At present, we are working with the light of truth presented by Dr. Francis Schaeffer from his book True Spirituality where we are discussing the basic considerations of the Christian life, or true Christianity.
Part 6 Continuing
As I begin the Christian life I must face the fact with honesty. I must realize that there is, even for the Christian, an echoing equal wavelength within him with that which is all about him, where things and success are concerned. Consequently, it is false not to feel as if I were smashing against a strong wall when I consider the command of Christ for me to ‘take up my cross daily and deny myself’. Yikes! It means I am fooling myself, I am not being honest. If I stand in the normal perspective of fallen man—and especially the normal perspective of the twenty first century—it is very hard indeed. But if I shift my perspective, the whole thing changes, and that is what we want to try to accomplish as we continue in this discussion with Dr. Schaeffer—to begin to shift our perspective.
What is central in the Christian message of good news, the Evangel to the world? It centers in only one thing—the redemptive death of the Lord Jesus Christ. From the time of the Fall, and the first promise within twenty-four hours after the Fall took place, until the very end, this is the message. So we are not to be surprised that Elijah and Moses, meeting with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, had this as their key topic of conversation. “And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: who appeared in glory, and spoke [and continued to speak] of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem” (Luke 9:30-31). Of course they talked about it, because they had a stake in this. It was important for them not merely as a theological proposition, but the salvation of Moses and Elijah rested upon this single point—the coming death of Jesus on Calvary’s cross. The disciples who were there that day had a stake in this, too, because if Jesus had not died upon the cross, they too would have had no salvation. And let us say to each one who reads this: We have a stake in this, for there is no salvation possible to us unless Jesus died on Calvary’s cross.
Now the death of the Lord Jesus is absolutely unique. It is substitutionary. There is no death like Jesus’ death. There is no parallel death to Jesus’ death—this must stand as absolute in our thinking. His substitutionary death on the cross, in space and time in history, had infinite value because of who he is as God. Thus nothing need be added to the substitutionary value of his death, nor can anything be added. He died once for all. Having said that as forcefully as we can state it, we add that, nevertheless, in Luke 9:22-24, we find Christ puts forth a chronological order. In verse 22: “The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.” The order is in three steps: rejected, slain, raised.
Thoughts developed or used directly from the work of Schaeffer, Francis. True Spirituality . Tyndale House Publishers, Inc