.

The body improves under the same plan which perfects the thought.

God is what the Scriptures declare—Life, Truth, Love. Spirit is divine Principle, and divine Principle is Love, and Love is Mind, and Mind is not both good and bad, for God is Mind; therefore, there is in reality one Mind only, because there is one God.

*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] I John 4:8

[2] John 14:6

[3] Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Ronald F. Youngblood, General Editor, Copyright 1995, 1986. Thomas Nelson Publishers, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved.

[4] I Cor. 13:5

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

[6] Rev. 22:2

[7] I John 4:18 (ESV)

[8] I John 4:18 (Amplified)

[9] Isa. 55:7 (REB)

[10] Eccl. 1:2

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