The Supernatural Universe

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 22

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?”   

Continuing…. 

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

The Supernatural Universe

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 21  The next chapter…

The Supernatural Universe 

Our generation is overwhelmingly naturalistic.  There is an almost complete commitment to the concept of the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system.  This is its distinguishing mark.  If we are not careful, even though we say we are biblical Christians and supernaturalists, nevertheless the naturalism of our generation tends to come in upon us.  It may infiltrate our thinking without our recognizing its coming, like a fog creeping through a window opened only half an inch.  As soon as this happens, Christians begin to lose the reality of their Christian lives:  that while we say we believe one thing, we allow the spirit of the naturalism of the age to creep into our thinking unrecognized.  All too often the reality is lost because the ceiling is down too close upon our heads. It is too low.  And the ceiling which closes us in is the naturalistic type of thinking.   

All of the reality of Christianity rests upon the reality of the existence of an infinite, supernatural, personal God, and the reality of the supernatural view of the total universe.   

What does this mean…naturalistic view….supernatural view?  According to the biblical view, there are two parts to reality:  the natural world—that which we see normally—and the supernatural part.  When we use the word; supernatural,” however, we must be careful.  The supernatural is really no more unusual in the universe from the biblical viewpoint, that what we normally call the natural.  The only reason we call it the supernatural part is that usually we cannot see it.  That is all.  

Schaeffer suggest that his may be illustrated by two chairs; or two halves.  And there are men who sit in each chair.  The men who sit in these chairs look at the universe in two different ways.  We are all sitting in one or the other of these chairs at every single moment of our lives.  The first man sits in his chair and faces this total reality of the universe, the seen part and the normally unseen part, and consistently sees truth against this background.  The Christian is a man who has said, “I sit in this chair.”  The unbeliever, however, is the man who sits in the other chair, intellectually.  He sees only the natural part of the universe, and interprets truth against that background.  Let us see that these two positions cannot both be true.  One is true: one is false.  If indeed there is only the natural portion of the universe, with a uniformity of natural causes in a closed system, then to sit in the other chair is to delude oneself.  If, however, there are the two halves of reality, then to sit in the naturalist’s chair is to be extremely naïve and to misunderstand the universe completely.  From the Christian viewpoint, no man has ever been so naïve, nor so ignorant of the universe, as is twenty first century man.    

Schaeffer goes on to say….however, to be a true, Bible-believing Christian, we must understand that it is not enough simply to acknowledge that the universe has these two halves.  The Christian life means living in the two halves of reality; the supernatural and the natural parts.  I would suggest that it is perfectly possible for a Christian to be so infiltrated by the ‘thinking’ that is prevalent around us and pounded into our educational systems, the media, the ideas expressed within the world of entertainment, that he lives most of his life as though the supernatural were not there.  Indeed, I would suggest that all of us do this to some extent.  The supernatural does not touch the Christian only at the new birth and then at his death, or at the second coming of Christ, leaving the believer on is own in a naturalistic world during all the time in between.  Nothing could be further from the biblical view.  Being a biblical Christian means living in the supernatural now—not only theoretically, but in practice.  If a man sits in the one chair and denies the existence of the supernatural portion of the world, we say he is an unbeliever.  What shall we call ourselves when we sit in the other chair but live as though the supernatural were not there?   

This means, as a Christian, that we must understand–intellectually, with the windows open–that the universe is not what our generation says it is, seeing only the naturalistic universe.  We must live in demonstration and belief in a personal God who objectively exists and who is Creator and sovereign Lord over ‘all’ aspects of life and existence.   

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 20

Conclusion of the chapter, In the Spirit’s Power.  We continue with the ‘how’ of true spirituality in the Christian life: 

Third, this is not to be merely passive on our part.  As we have seen already, it is not to be on the basis of our own works, or our own energy, any more than our justification is on the basis of our own works and energy. But again, as in the case of justification, I am not a passive stick or stone. 

The illustration which brings this to me with force is Mary’s response to the angel in Luke 1:38. The angel has come to Mary, and says, in effect, Mary, you are going to give birth to the long-promised Messiah.  This was a unique promise, and unrepeatable.  There is something totally unique here, the birth of the eternal second Person of the Trinity into this world.  What is her response?  The Holy Spirit, we are told, is to cause a conception in her womb.  It seems to me that she could have made three responses.  She was a Jewish girl, probably seventeen or eighteen years of age, and in love with Joseph.  There is no reason to think of him as an old man, as the painters love to paint, no reason whatsoever.  They do that because this was a Roman Catholic mentality, as though Joseph and Mary had no children of which they were both the parents, after Christ’s birth.   

Here she is, a Jewish girl in a normal historic situation, with normal emotions, planning to get married, and suddenly she is told she is going to give birth to a child.  She could have rejected the idea and said, “I do not want this; I want to withdraw; I want to run.  What will Joseph say?” And we know what Joseph thought later.  Humanly, we could not blame her if she had felt this way.  But she did not say this. 

Second—and this is our danger at such a point as we now are in the study of the Christian life—she could have said, “I now have the promises, so I will exert my force, my character, and my energy, to bring forth the promised thing.  I have the promise.  Now I will bring forth a child without a man.”  But with this response she never would have had the child.  She could not bring forth a child without a man, by her own will, any more than any other girl could do.   

But there was a third thing she could say. It is beautiful; it is wonderful.  She says, “I am the Lord’s servant, May it happen to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38.   

There is an active passivity here.  She took her own body, by choice, and put it into the hands of God to do the thing that he said he would do, and Jesus was born. She gave herself, with her body, to God.  In response to the promise, yes; but not to do it herself.  This is a beautiful, exciting, personal expression of a relationship between a finite person and the God she loves.  Now this is absolutely unique and must not be confused; there is only one Virgin Birth.  Nevertheless, it is an illustration of our being the bride of Christ.  We are in the same situation in that we have these great and thrilling promises we have been considering, and we are neither to think of ourselves as totally passive, as though we had no part in this, as though God had stopped dealing with us now as men; nor are we to think we can do it ourselves.  If we are to bring forth fruit in the Christian life, or rather, if Christ is to bring forth this fruit through us by the agency of the Holy Spirit, there must be a constant act of faith, of thinking, Upon the basis of your promises I am looking for you to fulfill them, my Jesus Christ; bring forth your fruit through me into this poor world.   

So now we stand before two streams of reality:  those who have died and are with Christ now; and we, who have the ‘earnest’ (2 Cor 1:22) of the Holy Spirit now and so, upon the reality of the finished work of Christ, have access—not in theory, but in reality—to the power of the crucified, risen and glorified Christ, by the agency of the Holy Spirit.   and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us 2 Corinthians 1:22 NLT) 

True spirituality is not achieved in our own energy.  The ‘how’ of the kind of life we have spoken of, the true Christian life, true spirituality, is Romans 6:11: “So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.”  This is the ‘how,’ and there is no other.  It is the power of the crucified, risen, and glorified Christ, through the agency of the Holy Spirt by faith.   

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 19

Now we move toward the end of this chapter ‘In The Spirit’s Power’…the basic considerations of the Christian life and true spirituality.  We will do this over the next 2 days with three points in mind.   

Point 1 and 2 today:   

First, the answers of the how we are to grow in the Christian life:  It is not to be done simply in our own strength.  Neither is it only acting in practice upon the reality that in God’s sight, as we are in Christ, judicially we are already dead and raised, as wonderful as that is.  That must never be minimized.  It is a real thing that must be comprehended.  Judicially, this is a reality, because Christ has died, and Christ has paid.  We are not trying to make something that does not have a reality.  But it is more than just acting upon this fact, even though it is so wonderful and should fill us with adoration.  It is much more.  The how is that the glorified Christ will do it through us.  There is an active ingredient:  He will be the doer.   

Second, though we will enlarge on this point later, there is the agency of the Holy Spirit:  and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.  Romans 5:5 

What he is saying here is that you will not be ashamed experientially when you begin to act upon the reality, upon the teaching, as it has been presented.  Why? ‘because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.’ 

Paul writes further, But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code. Romans 7:6  

What makes the difference?  This is the Holy Spirit, not just a ‘new idea’:  It is not to be in our own strength.  There is a Holy Spirit who has been given to us to make this service possible.   

In Romans chapters 1-8, at the end of the section, on the development of the Christians’ sanctification, the work of the Holy Spirit, the agent of the whole Trinity, is brought into full force in the eight chapter.   

In Romans 8:13 this is drawn together in this great central chapter of the work of the Holy Spirit for and to the Christian:  For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  The Holy Spirit is specifically introduced to us here as the agent of the power and the person of the glorified Christ.  There is not enough strength in ourselves, but placed before us is the power and the work of the glorified Christ through the agency of the Holy Spirit.  Surely this is exactly what Christ meant when he said:  I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. John 14:18 

Friends…we are not left to work-out God’s plan for our life on our own…we have more than adequate provision to accomplish God’s purpose for our life…..Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16 

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 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