Schaeffer has divided this short text (38 pages) into 19 sections, and concludes it with a poem. For my purposes I will follow those 19 headings, doing a post related to each, but in a few instances I will combine them. The all-caps bold font at the top of each of my posts is the section heading from Schaeffer. Thus, I begin . . .
THE MARK OF THE CHRISTIAN
Schaeffer begins his work by stating his thesis right from the top; he writes, for the Christian, there is a mark, a universal badge that marks all believers for and in all ages. Moreover, that mark was given, and made profoundly clear by Jesus himself in John 13:33-35. The mark: The believers’ love for each other.
Furthermore—and this is what strikes me most from this first section—that when Jesus describes it in John 13, He describes it as a “command which includes a condition” (p. 8).
In the concluding paragraph of this first section Schaeffer emphasizes; “that it is possible to be a Christian without showing the mark, but if we expect non-Christians to know that we are Christians, we must show the mark” (p. 8).
Some key statements from this section (pp. 7-8):
It is a universal mark that is to last through all the ages of the church till Jesus comes back.
What is this mark?
This passage [John 13:33-35] reveals the mark that Jesus gives to label a Christian not just in one era or in one locality but at all times and all places until Jesus returns.
Notice that what he says here is not a description of a fact. It is a command which includes a condition: "A new command 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." An “if” is involved. If you obey, you will wear the badge Christ gave. But since this is a command, it can be violated.
You can read this section, and the entire book, in this online edition >>>
3 John 8