Like a masterful poem -- more profound the more one considers it -- are the words of Paul: "I was free born." n1
n1 Acts 22:28
Paul was born a Roman citizen, a prized honor in his day. As such, he did not have to buy that citizenship and the significant rights that went with it.
But his statement may also be seen to have a deeper meaning. Paul proved time and again through prayer that those who are faithful to Christ Jesus and his teachings have a birthright of spiritual freedom to draw on, a birthright that, when exercised, conquers evil.
During his ministry, Paul was freed from prisons, a shipwreck, and a viper's bite. He helped liberate many from sickness. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me," n2 he declared.
n2 Philippians 4:13
The benefits of spiritual freedom do not depend on human laws. They come, rather, through the recognition that we are born of god; that we are not, in the final analysis, material or mortal. Each of us is in reality God's spiritual idea. This recognition of higher freedom gave Paul his dominion over adverse circumstances.
Paul's true selfhood was always immortal and free, but he had to glimpse it -- and so he did in his famous transformation on the road to Damascus. Similarly, we have to recognize our own true selfhood through spiritual light. We have to live it. Only then can we claim its benefits.
Basic to genuine liberty is the understanding that God, divine Spirit, is our creator, our source of strength and health. Matter is not. Spirit, not matter, gives us the ability to be happy and intelligent.We have the divine right to be free of the illusions of evil, the claims of the material senses that enslave mankind and diminish expectations of good.
"Discerning the God-given rights of man, Paul said, 'I was free born,'" writes Mary Baker Eddy n3 "Justice and truth make man free, injustice and error enslave him. Mental Science alone grasps the standard of liberty, and battles for man's whole rights, divine as well as human." n4
n3 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science,
n4 The People's Idea of God,m p. 10.
What are our rights as the children, immortal offspring, of God? Freedom from fear, frustration, and discord. Freedom from poverty, disease, despair. Freedom from all that is unlike our Father-Mother God, good. And freedom to be the very expression of divinity. This is the birthright we discover in Christian Science. This is the freedom we begin to win as we acknowledge God to be All-in- all, and live in obedience to His law.
As we learn more of God we experience the freedom to express His Love. We reflect His intelligence, dominion, strength, inspiration, joy, integrity. The more spiritually based our freedom becomes, the more we are liberated from enslaving errors. We are free to express only good.
What a worthwhile discovery: to see ourselves -- and all men and women -- as "free born"! It's the only possible basis for establishing lasting freedom in the world. DAILY BIBLE VERSE The righteous, and the wise, a nd their works, are in the hand of God. Ecclesiastes 9:1