"Christ in you"

        It doubtless called for great daring on the part of St. Paul to tell the Colossians that the “mystery” which had been hidden from mankind throughout the ages was made known in these words: “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” In the same chapter where these words occur the apostle urges his readers to cling to this hope, and he declares the purpose of his ministry, with its toils and sacrifices, to be “that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” He then makes it clear that it is not mortal man who is to attain to this perfection. On the contrary, he says that this mortal concept is “dead” and that “the old man with his deeds” must be put off, but he at the same time declares that Christ “is our life.” Here it should be noted that it is not enough to put off the anger, malice, and filthy communications, which are all products of the false mortal concept, but the man of the flesh must give place to “the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.”

         To students of Christian Science all this is self-evident truth, but many of them can remember that they were startled if not shocked when they were first told that the sick are healed in Christian Science by the same power which Jesus of Nazareth exercised, and much spiritual illumination was needed before they were ready to accept Mrs. Eddy’s statements on page 495 of Science and Health: “God will heal the sick through man, whenever man is governed by God. Truth casts out error now as surely as it did nineteen centuries ago.” The second of these statements explains the first, but it is usually only after some great need is met, some severe suffering overcome, that the truth thus expressed is gratefully accepted. It does, however, seem strange that the Christian world should so long have been practically without “the hope of the gospel,” — “the hope of glory” urged upon the Colossians by St. Paul.

         “Christ in you”! What vistas of spiritual possibilities are opened up in these words, and alas that these possibilities should ever be denied by anyone who professed to be a follower of the Master, he who excluded none that accepted his teachings from the far-reaching provision, “The works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these.” With its usual perversity and subtlety the carnal mind has argued that these words had reference only to the time when they were spoken. Did not the Master himself say, however, that the truth they embody should be taught to “all nations,” and are we not told that Christ Jesus is “the same yesterday, and today, and forever”?

         Many good people unthinkingly accept this declaration as applying to God alone, and no one would think of denying that God must be the same in all ages. They fail to remember that this passage does not refer to God, but to “Jesus Christ.” They also stop short of the inevitable application of the truth that the Christ-power is the same in every age. Were it otherwise, the healing work of the Master, his demonstrations of spiritual law, would have been without witnesses after his immediate disciples had passed from this plane of experience, and the “hope of glory” voiced by St. Paul would have ceased to light the path of the wayfarer. Furthermore, the inspired word which announces “Christ in you” would be entirely shorn of its significance.

         Thanks to Christian Science, however, there is now no danger of this, for the witnesses are multiplying daily, those who have found for themselves beyond all question that the Christ-power to heal is “the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” The Christ-presence ever with us is felt when one turns away from materiality and reaches out for divine aid, the first step being to acknowledge, even if with faint faith, the great truth thus stated. Then comes healing, sometimes with surprising swiftness, and this is followed by the spiritualizing process, the goal of which is “every man perfect in Christ Jesus,” doing the works that he did and commanded his followers to do in “the full assurance of understanding.”


"Christ in you" by Annie M. Knott, CSD
Christian Science Sentinel, October 23, 1915

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