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.
Continuing with …Salvation: Past, Future, Present…picking up the last thoughts from yesterday…..
This is the purpose of man, though lost through the ‘fall.’ And when I accept Christ as my Savior, the guilt that has separated me from God, and from the fulfillment of my purpose, is removed. I then stand in the place in which man was made to stand at his creation. Not just in some far-off day, after the return of Christ, nor in eternity, but now I am returned to the place for which I was made at the beginning. I am immediately in a new and living relationship with each of the three persons of the Trinity.
First, God the Father becomes my father. Theologically, this is spoken of as adoption. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…John 1:12 ESV. When I receive Christ, on the basis of his finished work I become a child of God. Christ, the second person of the Trinity, is uniquely the eternal Son of God,. But the Bible declares, and it should be a joy to us, that when I have accepted Christ as my Savior, I immediately come into a new relationship with the Father, and I become his son, in the sense of the creature in the proper place for which he was made in the first place.
Second, when I accept Christ as my Savior, I immediately come into a new relationship with God the Son. In theology this is spoken of as our mystical union with Christ. In the book of Ephesians we are told over and over again that when we accept Christ as our Savior we are ‘in’ Christ. In Romans 7:4, we are told that Christ is our Bridegroom and we are the bride. In John 15 we are told that Christ is the Vine and we are the branches. In all these relationships there is pictured or related the mystical union of Christ and the believer. And who is this Christ, with whom we enter into a relationship? Not the baby Jesus, nor Christ when he was on earth, nor Christ as he hung on the cross, but the risen, ascended, and glorified Christ.
Finally, the bible says we also enter into a new relationship with the third person of the trinity, the Holy Spirit. When we are justified, we are also and immediately indwelt by the Holy Spirit. In John 14:16-17, Christ is making a promise just prior to his death, which was fulfilled at Pentecost after his resurrection and ascension: ‘And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you’. (ESV). There was a then-present relationship, but there would also be a future one. John explains this when he says that the Holy Spirit was not yet given, for Christ was not yet glorified (John 7:39). In the book of Romans, it is again made very plain that now if we have accepted Christ as our Savior, we are in this new relationship with the Holy Spirit, and anyone who is not in a relationship with the Holy Spirit is not a Christian. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. Romans 8:9 ESV. Paul, writing to all the Christians at Corinth, asks, Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16 ESV. This was written down through the ages to every man who has accepted Christ as Savior. When I am justified, I am indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and have entered into this new relationship with the third person of the Trinity. (con’t tomorrow)
Thoughts developed or used directly from the work of Schaeffer, Francis. True Spirituality . Tyndale House Publishers, Inc