The word redemption, as understood in Christian Science, gains new significance and value as the spiritual process indicated by it becomes better understood. The word and its derivatives may be found from Genesis to Revelation, and a study of these in the light of Christian Science lifts thought above material sense, with its pains and penalties, up to the freedom which belongs to all of God's children. According to Webster, to redeem is "to ransom, liberate, or rescue from captivity or bondage, or from any obligation or liability to suffer or to be forfeited, by paying a price or ransom." The first Bible reference on this subject is found in Genesis, where we read that Jacob in blessing the two sons of Joseph said: "The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads." This, taken in the light of Mrs. Eddy's interpretation of angels, presents a far-reaching truth; it signifies "God's thoughts passing to man; spiritual intuitions, pure and perfect; the inspiration of goodness, purity, and immortality, counteracting all evil, sensuality, and mortality" (Science and Health, p. 581).

         In following this thought throughout the Scriptures we find many statements which declare that God redeems men from death and the grave, as well as from sin and sickness, from "the power of the sword" and from "the scourge of the tongue." It is significant that at the very time when redemption is most needed, — when error is at its worst, when defeat seems inevitable, — the divine aid is at hand. Christ Jesus prepared his disciples for times of perplexity, "men's hearts failing them for fear;" but he also said, "When these things begin to come to, pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."

         In pondering this subject, Paul's statements regarding the redemption of the body, as given in the eighth chapter of Romans, are of deep import to students of Christian Science. He reminds us that "the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now," and he adds that even those who "have the firstfruits of the Spirit" are waiting for something, and that it is "the redemption of our body." He also says that in this struggle we are helped in the only way and by the only means which can redeem, — not by drugs or surgery, but by the power of Spirit, God, teaching us "what we should pray for as we ought." This surely brings us very close to Christian Science!

         Some unfortunately suppose that Christian Science leads us to ignore the body, but this is a mistaken view of its teaching and practise. The redemption of the human mind and body begins the moment that truth is accepted by one as a remedy for the ills which afflict mankind, and the work of the Christian Science practitioner is to lift thought above mortal sense, up to the true consciousness of man's being as the likeness of God. It should not be forgotten that this lifts one above bodily consciousness into mental freedom and spiritual power, and the price paid for freedom is the surrender of material and sensual belief respecting man for the Christ-ideal of being and doing. Mrs. Eddy says, "Rightly understood, instead of possessing a sentient material form, man has a sensationless body" (Science and Health, p. 280). Sensation in the body implies a diseased tendency. Even on the human plane we are not conscious of heart, lungs, eye, or ear, unless mortal mind is offering a report of some discordant condition, and the remedy for this is to lift the discordant thought from the body, or, as the Master has bidden us, "Look up, and lift up your heads."

         One thing is sure, namely, that full redemption is promised and provided! Is it being realized? Christian Scientists are ready to answer this affirmatively in the ratio of their faithfulness to this truth taught them, and with inexpressible gratitude to God for the truth that makes free from fear, disease, and sin, they echo Job's triumphant outburst, "I know that my redeemer liveth"!


"Redemption" by Annie M. Knott, CSD
Christian Science Sentinel, January 17, 1914

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