Subject: Divine authority
Golden text: John 17:1-2
[Jesus] lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.
John 18:1-3, 12, 28
When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons.
12 So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him.
28 Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters.
21st Century Science and Health
There is divine authority for believing in the superiority of spiritual power over material resistance.
Referring to the materiality of the age, Jesus said, “A time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.” Foreseeing the persecution that comes with the knowledge of Spirit, Jesus also said, “They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me.”
In ancient Rome, a soldier was required to swear loyalty to his general. The Latin word for this vow was sacramentum, a word from which our English word “sacrament” is derived. The Roman soldier’s oath is not the same as the communion of the Lord. Communion is also not a matter of passing a cup of wine during festive occasions. The cup Jesus passed shows forth his bitter experience. It was the cup that he prayed might pass from him, though he bowed in holy submission to the divine decree.
Because human-made systems insist that we can become sick and useless, suffer and die, in agreement with the laws of God or nature, are we to believe it? Are we to believe an authority which denies God’s spiritual command relating to perfection—an authority which Jesus proved to be false? Jesus did the will of the Father.
Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. 2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. 3 They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. 4 Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” 5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” 6 When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” 7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” 8 When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. 9 He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”
[Paul said] Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.
21st Century Science and Health
God did not create something out of nothing; God did not create human fleshly beings to submit to and serve Him. Mortal humanity is not the real identity of people. The First Cause isn’t changeable, passing through matter only to return to Mind or go down to dust and nothingness.
The Scriptures are sacred. Our aim must be to have them understood spiritually, for only by this understanding can truth be gained.
Material wealth, fame, and social organizations have no authority or influence in the presence of God. We attain clearer views of Principle as we break up cliques, level monetary wealth with honesty, and let worth be judged according to wisdom. We also get better views of humanity as we remove our self from biased personal perceptions.
If divine Love is becoming nearer, dearer, and more real to us, matter is then submitting to Spirit. The goals we pursue and the spirit we manifest reveal our standpoint and show what we are winning.
I Corinthians 14:31-40
For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged, 32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. 33 For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.
As in all the churches of the saints, 34 the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. 35 If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.
36 Or was it from you that the word of God came? Or are you the only ones it has reached? 37 If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord. 38 If anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized. 39 So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 40 But all things should be done decently and in order.
21st Century Science and Health
Do not let your thought become a captive audience to the demands of sin or sickness. Turn away from that which falsely pressures us, with the enduring conviction that those pressures are illegitimate. God is no more the author of sickness than of sin. You have no law of God to support the necessity either of sin or sickness, but you have divine authority for denying that necessity and healing the sick.
The arrogance of being a church official is a ruler of this world. Arrogance has nothing in Christ. Humility, honesty, and charity have divine authority.
It is our moral right to nullify an unjust sentence, a sentence never inflicted by divine authority.
The effort to unlearn false perceptions includes forfeiting those views completely. Then error will be submissive to Truth. The divine method of becoming responsible for every thought and action involves unwinding our snarls and learning from experience how to divide between the human and the spiritual.
“The Lord disciplines those he loves.” A person who refuses obedience to God is chastened by Love, and individuals who know and obey God will run up against the hostility of envy.
Civil laws are created to implement fairness and equity between the rights of the sexes, but more progress is needed, to say the least. Civilization and Science stand strong on the side of justice and encourage the elimination of discrimination, however, every time an effort is made to remedy unfairness, we must make sure that the effort doesn’t encourage difficulties of greater magnitude somewhere else. Higher aims and motives, as well as improved mental character, must be considered as the feasible and rational means of progress.
If a spouse deserts the partnership, certainly the lone mate can single-handedly be self-reliant and independent. Women and men are equally capable to succeed in the business world, earn an education, own real estate, and care for the children and home, without interference.
Global injustice between the sexes is a crying evil caused by the arrogance, ignorance, and inhumanity of mortals.
The Bible declares that all believers “will be called priests of the Lord.”
Use Science to replace the old systems devised only for subduing mortality and always falling short.
Veils are worn by women as a sign of reverence. Veils are also ritualistically worn as a mark of submission, in compliance with the notions of religious scholars.
Our motives and inclinations are paramount in religion. However, when rituals and ceremonies are the crux of religion, the motives and inclinations of a person are concealed by formal procedures and human routines. Jesus, as modest as he was mighty, rebuked this hypocrisy. Hypocrisy offers long petitions for blessings on physical rituals, but veils the crime, latent in thought, which is ready to spring into action and crucify God’s anointed. The martyrdom of Jesus was the culminating sin of Pharisaism. Jesus’ crucifixion rent the veil of the temple. It revealed the false foundations and structures of superficial religion, tore from bigotry and superstition their coverings, and opened the tomb with divine Science—immortality and Love.
Mind controls the body, not partially but completely. This fact became evident to me after I submitted this metaphysical system of treating disease to a broad range of practical tests. This system gained ground and has proved itself to be a very effective curative agent when scientifically employed.
Is there more than one instruction of Christian Science? Divine Science is demonstrable. There is one suitable arrangement of ideas in its teaching.
At first, Truth leads the few and faithful free thoughts of Truth. As time marches on, those unrestricted thoughts move forward with the motto of freedom. The powers of this world will react and the old-guard will try to stop truth, will try to make it submit to their human standards and systems, but Science is not distracted by threats or assaults, and continues to unfold. There is always some chaos; however, a mobilization to truth’s standard is inevitable.
Improvement and progress come as mindsets improve. World history illustrates the might of Mind and shows human power to be proportionate to its embodiment of right thinking or spiritual clarity. Words and actions breathing the omnipotence of divine justice and wisdom, are powerful to break through the barriers of human ideologies, fear, and caustic practices.
The notion that mind and mindless matter can mix in the human illusion of sin, sickness, and death must eventually submit to the Science of Mind which denies the notion. God is Mind, and God is infinite; and so all is Mind. On this statement rests the Science of being, and the Principle of this Science is divine, demonstrating harmony and spirituality.
*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.
 John 4:23
 John 16:2–3
 Heb. 12:6
 Ex. 19:6; Isa. 61:6; Rev. 1:6