August 5, 2020

bible study imageSubject: Work of Spirit

Golden text: Isaiah 58:11-12*

And the Lord will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail.
12 And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to dwell in.

Mark 1:21-22, 29-31

When the Sabbath arrived, Jesus lost no time in getting to the meeting place. He spent the day there teaching. They were surprised at his teaching—so forthright, so confident—not quibbling and quoting like the religion scholars.

29-31 Directly on leaving the meeting place, they came to Simon and Andrew’s house, accompanied by James and John. Simon’s mother-in-law was sick in bed, burning up with fever. They told Jesus. He went to her, took her hand, and raised her up. No sooner had the fever left than she was up fixing dinner for them.

21st Century Science and Health**

Science, when understood and demonstrated, will destroy disorder. From the premise that God is omnipotent, comes the conclusion that good has all-power. Divine Science, properly understood, disengages material beliefs from the human mind. However, to make room for truth, you must reject and remove beliefs that war against spiritual facts. You can’t add to a glass already full. The minds full of faith in mortality, make it difficult to inculcate a grain of faith in God or an inkling of Spirit’s ability to make the body harmonious. We can remember Jesus’ love of receptive little children and know how truly they belong to the heavenly kingdom.

Human thought is startled at the strong claims of Science and doubts the supremacy of good, Truth. Why aren’t we startled at the vigorous claims of evil? Why don’t we doubt negativism or depression? Why do we think it natural, almost necessary, to love that which works against life, truth, and love? Why do we imagine lack to be pervasive and good absent? Truth should not seem as surprising and unnatural as error, and error should not seem as real as truth. Sickness should not seem as real as health. There is no error in Science, and our lives must be influenced by reality to agree with God, the divine Principle of all being.

When error is destroyed by divine Science, the false evidence before the physical senses disappears. Fleshly sensory experiences oppose the Science of Soul, as expounded in the Scriptural verse, “The sinful mind is hostile to God.”[1] The central fact of the Bible is the superiority of spiritual over physical power.

The body may object to the attitude that pays little attention to food. The sinner squirms when seeing that the system taught in this book requires obedience to the demands of God. The narrow-minded intellect rankles by the constant need to be responsible to infinite Mind. The licentious disposition is discouraged over its meager spiritual prospects. When the people are invited to the wedding banquet, the excuses come. One person has a machine to fix, others have errands to run or businesses to attend,[2] and therefore they can’t approve and accept.

It is vain to speak of divine Science dishonestly when you can demonstrate the realness of Science by destroying disorder. It is unwise to doubt if reality is in perfect harmony with God, divine Principle.

Must Christian Science come through the Christian churches as some people insist? Divine Science has already come after the manner of God’s appointing, but the churches don’t seem ready to receive it. Scriptures say, “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.”[3] Jesus once said: “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.”[4] The spirit of Christ, which takes away the rituals and doctrines of human beings, is not accepted until their hearts are made ready for it.

Jesus’ mission confirmed prophecy and explained the miracles of olden time as natural demonstrations of divine power, demonstrations which were not understood at the time. Jesus’ works established his claim to the Messiah. In reply to John’s inquiry, “Are you the one who was to come?”[5] Jesus answered, not with a reference to his doctrine, but with a summary of his works. Confident that examples of divine healing power would fully answer John’s question, Jesus said, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see. The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”[6] Jesus’ benediction is given to anyone who doesn’t deny that such effects coming from divine Mind prove the unity of God—the divine Principle which brings out all harmony.

Proverbs 28:1-2

The wicked are edgy with guilt, ready to run off
even when no one’s after them;
Honest people are relaxed and confident,
bold as lions.

    When the country is in chaos,
everybody has a plan to fix it—
But it takes a leader of real understanding
to straighten things out.

21st Century Science and Health

It is absurd to suppose that matter can both cause and cure disease or that Spirit, God, produces disease and leaves the remedy to matter.

Joyce Meyer wrote in her book The Battlefield of the Mind, “The mind is the leader or forerunner of all actions.”[7]  Statements such as this are as a “voice of one calling in the desert,”[8] preparing humanity for the real and eternal. Our thoughts are being led to look past the superficial. We can know the way of divine Science. Let us prepare for the supremacy of Spirit, the kingdom of heaven—the government and law of universal harmony, which cannot be lost or remain forever unseen.

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.

Spiritual leaders should pursue the dignity of God’s laws rather than pursue a position of church power. Inferior motives induce attacks on individuals who only repeat Christ’s teachings but don’t live them.

A parent is the strongest educator either for or against crime. Parental thoughts form the embryo of another human mind and unconsciously shape it, either after a model that niggles the parent, or through divine influence “after the pattern for them, which was shown to you on the mountain.”[9] Spiritual Science helps us learn of the one Mind and of the availability of good as the remedy for every problem.

Children can learn that obedience to parents and guardians promotes self-control, whereas disobedience blights self-government. It is beneficial to teach children at the earliest stages possible, the realities of health and holiness. Children are more tractable than adults and learn readily to love the simple truths that will make them happy and good.

Colossians 1:15-20

We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.

18-20 He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.

21st Century Science and Health

If we follow Christ on all moral questions but are in darkness as to the physical exemption which spirituality includes, then we must have more faith in God on this subject and be more alive to Spirit’s promises. It is easier to cure the most malignant disease than it is to cure sin. I have revitalized the dying, partly because they were willing to be restored, while I have struggled long, and perhaps in vain, to lift a student out of a chronic sin. Under all modes of pathological treatment, the sick recover more rapidly from disease than does the sinner from sin. Healing is easier than teaching, if the teaching is faithfully done.

Beyond the frail premises of human beliefs, above the loosening clutches of human policies, the demonstration of spiritual Mind-healing stands a revealed and practical Science. Throughout all time and space, scientific demonstration is imperative as Christ’s revelation of Truth, of Life, and of Love, remaining inviolate for humanity to understand and to practice.

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 with faith and spirituality. However, mystery does not obscure Christ’s teachings.

Jesus established his church and maintained his mission on a spiritual foundation of Truth-healing, launching a religion with a divine Principle that overcomes errors and disorders. Jesus didn’t claim an intelligence, action, or life separate from God. Despite the persecution brought on him, Jesus used his divine power to save individuals, both bodily and spiritually.

The supremacy of Spirit was the foundation on which Jesus built, and his exceptional standard of living points to the religion of Love.

Jesus established the precedent for all Christianity, theology, and healing. People are accountable now, as they have been forever, to be Christ-like, to possess the Christ-spirit, to follow the Christ-example, and to heal the sick as well as the sinning. It is easier to drive out sickness than it is to drive out sin because we are more willing to part with suffering than to give up the sinful pleasures.

Jesus said, “Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation,”[10] “Heal the sick,”[11] “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[12]

*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, 5th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

 

[1] Rom. 8:7

[2] Matt. 22:5; Luke 14:18–19

[3] John 1:11

[4] Matt. 11:25–26; Luke 10:21

[5] Matt. 11:3; Luke 7:19

[6] Matt. 11:4–6; Luke 7:22–23 (NRSV)

[7] Meyer, Joyce. Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind.  New York: Warner, 1995.

[8] Isa. 40:3; Matt. 3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4

[9] Ex. 25:40 (NASB)

[10] Mark 16:15 (JB)

[11] Matt. 10:1, 8; Luke 9:2, 10:9

[12] Matt. 5:43, 19:19, 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27

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