Sunday, April 15, 2012

excerpts, true spirituality

Reading again (and profiting again!) from Francis Schaeffer's True Spirituality.  Schaeffer, like Keller today, does such a great job integrating justification by faith with an active faith of sanctification.  

Some recent highlights...

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. 

...the scriptural teaching [about faith] 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 snows melt. I am called to be a creature by choice, on the basis of Christ’s finished work, by faith: the creature glorified.

Justification is once for all. At one moment my guilt is declared gone forever, but this [spiritual life] 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.

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, O my Jesus Christ; bring forth your fruit through me into this poor world."

This is the “how” [of spiritual life], and there is no other. It is the power of the crucified, risen, and glorified Christ, through the agency of the Holy Spirit by faith.

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