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Of Good Report

Church membership brings progress

From the August 2017 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Jesus said he would found his church on the “rock,” Christ, and promised: “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (see Matthew 16:13–19).

The early Christian Church certainly proved it was able to withstand relentless persecution, as it grew and demonstrated its efficacy. The book of Acts describes how the beginnings of the Church brought great change—for example, equality between Jews and Gentiles (see 10:28). Many healing works were done, such as Aeneas’ healing of palsy (see 9:33, 34) and Tabitha’s restoration from the dead (see 9:40). When Peter was imprisoned, the members prayed “without ceasing” until he was released (see 12:5–10). And after Paul was stoned and supposed to be dead, “as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up” (14:20). Church certainly supported these early Christians in their demonstration of what Jesus had taught.

Almost two thousand years later, the founder of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Mary Baker Eddy, defined Church, in part, as “that institution, which affords proof of its utility and is found elevating the race, rousing the dormant understanding from material beliefs to the apprehension of spiritual ideas and the demonstration of divine Science, thereby casting out devils, or error, and healing the sick” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 583).

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