April 1, 2020

bible study image

Subject: Infinite possibilities

Golden text: Ephesians 3:14-19*

 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

I Kings 8:22-30

 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven, 23 and said, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to your servants who walk before you with all their heart; 24 you have kept with your servant David my father what you declared to him. You spoke with your mouth, and with your hand have fulfilled it this day. 25 Now therefore, O Lord, God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father what you have promised him, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk before me as you have walked before me.’ 26 Now therefore, O God of Israel, let your word be confirmed, which you have spoken to your servant David my father.

27 “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built! 28 Yet have regard to the prayer of your servant and to his plea, O Lord my God, listening to the cry and to the prayer that your servant prays before you this day, 29 that your eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of which you have said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that you may listen to the prayer that your servant offers toward this place. 30 And listen to the plea of your servant and of your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. And listen in heaven your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive.

21st Century Science and Health**

It would require an infinite form to contain infinite Mind, indeed the phrase infinite form is an oxymoron.

We disown the Almighty when we assign spiritual power to what we call matter.

The belief that the infinite can be contained in the finite embodies a mortal spirit, tends to darken our perception of the kingdom of heaven, and disturbs the reign of harmony in the Science of being.

Diseases appear like other mental states, through association. Erroneous thoughts connect to one another and the condition is classified as a disease.

We cry because others cry, we yawn because they yawn, and we have the flu because others have it; but human mind, not matter, contains and carries the infection. When this mental contagion is understood, we will be more careful with our mental conditions. We will avoid continually talking about disease just as we would avoid advocating crime. It is to our advantage never to let sympathy and society tempt us to cherish error in any form, and certainly we should not be error’s advocate.

Human language can repeat only an infinitesimal part of what exists.

Although this book contains the complete Science of Mind-healing, never believe that you can absorb its whole meaning by skimming it. Science and Health needs to be studied. As the rules of scientific healing are discovered, practiced, and demonstrated you will become secure on the groundwork of divine Science. Your healing experiences will lift you high above fossilized human theories and enable you to grasp the spiritual facts of being, even if at first the facts don’t seem accessible or crystal clear.

Spiritual ideas unfold as we advance. A human perception of divine Science, however limited, must be correct in order to be Science and subject to demonstration. A germ of infinite Truth, though least in the realm of heaven, is the higher hope on earth, but it will be rejected and hated until God prepares the soil for the seed. That which when sown produces immortal fruit, perfects humanity only when it is understood—consequently, the many readings given the Scriptures, and the requisite revisions of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

It takes effort not to bury the spirit of divine Science in the burial clothes of its letter. If we would open the prison doors for the sick, we must first learn to bind up the broken-hearted. If we would heal by the Spirit, we must not hide the talent of spiritual healing behind ostentatious policies, ritualistic activities, or even somber piety. In the presence of a sick person, employ tender words and spiritual encouragement.

A sinning earthly mortal is neither the reality of Life nor the channel through which truth passes to earth. The joys of interaction and socializing become the farce of sin when bad influences and suffering become contagious.

Let not mortals permit a disregard of law which might lead to a worse state of society than now exists.

The dream that human mind and error are real or permanent must yield to reason and enlightenment. Then human beings will perceive the insubstantiality of sin and sickness, and sin and sickness will disappear from consciousness. The harmonious will appear real and the inharmonious will become extinct. Erroneous perceptions are false gods, nonbeings; gods we do not desire to honor or fear.

Matthew 26:1-10

When Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said to his disciples, “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”

Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.”

Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.” 10 But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me.

21st Century Science and Health

Love honors the demonstrations of Jesus with unsurpassed power and compassion, but the same, “attitude…as that of Christ Jesus”[1] must always accompany the letter of Science in order to confirm and repeat the ancient demonstrations of prophets and apostles. That those wonders are not more commonly repeated today stems not so much from lack of desire as from lack of spiritual growth.

In divine Science, the mortal identity is shut out from the presence of God. The fleshly senses can’t cognize Spirit. The knowledge filter of human mind—filtering out what doesn’t fit into its personal paradigm—can’t come into the presence of God, and must live in fantasyland until mortals arrive at the understanding that limited life, with all its sin, sickness, and death, is an illusion against which divine Science is engaged in a warfare of extermination. The great verities of existence are never excluded by falsity.

We cannot serve both the human and divine framework at the same time; but isn’t this what frail mortals are trying to do? Paul says: “For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature.”[2] Are you ready to admit this?

Critics who attack faith should be careful not to confuse spiritual faith with blind faith. Faith is necessary in science, medicine, and religion. Consider the researcher or scientist who is trying to find a cure for cancer; they obviously have faith that a cure exists; otherwise they would not even try. People who cannot distinguish between blind (ritualistic) faith and that of spiritual faith are easily misinformed. They can make unfortunate statements such as: “If your beliefs are those of a Christian Scientist, obliging you to forgo all medical interventions, you may even have collaborated with God by refusing to give your child antibiotics.”[3] Christian Science does not “oblige” any particular human action as if people are androids.  A student of Christian Science does not collaborate with God as if God is a separate mind. In Science, there is no attitude of give-and-take; there is no human element that says, “If you do this, I’ll do that.” Do physicists collaborate with the law of gravity in order to go to the moon? No. Scientists study the principles of physics, they have the faith those rules will work, they apply the principles, and they go to the moon. Comments and criticisms based on a lack of research obscure any good points being made.

Opponents should consider that the mortal human being is not the reality of God’s child, and this consideration will allow the mind to receive new ideas that lead to progress and well-being. We can expect to receive enlightenment as a result of Christ in action. 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.

If divine Science takes away the popular gods—sin, sickness, and destruction—it is Christ, Truth, who destroys these evils and so proves their unreality.

The beautiful in character is also the good, securing indissolubly the links of affection. From the logic of events we learn that selfishness and impurity are short-lived, and that wisdom ultimately will separate what she did not join together.[4]

The conservative theory embedded into society’s belief system, is that there are two factors, the measurable and the immeasurable, uniting on some impossible basis. This theory would keep error and truth always at war without a victory for either side. But divine Science shows Truth triumphant. We no longer contradict the heliocentric theory of the solar system, even though earth appears stationary and even though the physical senses don’t want to admit they are wrong. What does this tell us? All the evidence and knowledge obtained from physical senses must yield to Science, to the immortal truth of all things.

Wisdom and Love may require many sacrifices of self to save us from sin.

It is deceptive to suppose the infinite can be opposed. Spirit can have no opposite.

The divine Principle, or Spirit, comprehends and expresses all, and all must therefore be as complete as the divine Principle is complete. Nothing is new to Spirit. Nothing can be novel to eternal Mind, the author of all things, who from all eternity knows His own ideas. Love is satisfied with Her work. How could that which is complete be unsatisfied? The spiritual creation is the result, the outflow of Father-Mother’s infinite self-containment and immortal wisdom.

A musician teaches and demonstrates the beauty of music to show the learner by way of practice as well as precept. Jesus’ teaching and practice of Truth involved sacrifices that urge us to admit its Principle is Love, the very reason for his blameless career and demonstration of power over death. He proved by his deeds that divine Science destroys sickness and destruction.

The image of Truth doesn’t change but becomes more beautifully apparent at error’s demise.

Nothing but the power of Truth can prevent the fear of disorder and prove our dominion over it.

 

[1] Phil. 2:5

[2] Gal. 5:17

[3] Harris, Sam. The End of Faith. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2005.

[4] Matt. 19:6, Mark 10:9

*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] Phil. 2:5

[2] Gal. 5:17

[3] Harris, Sam. The End of Faith. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2005.

[4] Matt. 19:6, Mark 10:9

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