January 18, 2017

bible study imageSubject: Leaders

Golden text: Luke 22:22-24*

24 A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. 25 And [Jesus] said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. 26 But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. 27 For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.

Acts 15:1, 6-11

But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”

6The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter. And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith. 10 Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11 But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.”

From 21st Century Science and Health**

Science shows that appearances are often mistaken, leading to false judgments and conclusions.

We cannot fill vessels already full. Vessels full of the impracticable must first be emptied. Let us strip off error and stand in the showers of God and come clean.

Outside of divine Science all is relative. Earthly experience exposes the relativity of error, indirectly leading to the infinite capacities of Truth. Spiritual beings agree with the absolute and harmonious Principle of being. Immortality does not sin, suffer, or die and our spiritual experiences will multiply instead of diminish as God’s kingdom comes on earth. The spiritual way leads to Life instead of to death and we realize our God-given dominion to overcome temporal limitations.

Act 15:12-21

 And all the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. 13 After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listen to me. 14 Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written,

16 “‘After this I will return,
and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen;
I will rebuild its ruins,
and I will restore it,
17 that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord,
and all the Gentiles who are called by my name,
says the Lord, who makes these things 18 known from of old.’

19 Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, 20 but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood. 21 For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

The voice of God in behalf of the people is reverberating around the world as the spokesperson of the new crusade sounds the keynote of universal mental freedom. A fuller acknowledgement of the rights of man and woman as useful spiritual beings demands that the terrors of sin, sickness, and death be exterminated from the human mind. Spiritual freedom is gained, not through human warfare, but through spiritual Science.

The way of error is awful to consider. The illusion of sin is without hope or God. If our spiritual gravitation and attraction to the one Father-Mother, in whom “we live and move and exist,”[1] should be lost, and if we should be governed by physical principles instead of divine Principle, by body instead of by Soul, we would be annihilated. Created by flesh instead of by Spirit, starting from matter instead of from God, human beings would be governed by mortality’s self. The blind leading the blind, both would fall.

God has built on divine claims, a higher platform of human rights. These claims are not made through human regulations or creeds, but in demonstration of “Peace upon earth among men of goodwill!”[2]

The understanding of Truth and Love works out the ends of eternal good and destroys both faith in evil and the practice of evil. It leads to the discernment of the divine idea.

Acts 15:22-29

Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brothers, 23 with the following letter: “The brothers, both the apostles and the elders, to the brothers who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, greetings. 24 Since we have heard that some persons have gone out from us and troubled you with words, unsettling your minds, although we gave them no instructions, 25 it has seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth. 28 For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements: 29 that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

The thought of something frightening can quickly lead to a disturbed body. In the same way thought increases or diminishes blood pressure, mutates the genes, or affects the action of the lungs, bowels, and heart. The muscles, moving quickly or slowly and impelled or palsied by thought, represent the action of all the organs of the human system, including brain and viscera. To remove the error producing disorder, you must calm and instruct human mind with spiritual Truth.

The motions and reflections of deific power cannot be comprehended until divine Science becomes the interpreter. Advancing spiritual steps in the teeming universe of Mind, leads to spiritual spheres and beings, however, the divine universe is hidden and mysterious to materialist sense.  Metaphysical Science lifts the curtain and the scene shifts into light.

Heaven represents harmony. Divine Science interprets the Principle of heavenly harmony. The great miracle, to human sense, is divine Love, and the grand purpose of life is to gain the true idea of what constitutes the kingdom of heaven in us. This goal is never reached while we hate our neighbor or get hung up on a person whom God has appointed to voice His Word. The message, not the messenger is the point, and this correct sense allows us to see the highest visible idea and understand its divine Principle.

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.

John 10:1-11

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Knowledge and pleasure, evolved through physical sense, produce the immediate mindset of fear and shame. Uncomfortable in the presence of Truth, human knowledge becomes confused, and people cower and hide when they hear the divine voice calling for their attention. The spiritual call may be paraphrased: “People, where are you? Is Mind restricted to human mind or the brain? Is Mind capable of error as well as of truth, of evil as well as of good, when God is All and is Mind? Is there more than one God, one Mind?”

The calm voice of Truth sounds like a lion’s roar to the human mind; Love is heard in the desert and in dark places of fear. The “still small voice”[3] of scientific thought reaches over continents and oceans. Truth triggers the seven thunders of evil to be self-exposed. With evil out in the open, the power of Truth is then made manifest in the destruction of error.

Sheep. Innocence; inoffensiveness; those who follow their leader.

Jesus’ life proved, divinely and scientifically, that God is Love. Leaders and followers must be careful not to assert a mighty ruler who both loves and hates. The theology of a dualistic God gives no hint of the unchanging love of God.

Soul imparts the understanding which spiritualizes consciousness and leads into all truth.

*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] Acts 17:28 (NASB)

[2] Luke 2:14 (Phillips NT)

[3] I Kings 19:12 (NKJV)

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