Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Finished Work of Christ: Past, Present and Future

This past week, I've been extremely blessed and encouraged through Francis Schaeffer's book, 'True Spirituality'. Throughout the book, Schaeffer expounds on the spiritual realities of a Christian. Mainly, Schaeffer points out that true spirituality is living in a conscious reality of the finished work of Christ. For many Christians, this may be a foreign concept; the finished work of Christ. However, this very concept should be the center of the Christian life, past, present and future.

By the finished work of Christ, I am referring to the completed substitutionary death of Christ on the cross, in which he bore the sins of His people by absorbing God's just wrath that was rightly reserved for sinners, thus redeeming His people from sin and restoring them unto himself, adopting us as children of God.

Most Christians are able to rightly apply this concept to their past and future. However, as Schaeffer points out, most of us fail to live by the finished work of Christ moment by moment. Think about it. Most Christians know that because of Christ's death, their past sins are forgiven. They are justified. Likewise, they know that Christ's finished work secures their eternal future with Christ. Yet, what does the finished work of Christ mean for me in my day to day life? Schaeffer spends a great deal talking about how our moment by moment reality must be based on Christ's finished work. In other words, we know our justification is based on Christ's finished work, yet we fail to see how the finished work of Christ applies to our sanctification, or our Christian life.

Schaeffer writes:

"Now just as in the conscious area of sanctification as a whole, so here in restoration everything rests upon the reality of the fact that the blood of Christ has meaning in our present life, and restoration takes place as we, in faith, act upon the face that in specific cases of sin.....It is learning the reality of the meaning of the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, in our present life, and consciously beginning to act upon it"


"the blood of Christ has meaning for me in my present life when I have fallen and my peace is gone. Restoration must be first upon understanding of what Christ has done for us in this area, and then beginning to practice this moment by moment."

In our day to day struggle, living the Christian life is living in light of Christ's finished work. It is living in the reality of what Christ has already accomplished. It is living with a deep awareness that Christ's finished work is the only thing sufficient for our forgiveness. It is living with a deep awareness that because of what Christ did, we are fully adopted as children of God. It is drawing upon the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us, because of what Christ has done. All of this is based on the finished work of Christ on the cross. We must see Christ's finished work as not only the grounds for our justification (past life), but also our sanctification (present life).
All Of Grace

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