Is it lawful?

THE scene must have been dramatic. Jesus had entered a synagogue on the Sabbath and found there a man with a withered hand.1 Challenging the Pharisaic interpretation of the Mosaic law, he asked a pointed question: ``Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?'' Then, in answer to the question, he healed the man. Today the focus is not so much on differing views of Sabbath day activity as on spiritual healing itself. Is it lawful? Healing through prayer is prevalent throughout the Scriptures. It was practiced by the patriarchs and prophets, reached its highest, most infallible point in the ministry of Christ Jesus, and continued with the work of his followers. The apostles, including Paul, are recorded in the New Testament as spiritual healers who considered healing to be a natural result of following what Jesus had taught. Many Christians are recognizing today that healing through prayer is a viable response to the Christly command ``Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.''2

Christian Science has championed spiritual healing for more than a century. Its Discoverer and Founder, Mary Baker Eddy, states: ``Sickness, sin, and death, being inharmonious, do not originate in God nor belong to His government. His law, rightly understood, destroys them.''3 The law that causes individual regeneration and redemption and brings healing begins simply with the one omnipotent, ever-present God and His spiritual creation. Man, the image and likeness of God, can no more be unlike his perfect creator than the image in a mirror can become unlike its original. The scientific fact that like produces like -- Spirit, God, creates perfect spiritual offspring -- is a law that, when understood, acts to destroy the evidence of disease and other forms of inharmony that seem so solid to the physical senses. The essence of this spiritual law of perfect cause and perfect effect is clearly implied in the Ten Commandments introduced by Moses and fulfilled in the healing works of Christ Jesus. Having one infinitely good God and recognizing no image or likeness unlike Him blazes the trail of humble obedience to Jesus' teachings and is the law of healing.

One day I became very ill. Praying as Christian Science teaches, I did not plead with God to set aside certain material laws by divine intervention, nor did I ask for a special miracle. Rather, I acknowledged the presence of God's law of healing love acting powerfully to nullify any other sense of law. I knew that the normal outcome of God's eternal law is not suffering but redemption. Gently the First Commandment came to thought. I realized with a strong and comforting feeling that the spiritual law of one supreme God, good, included no requirement to obey another law, one of discord or disease. I was instantly healed. There was no need for even a brief period of recuperation.

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Such spiritual healings, just as those related in the Bible, are not isolated events but a strong chain of continuity demonstrating the law of God. That law counteracts the tyranny of disease because it includes the universal power of good to dispute anything contrary to God's holy, healing, uplifting nature. Peter was well-acquainted with physical laws, yet he walked on the water at the bidding of the Master. When he became fearful, he began to sink; but Christ was there to lift him up.4 This uplifting Christ is still available to one whose heart reaches out for it in humility and sincerity.

Waves of physical, financial, and moral distress have no power to replace the divine law of healing and salvation. It is written on our hearts -- our deepest desires to know God. It is the reason for the prayerful cry ``Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.''5

1See Luke 6:6-10. 2Matthew 10:8. 3Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 472. 4See Matthew 14:29-31. 5Psalms 119:18.

You can find more articles about spiritual healing in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. Psalms 30:2

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