When the keeper of the prison realized the power of Truth to deliver those who had been unjustly deprived of their liberty, he came with fear and trembling and fell down before Paul and Silas and earnestly asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" The reply was, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." No doubt most people have at some time in their lives asked this same question, and perhaps they have pondered these words of the apostles, wondering what was the true interpretation thereof. The doctrine of justification by faith has been preached for centuries. It has appealed to some as offering an easy way of escape from sin and the effects of wrong thinking and doing. To others it has seemed impossible that the mere fact of believing on the one who is justly considered as the best man the world has ever known, should be sufficient to atone for sin and deliver those who have spent the greater part of their lives in bondage to evil.

No one will deny that there is good authority in the Scriptures for the doctrine of justification by faith. Paul said, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Through faith we are justified in the sight of God and begin to dwell in harmony with the divine Principle of all true being. On the other hand, there are many familiar texts which show that something more than faith, as that term is generally understood, is necessary to salvation. For example: "Faith without works is dead;" "Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only;" "For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified:" "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only." Many other similar texts could be cited, showing what is necessary to meet the divine requirements.

In favor of the teaching that a man is saved by faith and not by works, may be quoted such texts as these: "A man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ;" "That no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith;" "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." If there seems to be an apparent contradiction in these passages of Scripture, it is only apparent, and it disappears in the light which Christian Science is throwing on the inspired Word.

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May 28, 1910

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