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

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

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 16

In The Spirit’s Power (new chapter) 

Let’s continue….and again we look at what the Apostle Paul says…. 

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 

This verse falls into three different portions:  ‘I am crucified with Christ’: (a break) ‘but I am still alive’ (a break) but it is no longer just me living in this body, but Christ now lives in me.  And the life I now live in this body I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. 

Here we are told that Christ really lives in me if I have accepted Christ as my Savior.  In other words, we have the words of Jesus to the thief on the cross, “today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43.  Christ can say, ‘today you will be with me in paradise’ and mean it.  To die is to be with the Lord.  It is not just an idea; it is a reality.  The Apostle Paul tells us… 

For indeed we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened; not for that we would be unclothed, but that we would be clothed upon, that what is mortal may be swallowed up of life.  Now he that wrought us for this very thing is God, who gave unto us the earnest of the Spirit.  Being therefore always of good courage, and knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord (for we walk by faith, not by sight);  we are of good courage, I say, and are willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be at home with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:4-8 

The Bible presents only two states for the Christian; to be here in the body or, having died, to be with the Lord.  It is exactly the same thing as Jesus presents to the thief on the cross.  The Christian is not presented, at the time of death, as being out of contact with sequence or is nowhere between his resurrection and his second coming.   

There are a great number of dead who crowd into our thinking, of course, at this point.  This is not just a theological question; it is a very practical one.  We think of the masses of the Old Testament believing dead and the mases of the New Testament believing dead.  We think of our loved ones who are involved in this.  Where are they?  And we have ourselves, too, to think about.  We may die before Jesus comes back, though each of us should have the hope that he will be here when Jesus comes back.  And if we die, where will we be an hour after death and until Jesus comes?   

The world’s view of course, immediately places the afterlife as either a nothing or as being in a shrouded area:  a place of sheets and formlessness, something that comes in under the door or through the keyhole as a gray mist.  The new liberal theology would take the afterlife and either deny it or make it such an uncertain quality that it has no meaning to us.  But this is not true of the Bible.   

Let’s look at the account of the Mount of Transfiguration, Matthew 17.  Jesus takes Peter, James, and John, (the living) and these ‘alive’ men see and hear Elijah, who was translated yet has a body.  There is not reason to think it is otherwise.  He is holding a conversation with Moses and Christ.  But here is Moses as well—Moses who died and was buried.  And yet he can share in the conversation and he can be seen.  He can be recognized and there can be communication.   

So Moses, who was dead, stood on the mountain.  And here we are today, we are faced with a continuing stream of redeemed, conscious individuals who have died.  We have no reason to feel they are anything but recognizable.  We have no reason to think of them as lonely spirits, shut off from communication with Christ, with each other.  The call to the Christian, as he looks forward to possible death, is not to be afraid, but to realize that, at the moment of death, if he has accepted Christ as Savior, he can pass into that moment, ‘today,’ whatever our today is.  We do not need to be afraid to die.  No doubt the central thing given is that the Christian dead are with Christ.  There is no reason to think that they are out of communicati0n with Christ as soon as they die.  To be absent from the body is t be present with the Lord—not merely conscious, but with the Lord.    con’t tomorrow

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

Through Death to Resurrection

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 15

Finishing…. the chapter….Through Death to Resurrection

Picking-up from yesterday…this is sooooo powerful and freeing…..see this…get this…… 

 Marcus Aurelius, the pagan, knew only a resignation.  That is no more than being a creature because you must be a creature.  Carl Gustav Jung knew a giving-in, a mere submission to the things that roll over us from the collective unconsciousness of our race, or from that which is without.  But this is mere resignation, whereas the scriptural teaching is not mere resignation.  I am a creature, it is true, but I have a calling to be the creature glorified. I must be the creature, but I do not have to be the creature like the clod in the field, the cabbage that is rotting in the field as the snow melts.  I am called to be a creature by choice, on the basis of Christ’s finished work, by faith:  the creature glorified

Now I am ready for the war.  Now there can be spirituality of a biblical sort.  Now there can be a Christian life.  Rejected, slain, raised:  now we are ready to be used.  But not only ready to be used in this present space-time world, but ready to enjoy it as the creature, ready to enjoy it in the light of its createdness by God and my own finiteness, and ready to enjoy it, yet see it as it is since the Fall.  Justification is once for all.  At one moment my guilt is declared gone forever, but this is not once for all.  This is a moment-by-moment thing—a moment-by-moment being dead to all else and alive to God, a moment-by-moment stepping back by faith into the present world as though we had been raised from the dead.  

And it is within this reality that I finally see the purpose of my being created…that the Creator knows me, loves me, and has a perfect plan for my life.   God the Creator..knows ‘me’…loves ‘me’.  I have purpose and meaning.  My life has intention.  Can you grasp that reality?  Whoa…that is too wonderful! 

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

Through Death to Resurrection

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 14


Continuing….Through Death to Resurrection..

We must not stop here! When through faith I am dead to all, and am face-to-face with God, then I am ready by faith to come back into this present world, as though I have already been raised from the dead. It is as though I anticipate that day when I will come back. I will be in that number, as will all who have accepted Jesus as Savior, when the heavens open and we come back, following Jesus Christ in our resurrected, glorified bodies. And so now I am ready to come back as though back from the grave, as though the resurrection had already taken place, and step back into this present historic, space-time world.  

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

Do not present (here is your faith) your members (that is, in this present world) to sin as instruments (weapons, arms, tools) for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life (right now), and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. (Romans 6:13)

So what is the Christian calling, on the basis of all this? It is a calling, moment by moment, to be dead to all things, that we might be alive to God at this moment.  

We must notice, however, that this is not a sheer passivity. Often, it seems to me, Christians have missed the whole point here by relating this merely to some sort of passivity. But that would be simply a nonbiblical mysticism, not much more than the pagan Stoic concept of Marcus Aurelius. That would be merely a resignation, the French word accepter. It is like the beast in the field that cannot move. But it is not this way in the Scriptures. I am still a man, made in the image of God. “present your members,” commands Paul—actively present, or yield (Romans 6:13). It is not a state of passivity. You cannot bring forth the fruit, as we shall see later, but nevertheless you are not a figure of stone. God deals with you in the circle in which he made you, man in his own image.  

Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?  But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.  I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. (Romans 6:16-19) 

Feel the force of the “activeness” in the midst of the passivity. “Present yourselves”: every man must be a creature. He can be nothing else but a creature in this life or in the life to come. Even in hell, men will still be creatures, because that is what we are. Only one is self-sufficient in himself, and he is God. But now as Christians we are introduced to the great reality:  our calling is to be creatures in this high, tremendous, and glorious way, not because we must be, but by choice

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

Through Death to Resurrection

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 13


Continuing….

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

Through Death to Resurrection

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 12

Continuing…. Through Death to Resurrection….today…points 5 and 6….

But that is not all. (look back and review points 1-4 🙂)

There is more here, a fifth point. These great truths are to be brought down into the area of present Christian life and true spirituality. The Bible says that in the present life we are, in practice, to live by faith as though we are dead now.  

For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:10-11)  

As Jesus died in history, and once for all was dead to sin, so now we are called in faith to count ourselves dead, in practice, at this present moment of history; not in some far-off world of religious ideas, but in reality, at this moment on the clock. By faith we are to live now as though we have already died.   

But even that is not all. If it were, it would include only the two words “rejected” and “slain.” But the words are rejected, slain, and raised: raised, not just as an idea of future physical resurrection, though that will be real and future to every Christian, but as a present thing. So the sixth point is that we are to live by faith now, in the present history, as though we had been raised already from death. That is the message of the Christian life. That is the basic consideration we are discussing.  

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4)  

Paul is not speaking here of the future millennium or eternity; that is a different thing altogether. It is now: We “should [may] walk in newness of life. . . . We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin (Romans 6:6). How? By faith: So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.  (Romans 6:11).  

When? Right now! This is the basic consideration of the Christian life. First, Christ died in history. Second, Christ rose in history. Third, we died with Christ in history, when we accepted him as our Savior. Fourth, we will be raised in history, when he comes again. Fifth, we are to live by faith now as though we were now dead, already have died. And sixth, we are to live now by faith as though we have now already been raised from the dead. 

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

Through Death to Resurrection

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 11

Continuing….

(Yesterday I suggested there were 5 points to be made…there are actually 6.  So here are points 3-4)

(Friends:  This week’s posts from Dr. Schaeffer’s book are wonderful foundational truths.  It is nutritious and building for your spiritual growth.  It takes some work…read, re-read, digest. pray.  You have to work at it 🙂)

Third, we died with Christ when we accepted him as Savior. If I have accepted Christ as Savior, this is now a past thing in history. The individual Christian’s salvation is rooted in two space-time historic points. The first is the finished work of Jesus on the cross of Calvary, and the second is the point of time when, by the grace of God, the individual accepted Jesus Christ as Savior. Here are two space-time points upon which our salvation rests. And if I have accepted Jesus as my Savior in the past, then Paul can speak concerning me: “Therefore being justified [in the past] by faith, we have [in the present] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). This is clearly the thrust of the whole statement, from the tenses of the Greek text.  

In Romans 6:2, this is connected in this way: By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?   

The verb “died” is in the aorist tense. When we accepted Christ as our Savior, in God’s sight we died with Christ. “Therefore we are [that is, were] buried with him by baptism into death” (Romans 6:4). That refers to the time when we accepted Jesus as our Savior. “Knowing this, that our old man is [that is, was] crucified with him” (6:6). So here we have the third historic point. Christ died in history; Christ rose in history; we died with Christ when we accepted him as Savior. This, too, is a historic thing. It is something that happened (past tense) at a point of history.  

The fourth point is that we will be raised by him as he was raised. And this will be a point of future history. The clock keeps going. And when the Christian is raised from death, the great trumpet sounds, the word is spoken and every Christian comes forth from the grave at the command of Jesus Christ; the clock on the wall will not stop, it will still turn. The clock is almost ready to strike three as I write this. It is conceivable that Jesus will come before five past. If such is the case, the clock on the wall will not stop turning. At ten past, the clock will still run on. This is the biblical picture. The future resurrection, with this present body, and our future changing will take place in a twinkling of an eye: in history, in space-time, true history.  

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. (Romans 6:5)  

This truly refers to his resurrection, but “resurrection” is the emphasized thought. In the Greek, the “his” is left out; the emphasis is upon resurrection. “We shall be [future] in the likeness of resurrection.”  

Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.  (Romans 6:8)  

This is the future tense. We died with Christ when we accepted him as Savior in history. We will be raised physically or changed in the twinkling of an eye in a moment of history.  

(Pts 5-6 tomorrow)

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

Through Death to Resurrection

Continuing from yesterday…

We are told in the Word of God, by the apostle Paul, that in Christ’s resurrection we see the promise, the first-fruits, of our own coming physical resurrection. What we see him to be after his resurrection, Paul insists, we shall be. When I consider the resurrection of Jesus Christ, not merely in the world of religious ideas or ideals, but in the world of space and time and reality, I have the promise from the hand of God himself that I will be so raised from death. This body is so much of myself, in the total personality—the whole man—and it will not be left behind in the salvation that is brought forth through Jesus Christ. His death on the cross is of such a nature that the whole man will be redeemed. In one specific day, the Christian’s body will be raised from death, like Christ’s risen body, glorified. But there is more even than this. The reality, the space-timeness of the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ means something to us also today: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” (Romans 6:1). Paul is not talking about some far-off time, he is talking about the redeemed in the present circumstances. 

Dead to Sin, Alive to God

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?  By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?  Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.  We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.  For one who has died has been set free from sin.  Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.  We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.  For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.  So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions  (Romans 6: 1-12 ESV)

(We will make 5 points here from our observation of Romans 6:1-12…Two re Jesus Christ….Three re you and me) 

First, Christ died in history. That is the point we have been making. He died in space, time, and history. If you had been there that day, you could have taken your hand and rubbed it across the rough wood of the cross of Jesus Christ—you could have gotten a splinter in your hand from the cross. Second, Christ rose in history, and we have made a strong point of this, too. Christ rose and he was glorified, in history.   

This is the exact opposite of the liberal theology, which speaks of the kerygma, that we make Jesus the Christ when we preach him. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is a total denial of the wonder of the teaching of the Bible. We do not make Jesus the Christ when we preach him. Jesus is the Christ, whether we preach him or not. Men may not know the wonder of the gospel if we do not preach it, but our failure to preach cannot change the fact of the person or the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. On this present day he is raised, he is glorified. If no one preached Jesus Christ today, and no one thought once even of the word “God,” it would make no difference whatsoever to the fact that Jesus is the Christ. He rose in history, he is glorified now. And this word of his resurrection, of his present glory, has meaning in our present space-time world.  (Pts 3-5 tomorrow 🙂)

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

Through Death to Resurrection

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 9

If Schaeffer’s work in this next section was set to music, this would be the moment for trumpets. We have been considering the importance of giving due weight to the aspect of the new birth into the Christian life, the beginning, where we emphasized…rejected, slain. There is always tension when we contemplate the dying of our old ‘self’ and putting on the new self.  The old self does not want to be declared dead.

But now we turn to the positive dynamic of being ‘raised’… without which the other two can never represent a true, balanced spirituality: raised.  

For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. (Romans 6:4 NLT).  

My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 NLT).  

After the rejection of self, after the death to self, there is, and there continues to be, a resurrection. 

The Bible says that the day will come when both saved and unsaved men will look upon the glorified Christ. They will see him. Every man will see him, not as a religious idea, but glorified, in a real space-time situation. But these passages not only say that he will be so, but that he is so now. The glorification of the Lord Jesus Christ is not pushed off only into a future moment when he shall be seen by all men. It is not pushed off into that great moment when he shall come in glory and we are told every knee shall bow. He is glorified now. The Ascension of Christ into heaven was not a disappearance into a nothingness, into the world of mere religious ideas. After his resurrection, between his ascension from the Mount of Olives, and his appearance on the road to Emmaus he did not cease to be.  He spoke to them in their own language….Jesus said “Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” Luke 24:26He met with his disciples and they touched his new glorified body, he ate with them, they talked together.   

And again there was not a great void into which he disappeared from the time of his appearance on the road to Emmaus until John saw him many years later on the isle of Patmos where John received the revelation to write the book of Revelation. This is Jesus as he is now. He is so glorified, at this present moment. He is alive!!! 

As we contemplate these things, several things must immediately come before us. First of all, as we consider Jesus speaking in the Hebrew tongue on the road to Emmaus, and appearing to John and speaking to him on the isle of Patmos, we have here clear proof of a historic resurrection of Jesus Christ. But there is much more than this. This physical resurrection is the proof of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, proof that the work is really done, that nothing need be added to his glorious substitutionary work for our justification. 

But even this does not exhaust the matter. We are told in the Word of God, by the apostle Paul, that in Christ’s resurrection we see the promise, the first fruits, of our own coming physical resurrection. What we see him to be after his resurrection, Paul insists, we shall be. When I consider the resurrection of Jesus Christ, not merely in the world of religious ideas or ideals, but in the world of space and time and reality, I have the promise from the hand of God himself that I will be so raised from death. This body is so much of myself, in the total personality—the whole man—and it will not be left behind in the salvation that is brought forth through Jesus Christ. His death on the cross is of such a nature that the whole man will be redeemed. In one specific day, the Christian’s body will be raised from death, like Christ’s risen body, glorified.  We will have a new glorious resurrected body because the Word of God says it is so.  We have eternal victory ‘now’ in and through the finished work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  We will live forever because He lives forever and has power over death.  And this is cause for trumpets!!!   

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