Grace may be summed up as a release from all human desires in the actual understanding and achievement of spiritual realities.
Grace means the gift of God. The children of God live by grace, since as children of God we are heirs - "heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ." And of course, the Father reveals, "Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine."
Most men and women have a measure of faith that there is a God - a divine Power, but to some, there comes a conviction or actual realization which is termed an experience of Christ - and from then on their lives are lived by grace.
This spiritual experience is also known as illumination, or rebirth. In mystical literature it is sometimes spoken of as Cosmic Consciousness or Christ Consciousness. Those fortunate enough to come to this light have no further "problems" of existence, since they are fed, clothed and housed from the infinite Fountain of Life we call Christ.
While the Bibles of all peoples contain numerous true stories of the miraculous experiences of the illumined, the activity of the Christ, resulting in living by grace, is by no means limited to the past. More than ever before, untold numbers of men and women have experienced the Christ, and are now living lives of beauty, health, harmony and joy - by grace.
With truth now available to all who can read, spiritual illumination, resulting in lives lived by grace, is a possibility to every earnest seeker. To live, "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit," it is only necessary that we earnestly desire a knowledge of God. "Acquaint now thyself with him," and peace will follow.
The moment you receive that instant of conviction, that inner awareness of the Presence - the very moment you "feel" the atmosphere of Love, or are touched by a realization of the Father within; that is the beginning of your life by grace.
The reading and study of inspired spiritual literature, meditation on God and the things of God, leading to actual communion with the Father within, brings to your consciousness the touch of the Christ.
This moment of illumination cannot be adequately described, since it appears in different ways to different men and women, but all who have received this Light understand the experiences of all the illumined of all ages.
The advent of the Christ in the consciousness of Jesus of Nazareth was accompanied by the deep humility that forever after made him deny personal powers, personal virtues, and personal honors in his conviction that "I can of mine own self do nothing," and "The Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works." Again, he said, "My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me;" and "If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true."
You notice here a deep inner conviction and awareness of Something invisible - "the Father within" - yet accomplishing the mighty works of healing, redemption and feeding the multitudes on the outer plane. "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work . . . I and my Father are one" and "My Father is greater than I."
Wherever you find one who has been touched by the Hand of the Divine, you will find this same realization of an infinite Unseen - yet all power is expressed in the realm of the visible.
As you come to this place in Consciousness, you feel that your life has been taken over and is being lived for you, as well as through you and as you. It is as though the Presence were always going before you to open doors or opportunity of service, of welcome - and to "make the crooked places straight," and even to make the desert "blossom as the rose." Not that you of yourself have these powers, but rather that "the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works."
As you note more and more of the activity of the Christ in your consciousness appearing as more beautiful and wonderful thoughts, manifesting as greater and still greater deeds of spiritual power, your trust and faith grow by leaps and bounds. From the moment you receive this inner conviction, you relax and rest - and let the Invisible do the works.
As you come to the realization of God as the only power, you learn that neither sin, fear nor disease have any power, and you give up the struggle against every form of discord - and that moment you heal by grace. The realization of God as the only power is healing by grace.
When you no longer use truth to overcome error, but let truth appear as the activity of your consciousness - that, too is grace. It is all so beautifully stated in the scriptural passage: "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts." To relax the human power, the personal will, the mental or physical might is to obtain by my Spirit..
To live by grace enables us to do greater things, achieve better results in all of our daily activities, because of this spiritual impulsion and divine guidance.
Our good friend Paul writes, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." And he achieved a life lived by grace, as we know from his deep humility as expressed in his words, "I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me."
Do you not see that concern for our welfare - or for that of our families or nations - cannot be dropped, except that this interior Wisdom reveals Itself to us? Do you not see that freedom from fear, danger, lack, can only come to us as the Comforter appears to us? Your receptivity consists in keeping open the passageway of consciousness, so that you may recognize and welcome the Christ as It touches and awakens the Soul into newness of life.
In the silence of your being, Christ speaks, and you hear, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." And "I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."
The voice of Truth utters Itself within you, and It becomes the "Peace, be still" to every storm in your experience. This consciousness of God's presence is developed in quietness and stillness, in patience and perseverance. "Be still, and know that I am God."
Christ Consciousness is the mind that was in Christ Jesus, voicing Itself. You must cultivate it. A few people in the world are born with some measure of Christhood, but everyone may develop and cultivate this awareness to the degree of his fidelity to the study and meditation.
You understand now that truth is not a list of statements or quotations, thought or recited by the human mind; but truth is Christ Consciousness, expressing Itself as the harmonies of your daily experience - even without "taking thought." This Consciousness is developed within us by fasting - by abstaining from mental power or physical might, so that "My Spirit" may function as your life.
Oh, how these passages of scripture open to us as we begin to understand! "Having eyes, see ye not? And having ears, hear ye not?" No, you cannot see spiritual truth with physical eyes, nor hear spiritual truth with physical ears; you must have inner vision, and the capacity to hear the still small voice. Then, and then only, are you able to look at the crippled man at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful and say, "Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk" - and the man jumps and leaps and runs.
"For by grace are ye saved through faith." How wonderful: by grace are ye saved..
Joel S. Goldsmith
Originally published in the
Science of Thought Review