Already, Not Yet
- Date: March 22, 2017
- Teacher: Pastor Star R. Scott
- Scripture: “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29)
- From Put On Christ
We are looking at the difference between positional and practical holiness; positional, of course, being that that we are in the finished work of Jesus. It's great to know that the work is finished! We are the righteousness of God in Christ. Can you say, "Praise God!" for that? But we're facing, on a practical or a daily basis, this conflict with the flesh. Does anybody know what I'm talking about? Sometimes you just don't feel that holy, but it doesn't change who we are. And part of the teaching, here, is to get us to stop looking at the failures and the warfare and realize that the victory over that is in our faith in the finished work.
As we are trying to get our eyes off our failures, you say, "Pastor, that seems different than what you've been teaching." Not at all! We have to come to grips with who and what we are. There's a whole other teaching, and we might even go into that after this one regarding the need to examine ourselves constantly. There are a lot of people that would try to say, "Well, if you get so inward looking you'll miss the promises." That's contrary to Scripture. The Scripture is full of searching our hearts and looking and not "forgetting what manner of man we are" (James 1:24). To find the biblical understanding of this balance isn't always easy. So that's part of what we're doing. There is a biblical way to accomplish the looking into our own hearts without getting stuck there. Identifying who we are, what our weaknesses are, and then how to walk in victory over those things through faith in the finished work of Jesus. So that's part of what we want to do over these next couple of studies.
We're going to be looking at the positional, as I said, versus the practical aspect of holiness. There's a theological term. When you're in school and you come up with this term, it may not sound very "theological." You wouldn't think this is something you might find in your systematic theology class but, in fact, it is. It's a little phrase you might like to put in your notes and have: 'Already, not yet'. That says a lot, doesn't it? Does that help you understand where we're going in the teaching? We are 'already' the righteousness of God, but 'not yet' does it fully express itself in our daily lives. That's the aspect in the study that we want to approach.
Look over at Romans 8:29 with me for just a moment. We're going to look at this confidence builder in our position in Jesus. And I say "confidence builder," when we understand from this and Ephesians, we are predestined to this role! "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren" (Romans 8:29). From before the foundations of the world God chose us and predestined us, predestined us to be conformed to the image of Jesus! Praise God for that! Predestined us to be conformed to the image of Jesus. Now, where there's conflict and some people would say, "Well praise God, if it's predestined, then it's already done." No, not necessarily. Because another passage in 1 John says, "And every man that has this hope [in partaking in the image of Jesus, does what?] purifies himself, even as He is pure."