CHURCH MEMBERSHIP AND INDIVIDUAL SALVATION

The fundamentals for both individual salvation and church membership are stated by Christ Jesus as recorded in Matthew (22:37-39): "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." The thought in the second commandment is contained also in the Golden Rule (Luke 6:31): "As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise." Our Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, writes in her work, "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany" (p. 5), "The First Commandment of the Hebrew Decalogue, 'Thou shalt have no other gods before me,' and the Golden Rule are the all-in-all of Christian Science."

The two essentials, love for God and love for man, are inseparable in the working out of individual salvation. A simple definition of "salvation" is "that which saves." In Christian Science this process is seen to be mental, involving repentance and reformation. Repentance consists in a change of mind from a material concept of creation and existence to the true recognition that all causation is vested in the one all-embracing, eternal, divine Mind, God. Man's existence, as God's image and likeness, is evidenced in the expression of God's qualities. It will be readily seen that reformation takes place in individual human consciousness; it is not and cannot be a collective process.

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BEHOLDING THE CHRIST
February 11, 1956
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