Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Already but not yet

Hebrews 10:14 For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy. 

A verse that has fascinated me is this short passage in Hebrews 10. This chapter is an amazing description of the finished work of Christ and its result in our lives. In it is a repeated theme of "once for all"...one sacrifice for all people, for all sins, for all times. 

But at the heart of the chapter is this verse. It's an already but not yet declaration of what Christ has done and what is yet to do.  It's a paradox we face as we try to live the Christian life.  

By one offering he forever made perfect.  What a thought.  When I trusted Christ as savior I was forgiven for everything!  I was made perfect forever, complete in Christ and perfect in God's sight.  The work is done.  There is nothing more to do.  Ever. I'm perfect!

But then he continues...made perfect those who are being made holy.  Wait....I thought I was made perfect, what's up with "those who are being made holy"?  It is a paradox of two kinds, 1. It tells us what God has done on his part.  His work is finished.  He fully accomplished all we needed to be perfect in his sight.  And, 2. It tells me what is yet to be done on my part....I'm still in process, still on the path to holiness.  We often call it sanctification, but it describes my odyssey in becoming what God has already made me...perfect.

It's God's desire that I become what I already am.  I can do nothing more to please him, I'm perfect.  But, at the same time I can do everything to please him...it's what I was designed to do...to be now what I already am in the finished work of Christ.  It's the joy of every believer to live this "already but not yet" reality out, but what a blessing to know that I am already perfect and will one day fully realize it as I walk with him into holiness.  

Already, but not yet.  What a God we have!


George Beach said...

Thanks -helpful as I travel back and forth between "already" and
"not yet" I can forget the certainty of the "already." George

Robyn Rochelle E. said...

The beautiful tension of the walk with God!