June 10, 2020

bible study imageSubject: Accountability is Ours

Golden text: John 9:41*

Jesus said, “If you were really blind, you would be blameless, but since you claim to see everything so well, you’re accountable for every fault and failure.”

II Timothy 3

Don’t be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. They’ll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they’re animals. Stay clear of these people.

6-9 These are the kind of people who smooth-talk themselves into the homes of unstable and needy women and take advantage of them; women who, depressed by their sinfulness, take up with every new religious fad that calls itself “truth.” They get exploited every time and never really learn. These men are like those old Egyptian frauds Jannes and Jambres, who challenged Moses. They were rejects from the faith, twisted in their thinking, defying truth itself. But nothing will come of these latest impostors. Everyone will see through them, just as people saw through that Egyptian hoax.

10-13 You’ve been a good apprentice to me, a part of my teaching, my manner of life, direction, faith, steadiness, love, patience, troubles, sufferings—suffering along with me in all the grief I had to put up with in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. And you also well know that God rescued me! Anyone who wants to live all out for Christ is in for a lot of trouble; there’s no getting around it. Unscrupulous con men will continue to exploit the faith. They’re as deceived as the people they lead astray. As long as they are out there, things can only get worse.

14-17 But don’t let it faze you. Stick with what you learned and believed, sure of the integrity of your teachers—why, you took in the sacred Scriptures with your mother’s milk! There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.

21st Century Science and Health**

It is most beneficial to become more familiar with good than with evil. We can guard against false beliefs as diligently as we bolt our doors against the approach of thieves and murderers. We should love our enemies and help them on the basis of the Golden Rule, “Do to others what you would have them do to you.”[1] Avoid throwing “your pearls to pigs,”[2] because if you do, everyone loses out.

If human beings would properly guard against human mind, the brood of evils which infest it would be cleared out. We must begin with the human mind and empty out its negativity and self-delusion, or negativity and self-delusion will never cease. The conventional human systems disappoint the weary searcher who is looking for a divine theology, a theology adequate to teach above human theology.

Sin and disease are thought before they are made manifest, whether thought by you or someone else. You must control evil thoughts in the first instance or they will control you in the second. Jesus declared that to look with desire on forbidden objects was to break a moral precept. He laid great stress on watching the action of the human mind, unseen to the senses.

Evil thoughts and aims reach no farther and do no more harm than one’s thinking permits. Lusts and malicious purposes can’t move around like wandering pollen from one human mind to another if virtue and truth build a strong defense. It is important to be aware of your mental environment so as not to be a naive receptor of evil thoughts. You would rather choose a doctor who has the flu to treat you than be treated mentally by a metaphysician who isn’t obeying the requirements of divine Science.

Character development should be strongly fortified with virtue. It is not so much academic education as ethical and spiritual learning which improves the character. The pure and uplifting thoughts from teachers and instructors, constantly imparted to pupils, reach higher than the heavens of astronomy. Corrupt and dubious minds, though gifted with scholarly attainment, will degrade the characters it should inform and elevate. Strive to see the whole picture when selecting teachers and speakers. When choosing a teacher, it is imperative to consider the instructor’s morality along with their credentials and skill level.

Physicians whom the sick employ in their helplessness should be models of integrity. They should be wise spiritual guides to health and hope. To the frightened patient on the brink of death, physicians can be prepared to share an understanding of the Truth which is Life and perpetuates being. When the soul is willing and the flesh is weak, the patient may be willing to plant their feet on the rock of the true idea of spiritual power.

Clergy, chaplains, and spiritual leaders who observe the world should advance the standard of Truth. They should inspire listeners to love grappling with a new right idea and broadening their views. Love of spirituality, rather than love of popularity, should stimulate work and progress. Truth should emanate from the pulpit, but never be strangled there. A special privilege is commissioned in the ministry. How will it be used? Sacredly, in the interests of humanity, not of self or sect.

When we wait patiently on God and seek Truth righteously, Spirit directs our thought and action. Imperfect human beings grasp the ultimate of spiritual perfection slowly; but to begin aright and to continue the strife of demonstrating the great problem of being is doing much.

During the sensualist age, absolute divine Science may not be achieved prior to the change called death, for we have not the power to demonstrate what we do not understand. The human self must be evangelized. This task God demands us to accept gracefully, and to abandon as fast as practical the temporal, and to work out the spiritual which determines the outward and actual.

If you float on the quiet surface of error and are in sympathy with error, what is there to disturb the waters? What is there to strip off error’s disguise?

If you dare to launch your ship on the ever-agitated but healthful waters of truth, you will encounter storms. The good you do will be spoken of as evil. This is the responsibility. Be accountable.

Romans 8:1-7

With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.

3-4 God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that.

The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn’t deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us.

5-7 Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life.

21st Century Science and Health

Jesus foresaw that the Science of Truth would be disregarded before it was understood. His foreknowing wasn’t an obstacle. He completed his God-mission and then sat down at the right hand of God. Jesus’ apostles still went about, moving from city to city doing good deeds although they were envied, hated, and stoned. Jesus’s teachings were scoffed by religious elders because the teachings demanded more than the officials were willing to practice. It was enough for the elders to believe in a national Deity; but that belief, from their time to ours, has never made a disciple who could cast out evils and heal the sick.

From divine and scientific points of view, Jesus proved God is Love.

The belief that we have an existence or mind separate from God is a dying error—met and corrected by Jesus.

The final demonstration of truth which Jesus taught, and for which he was crucified, opened a new era for the world. The influence of Christ was perpetuated and extended rather than killed.

After drinking the cup of bitterness, Jesus rose higher in his demonstration. Human law had condemned him, but he was living out divine law. While in the tomb—safe from the brutality of his enemies—Jesus defied matter and mortality. He acted according to, and was defended by, spiritual law.

As of old, evil still charges the spiritual idea with error’s own nature and methods. This malicious brutish instinct, typified by the dragon, incites humans to kill morally and physically, even other humans, and worse yet, to blame the innocent for the crime. This last condition of sin will pull its perpetrator into the black hole of oblivion.

Arthur Schopenhauer[3] has been credited to say, “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

The spiritually scientific person reflects the divine law, thus becoming a law to self. The Scientist does violence to no person. A Scientist does not falsely accuse. Scientists wisely outline their possibilities, and are honest and consistent in following the leadings of divine Mind. Scientists must prove, through living as well as healing and teaching, that humane spiritual mindedness is the only mindset by which human beings are radically saved from sin and sickness.

Spirituality causes people to turn naturally from material wave/particles to eternal Spirit, as the flower turns from darkness to light.

In the late 20th century, society began using the words person or people as a gender-neutral alternative to man. Person is defined as a human being or individual. One train of thought goes from human being to a physical mortal being. Another train of thought, keeping in the metaphysical track, goes from human being to humane being to spiritual being or person. A human being is of the species Homo sapiens (Lat. Sapiens, to be wise, rational). The term human is identified with the word humane, indicating a humane person. Some Bible versions, in the first chapter of Genesis, say God created “human beings,” not interpreted to mean self-centered egotistical mortals, but a humane person.

“A person is defined by philosophers as a being who is in possession of a range of psychological capacities that are regarded as both necessary and sufficient to fulfill the requirements of personhood. These are, in general, that it is capable of reasoning, that it is self-conscious, and that is has an identity that persists through time.”[4]

Reader, keep in mind, that human terminology and definitions change, but we have the capacity to reason correctly, adjust, and identify with the spiritual meaning.[5] For example, referring back to Genesis chapter one, we could contemplate this interpretation: So Mind created consciousness in his own image, reflecting Mind, he created them male and female.

In the Gospel of John, it is declared that all things were made through the Word of God, “without him [the logos, or word] was not anything made that was made.”[6] Everything good or worthy, God made. Spirit did not make whatever is worthless or destructive and therefore we can prove its unreality.

*Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

**Text from 21st Century Science and Health can’t be reproduced in part or as a whole without the written permission of Healing Science Today

[1] Matt. 7:12

[2] Matt. 7:6

[3] Schopenhauer, Arthur, (1788–1860) German philosopher.

[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Person Accessed 11/3/2006.

[5] Updated “definition of person” by Cheryl Petersen

[6] John 1:3 (KJV) (Brackets added by Mary Baker Eddy)

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