The Mark of the Christian by Francis Schaeffer Part 1

 

THE MARK OF A CHRISTIAN – CLASS 1 – Introduction

Published on Mar 7, 2012

This is the introductory class on “The Mark Of A Christian” by Francis Schaeffer. The class was originally taught at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Overland Park, KS by Dan Guinn from FrancisSchaefferStudies.org as part of the adult Sunday School hour on Mar. 4th 2012.

This first class covers the following:
History of Origin of “The Mark of A Christian”
Matters of perspective, spiritual discernment, and sanctification.
Section 1 – Introduction

___________________________

The Mark of the Christian by Francis Schaeffer Part 1

I have several spiritual heroes in my life and Francis Schaeffer was one of those. In the film series “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?” the arguments are presented  against abortion (Episode 1),  infanticide (Episode 2),   euthanasia (Episode 3), and then there is a discussion of the Christian versus Humanist worldview concerning the issue of “the basis for human dignity” in Episode 4 and then in the last episode a close look at the truth claims of the Bible.
Christians should present the truth in love and that is what Francis Schaeffer’s book “The Mark of the Christian” is about. I have a portion of that book below:
Christians have not always presented a pretty picture to the world.
Too often they have failed to show the beauty of love, the beauty of Christ,
the Holiness of God, and the world has turned away. Is there no way to make the world look again this time at true Christianity’s Christians continue to stand with arms folded presenting to men and women, a tarnished image of God- a shattered body of Christ
How should we show the world that we are Christians?

Through the centuries, people have displayed many different symbols intended to show that they are Christians.

they have worn marks in the lapels of their coats, hung chains about their necks,
and even had special haircuts.

But there is a much better sign – a universal mark that is to last through all the ages of the church till Jesus comes back.

What is this mark?
At the close of his ministry, Jesus made clear what was to be the distinguishing mark of the Christian until His return:

A new commandment I give you: Love one another.
As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
By this all men will know that you are my disciples,
if you love one another.
(John 13:33-35)

Notice that what He says here is not a statement or a fact. It is a command which includes a condition:

By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

An if is involved. If you obey, you will wear the badge that Christ gave. But since this is a command, it can be violated The point: while it is possible to be a Christian without showing the mark; if we expect non-Christians to know that we are Christians, we must show the mark. Speaking to the church some years later, the same John who wrote the account above says:

This is the message you heard from the beginning:
We should love one another.
(1 John 3:11)

John in effect says:

Don’t forget this… don’t forget this! This command was given to us by Christ while He was still on earth. This is to be your mark.

Loving our neighbor

The command at this point is to love our fellow Christians. But there is another side of Jesus’ teaching:

We are to love our fellow human beings, as human beings.
We are to love all people, in fact, as neighbours.
All people bear the image of God. They have inherent value, not simply because they are the objects of Christ’s saving work, but because they are God’s creation, in God’s image.

All people are our neighbours, and we are to love them as ourselves. We are to do this on the basis of creation, even if they are not redeemed, for all people have value because they are made in the image of God. Therefore, they are to be loved even at great cost.

This is, of course, the whole point of Jesus’ story of the good Samaritan.

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus.

Teacher, he asked, what must I do to inherit eternal life?

What is written in the Law?
he replied. How do you read it?

He answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself.

You have answered correctly, Jesus replied.
Do this and you will live.

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, And who is my neighbor?

In reply Jesus said:

A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers.
They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.
A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine.
Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. Look after him, he said, and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.

Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?

The expert in the law replied, The one who had mercy on him.

Jesus told him, Go and do likewise.
(the gospel according to luke; chapter 10, verses 25-37)

The Mark of the Christian by Francis Schaeffer © 1970 by L’Abri Fellowship. Used by permission of Norfolk Press, London. All rights reserved. No portion of this online edition of the book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, except for brief quotations for the purpose of review, comment, or scholarship, without written permission from the copyright holder.
Francis A. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development http://www.truespirituality.org/

I truly believe that many of the problems we have today in the USA are due to the advancement of humanism in the last few decades in our society. Ronald Reagan appointed the evangelical Dr. C. Everett Koop to the position of Surgeon General in his administration. He partnered with Dr. Francis Schaeffer in making the video below. It is very valuable information for Christians to have.  Actually I have included a video below that includes comments from him on this subject.

Many liberals actually truly do argue for abortion rights over human rights. Prochoice advocate Elizabeth Williams came out and said that on 1-23-13 in her article on Salon. We hear reasons for abortion such as poverty,and  child abuse,  but why not consider adoption? Instead, the political left will stop at nothing to push the pro-abortion agenda. Why not stop and take an honest look at when life begins for the unborn child and when she begins to feel pain?

Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 1) ABORTION OF THE HUMAN RACE

Published on Oct 6, 2012 by

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Comments

  • David Lloyd-Jones  On April 26, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    Everette,

    Up above, in the intro to Shaeffer Class I, it’s “euthanasia” with an a — easy to remember because it’s from the “than-” root of thanatos, etc., death in Greek.

    Best wishes,

    -dlj.

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