"From death unto life"

No phase of Jesus' teaching was more emphatic than the need to love God and one's fellow-men. The two commandments which he declared to be the greatest of all proclaimed this necessity in language so direct and withal, so forceful, as to be unmistakable. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind," leaves no doubt in the thought of the reader as to the Master's meaning. So to love God, good, as to exclude affection for all unlike Him was the standard he set for mortals! "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" is equally direct and unequivocal. The obligation upon mortals to love God and one's fellow-men completely occupied Jesus' thought, and was so frequently upon his lips that its spirit pervades his entire teachings.

The disciples, too, profound students of their beloved Master, emphatically expressed the need always to manifest love toward all men under all circumstances, always and invariably. So impressed was John with this need that he wrote, "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." Startling statement! We pass "from death unto life" because we love our fellow-men. Transcendent truth! Loving the brethren, then, is the great necessity, for thereby do we overcome as a necessary experience the belief termed death; and this victory is won in proportion as we gain that spiritual understanding of God and man wherein Life is revealed as perfect, eternal, changeless.

What the consequences are of failing to love the brethren, the apostle declares in the concluding sentence of the verse above quoted: "He that loveth not his brother abideth in death." Could words more definitely convey the serious results of failing to manifest love toward mankind? Failure to love our fellow-men even brings death. Under the searchlight of spiritual truth these passages take on a profound significance. The importance of their messages is laid bare, and the way is made plain in Christian Science whereby they may become practicable as the guide of daily life.

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"We cannot serve two masters"
October 25, 1924

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