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Admit the saving Christ

From the February 28, 1983 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

Does your life leave something to be desired? Well, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that human life will probably always leave something to be desired. After all, it's only human. The good news is that the transforming, healing power of the Christ can fulfill your desire for something better through divine Science, the Comforter promised by Jesus.

In the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy defines "Christ" as "the divine manifestation of God, which comes to the flesh to destroy incarnate error." Science and Health, p. 583. Christ destroys sin, disease, death—anything that would close our eyes to our true spiritual nature as in fact the man God created and lead us to accept the belief that man is material and mortal.

Daily we make a conscious choice—to identify with the Christ "which comes to the flesh," or with the "flesh" that the Christ comes to. The first and only real choice is the way Christ Jesus pointed out. By correct identification of ourselves as God's man, we progressively separate ourselves from incarnate error and win individual spiritual victories. But when we identify with the flesh, it is often through suffering that we begin to see the need to overcome incarnate error.

The Christ must inevitably enforce a full salvation from incarnate error for all mankind, thereby demonstrating the will of God. If we are willing to identify ourselves with spirituality and to reject the belief that we are material, we are in a position right now to obtain the healing effect of the Christ.

In Christian healing, a material, mortal sense of existence must yield through self-abnegation to the recognition of good, the spiritual understanding of God. Then good becomes apparent right where we are through the destruction of belief in incarnate error. Human consciousness is freed from false belief, and this change is made manifest through restored or improved physical and moral health. This result illustrates a degree of salvation in the experience of the individual.

Chipping away at what seems undesirable in a strictly personal sense of existence is the unillumined human method of progress. It is a journey into an unknown land without a map. Human logic argues that good must be evident as a change in a situation or the body before good can be recognized. Thus the human attitude toward healing says, "After I am healed I will be grateful."

Christian Science declares that all good and only good is already and always has been recognized by God, its creator, and by the man of God's creating—our true identity. Praying on this basis, we are able to trust the Christ, "the divine manifestation of God," to make good recognizable. Thus, in Christian Science, physical healing is accomplished solely through spiritual means.

Gratitude is the appreciation of good, God, and is a profoundly simple, yet decisive, healing prayer. If we seem overwhelmed by troubles, gratitude may be difficult to feel honestly. Yet this is what we must strive for. The Christian Science textbook states: "Are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more." Ibid., p. 3 .

To profit more fully from our present sense of good requires thoroughness in our efforts to discern that perfection is already present. As we begin to grasp the reality of spiritual existence, we become more willing to rely on the power of the Christ. Jesus tells us to do this with his words "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matt. 11:28. Gratitude—the realization of good—and thoroughness in the work required to heal spiritually, to discern present good, enable us to demonstrate the presence of the Christ.

Although healing does not always demand a struggle, one could be greatly encouraged by the biblical account of Jacob's victory at Peniel. In Jacob's struggle (the work required to recognize good), he addresses the angel, "I will not let thee go, except thou bless me." Gen. 32:26. This word "except" clearly captures the thought of thorough gratitude. When we wrestle at our individual Peniels until we are able to recognize good, we, like Jacob, will be given a new name—a higher sense of our God-given identity.

Paul told the Corinthians, "Behold, now is the day of salvation." II Cor. 6:2. Now we experience what we currently understand of the Christ. We make evident in physical and moral healing the good we realize now. As we acknowledge, fully and finally, infinite God, good, our earthly struggles will bring spiritual progress and we will gain dominion. Our developing character will radiate assurance, and our work will be supported by the strength of moral courage.

Through the lives he restored to health and holiness, the Master gave us the perfect example of what can be experienced when we admit the saving Christ. Jesus gratefully and thoroughly finished the work God gave him to do on earth and then, by his ascension, showed mankind the possibility for ultimate release from matter. We can follow the Way-shower step by step through practicing the teachings of Christian Science.

Let us yield to God, good. Let us begin our spiritual mission—to express individually the good we have recognized through the Christ. Let us awake to the infinite possibility of our promised immortality. Let us never relinquish this moment—our present opportunity to heal—until we discover within it, within ourselves, the realm of the saving Christ. Why? The Bible tells us of the Christ, "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him." I John 4:9.

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