"Holy, acceptable unto God"

Paul, in his epistle to the Romans, said, "Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." The Scriptural text has puzzled not a few Christian warriors, and has given food for study and thought to many earnest beginners in Christian Science. The stumblingblock has been the word "bodies." In the light of Christian Science, however, the text becomes easily comprehensible. As thought is purified, purification of the body follows as a necessary and normal consequence. Our consciousness is purged as it discerns man, the spiritual idea, in the likeness of Spirit, eternally at one with his divine source.

Surely, God does not require burnt sacrifices. "I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord," sang the Psalmist. The word "sacrifice" is linked with the thought of consecration. A dictionary defines "consecrate" as "to appropriate to sacred uses; to set apart, dedicate, or devote, to the service or worship of God." Erroneous thoughts, assuming the guise of reality, however cherished, disappear as right thoughts appear. These right thoughts the Christian Scientist appropriates to sacred use. What is "holy, acceptable unto God"? Is it not that which is whole—that which is perfect and pure?

In what has been called "the pearl of parables" we see the awakened consciousness of the prodigal son as exemplifying what is acceptable unto God. He learned that greed and riotous living separated him from good; while humility, gratitude, love, brought him to his father. These qualities are acceptable to the Father. Such offerings are their own reward. They are "the fruit of the Spirit ... love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance."

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The Fifth Commandment
August 29, 1936

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