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 18

In The Spirit’s Power

Let’s drill down farther into God’s intention for us in ‘how to live life ‘now’ while we are still present in the body. 

How are we to live the Christian life?  What is the answer to ‘how to do this?  How are we going to live this way, if we are to think of this not merely as some sort of abstract ‘religious’ experience, a combination of mood and moment, a vague, contentless, meaningless existential experience?  If I am not to think of it in this way, I must face the question of how.  What do I begin to do?  Do I begin to whip myself in order to get it accomplished?  Do I begin to seek some sort of ecstasy or exotic experience? The answer to all of these is no.  Happily, this is not given to us merely as some kind of twenty first century religious idea.  It is an intensely practical one.  

For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.  He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. 2 Corinthians 5: 4,5  (read this verse several times…contemplate the meaning ‘in’ it) 

In other words, God draws two factors of reality together here:  we have prior discussed the factor of our being with Christ when we die, and the factor that at the present time, with equal certainty, if we have accepted Christ as Savior, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit.  It is intriguing that God brings these two factors together.  He does not expect us to think of them separately. When I die, it is certain that I will be with the Lord.  The Christian dead, including my loved ones, are there with him now.  But at the same time, at the present moment, I have the Holy Spirit.   

So we look back to a passage from earlier in the week: 

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  Galatians 2:20 

So we live in the present reality of knowing that we have Christ now, through the Spirit, and we have Christ now, for all eternity.   

In many passages in the bible, the relationship of Christians to Jesus Christ is described in terms of the bride and the bridegroom.  Who is this ‘bridegroom’—my bridegroom.  He is the Christ who has died, whose work is finished, who is raised, who is ascended, who is glorified.  It is this Christ.  It is not simply an idea.  It is the Christ who was seen after the Resurrection, the Christ who was seen by Stephen, by Paul, the Christ who was seen by John; it is this Christ who is my bridegroom.  We are his bride. 

So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.  Romans 6:11 

And in Romans chapters 5-7, these words ‘through Christ’ run throughout like the string on which all the beads are to be placed. 

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Romans 5:1 

Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?  Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!  Romans 7: 24,25 

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37 

Christ is with us after we die and leave this body, and he is with us ‘now’.  Christ—the same Christ of our future and our ‘now’—promises the Christian that he will bring forth fruit through us in this life ‘now’.  The power of the crucified, risen, and glorified Christ will bring forth this fruit through us now.   

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

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