Perfect Forever (And Also A Work In Progress)

Perfect Forever (And Also A Work In Progress) June 20, 2022

Christians live in the tension between the “already” and the “not yet.”

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We are “already” saved by Jesus (Rom 8.24; Eph 2.5), but we have “not yet” seen the fullness of that salvation (1Pet 1.5).

We are “already” set free from sin (Rom 6.18-22), but we have “not yet” seen it leave us entirely (Rom 7.14-25).

We are “already” one with Christ (Jn 17.21), but we have “not yet” been united with Him face to face (Phil 1.21-26).

We have “already” seen the Kingdom of Heaven arrive (Mt 3.2), but we have “not yet” seen its full consummation (Mt 6.10).

And there’s another verse that I love from this tension:

 

“For by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” (Heb 10:14)

 

Through His death and resurrection, Jesus Christ has perfected us forever.

It is one of the great hopes of our salvation!

We bring nothing to it, we add nothing to it, we couldn’t possibly do anything to better it.

By His one sacrifice, He has made us perfect forever. Our sins which separated us from God have been removed once and for all, for good.

In His eyes, we are fully righteous, because we have been given Christ’s righteousness as if it were our own (Rom 1.17; Phil 3.9).

Perfect forever.

As a preacher, at this point I would say, “Turn to your neighbour and say, “You’re perfect forever!”

However –

We are also “being made holy.”

Not fully holy, not completed in holiness. Not yet.

We are “being made holy.”

We are in the process of being made holy.

We are “in progress.”

Well, which is it?

Are we truly “perfect forever”?

Or are we “being made holy,” which suggests that we are not perfect yet?

The answer: Yes.

(Don’t we love it when teachers pull that one?)

It is not one or the other, but both/and.

We are both perfect forever, and also “in progress.”

In our standing before God, we are perfect, because of what Jesus did.

We couldn’t be any more perfect, in His eyes.

We couldn’t be any more forgiven.

We couldn’t be any more righteous.

We couldn’t be any more loved.

In Heaven’s eyes, we are absolutely perfected in Christ.

But here on earth, in the lives we are living, we are still in process.

We are working out our salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2.12).

We are aware that sin still exists in us and that we are seeking to throw it off (Heb 12.1).

We live in the tension between the “already” and the “not yet.”

We are “already” perfect in God’s eyes. And we are simultaneously “not yet” living out the fullness of that perfection here on earth.

But the perfection that we’ve found in Christ is still our reality, and it becomes the thing that we are living into.

It is the goal we are pressing towards.

It becomes the hope that we live out of, knowing that one day we will see that perfection fully realized.

In the meantime, we rest in the knowledge and the peace and the joy that we are perfected in Him!

And we seek His Kingdom and His righteousness, first and foremost (Mt 6.33), and let the perfection of Christ and His righteousness call us, challenge us, transform us, as we walk after Him and live in His ways.

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