A WONDERFUL transformation occurs in our lives as we begin to know ourselves as offspring of God. The Bible tells us, ``Beloved, now are we the sons of God....''1 Clearly, sin needs to be faced squarely and overcome. Yet we forward this victory as we grow in the understanding of our genuine, spiritual selfhood.

Note, the apostle says, ``Now are we the sons of God.'' Our status as God's offspring is not something we will attain in the far-off future but is a present reality. The spiritual man of God's creating is perfect now and does not need to grow into perfection. But we need to demonstrate the reality of our being, step by step. We need to put off carnal, materialistic thinking in order to see and know ourselves as God's image. Sensual living, and a superficial desire for prestige and worldly popularity, hide the true image of God. They deceive one into believing he is climbing the ladder, so to speak, while in a profound sense the very opposite is happening. Only in Christly living can we find true satisfaction and completeness.

The path of regeneration, of awakening from this delusion of the carnal mind to the joys of Spirit, is one of continuous enrichment. Each day brings new discoveries of one's true, Godlike selfhood.

Some time ago, a violin case lay in a heap of debris in a storage room for several years. A violinist passing by was asked if he wanted it. He said yes. When he opened the deteriorated case, he found a violin. After wiping off many layers of dust, he learned that it was a very valuable instrument. The original wood of the violin was neither touched nor marred by the dust of time.

Like the beauty of the violin, immortal man has never been touched by the vicissitudes of mortal existence, and this is the man we really are now. No matter how long a trouble has existed, no matter how many years one has been indulging in wrong practices, he can at once change direction and come into the light of Christ, Truth.

I was healed of a deep sense of inferiority when hearing for the first time the statement ``Now are we the sons of God'' read at the conclusion of a Christian Science Sunday church service. For many years I had labored under the harsh belief that I was never ``good enough.'' When I exchanged this false, detrimental sense of myself for the spiritually enlightened view of man -- when I knew myself as a son, an heir, of God -- I was lifted out of the mire of self-depreciation and inadequacy.

Christ Jesus' spiritual relationship to the Father was the basis from which he was able to perform his marvelous healing work. The Master said, ``The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.''2 The nobility and healing power he demonstrated were a reflection of divine power and illustrated his unity with God.

We hear much these days about building up one's self-esteem. What is this self? Is it a mortal personality, inclined to feel pride and arrogance followed by rejection and dejection? Is this the self we are to build up? The spiritual selfhood of man is not influenced by nor dependent on worldly whims and trends, likes and dislikes. The image and likeness of God, His perfect expression, is not subject to the vagaries of the human mind.

This understanding of our scientific relationship to the Father as a child of God, discerned in prayer and established in consciousness, can be of immeasurable help in every aspect of our lives -- for example, when we're seeking employment or applying for admission to a university. If for some reason we're not accepted, we will not be discouraged or doubt our self-worth because of a human evaluation. Rather we'll continue to pursue our goal until we find the place where we can put our talents to good use. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, asks these pertinent questions: ``Shall the opinions, systems, doctrines, and dogmas of men gauge the animus of man? or shall his stature in Christ, Truth, declare him?''3

Turning to the all-wise, loving, Father-Mother God for guidance and progress, we can claim our rich heritage as His sons and daughters and humbly reflect our real worth.

1I John 3:2. 2John 14:10. 3Christian Science versus Pantheism, p. 11.

You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. Romans 8:16

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