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Be Born Again-- From Above!!

Rick Stewart, C.S., Dresden, Germany
Posted Monday, February 4th, 2019

“If only I could start over. You can. Be born again in Spirit!” ["from above" PS#7a]

Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Spirit”

For February 10, 2019

by Rick Stewart CS Dresden, Germany

rickstewartcs@aol.com +49 351 312 4736 or +49 176 32 33 6080

It could very easily be argued that the very essence, the core, the main ingredient of Jesus message to all mankind in all time is simply the fact, that God, Spirit is the one true Father of all. God, Spirit is not just Jesus’ Father, but yours and mine also. That we are His children. This is precisely what this week’s Bible Lesson reveals.

The Golden Text: Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

The Golden Text is from the letter or better perhaps, the epistle, that the Apostle Paul wrote to the followers of Jesus in Rome. While a letter is sent directly to certain recipients, an epistle is to put forth a clear statement for public distribution. And this epistle was intended for both Jewish and Gentile followers in Rome. It is almost unanimous among Bible scholars that Paul was the actual author of Romans. And whether letter or epistle, Romans, speaks to all Jewish and Gentile Christians, and actually to all mankind. It is believed that he probably wrote it while in Corinth, in Greece. And for me while the entire epistle is remarkable and inspiring, Chapter 8 of Romans is like the crown jewel.

Here is how J.B. Phillips translates the section that contains our Golden Text: Romans 8:14-17

Christ is within—follow the lead of his Spirit

14-17 “All who follow the leading of God’s Spirit are God’s own sons. Nor are you meant to relapse into the old slavish attitude of fear—you have been adopted into the very family circle of God and you can say with a full heart, “Father, my Father”. The Spirit himself endorses our inward conviction that we really are the children of God. Think what that means. If we are his children we share his treasures, and all that Christ claims as his will belong to all of us as well! Yes, if we share in his suffering we shall certainly share in his glory.”

Yes, let’s follow the leadings of our Father, Spirit into this lesson!

We read in the Responsive Reading in Isaiah 61:1,

1 “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;”

Yes, the Spirit, God, our Father is going to be with us throughout this Lesson! Can I get a “Yippee.”

Section 1: Spirit creates all, including you and me. [See Warren’s PS#1, #2, #3, #4]

B1 | John 4:24 (to :) 24 God is a Spirit:

Someone the other day wrote to me and they were rather concerned about that little “a” in “God is a spirit” from the King James Version. I said it was not anything to be upset about, the meaning is clear, it is just the one Spirit, God. But just to help a little I glanced in 58 English Bible translations and out of those 58 I found that 41 translations translated the phrase as follows, “God is Spirit.”

So, yep, just one God, one Spirit is the way Jesus was thinking. And guess what? That God, Spirit is your Maker!

B2 | Job 33:4 4 The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.

My sister Candy’s Christian Science teacher was Herbert Rieke, CSB of Indianapolis, Indiana. As a kid I remember listening to a lecture Mr. Rieke gave entitled, “Who is your maker?” I loved it!

I remember a story from that lecture. Mr. Rieke said that for a while he thought: “there must be two of me, the material and the spiritual.” Then he himself had heard a Christian Science lecture which completely revolutionized his thinking on this subject. Mr. Rieke told us, “The lecturer told a legend which enabled me to understand my true spiritual selfhood and which showed me the reasoning process by which I might find complete salvation.” I would like to share this legend with you.

“A baby prince was kidnapped by a band of gypsies. Naturally he was brought up as a gypsy. When he was a grown man the gypsies came back through his kingdom. An old courtier had never given up looking for the prince. When he saw the young gypsy, he knew he was the prince because of his resemblance to the king, and said, "Do you know who you are?"

“The lad replied that he did and gave his gypsy name. But the courtier exclaimed, "No, you are the prince of this land.”

"There must be some mistake," returned the lad. "Can't you see I have a gypsy name and speak the gypsy language?"

"But you're not a gypsy," replied the courtier. "That's a lie about you. You're really the prince."

“Well then, there must be two of me," said the young man. "The gypsy, I know all about him. But this prince, I know nothing of him."

“But the courtier protested, "No, no, there aren't two – there's just one – the prince. You are the prince, and you have dominion over all this land."

“This naturally interested the young man, and he replied. "Well, if I'm really the prince as you say, answer me this one. Where did all this gypsy stuff come from?"

“The courtier showed him that the gypsy was just a mistaken concept of identity. It wasn't going to do him any good to figure out where the gypsy came from. It was just a false concept of himself—a concept to be discarded. He needed to go to the king, identify himself, and claim his heritage. "And remember," said the courtier, "the king will be just as happy to see you as you are to see him."

(http://www.cslectures.org/Rieke/Who%20Is%20Your%20Maker-Rieke.htm) (If you are unable to access the lecture online, just let me know and I can make sure you have a copy.)

https://cslectures.org/rieke/who-is-your-maker-rieke.htm

As in Science and Health citation S4, “In Science man is the offspring of Spirit. The beautiful, good, and pure constitute his ancestry. His origin is not, like that of mortals, in brute instinct, nor does he pass through material conditions prior to reaching intelligence. Spirit is his primitive and ulti- mate source of being; God is his Father, and Life is the law of his being.” (63:5)

Section 2: God, Spirit the source of infinite individuality throughout the universe. [See W’s PS#5 & #6]

I often challenge myself to see that God governs the universe expressing infinite individuality throughout. I pray specifically to affirm these facts. And these days I find that infinitely important. Forests, rivers, streams, lakes, glaciers, animal life, minerals, atmosphere, all as spiritual expressions of the one Creator, Spirit. Held in Spirit’s reality. I affirm a nature that is not subject to the dictates or dangers of matter, but actually Spirit’s reality.

The Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures are powerful textbooks to inspire us in becoming active participants in nature’s preservation, protection, and unfoldment. They instruct us how to oppose brutal elements of a human nature that seeks to exploit, dominate, or even destroy our natural surroundings. These books can inspire a more harmonious and responsible relationship between mankind and the natural environment.

This past year my two girls, Alma and Martha, and I have become great fans of a dog expert, Cesar Milan. We can watch his television show here in Germany on a National Geographic channel. It is so interesting as he teaches his human clients how relate more harmoniously with their dogs. His deep understanding of dog thinking and mentality allows him to bring real healing to disruptive situations. His goal is bringing a sense of balance and harmony to the relationship between dogs and their humans. https://www.cesarsway.com/

Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Nature voices natural, spiritual law and divine Love, but human belief misinterprets nature. Arctic regions, sunny tropics, giant hills, winged winds, mighty billows, verdant vales, festive flowers, and glorious heavens, — all point to Mind, the spiritual intelligence they reflect. The floral apostles are hieroglyphs of Deity. Suns and planets teach grand lessons. The stars make night beautiful, and the leaflet turns naturally towards the light.” (S8 | 240:10

Our relationship with nature whether it is flora or fauna is in God’s hands. It is God, Spirit governed. And we can live within that harmony.

I lived for several years on a ranch miles from my nearest neighbor. I was in the healing practice of Christian Science already. I had nine horses under my care. Since they were not mine I had agreed to call a vet when necessary. But in the middle of the night? And one night, Molly, a very old horse was at my gate coughing without ceasing and finally simply lay down on the ground. I knew I could not reach a vet until morning. So I sat with Molly for several hours in the night. I prayed. I stroked her. And I rejoiced when she got up on her own with no more coughing. For a couple weeks after that healing Molly would come up to me in the pasture as if to say thank you.

On another occasion I received a call from my surfing buddy, Kenny. He was a Deputy Sheriff and was on duty. He called me to ask for my help. His very large Rottweiler (a dog) named Bear had gotten out of his enclosure. Neighbors had called the City Police and an officer responded. Bear was acting very aggressive, the neighbors were fearful, and it seemed the Police Officer had no options at the moment. He thought he might have to shoot Bear. Kenny called and I was on the scene in a few minutes. The policeman asked me to please do something if I could. I could not rely on just human efforts because Bear did not really know me. So in full prayer mode, I thought of something written in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, “All of God’s creatures, moving in the harmony of Science, are harmless, useful, indestructible” (SH p. 514). It came to me to simply call Bear, acting with complete confidence, open his gate, and expect him to go right back in. And he did!

I found a really special article by Deborah Heubsch, C.S.B. in The Christian Science Monitor that expands on these concepts.

https://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/A-Christian-Science-Perspective/2018/0411/All-creation-is-made-to-live-in-harmony

Section 3: You must be born again, Spirit’s allness and supremacy is fact. [W’s PS#7a, #7b]

A Pharisee named Nicodemus went to see Jesus. He seemed pretty sincere in his coming to Jesus in the middle of the night with his questions. And then the Master told him,

“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” [B11, John 3:1-8]

Hmmm? A lot of people have puzzled over that one. Go on the internet and you will find lots and lots of opinions as to what Jesus meant. But those who have happened upon the teachings of the Holy Ghost, Divine Science, the Spirit of Truth that leads into all Truth can give a first-hand answer based on fact not supposition. Having been healed or touched by the Spirit they know what it means to discover this new birth.

In the last chapter of Science and Health, Fruitage, there are 100 pages of accounts of those who have been healed by reading Science and Health. One of these letters is headed by the phrase, “Born Again.”

“BORN AGAIN

“It was in April, 1904, that I first heard the “still, small voice” of the Christ and received healing through Christian Science; and the blessings have been so many since, that it would take too much space to name them. Reared from childhood in an intellectual atmosphere, my paternal grandfather having been an orthodox minister of the old school for forty years, and my father a deep student, ever seeking for the truth of all things, I began early to ponder and to study into the meaning of life, and came to the conclusion before I was twenty that though God probably existed in some remote place, still it was impossible to connect Him with my present living. My highest creed, therefore, became, “Do right because it is right and not for fear of being punished.” Then began the suffering. Sorrow after sorrow followed each other in rapid succession; for ten long years there was no rest, the road was indeed long and hard and had no turning, until finally the one thing that had stood by me all through the trials, namely, my health, gave way, and with that went my last hope. But the last hour of the night had come, the dawn of day was at hand; a dear friend left Science and Health upon my piano one day, saying that I would gain much good by reading it.

“Glad to get away from my own poor thoughts, I opened the “little book” and began to read. I had read only a short time when such a wonderful transformation took place! I was renewed; born again. Mere words cannot tell the story of the mighty uplifting that carried me to the very gates of heaven. When I began to read the book, life was a burden, but before I had finished reading it the first time, I was doing all my housework and doing it easily; and since that glorious day I have been a well woman. My health is splendid, and I am striving to let my light so shine that others may be led to the truth. There have been some mighty struggles with error, and I have learned that we cannot reach heaven with one long stride or easily drift inside the gate, but that the “asking” and the “seeking” and the “knocking” must be earnest and persistent.

“For a long time I was always looking back to see if the error had gone, until one day when I realized that to catch a glimpse of what spiritual sense means I must put corporeal sense behind me. I then set to work in earnest to find the true way. I opened Science and Health and these words were before me, “If God were understood, instead of being merely believed, this understanding would establish health” (p. 203). I saw that I must get the right understanding of God! I closed the book and with head bowed in prayer I waited with longing intensity for some answer. How long I waited I do not know, but suddenly, like a wonderful burst of sunlight after a storm, came clearly this thought, “Be still, and know that I am God.” I held my breath — deep into my hungering thought sank the infinite meaning of that “I.” All self-conceit, egotism, selfishness, everything that constitutes the mortal “I,” sank abashed out of sight. I trod, as it were, on holy ground. Words are inadequate to convey the fulness of that spiritual uplifting, but others who have had similar experiences will understand.

“From that hour I have had an intelligent consciousness of the ever-presence of an infinite God who is only good. — C. B. G., Hudson, Mass.” (SH 667:19–669:23)

Section 4: Spirit lifts us up right out of all condemnation. [W’s PS#8, #9, #10]

Here we are back to my favorite chapter in the Bible. Paul’s epistle to the Romans, Chapter 8!

B12 | Romans 8:1, 2 1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”

How glorious it is to know that there is no condemnation to those living their life in Christ Jesus, walking in the Spirit! My mom always said it was very important to handle all sense of blame, guilt and condemnation in our prayers for ourselves and others. “There is therefore no condemnation.”

How wonderful to read the healings that Jesus accomplished in his day. Blindness, deafness, lameness, even seeming death. Healed as he lived a life understanding God, Spirit as the only Father, the only source, divine Love. Wow! But he also taught others to heal. Fishermen who became healers. Doctors who became healers. Tentmakers who became healers.

Bible Citation B13 tells of a man lame from his birth. He met Peter and John when he was begging. He could not do anything else. Well, until he ran into those two men trained by our Master in the Science of healing. Presto, change! Mortal birth condemnation no longer bound him, he was uncondemned, whole, free, walking, leaping, praising God. This man had reason to believe that there was no condemnation. He had reason to believe that the evil of sickness had no more power over him. He had reason to believe in being “born again” and being freed from so-called birth defects.

As Mary Baker Eddy writes in citation S18 “Consciousness constructs a better body when faith in matter has been conquered. Correct material belief by spiritual understanding, and Spirit will form you anew.” (425:23–26)

In that lecture I referred to earlier, the one I attended as a kid, Mr. Rieke shared this healing experience,

“This teaching, that since God and His goodness are All-in-all, evil, the opposite of good, must be nothing, is fundamental to Christian Science. It is this aspect of Christian Science that bothers some people. A clergyman once told me there was much good in Christian Science. He studied his Science and Health regularly. He said Mary Baker Eddy had written helpful things on the subject of prayer. But there was one phase of our teachings that he could not accept — the unreality of evil.

He said, "I teach evil is real, but that it can be eliminated through prayer." He told me his wife once had pneumonia. The doctors didn't think she could live until morning. He went to her bedside and said, "Let's pray the way the Bible teaches." When he finished praying he said, "Now let's put the whole thing in God's hands and trust Him." The wife became peaceful and fell asleep. In the morning she awakened completely healed. He said, "You see, I didn't deny the existence of sickness, but through prayer we eliminated it."

I told him I was glad to hear of the healing. There was one point, however, of which I did not think he was aware. When he finished his prayer he said, "Now let's put the whole thing in God's hands." I asked, "Do you think there is any evil, any pneumonia in God's hands?" He looked at me silently for almost a minute, and then said, "I think I'm beginning to see what you mean. I guess I was really denying the existence of pneumonia right there when I acknowledged God's all-power and love."

"Yes," I replied, "and that is the reason your wife was healed. If you had said, 'Let's put it in God's hands tomorrow morning,' she would not have been healed during the night." If, when you pray, you have difficulty seeing the unreality of evil, put the whole situation in God's care, knowing that there is no evil in His presence. Then you too will begin to find good results.”

Section 5: Cornelius, Peter and the unifying power of the one Spirit, God. [W’s PS#11, #12]

Back to Romans, citation B14 says, “as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:14)

The one Spirit, God is not about divisions. God does not know these man-built walls of separation. God knows His children in the entire universe. I was thrilled on a recent Friday with two visitors to our Christian Science Reading Room here in Dresden. First was a Lutheran pastor from one of our nearby churches. We have known each other for several years and it was a lively conversation about the necessity to build no walls between faiths. We both acknowledged one God, Spirit and His Love that surrounds and upholds us all. And then right after that special visit in comes an author looking for research material. He had just completed a book on St. Francis of Assisi including research done at the Vatican. And as he was preparing another volume dealing with St. Francis’ love and communication with animals he thought we might have something in the Reading Room. Although I could not offer him specific material on St. Francis, I could share with him the inspiring ideas found in Science and Health and the Bible about our relationship with all creation, including animals. He immediately confirmed how harmonious these ideas were with how he thought and also with St. Francis.

As Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” (I Corinthians 12:13, B15)

In Bible Citation B16, Peter and Cornelius were inspired and guided by God, Spirit to come together. Both were open and receptive and respectful to each other even though of completely different cultural backgrounds. Peter spoke to Cornelius a Roman Centurion, and to those gathered with him, “And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean. Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” (Acts 10:1-35, B16)

Remain open, loving, receptive to those of all backgrounds. You never know just who it is that God will send to you to be healed and loved. You never know who it is that will be ready to share the message that God, Spirit is our one and only Father.

Years ago I was on a panel discussion with a Presbyterian and a Baptist minister. In the midst of our discussion I was so very pleasantly surprised when I heard the Baptist minister state, “You know I think we spend far too much time with Genesis 2 man. It seems to me like we have forgotten there is a Genesis 1 man.” I couldn’t have said it better myself!

Section 6: Okay, when is all this going to happen? Constantly. Right now. [PS#13, #14]

Have you gotten used to the mortal man of matter’s creating? Are you well acquainted with familiar aches, pains, conditions and circumstances that have accumulated or just popped up and make you want to say, “Oh, woe is me.” Can I interrupt the ongoing organ recital and simply say, “It ain’t you!”

These powerful citations from the Lesson are very good wake-up calls to be who? To be you. The you that your Father-Mother God, Spirit made, maintains, and motivates.

B18 | Revelation 12:10 Now (to :) 10 Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ:

B19 | I Corinthians 3:16 16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

B20 | II Corinthians 3:17, 18 17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Now. Not after now, not after death, not after-life. The now Life that is your Life.

As Jesus, Paul, and Mary Baker Eddy put it:

S29 | 576:21–23 21 “This kingdom of God “is within you,” — is within reach of man’s consciousness here, and the spiritual idea reveals it. “

S30 | 39:18–22 18 “Now,” cried the apostle, “is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation,” — meaning, not that now men must prepare for a future-world salvation, or safety, but that now is the time in which to experience that salvation in spirit and in life.”

How do you qualify? Well, it is quite simple. You remember who you are. God is Spirit. God is the only Creator, your Father. His Son, Jesus, taught us to pray to “Our Father.” He did not teach us to pray to “My Father.” Jesus came to show us that God is our Father and that we are His beloved children. We learned in the lesson that God is no respecter of persons, “But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. (Acts 10:34.)

My last example. My mom and dad met in Lakeland, Florida in late December 1936. Their first date was New Years Eve. On that first date my dad quoted Emerson, The phrase comes from an 1862 Ralph Waldo Emerson essay “American Civilization”: “Now that is the wisdom of a man, in every instance of his labor, to hitch his wagon to a star and see his chore done by the gods themselves.”

Dad said you just have to hitch to a star. Little did he know that was one my mom’s favorite sayings from Mary Baker Eddy’s “Unity of Good.”

“Emerson says, “Hitch your wagon to a star.” I say, Be allied to the deific power, and all that is good will aid your journey, as the stars in their courses fought against Sisera. (Judges v. 20.)”

(Unity of Good 17:1–7)

A few months later my folks were married. Although my dad’s religious background was the Disciples of Christ, Christian Church, my mom knew their union was based on a deeper background, they were both God’s children.

Just a short while later Dad was injured while working. Mom asked if she should call Aunt Patti, a local Christian Science Practitioner. Dad agreed. He came home for lunch. He took a nap. In the early afternoon he went back to his job. He was a debit insurance man. He worked all afternoon and came home feeling fine. The belief was a broken leg. That evening he declared at the dinner table, “My leg couldn’t have been broken. You don’t break a leg and go right back to work.”

When dad volunteered for the Army in the Second World War he underwent a thorough physical exam. The doctor commented, “Well I see you have had a broken leg. But it has healed perfectly and is probably stronger than the other one!”

Dad’s jaw dropped. He was healed of a broken leg in a matter of hours. Result. He read Science and Health all the way through on the troop ship heading for the Philippines.

God knows us. He finds us where we are. And He does not care who we think we are, He knows who we are. His children. And He is looking for a few good children who are ready to accept who they really are. Interested?


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CedarS weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff blessed each summer at CedarS, as well as to CedarS alumni, families and friends who have requested it. The Met application ideas above are provided primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and daily demonstrate the great value of studying and applying the Christian Science Bible lessons throughout the year, not just at camp! YOU CAN ALSO SIGN UP for weekly emails from past CedarS staff of possible ways to share Bible Lesson applications with older, as well as younger, Sunday School classes by clicking the "Subscribe Now" button (lower left) at http://www.cedarscamps.org/meta

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