Triumphing in Temptation

Through his intimate sense of sonship with the Father, Christ Jesus conquered every temptation that befell him, and his example of undivided allegiance to God, Spirit, holds good for all mankind. Had Jesus regarded himself as merely human, and from this imperfect premise striven to resist evil, he would not have emerged victorious. When tempted of Satan in three distinct ways, he did not descend to parley with the subtle suggestions, but peremptorily dismissed them. He did not suspend his true witnessing to God and his spiritual selfhood in order to weigh the possible validity or utility of the satanic suggestions, nor did he waste his time fearing them. It was as the Son of God that he saw through the temptations of material sense and triumphed over them; and one can triumph in no other way. The secret of triumphing in temptation is to hold to the consciousness of sonship with the Father, as did Jesus, and this is not presumption but Christian obedience. The basis of Spirit is the basis of victory in Christian Science, and on this basis there is no possibility of defeat.

Material theories and impressions claim to attract and distract human thought and to center it upon the beliefs of pleasurable and painful sensation. Hence this claim of false attraction must be honestly faced and spiritually destroyed through the recognition of the supremacy of spiritual attraction and by the absorbing pursuit of that which promotes spiritual growth. On page 213 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" Mrs. Eddy writes, "Material theories partially paralyze this attraction towards infinite and eternal good by an opposite attraction towards the finite, temporary, and discordant." The Christian Scientist rejoices in proof after proof of the attraction of divine Love. To his listening ear comes the assurance of his sonship, his unshaken courage, and the sufficiency and elasticity of his spiritual understanding. Spiritual loyalty, vision, and courage spring from the love of good implanted in the human heart by infinite divine Love, and, so seen, they operate unabated by the seeming acuteness of any temptation.

The necessity of the Christian Scientist is to acknowledge but one origin or source, one attraction and response—spiritual response to the call of Spirit. "There is but one real attraction, that of Spirit. The pointing of the needle to the pole symbolizes this all-embracing power or the attraction of God, divine Mind" (Science and Health, p. 102). This allegiance to Spirit is not a mere religious duty, nor is it a matter of choice; it is the disclosure of each one's real and only identity, his spiritual identity, which is now and everlastingly established in and by God and here and now demonstrable. Temptation is mortally mental; the power to resist it is to be seen as spiritual and in every case adequate. However physical it may appear to be, temptation is never anything but a mistaken mental state above which the power of Truth can lift one. The study and application of the chapter "A Colloquy" in "Unity of Good" by Mrs. Eddy equips one to meet temptation not from a merely personal or dutiful point of view, but scientifically, specifically, radically, and always with the expectation of victorious results.

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Christian Science Baptism
March 18, 1933

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