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DOMINION OVER TEMPTATION

From the March 1936 issue of The Christian Science Journal


IT is related in the Gospel of Matthew that Christ Jesus, before he started upon his ministry of healing, was tempted in certain ways by the devil, which among other subtleties suggested that he accept a life of ease in matter. If the Master would only admit reality in evil or use evil power for the furtherance of his ends, the wealth of the world was to be his. All the so-called glory of worldly power and riches was brought before his thought for consideration, but the Master quickly dismissed the temptation and stated the truth that nullified the error. Jesus overcame the insidious suggestions of evil by complete reliance upon God, based upon his matchless spiritual understanding of the Father's holy presence. And so he was not only unharmed and untouched, but strengthened by the testing experience. The reward for his steadfastness then came, for we read in the record that "the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him." Our great Way-shower's victories over sin and sense stand for all time as a source of encouragement for all who would follow in his footsteps.

Our great Leader, Mary Baker Eddy, gives us encouraging instruction applicable to the overcoming of temptation where in loving admonition she says (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 406), "Resist evil—error of every sort— and it will flee from you;" and on page 446, "Resisting evil, you overcome it and prove its nothingness." All through the textbook she gives us rules for our guidance in our upward course, whereby we may emulate Jesus' example. Learning that every step the Master took was God-ordained, and adhering to his teaching, as explained in Christian Science, we shall gain, step by step, the understanding that will enable us to demonstrate increasing spirituality and dominion.

Jesus' ability to withstand the suggestions of evil was based on his understanding that his real, spiritual selfhood was not susceptible to the insinuations of materiality, and consequently could not be seen or reached by aggressive mental suggestions, any more than could God, his Father, whom he reflected. The Holy Bible declares of God, "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity." It must, therefore, be clear that as this is true regarding God, it is also true about God's image and likeness, man. That which seems to tempt is a falsity, and it can operate only in mortal belief. As there is only one God, there is only the man of His creating, the expression of God; and this man is good, pure, and holy, and cannot cognize any evil. The real selfhood of each one is the spiritual idea of God.

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