In The Spirit’s Power

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 17

It Takes My Breath Away 

Let us emphasize what we have been discussing in the sense of giving it additional force.  From the scriptural viewpoint this is not given just as a psychological hope.  The dead are really there in this conscious and real state with Christ.  They are there.  This is a part of the total universe.  It is as much a part of the total universe as you are as you are sitting reading this.  Not in a philosophic ‘other’ again, but in reality, they are really there.  Time is important.  The thief on the cross was not there till he got there. 

Sequence is meaningful.  Sequence is meaningful to the thief on the cross, as time moves on to that glad moment when the clock strikes, and he comes back with Jesus Christ.  Time moves on.  To the thief on the cross though he does not have his body yet, there is a sequence.   

However, the point I would establish at this stage in our study of spirituality is the fact that there are two equal lines of reality presented to us in the universe.  We are in the seen world and there are also the Christians who have died, who are with Christ now.  It is not a primitive view, a kind of three-story concept of the universe.  This is the biblical view of truth: there are two streams, two strands, a space-time reality—one in the seen, and one in the unseen.   

With these two lines before us, two equal lines of reality, I would return to the conclusion of our previous chapter. When God tells us to live as though we had died, gone to heaven, seen the truth there, and come back to this world, he is not asking us merely to act on some psychological motivation, but on what really is.  That is the second line, the second strand, of reality, that of the unseen, in which we personally will share between the moment of death and our return with resurrected bodies to the seen world at the Second Coming. Thus I am to live now by faith, rooted in the things which have been, such as Christ’s death and resurrection; what is, such as the second stream of reality in the unseen now; and what will be, such as my coming bodily resurrection and return with Christ.  And this is not sheer passivity, as we have seen.  God will deal with me in the circle in which he made me; that is, in his image—as a man, not as a stick or a stone.  There are unbiblical forms of ‘spirituality’ that put their emphasis almost entirely upon some sort of resignation.  The Bible rejects this.  You are not just a beast in the field.  It is not just a case of accepting, there is to be an activeness in our passivity.  We have to be creatures because that is what we are—creatures.  But in Christ we are presented with an opportunity, a calling, to be a creature by choice, to be creatures glorified.  Through an active passivity, we are creatures, not of necessity but by choice, here in this present, space-time, historic world.  When we come to this point of realization and begin to see and understand how God has bound us together for eternity in Christ…when we begin to see the true big picture and meaning to existence…the reality that we have been called into an eternal relationship with God through Jesus Christ…it should take our breath away.   

Thoughts developed or used directly from the work of Schaeffer, Francis. True Spirituality . Tyndale House Publishers, Inc

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