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.
Refer back to yesterday…Schaeffer’s illustration of two chairs. We ended with ‘What shall we call ourselves when we sit in the other chair but live as though the supernatural were not there?”
Should not such an attitude be given the name ‘unfaith’? ‘Unfaith’ is the Christian not living in the light of the supernatural now. It is Christianity that has become a dialectic, or simply a ‘good philosophy.’ As a matter of fact, I think very strongly that Christianity is a good philosophy. I think it is the best philosophy that ever has existed. More than this, it is the only philosophy that is consistent to itself and answers the questions and truth of existence. It is a good philosophy precisely because it deals with the problems and gives us answers to them. Nevertheless, it is not only a good philosophy. The Bible does not just speak in abstractions; it does not tell about a religious idea far away. It tells about man as Man. It tells about each individual, as each man is that individual. And it tells us how to live in the real universe as it is now. Remove this factor, and it becomes only a dialectic.
As Christians, we have God’s Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit Himself, living inside us. We are connected to the eternal power and control center of the universe. We are connected beyond and outside of what is only seen in the natural realm. We have direct access to the only source of truth and light that leads to eternal peace and gives hope and light to the darkness around us. We are not simply believers of a non-reality, powerless, philosophical or religious view or system. We are in and connected to the only way and only true path of truth and light.
No matter what kind of people we are preaching to, and no matter what terminology we need, and no matter how long the words we have to use, and whether we are speaking to the peasant or the philosopher, in every case there must be demonstration of the power of the Spirit—of the resurrected, glorified Christ working through us.
Too many Christians in this generation find the reality of Christ the Bridegroom…and we, His body, individual believers, the bride…the holy and mystical union…What Christ intended and purposed for ‘us’, the bride, being totally connected to, dependent on, in constant harmony and connection to Christ, the Bridegroom…they have lost the understanding of this essential and core reality. They have no full sense or experience of what Jesus was teaching and intending when He was teaching us the necessity of ‘abiding’ in Him. The Bridegroom and the bride….the vine and the branches….the necessity of connection to the source of all light and truth and power for living and ministry.
The reality of all this tends to get covered by the barnacles of naturalistic thought. Many Christians are saying…asking…where is the reality? Where has the reality gone? As the ceiling of the naturalistic comes down upon us, as it invades by injection or by connotation, reality gradually slips asway. But the fact that Christ as the Bridegroom brings forth fruit through me as the bride, through the agency of the indwelling Holy Spirit by faith, opens the way for me as a Christian to begin to know in the present life the reality of the supernatural. This is where the Christan is to live. Doctrine is important, but it is not an end to itself. There is to be an experiential reality, moment by moment. And the glory of the experiential reality of the Christian, as opposed to the bare existential experience, or the religious experiences of the East, is that we can do it with all the intellectual doors and windows open. We do not need a dark room; we do not need to be under the influence of a hallucinatory drug; we do not need to be listening to a certain kind of music; we can know the reality of the supernatural here and now.
This experiential result, however, is not just an experience of bare supernaturalism, without content, without our being able to describe and communicate it. It is much more. It is a moment-by-moment, increasing, experiential relationship to Christ and to the whole Trinity. We are to be in a relationship with the whole Trinity. The doors are open now-the intellectual doors, and also the doors to reality.
So this ‘how.’ This is how to live a life of freedom from the bonds of sin: not perfection, for that is not promised to us in this life. But this is how to have freedom in the present life from the bonds of sin, and from the results of those bonds, as we will discuss later. This is the way we may exhibit the reality of the supernatural to a generation which has lost its way. This is the Christian life, and this is true spirituality. In the light of the unity of the Bible’s teaching in regard to the supernatural nature of the universe, the ‘how’ is the power of the crucified and risen Christ, through the agency of the indwelling Holy Spirit, by faith.
Thoughts developed or used directly from the work of Schaeffer, Francis. True Spirituality . Tyndale House Publishers, Inc