Saturday, February 13, 2010

True Spirituality - Freedom in the Thought-Life

True Spirituality - Freedom in the Thought Life

Comments on Francis Schaeffer's Book True Spirituality
A Book Study By Dan Guinn

Chapter 9-In this chapter we move on "to discuss true spirituality in relation to separation from ourselves in the internal world of thought" (Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality pg 106).

From our last study we realized that there is a "false tyranny of conscience." This tyranny can touch the whole of our life because, as Schaeffer clarifies in this chapter, these are internal things that have outward consequences. What I believe, directly relates to how I think and what I think directly relates to what I do. To achieve freedom in the though-life, we must address both the conscience and the results of the conscience (our thoughts).

The separation from ourselves is in affect the results of the corruption in conscience. Without Christ, we are cut off from the ability to "know" rightly. We should be clear that our rebellion in the "internal world of thought, " as Schaeffer calls it, it is a product of sin. Schaeffer uses the classic passage on this from Romans 1 to explain.

Read Rom 1:18-32

In this passage, man suppresses the truth and thus reaps the results of sin:

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

Vain in Their Reasoning

21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Rom. 1:21

Schaeffer points out the order that is established in this verse (Inward to external result):

    • Knew God
      • Did not Glorify or Thank God
        • Vain Reasoning
          • Foolish hearts were darkened

Likewise in verses 22 & 24 also repeat this concept.

22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves

    • False wisdom -> lust and impurity

This concept is repeated several times in the passage:

25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions.

    • Exchanged truth for a lie->dishonorable passions

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

    • Did not acknowledge God->debased mind

This is the natural consequences of sin in the lives of mankind in the supernatural world in time and space.

The Post-Christian World
Dr. Schaeffer mentions in passing that we live in a post-Christian world in his remarks on the passage Rom. 1:21, "For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him," we must put this into perspective. Nearly 500 years ago, the entire western world was engaged in turmoil over the importance of bringing the Biblical message to the writ of the common man. This was the world war before WW I. Yet now, the ideas established by the Reformation are barely recollected by a world driven by a secularized consciousness. It is always important to keep in mind that the ideas of the Reformation have not gone out of date, they have merely been discarded. There is a big difference. Let's take a moment to examine the results of sin on the post-Christian world.

View of Creation
View of the Fall
(View of Man & Sin)
View of Redemption
(Hope of Mankind)
Existential Naturalism
(Lower Story)
(Or Aliens?)
Biological Machine
I define my own existence
Science will one day triumph
Existential Mysticism
(Upper Story)
(Circle of Life)
Man is basically good
Good Animal
Noble Savage

Free Your Mind!

Loss of Meaning & Purpose
(Separation from Creator and created purpose)
Loss of Ethics
(Cannot judge right and wrong;
discern sin)
Loss of Humanity
(mere animal or machine)
Loss of Hope
(futile pursuits; nihilism)
Loss of Identity
(Invalid worth)
Effects on the
Human Conscience
Diminished level of the value of life
"A mind void of judgment"
Elevation of self worth
Various Effects
on the Human
World of Thought
arbitrary judgments on human lives
(abortion, genocide)
ethical relativism
religious pluralism

Inability to belong
or identify

false optimism
"man is the measure of all things"
absolute pessimism
"life is meaningless"

disillusionment with
world systems

Renewing the Mind
Understanding the mental results demand that we embrace the Biblical answer. We ought to constantly, in our moment-by-moment relationship with God, seek the renewing of our minds and thoughts. This is not some sort of "brain washing" in the derogatory sense, which is against our will, but a washing willingly to find mental healing and to be who God created us to be.

"17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds." Eph. 4:17

"1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."
Rom. 12:1-1

Truth is Content - Read Eph. 4:17-31, Eph. 5
We cannot merely renew our mind with some meditation to void it of content, rather we must replace the futility with Truth. "Truth is content, truth has something to do with reason. Truth has something to do with the rational creature that God has made us. The dilemma here in the internal world is not just some sort of grey fog, it is in relationship to content" Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality pg 108

"24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." Eph 4:24

Schaeffer identifies here that a more literal translation would be "holiness of truth."

"This is not just an emotional holiness but holiness in relationship to content, holiness in relation to thought and a set of things that can be stated as true, in contrast to that which is false." Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality pg 109

..and from Ephesians 5.

"15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is." Eph 5:15-17

"The word "wise" here conveys the same message. It has to do with the thought-world, but in contact with that which can be stated as true..." Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality pg 109

... be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ." Eph 5:18b-21

From the Heart

34 You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." Matt 12:34

18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.” Matt 15:18-20

With this recognition, we must admit that our entire life is being lived out in our thoughts as rational creatures. These thoughts are real, and have real consequences.

"Man lives in his head; this... is the uniqueness of man." Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality pg 112

Origins of Sin
Dr. Schaeffer points out some important thoughts relating to the fall of Eve and Satan. Here also we see the condition of the heart as the key player. Eve saw the fruit and desired it (internally) and sinned (Gen 3:6), Satan decided "in his heart" and desired to exalt himself above God (Isa. 14:13-14).

He then further clarifies in very plain terms the condition of the fall is "without prior conditioning" in order to explain the creative aspect of the event. It is the origin of evil, from the father of lies and the man Adam, who as our Federal Representative introduced by imputation, sin into the created order.

From Thought to Creation

In a very real sense our thoughts create. When we think we create and construct in our mind and then actualize our thoughts by our actions, we create. Some such as the "Word of Faith" movement have abused this idea in our time claiming we can create ex nihilo ("out of nothing"), but the concept is scripturally sound. While God thought and created the world, we also think, but create into His created world, Schaeffer is quick to point out that we are limited in this respect.

"We are finite, so we cannot create out of nothing; only God creates out of nothing, I am limited..." Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality pg 117

"God's creation and mine differ, of course. God can create out of nothing, by fiat. I cannot, because only He is infinite. In creation He is limited only by his own character. I am limited not only by my character, but by my finiteness. Whie I create, I bring forth in the external universe that he created." Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality pg 117

The word fiat here is a Latin word that means to "create out of nothing". Dr. Schaeffer clarifies that this is not an Eastern concept, where a deity is said to create a reality out of itself, but that God's essence does not overlap His creative consistence. We are created in this same model also. While we create into the world, we are distinct from the world itself.

The value of this knowledge is understanding that what we think has real consequences in our world, and sometimes even create lasting results related to even a single moment of sin in our lives.

Thought Test
Perform this test for me. At this moment I would like you each to think an independent thought not contingent upon anything else. Ready? Go!

Did you do it? Where you successful? Well, the very fact that I asked you to do this proves a point. Your thought was contingent on my request! Schaeffer discusses this:

"It can be said that it is impossible for men not to create things constantly and truly. Even if I wished to stop I could not. It is impossible not to be creating things truly and constantly out of my thought-world into the external world and giving them permanent expression." Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality pg 117, 118

Even the choice not to create is a choice which still creates in time and space. Becoming aware of the fact that we cannot stop creating helps us to see the value of every single moment. We must seek to create, every moment to the glory of God and His kingdom. We create after Him, and the results have eternal consequences. What a sobering wonder and mystery!

A Review
Dr. Schaeffer closes this chapter with a review to clarify what this chapter means to what we have learned so far. Note how Dr. Schaeffer shows us the implications of the concepts learned in this chapter on the previous studies.

  1. True Spirituality
    • Death to all things good and bad/Alive to God
    • Inward Commitment
    • Raised from death to the external world.
  2. The Strength of the Indwelling Holy Spirit
    • The fruit of the crucified, risen. glorified Lord
    • Flows into the external world through my body and work.
  3. Love is Inward
    • Love God enough to be content
    • Love man enough not to envy
    • Internal flowing to external world
  4. Blows of Battle
    • Many ways
    • These blows impact me internally (unlike a machine)
    • In our response we either thank God or rebel
  5. Active Passivity
    • We do not respond with, "I want" or "I demand my own will"
    • In the example of Christ we say, "Thy Will Be Done"
    • In the example of Marry we say, "Be it unto me according to thy will"
    • We are finite and limited in creation after the image of God.
    • We can bring forth into the external world either:
      • that with leads to life
      • that which produces death
    • Conclusions on Man
      • Communication with God is inward
      • The real battle for men is in the world of ideas.
      • True Spirituality begins in our thought-world. The spiritual battle, the loss or victory, is always in the thought-world.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

True Epistemology Presentation

The Reality of Truth & Freedom of Conscience

Epistemological Crisis

This presentation will help to educate about the general Epistemological Crisis that prompted the writing of True Spirituality by Dr. Francis Schaeffer.

Note: Use the "open in new window" option to display the presentation full screen.

Need The Book? True Spirituality - Francis Schaeffer

If you are in a class at Redeemer Presbyterian Church (Overland Park, KS), please feel free to contact me for a book. The Redeemer Book Table is providing them for $10. If it is not convenient to purchase the book at this time one can be provided for you. For those visiting the blog, here are some good sources online:

Ordering A Book, Excerpts
Read excerpts and see listings of multiple locations to buy online at Google Books

Audio Version

Get An Audio Version @

True Spirituality - Freedom From Conscience

True Spirituality - Freedom from Conscience
Comments on Francis Schaeffer's Book True Spirituality
A Book Study By Dan Guinn

Chapter 8- With Chapter 8 we begin the second section of True Spirituality called "Freedom Now from the Results of Sin". Until now we have discussed the freedom from sin itself. Now we move forward to focus on the results. It is possible to live the Christian life and deal with overcoming sins but never fully address the results of sin in our lives. You might wonder how this is possible, especially if we are doing what has already been prescribed in the previous chapters. Yet the truth is... sin is pervasive. It is not enough to just stop sinning, and allow the enemy to retain victory over us in our conscience and thought life. Nor is it desirous to have inner change but not let that touch the relationships in our lives. There is a need to understand the depth of the internal war that rages in hidden corners of our being.

As the subsection title states "Man's Separation from Himself, " Dr Schaeffer identifies the core of the problem. We are separated from ourselves! Separated, from the creatures we were created to be. We struggle with areas of depth in our lives, that seem out of our reach. Hidden emotions, isolated idols, and unwarranted misguided fears. It is here that Schaeffer wishes us to place a spiritual microscope, to explore the dark regions of our hearts and minds. 

In order to make the appropriate discovery Dr. Schaeffer impresses upon us the need to take everything that we have learned so far as foundational moving forward. We have learned the tools to our freedom from sin and in this liberty there is a need to set our goal toward lifelong examination. An examination into the effects of sin moment-by-moment, relying wholly on the aid of the power of the Holy Spirit for guidance and sanctification.

  1. From Sin Comes Bondage & the Results
  2. The Psychological Trick
  3. Classic Reformed Perspective
  1. Freedom from Conscience
    • Errors of Perfectionism
      • Second Blessing
      • Moments of Perfection
    • The Deeper Person
      • Man Separated from Himself
      • Unconscious/subconscious
    • False Attitudes
      • Looking lightly on sin (viewing sin in the abstract)
      • Believing we must follow through on temptation
  2. Restoration & Realism (Removing the false tyranny of conscience.)
    • Christ Blood
    • Confession
    • Chastening
    • Discipline
    • Fatherly Reverence
    • Christ our advocate
      • Rightly Judging Ourselves

From Sin Comes Bondage & the Results
We must first begin by making sure we understand the order of the problem. As Schaeffer says very plainly, "Sin causes the bondage and the results." (Francis Schaeffer, True         Spirituality pg 91) According to Schaeffer, we must both understand that we are truly Christians and secondly be acting on the Biblical teaching of how to be free from the bonds of sin. Then finally we can begin to identify the results of sin in our life and begin to prayerfully deal with them.

The Psychological Trick
The modern outlook on meaning is "a cruel illusion" unless we hold to objective or propositional truths. These words, objective and propositional, are used in philosophy and theology to denote absolute or final truth. Dr. Schaeffer hopes to establish here the impact that the loss of meaning has upon the conscience.

Classic Reformed Perspective

The answers to the problem of conscience rest in three points that Dr. Schaeffer puts at the center of the discussion. Here they are:

  1. "Objective Reality of a Supernatural view of the universe."                              (Elsewhere called "The Universe and it's Forms")
  2. "The existence of a personal infinite God in whose image man is made [and fallen] (Elsewhere Schaeffer calls this the "manishness of man").
  3. "The truth about the human dilemma [and the Biblical answer]."                       (Elsewhere called "presuppositional")  

In these three points Schaeffer hints at the formulation of a general system of knowledge (Epistemology). While this is nothing new really, as the concept is native to Reformed Theology for some time in the triad of "creation, fall, redemption" These three points of theology are the backbone of Redemptive History. This system is similar to portions of what more recent students of Van Til, John Frame and Vern Poythress called Multiperspectivalism or Triperspectivalism. However one breaks it down the core concept, at least as it relates directly to Epistemology is at the core of what Dr. Schaeffer had formulated. Here are the three views shown tog

Creation                       -> Fall                          -> Redemption

Supernatural Universe     -> Manishness of Man      -> Presuppositional

Situational                    -> Existential                 -> Normative

Here are the questions that each column ask:
  1. What is the global/universal situation? What is reality?
  2. How do you account for man and his problems? What is sin?
  3. What is the norm/presupposition that will best deliver, free, or help mankind?           

Just for comparison, I would like us to consider also how Dr. Ravi Zacharias' four
most important questions of life fit into this model. Meaning and Morality fall into the middle column.

Origin                          -> Meaning, Morality        -> Destiny 

When non-Christian world views are asked these same questions is becomes quite interesting. Take a look at Existentialism/Post Modernism for example. We can easily see the bankruptcy of these systems.

Naturalism                    -> Biological Machine    -> Supremacy of Science
Mysticism                     -> Noble Savage          -> Mother Earth
Also, consider this quote from Niche in light of these comparisons. What Niche states is takes the bankrupcy to an all time low. Although he does not understand the significance of the Bible, there is still something to be learned here. Not only is the non-Christian view of reality mere illusion, if they were honest with themselves they would realize that without revelation they have no hope of proper perspective. They could know nothing of real meaning or truth.

particular point of view is privileged in the sense that it
affords those who occupy it a better picture of the world as it
realy is than all the others"  Fredrick Niche, Nehamas 49

Freedom from Conscience

Here Schaeffer begins to help us put these proofs into practice.

Errors of Perfectionism
- Dr Schaeffer identifies the following two culprits that the Bible and Church history warn us of.

Second Blessing - Somewhat fallen out of favor in our day. However, it is still alive in some Wesleyan, Nazarene, Pentecostal and Holiness type churches.
Moments of Perfection - Less spoken of, but some churches teach doctrinal          perfection relying on the "work" of staying in the "Spirit."

"Hence if there is any real victory in my life, it must not be thought
of as mi victory or my perfection...It is not my victory, it is always
Christ's victory" Francis Schaeffer, True     Spirituality pg 96

The Deeper Person - It is extremely important to pursue the deeper aspects of one's being. "The more the Holy Spirit puts his finger on my life and goes down deep into my life, the more I understand that there are deep wells to my nature." Francis Schaeffer, True     Spirituality pg 95

         Man Separated from Himself - Dr. Schaeffer uses these words to describe the            consequences of the Fall.

Unconscious/subconscious - He describes man as the proverbial iceberg  one-tenth above and nine-tenths below the surface.

False Attitudes - it is so important that we be on guard against all sorts of mental pitfalls in the Christian walk. Here are two we need to be mindful of concerning sin.

Looking lightly on sin (viewing sin in the abstract) - "As we teach our children that we sin daily in thought, word, and deed, we must be very careful to warn them of the danger of thinking that we can look lightly or abstractly at sin in their lives. If I count on Christ's victory for my entrance into heaven, will I deny him the glory He would gain in victories won, in me and through me, in my present life?" Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality pg 96

Believing we must follow through on temptation - Likewise, we can decide that since we so regularly fall to temptation that we can just cannot resist it. This is surrender.

temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is
faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but
with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you
may be able to endure it." 1 Cor 10:13

Restoration & Realism

"And then sin reenters. For some reason my moment-by-moment belief in
God faulters; a fondness for some specific sin has caused me at that
point not to draw in faith uping the fact of a restored relationship
with the Trinity. The reality of the practice of true spirituality
suddenly slips from me. I look up some morning, some afternoon, some
night-- and something is gone, something I have known: my quietness and
my peace is gone. It is not that I am lost again, because justification
is once for all. But as far as man can see, or even I myself, at this
point there is no exhibition of the victory of Christ upon the cross.
Looking at me at this point, men would see no demonstration that God's
creation of moral rational creatures is not a complete failure, or even
that God exist. [However,] Because God still holds me fast I do not have the
separation of lostness..."

"5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But
if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with
one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:5-9

    Christ Blood - It begins with remembering His sacrafice, His Blood (v.7).
    Confession - We must acknowledge our sin (v.9).

"5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,

nor be weary when reproved by him.

For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,

and chastises every son whom he receives.”

is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons.
For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides
this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected
them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and
live? 10 For they
disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he
disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For
the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later
it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been
trained by it." Heb 12:5-11

    Chastening - Recieve correction (v.5).
    Discipline - Remember that Discipleship is Discipline. Our correction is for guiding us to            greater growth (v.7).
     Fatherly Reverence
- Our Soverign Caring Heavenly Father (v.9).
"My little
children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But
if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ
the righteous." 1 John 2:1

     Christ our Advocate - What other assurance could be so great as knowing that the
    Son of God stands as our Advocate? When we do sin we should rush to the throne of grace,     for He is faithful and just!

Rightly Judging Ourselves - Dr. Schaeffer clarifies for us that our punishment was dealt with on the cross. Our chastening "is correction to bring us back to fellowship with himself. and we do not need to wait to be chastened before our fellowship can be restored." Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality pg 105 So through the aid of the Holy Spirit who convicts us, and our Advocate who represents us, we can seek right fellowship immediately.
"31 But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world."
1 Cor 11:31-32

"God means us to have, as one of the gifts in this life, freedom from a false tyranny of conscience." Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality pg 106

"Man is first of all separated from God, then from himself, and finally from his fellow men and from nature. The blood of the Lord Jesus Christ will give an absolute and perfect restoration of all these things when Jesus comes. But in the present life there is to be a substantial healing, including the results of the separation between a man and himself. This is the first step towards freedom in the present life from the results of the bonds of sin." Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality pg 105

True Spirituality - The Fruitful Bride

True Spirituality - The Fruitful Bride
Comments on Francis Schaeffer's Book True Spirituality
A Book Study By Dan Guinn

Chapter 7 - The concept of the "Fruitful Bride" combines two significant themes in scripture; The concept of "bearing fruit" and the "bride". Both of which are rich in symbolism and meaning in the relationship of the life of the believer and their Savior. Dr. Schaeffer directs our attention to a passage where these two concepts are unified.

"Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God." Rom 7:4

As the Bride of Christ (Matt. 22:1-14,25:1-13, Rev. 19:6-10) we are to bear fruit in that relationship. Bearing fruit embodies imagery utilized in scripture such as the "vine" and the "fig tree." In essence these symbols are indicative of the product or end result of the Christian life.

The Bride's Calling
Dr. Schaeffer points out that this is our high calling in life.

        "..our high calling, to put ourselves by choice in the arms of our rightful lover, our                     bridegroom, in order to bring forth fruit in the external world." Francis Schaeffer, True             Spirituality pg 81


This commitment involves faithfulness on our part. Dr. Schaeffer uses the illustration of the illegitimate foreign child born through (the fruit of) adultery. Are we unfaithful toward God?

"13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

15 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 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? 17 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, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19 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.

20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death." Rom 6:13-21

        We Are to Honor the Divine Guest       
"The Holy Spirit is the agent of the whole Trinity. He is the agent of the crucified, the raised, the glorified, Christ. If I am bringing forth something other than the fruit of the Spirit, the only reason is that I have grieved the Holy Spirit who is our Divine Guest. Dr. Charles Hodge expresses it like this:'The great distinction of a true Christian is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. How careful should he be, lest anything in his thoughts  of feelins would be offensive to this divine Guest!' The Holy Spirit is a Person, but knowing that he is a Person should remind us that he can be greived...'" Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality pg 82

"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." Eph 4:30

"Do not quench the Spirit." 1 Thess 5:19

The Empty Hand of Faith

"...For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin." Rom 14:23b
"The sin here is not raising the empty hands of faith. Anything that is not brought forth from faith is sin. When I am not allowing this fruit, which has been purchased at such a price, to flow forth through me I am unfaithful, in the deep sense of not believing in God." Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality pg 83

Reasons Why We May Not Be Bringing Forth the Fruit We Should

The following outline is intended to convey as a quick reference the problems and pitfalls Christians can easily fall into which prevent them from bearing fruit. Notice that each of these are areas where an unbalanced emphasis is placed on one portion of the gospel message. Without applying the whole gospel, to the whole of life we may very well be misdirected and not produce fruit or find the healing in this life that it provides.

How Fail to "possess our possessions" as Christians.

  1. Ignorance or Confusion
  • Taught We Are Justified - But never taught the present meaning of Christ work in our lives right now.
  • Taught Faith - But are left trying to live life in own strength.
  • Taught Faith - Antinomianism (literally "against law") : We believe but either believe there is no spiritual law or that God's law is not applicable. People in this area may not necessarily believe they are anarchist, but in many ways can be living in lawlessness.
  • Taught Second Blessing - Lives on basis of personal holiness practice. There are several groups that have taught this. This can further lapse into legalism.
  • Taught Faith & Justification - Never taught that faith needed to be acted upon. Much like the first covered in this area, I believe that Schaeffer is identifying those who understand faith and justification clearly and even understand the present meaning of Christ in our lives but are yet ignorant of the conscious action needed to grow after coming to faith.

Avoiding Mere Intellectual Ascent - Later Schaeffer goes on to mention "mere intellectual ascent. This may in some ways be a summary of the areas just covered. However, these may be areas of the process of sanctification in our lives as well. We all can probably identify when we were in one state or another in our understanding. We must be careful to merely rest on our knowledge of our current state of spirituality as we all have much further to go before we are comformed to the likeness of Christ. We need to be constantly moving and learning so that we may mature. The moment we stop this action is the moment we falter. "Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall." 1 Cor. 10:12 Here are some points which Schaeffer suggest.

Doctrine Appropriated
"In the last analysis it is never doctrine alone that is important. It is always doctrine appropriated that counts." Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality pg 84

Justification/Sanctification Parallel
"In justification we must see, acknowledge and act upon the fact that we cannon save ourselves. In sanctification we must see, acknowledge, and act upon the fact that we cannot live the Christian life in our own strength, or in our own goodness." Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality pg 85

One Difference
  • Justification - Deals with the guilt (legality) of my sin.
      • Sanctification - Deals with the power of sin in my life.

Let us be sure to grasp the above bullet points. Unless we are to understand how to apply the gospel to the whole of life, we must grasp the difference between justification and sanctification and begin to live them out.
Moment-by-Moment Relationship
Finally, as the bride or Christ, we are to live a life in moment-by-moment relationship. Unlike human relationships where separation or failure of devotion can transpire. The Spirit of God is there in moment-by-moment relationship with us. His love is steadfast and unmoved. While it is possible to offend Him, He is gentle and long-suffering with us, ever teaching, ever guiding.

This is the conclusion of the first section of the "Freedom Now From the Bonds of Sin." Schaeffer ends with this section with many remarks that help to summarize this relationship.

"When we say 'moment-by-moment' we are dealing in practice with a succession of single historical moments. No one lives his whole life at a time."
Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality pg 86

"This morning's faith will never do for this noon. The faith of this noon will never do for the supper time. The faith of supper time will never do for the time of going to bed. The faith of midnight will never do for the next morning. Thank God for the reality for which we were created, a moment-by-moment communication with God himself."
Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality pg 87

"... the Christian life, true spirituality, can never have a mechanical solution. The real solution is being cast up into the moment-by-moment communion, personal communion, with God himself, and letting Christ's truth flow through me through the agency of the Holy Spirit." Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality pg 88

"We live in a personal universe, and not in an impersonal one. God exist, God is personal; we are personal, as we have been made in the image of God, and out relationship to God is to be personal, not mechanical... When we were created, we were created for a purpose. And the purpose of our creation, in which all our subsidiary purposes fit, is to be in a personal relationship to God, in communion with hime, in love, by choice, the creature before the Creator." Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality pg 88

"Modern man is struggling properly when his is struggling with the basic question, as to the problem of personaliotly and communication... The Bible's answer to the problem is the central communication, which makes all the other communications meaningful, is the communication of the Creator and the creature." Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality pg 88

               personality (identity) ----> Christ
communication (meaning/truth) ----> Word

                               creature ----> Creator

"... mankind in revolt doubts God. To believe him, not just when I accept Christ as Savior, but every moment, one moment at a time: this is the Christian life, and this is true spirituality." Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality pg 89