Page 127. " Humility is something He demands "

Many Bible passages demand that Christians be humble.

Page 129. " The three Theological ones are Faith, Hope, and Charity. "
Facial composite of St. Paul
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeFacial composite of St. Paul - Credit: LKA NRW

In 1 Corinthians 13:13, Paul the Apostle writes, "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."

"In theology and Christian philosophy, [the theological virtues] are the character qualities associated with salvation, resulting from the grace of God, which enlightens human mind" (wikipedia).

Page 132. " Ask yourself, 'If I were sure that I loved God, what would I do?' When you have found the answer, go and do it. "

John 14:15 (KJV): Christ said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments."

Page 132. " If we are trying to do His will we are obeying the commandment, 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God.' "

The command to love God is given several times in Scripture.

Page 133. " But the great thing to remember is that, though our feelings come and go, His love for us does not. "

Jeremiah 31:3 (KJV): "The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee."

1 John 4:8, 16 (KJV): "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. . . . And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him."

Page 134. " the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade "

Lewis is referring to William Wilberforce (among others), a British Evangelical and author of Practical Christianity (originally titled Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians, in the Middle and Higher Classes in this Country, Contrasted with Real Christianity), who worked in Parliament for many years to see slavery abolished. He died shortly before the Slavery Abolition Act was passed in 1833.

Wilberforce's story is told in the 2006 film Amazing Grace.

Page 135. " Most people, if they had really learned to look into their own hearts, would know that they do want, and want acutely, something that cannot be had in this world. "

Edward M. Cook uses this passage as a springboard for a fascinating discussion of Lewis's concept of "joy" in his essay "Does Joy Lead to God? Lewis, Beversluis, and the Argument from Desire":

"Readers of Lewis will recognize in the 'desire' of Mere Christianity the experience called 'Joy' in Lewis's autobiographical Surprised by Joy:  The Shape of My Early Life (1955). In it, Lewis makes it clear that he knew all about the three ways of dealing with 'Joy' from personal experience:  he had tried them all.  From an early age, Lewis had repeatedly had experiences of intense longing for he knew not what; they were triggered sometimes by art, sometimes by poetry, sometimes by nature, sometimes by erotic experience.  So keen was the desire, and yet itself so desirable, that he returned again and again to what he thought were its sources; but he found that, although sometimes the 'Joy' would repeat itself, more often it would not, and with increasing rarity as he consciously sought it."


Page 137. " People who take these symbols literally might as well think that when Christ told us to be like doves, He meant that we were to lay eggs. "

Creative Commons AttributionDove - Credit: Ian Britton
In Matthew 10:16 Christ says, "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."

Page 138. " I must talk in this chapter about what the Christians call Faith. "

Hebrews 11 is often called "the faith chapter" in the Bible. It commends the faith of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Rahab, and numerous others.

Page 142. " Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means "

Hebrews 4:14-16: "Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."

Page 142. " If there was any idea of a sort of bargain--any idea that we could perform our side of the contract and thus put God in our debt so that it was up to Him, in mere justice, to perform His side--that has to be wiped out. "
The Bible nowhere teaches that salvation is achieved through God's weighing our
Creative Commons AttributionThe Bible nowhere teaches that salvation is achieved through God's weighing our "good deeds" against our "bad deeds." - Credit: Ian Britton

Ephesians 2 reads in part, "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast" (vv. 8-9, ESV).

Page 143. " Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given you by God. "
The Areopagus as viewed from the Acropolis in 2006.
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe Areopagus as viewed from the Acropolis in 2006. - Credit: ajbear AKA KiltBear

Lewis's words here are reminiscent of those of Paul the apostle when he preached at the Areopagus in Athens. Paul said, "And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for

“‘In him we live and move and have our being’;

as even some of your own poets have said,

“‘For we are indeed his offspring’" (vv. 26-28, ESV).

Google Map
Page 146. " As well, the thing I am talking of now may not happen to every one in a sudden flash--as it did to St Paul or Bunyan "

St. Paul's dramatic conversion to belief in Christ is recorded three times in the Book of Acts--in chapters 9, 22, and 26.

Acts 9:3-9 (ESV): "Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?'

"And he said, 'Who are you, Lord?'

"And he said, 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.'

"The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank."

John Bunyan (see Bookmark for page 78) was converted after years of struggle, first as a notorious sinner and then as a "painted hypocrite" when "one day, as he was passing into [a] field, these words fell upon his soul, 'Thy righteousness is in heaven.' The eyes of his soul saw at the same time that Jesus Christ was at God's right hand, and 'there,' he said, 'is my righteousness. I saw, moreover, that it was not my good frame of heart that made my righteousness better, nor my bad frame that made my righteousness worse; for my righteousness was Jesus Christ Himself, "the same yesterday, today and forever"' (Heb. 13:8)." For an interesting and readable account of Bunyan's spiritual struggles, see The Conversion of John Bunyan.

Page 146. " It is the change from being confident about our own efforts to the state in which we despair of doing anything for ourselves and leave it to God. "

Romans 7:18 (KJV): "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not."

Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV): "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."

Page 147. " The sense in which a Christian leaves it to God is that he puts all his trust in Christ: trusts that Christ will somehow share with him the perfect human obedience whch He carried out from His birth to His crucifixion: that Christ will make the man more like Himself and, in a sense, make good his deficiencies. "

Romans 5 speaks further of our peace with God through faith in Christ.

Page 147. " you may say that no temptation is ever overcome until we stop trying to overcome it "

1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV): "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." Note that, as Lewis indicates, it is God who limits the believer's temptations and who provides the way of escape--not the believer himself.

Page 149. " The first half is, 'Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling'--which looks as if everything depended on us and our good actions: but the second half goes on, 'For it is God who worketh in you' "

Philippians 2:12-13 (KJV): "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."

Page 149. " But you will find that even those who insist most strongly on the importance of good actions tell you you need Faith; and even those who insist most strongly on Faith tell you to do good actions. "

The Book of James (begin reading it here) is a treatise on the relationship of faith to works.

James 2:17-18 (ESV): "So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.  But someone will say, 'You have faith and I have works.' Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works."