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.
Now… what does all of what we have been looking at the last few days….what does this mean in practice, so that it will not be just words going over our heads? First of all, it certainly means this: that in our thoughts and lives now we are to live as though we had already died, been to heaven, and come back again as risen. If we truly had been there, and looked at it, and then had come back. Would anything ever look the same to us again? It would be as though we had died. It would be as though we had been raised from the dead. How different would our perspective be in looking at this temporary life.
The constant pressure to conform to the world about us, the social pressure and every other kind of pressure of our day—surely it would have been broken. How could we conform to this, which is so marred, so broken, so caught up in revolution against God, so disgusting? How could we, in comparison with what we had seen? What would the praise of the world be worth when one had stood in the presence of God? The wealth of the world, what would it look like beside the treasures of heaven? Man longs for power. But what is earthly power after one has seen the reality of heaven and the power of God? All things would look different.
Surely all of this is involved in the statement that we are to live by faith now, as though we had already died, and already been raised from the dead. But Romans 6 does not leave it here, as though we are merely projecting our imaginations. There is more to it than this.
For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. (Romans 6:10).
Jesus Christ lives indeed in the presence of the Father. This is where we are called to live. We are to be dead in this present life! Dead both to good and bad, in order to be alive to the presence of God. Yes, even to good. We are to be dead—not unconscious, not locked away in some darkness, but alive to God in communion with him, in communication with him. Our call to faith in this present life is that we should live as though dead to all things that we might be alive to God.
This is what it means now, as I wrote earlier, to love God enough to be contented, to love him enough in the present world to say thank you in all the ebb and flow of life. When I am dead both to good and bad, I have my face turned towards God. And this is the place in which, by faith at the present moment of history, I am to be. When I am there, what am I? I am then the creature in the presence of the Creator, acknowledging that he is my Creator, and I am only a creature, nothing more. It is as though I am already in the grave and already before the face of God.
Thoughts developed or used directly from the work of Schaeffer, Francis. True Spirituality . Tyndale House Publishers, Inc