Those who are best acquainted with the fact of man's spiritual perfection as the image and likeness of God are the most insistent upon building up defenses against the depredations of sin. For instance, there is no inconsistency in the method of Christ Jesus, who taught that there is a perfect Father and a perfect son, but who also provided strict rules of human conduct for the destruction of sinful thoughts and acts.

In the Sermon on the Mount, the Master propounded the right defense against sin: obedience to God's commandments, purity in our inmost thoughts, spiritual singleness of Mind, diligence in seeking the good things of Spirit.

Jesus did not ignore the human claim of sin, but showed men how to destroy that claim and keep themselves spotless in the seeming presence of iniquity. In his great prayer recorded in the seventeenth chapter of John, the Master included this petition for his disciples: "I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil." And he added, "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." Thus we see that the Master's declaration that the devil, or evil, is a liar and that "there is no truth in him" (John 8:44) did not preclude the necessity of one's dealing definitely with evil.

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Church Dedications
March 1, 1958

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