"The household of faith"

Paul in his letter to the church in Galatia, with an extraordinary insight into the affairs of the early followers of the Master, discusses many problems which confronted them in common with all other Christians of that time. In exhorting them to live in consecration and purity, in brotherly love and self-forgetfulness, he addressed them in these words: "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." Who comprised this "household of faith," what constituted them such an household, and why this grand apostle should thus express himself in regard to them are queries which naturally arise with every thoughtful student of the Scriptures.

To "do good unto all men," the standard to which Paul rallies his followers, is obviously in conformity with the teachings of the Master. For in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus declared unqualifiedly against the holding of enmity against any, even against those who might be termed one's enemies. In his letter, Paul asks the Christian in Galatia to do good to all men, that is, to cherish enmity toward none, and to be especially careful to do good to "the household of faith." Who were they? It seems indisputable that they were the small band who, having caught the glorious light of the Christ, Truth, either from the Nazarene himself or from some of his enlightened disciples, had banded themselves together, both for their own welfare and for the more effective carrying on of the work of propagating Christianity. The tie that bound them into an household of holy faith was their common understanding of the spiritual truth, which Christ Jesus had so effectually proclaimed and demonstrated. The fadeless light of perfect being had shone upon them, and they stood before the world illumined by a radiance known only to themselves, a radiance entirely unrecognized by those too materially-minded to have caught its healing rays. Paul's appeal then was, in substance, for those spiritually inspired people to do good to one another—to live in the spirit of true fellowship, as Christians exemplifying before the world the precious precepts to the propagation of which he was so arduously devoting himself.

There is in the apostle's message, moreover, a call for all who name the name of Christ to live in Christianly fellowship. Especially should the message reach Christian Scientists; for through the cleansing presence of the Christ they have come into some understanding of God, of the real man as God's image, and of all men as the sons of God, the perfect "household of faith," where only love abides.

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Magnify the Lord
December 29, 1928

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