Many Christians have echoed the poignant words of the Apostle Paul (Rom. 7:19), "The good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do." Many also have wondered why their sincere efforts to work in God's vineyard have yielded such insignificant fruitage. Paul recognized the conflict between good and evil which appeared to be waged within him. He did not, however, leave any definite analysis of evil's perversive and illusive methods of operation and how to counteract them. It remained for Christian Science to do this.
The law of God was revealed to Mary Baker Eddy as omnipotent, ever present, and available to meet all human needs. From this basis she exposes with trenchant clearness the falsity of evil's claim to power and its pretensions to act as universal law; thus she lays bare its cunning propaganda of self-aggrandizement. In "Miscellaneous Writings" she speaks of three stages of thought through which we pass as we begin the mighty task of overcoming sin and turning from a false material sense of existence to the reality of life as spiritual and eternal, in and of God. She says (p. 107), "Three cardinal points must be gained before poor humanity is regenerated and Christian Science is demonstrated: (1) A proper sense of sin; (2) repentance; (3) the understanding of good." These basic points are not learned one after another, like rules in arithmetic. On the contrary, they are gained through experience and spiritual growth.
In the experience that changed the course of his life, Saul accepted these cardinal points so essential to progress. A lesson startling in its suddenness and severity taught him the treachery of his human sense of right and wrong. From a mistaken sense of loyalty to the letter of the law he had been persecuting the followers of Jesus. When he was awakened by the Christ-voice, his repentance was deep and enduring. He must have seen his self-righteousness and rigidity of thought for what they really were, false states of the carnal mind which, as he later declared, is enmity against God.