'Healing Under the Law and the Gospel'
(Page 5 of 7)
If the Ten Commandments constitute the essence of divine law, and obedience to this law reveals the innocence of man, why do we also need to turn to the teachings of Christ Jesus in order to enjoy spiritual healing and regeneration? Because violation of the law brings its own punishment. However, Jesus' teachings - to which Christian Science fully adheres - do not pursue the punishment of the individual, but his regeneration. This regeneration cancels suffering or penalty.Skip to next paragraph
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Part of Mrs. Eddy's definition of ''Moses,'' in its spiritual meaning, in the Glossary of Science and Health, is, ''A type of moral law and the demonstration thereof; the proof that, without the gospel, - the union of justice and affection, - there is something spiritually lacking, since justice demands penalties under the law'' (p. 592).
You may remember that in working with the inmates at the penitentiary, it was only when I allowed the loving, compassionate nature of the gospel - which presents man as innocent - to govern my feelings about them that I was able to share the healing message of Christian Science and be of some help. The need wasn't to analyze personalities, materialistic behavior, and aberrations of conduct. The need was to exercise Christian compassion, accepting the basic, innate innocence of man as a starting point.
It's interesting to see signs of this compassionate Christianity in our society today. A new trend in prison reform is to seek to regenerate the individual through more loving, intelligent treatment.
Every time we are confronted by inharmony, by questionable behavior, we can resort to the law of divine Love. This law declares man the child of God. It's at the heart of Christ Jesus' message of salvation.
In healings related in the New Testament we find a loving look, tender affection, sweet patience, which impelled individuals to fulfill the Mosaic law. This, in turn, would open the door to freedom from the suffering imposed by disobedience.
Once the scribes and Pharisees brought to Jesus a woman caught committing adultery. As unbending adherents of the Mosaic law, they believed they had the right to stone her. But could the gospel Christ Jesus was bringing from divine Love include the spilling of blood? Compassion and mercy lead the way to reform. So, first he dealt with the accusers, letting them know that no human being is in a position to condemn another. His historic words are still valid for us all: ''He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her'' (John 8: 7). Obedience and compassion linked
What was the result? They all left the woman alone. There was no more self-justification for committing a crime, not even in the name of law. Then Jesus turned to the woman and told her that he didn't condemn her either. His final words to her were, ''Go, and sin no more'' (John 8:11). The admonition was an emphatic, authoritative reminder of the need for obeying the Mosaic law, ''Thou shalt not commit adultery'' (Ex. 20:14). Jesus' words may have implied: Show your purity to the world, your complete repentance and redemption, your firm resolution to be led by wisdom in gaining dominion over passions and temptations.
The compassionate nature of the gospel - the good tidings of salvation for the human race - was also expressed in this story in that the people were protected from becoming debtors to the commandment ''Thou shalt not kill'' (Ex. 20:13).
Here we have a case illustrating how important it is not to contemplate human personality but to discern the real individuality of man - the innocence of his real being. The gospel doesn't teach us to condone sin. However, because all of us in our real being are innocent, we all deserve the same compassion, a compassion that redeems, that enables us to cherish the law of divine Love.