True Armament

A study of the recorded letters written by St. Paul to the Christian churches of his day reveals that great apostle as a deep spiritual thinker, as well as a metaphysician versed in the art of conveying a lesson of spiritual truth by means of illustrative phraseology. In a letter to the faithful Christians in Ephesus, after warning them against various evils and pointing out certain duties, he admonishes them to "put on the whole armour of God," and forthwith gives an illuminating description of that armor, piece by piece. He stresses in particular the shield, which he designates "the shield of faith;" and the weapon he commends is "the sword of the Spirit." In the entire equipment there is nothing that could deteriorate or disintegrate, for it consists of enduring spiritual substance.

Christian Science not only unreservedly indorses both the armor and the weapon described by St. Paul, but also proves them to be eminently practical. They far excel anything that could be devised by human ingenuity, for the armor is impregnable and the weapon irresistible. The importance of the shield may be readily recognized in the light of Christian Science teaching. In designating it "the shield of faith" Paul certainly referred to something far higher than blind faith or mere belief in God, for such faith can give no definite assurance of protection. As is stated in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy (p. 23): "Faith, if it be mere belief, is as a pendulum swinging between nothing and something, having no fixity. Faith, advanced to spiritual understanding, is the evidence gained from Spirit, which rebukes sin of every kind and establishes the claims of God." It is "faith, advanced to spiritual understanding," or demonstrable faith, to which Paul refers. Nothing short of this could insure safety from "all the fiery darts of the wicked."

July 21, 1934

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