As a Christian Scientist, I have sometimes been asked by a fellow Christian, ''Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour?'' I have always answered with total sincerity, ''Yes, I believe that acceptance of Jesus and his sacrifice for mankind is the only way to be saved.''
How could I not? Christian Scientists believe the Bible to be the Word of Life, the record of God's revelation to mankind. And in God's Word, the Son of God plainly says, ''I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.'' n1 For the Christian Scientist, these words, spoken by him who was both Son of man and Son of God, reveal one historical Jesus as the very embodiment of the eternal Christ, Truth.
n1 John 14:6.
As the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Maty Baker Eddy, states in the religious tenets of her Church: ''We acknowledge Jesus' atonement as the evidence of divine, efficacious Love, unfolding man's unity with God through Christ Jesus the Way-shower; and we acknowledge that man is saved through Christ , through Truth, Life, and Love as demonstrated by the Galilean Prophet in healing the sick and overcoming sin and death.'' n2
n2 Science and Health with key to the Scriptures, p. 497.
''But is Jesus your personal Saviour?'' someone may ask. This question can only be answered from within the faith abiding in each Christian's heart. Christian Scientists can attest that through the Master's words, and through his love, which they feel in their hearts, Jesus is as close and dear to them as is possible for one who is not physically present.
Without the Saviour's personal guidance through his living words, how could the heaven-hungry pilgrim find his way? The truths that Jesus spoke comfort us as nothing else can. They are the very words of life. They help us understand the Father. They give us faith and understanding. They strengthen us to resist temptation. Spiritually understood, they enable us to do the healing works he said his followers should accomplish.
Jesus' labors for mankind, though performed nearly two thousand years ago, continue to bless, heal, and redeem. History was forever changed by his mighty works and words. The love poured forth in his life continues to find its way into the receptive heart, lifting consciousness to the reality of spiritual sonship with God.
The Christian Scientist understands that the presence of the Christ is not gained by mere profession of faith. Jesus himself said, ''He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: . . . and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.'' n3 For the Master, obedience and discipleship were proof of faith and love.
n3 John 14:21.
In Science and Health Mrs. Eddy tells the reader: ''To keep the commandments of our Master and follow his example, is our proper debt to him and the only worthy evidence of our gratitude for all that he has done. Outward worship is not of itself sufficient to express loyal and heartfelt gratitude, since he has said: 'If ye love me, keep my commandments.' '' n4
n4 Science and Health, p. 4.
Doesn't every Christian yearn to be able to obey Jesus' timeless command, ''Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give''? n5 The world desperately needs practical proof of the power of the living Christ. Thousands of Christians can attest that Christian Science is helping them leave behind matter-bound beliefs and practices that would obscure God's regenerating power. The result is healing and deeper faith in the reality of life in and of Spirit.
n5 Matthew 10:8.
Jesus a personal Saviour? Yes, through grace and Truth. And grace demands individual discipleship -- cross-bearing, repentance, reformation, spiritual growth. Truth requires a life so filled with the spiritual understanding of God and His Christ that Christian prayer heals sickness and sin with surety and power. These signs are the highest proof we may offer that in Christ Jesus we see and know ''the way, the truth, and the life.'' DAILY BIBLE VERSE Now is come salvation, and strength, and the Kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ. Revelation 12:10