August 12, 2020

bible study imageSubject: Fearless

Golden text: Matthew 10:31*

 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Acts 20: 7-24

On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight. There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered. And a young man named Eutychus, sitting at the window, sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer. And being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. 10 But Paul went down and bent over him, and taking him in his arms, said, “Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.” 11 And when Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed. 12 And they took the youth away alive, and were not a little comforted.

13 But going ahead to the ship, we set sail for Assos, intending to take Paul aboard there, for so he had arranged, intending himself to go by land. 14 And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and went to Mitylene. 15 And sailing from there we came the following day opposite Chios; the next day we touched at Samos; and the day after that we went to Miletus. 16 For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he might not have to spend time in Asia, for he was hastening to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost.

17 Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him. 18 And when they came to him, he said to them:

“You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, 19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews; 20 how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, 21 testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. 22 And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. 24 But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

21st Century Science and Health**

The history of Christianity furnishes sublime proofs of the supporting influence and protecting power bestowed on us by our heavenly Father-Mother. Omnipotent Mind gives us faith and understanding whereby to safeguard our self, not only from temptation, but also from bodily suffering.

The Christian martyrs were prophets of divine Science. Through the encouraging and purifying power of spiritual truth, they obtained a victory over the bodily senses, a victory which Science alone can explain. Stolidity is a resisting state of human mind that suffers less only because it knows less about material law.

The word martyr, traced back to the Greek means witness; someone testifying for Truth, but the new faith in Christ, Truth so roused the hatred of their opponents that followers were persecuted or burned to death and the word martyr narrowed in definition to mean someone who suffers for their convictions, and so it came about that human rights were canonized by the gallows and cross.

Spiritually minded people testify to the divine basis of Christian Science when dire inflictions fail to destroy their bodies. Spirituality is safe from tormenters. Tyrants are idolatrous; they believe in more than one mind, having “many gods,”[1] and think they can kill the body with matter, independently of mind.

Beliefs that engender a national theology or political religion are the antithesis of true Christianity. Narrow systems and theories concerning God, human beings, health, and a religious society, are restrictive. The argument that accused Jesus of “making himself equal with God,”[2] is the same argument that resists a Christianity built on the foundation of Spirit. Jesus taught as he was inspired by the Maker and would recognize no life, intelligence, or substance outside of God.

As the true knowledge of God becomes evident, the outdated concept of God as a mighty hero, lord, or king, will continue to vanish. But, creeds and rituals still need to wash their hands of religious lore, and stop opposing truth, whether by sword and spear as in times past, or in today’s style of idolatry, anger, envy, arrogance, and egotism whispering, “Crucify! Crucify!”[3]

The movement of mind and of honest investigation, will bring the hour when people will stop in some way, the mysteriousness that increases with material knowledge. Apathy toward the tendency of certain active yet unseen mental agencies will finally be shocked into another extreme mortal mood—into human indignation, for one extreme follows another.

Human-made doctrines are failing, growing weaker in times of trouble. Void of Truth-power, how can human-made theologies illustrate the doctrines of Christ or the miracles of grace? Denial of the possibility of spiritual healing robs Christianity of the very element which gave it divine force and its astonishing and unequalled success in the first century.

When God heals the sick or the sinning, it is better if the people know what Mind has done. It is also helpful to know how the human mind dupes us to make us sick or sinful. Once we’ve learned human mind’s tactics, we can expose its unconscious and subconscious ways in which it accomplishes iniquity. Paradoxically, many of us are willing to tell people about the power of good resident in divine Mind, but we hesitate to point out the evil in human thought.

Why the reluctance to expose error and stop repeating mistakes? We hesitate because people like us better when we tell them their virtues than when we tell them their vices. It requires the spirit of Truth and Love to point out faulty thinking. We risk human disapproval for the sake of doing right and benefiting humanity. Who is telling humankind of the enemy in ambush? Does the informant see a foe? Listen and be wise. You can escape from error. You can also detect the unfaithful people who saw the danger and gave no warning.

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 up in love, human hatred can’t reach you. The confirmation of a higher humanity will unite all interests in the one divinity.

God will take care of us as we travel a trajectory unfolding new views of divine goodness and love.

Psalms 19:7-9

The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.

21st Century Science and Health

With less fearful and ignorant thinking, you are able to see truth.

Mind regulates the conditions of the stomach, bowels, organs, cell divisions, and temperatures of children and adults; matter does not regulate. The wise or unwise views of parents and other persons on these subjects produce good or bad effects on the health of children. The Scientist also knows that there can be no hereditary disease, since matter is not intelligent and cannot transmit good or evil intelligence to another being. God, the only Mind, does not produce pain in matter. The act of allowing our thoughts to excessively contemplate physical wants or conditions induces those very conditions.

If disease is right, it is wrong to heal it. Inconsistent reasoning and methods of healing do not improve humanity.

Rhythm is not controlled by musical notes. Numbers don’t regulate the rules of mathematics. Numbers did not originate mathematics, but is manifested through mathematics. In Science, individuals did not originate intelligence, but are manifested through intelligence. The appearance that there is intelligence or soul inside person has no relation to the Life reality.

Science depicts disease as error, as matter versus Mind. Reverse error, and the facts of health are witnessed. To forecast your future according to the world infringes on spiritual law and misguides hopes. We are sustained under all circumstances as we have faith in the divine Principle of health and as we spiritually understand God. The ordinary appeal to have faith in the world’s ways and means must yield to faith in the all-might of infinite Spirit.

“Cleanliness is next to godliness,”[4] but washing should only be for the purpose of keeping the body clean, and this can be done without scrubbing the whole surface every day. Water is not the natural habitat of humanity. Obsessive washing is no more natural or necessary than would be the process of taking a fish out of water every day and covering it with dirt in order to make it thrive more vigorously in its own element.  Cleanliness within and without is good. Do not be patient with filth; however, in caring for an infant you don’t need to wash his or her little body all over each day to keep it as sweet as the newly-opened flower.

Giving drugs to infants, noticing every intestinal excretion, and constantly directing the mind to what the body might be doing wrong will convey negative mental images to children’s developing thoughts and often stamp them there; making it probable at any time for ills to be reproduced in the very ailments feared. A child may have allergies or ADHD (Attention Deficient Hyperactive Disorder) if you say so, or any other malady fearfully held in the beliefs concerning their mind and body. Thus are laid the foundations of the belief in disease, and thus are children educated into limitation and the cycle of mortal life and death.

It is right to say that the educated class of scientists and medical doctors are great people. They are more scientific than are false claimants to Christian Science. There is much that yet remains to be said and done before all humankind is saved, and before all the mental microbes of sin and disease thought-germs are exterminated.

Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need. Do not imagine that Jesus demonstrated the divine power to heal only for a select number of people or for a particular period in time, since to all humankind and in every hour, divine Love supplies all good.

*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, 5th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

[1] I Cor. 8:5

[2] John 5:18

[3] Mark 15:13–14; Luke 23:20; John 19:6

[4] Quote attributed to John Wesley (1703–1791) 18th century Anglican Clergyman and Christian Theologian.

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