Sunday, August 20, 2006

Rejected, slain, and raised

I'm halfway through Francis Schaeffer's True Spirituality, and I have to say it's been awhile since a book has affected me quite so much. There was no chance of falling asleep while reading this one!

The emphasis so far has been on the sequential facts of Jesus's life: that he was rejected, slain, and raised, in that order, and that Christians must not neglect that order. That there is always a crucifixion in our lives before a resurrection -- that we die to self in baptism, and are raised with Christ; that we must reject the values of the world before we can walk with Him.

Now that's powerful enough -- and Schaeffer is a very good writer -- but when he elaborates this theme, the reality comes pounding home. When we are baptized, we actually die, in God's view. So that, in living our lives, we are to live as if we have really died, have been to heaven, and have been raised again. We are to live resurrection lives.

The reason this blows me away is that this is exactly how I felt when I got my life in order, after a series of failures (my own, all my own) and came back to church. I felt as if I had been raised from the dead. And every time I have made a correction in my life's course (as I have had to do numerous times, having gone astray), always through a sudden gift of grace, I have felt newly alive, saved, resurrected. So I guess this is a pattern we can repeat, if we wander off, as I have so often done.

Hallelujah! This means it is never to late to die to the old self and be raised again!

No comments: