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  • Writer's pictureBlake Barbera

Embracing the Spirit's Work In Everyday Life | Romans 13 Devotion

Coffee With God: 9/22/2023 | Romans 13:11

“Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.”

How often do you think about salvation as a future reality?

I know it’s not how we are typically trained in church to think about salvation. Usually, when questions are asked about someone’s salvation, they’re placed exclusively in the past tense:

“Have you been saved?”

“When were you saved?”

“How did you get saved?”

But the Bible repeatedly and consistently talks about a believer's salvation from three perspectives: past, present, and future.

If we belong to Jesus, we have been saved, we are being saved, and we will be saved fully and completely one day in the future.

Think about this passage from 1 Corinthians 15:

“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:1-2

Let's clarify a few things before we get to the main point. It is absolutely correct for Christians to talk about their salvation as a past and present reality. We see examples of this repeatedly in the New Testament.[1]

But it is just as fitting, dare I say crucial, for Christians to talk and think about their salvation as an ongoing and future reality.

Countless Bible verses talk about salvation in this way. In fact, it may surprise you to know that nearly every book in your New Testament contains a verse where salvation can be seen as an ongoing or future reality.

When we learn to think of our salvation as an ongoing process, two things happen: first, we recognize God’s sanctifying work in our lives as the motivation and means behind the daily grind, the daily joys, the daily everything of life. It all works together for a purpose, and according to Romans 8, that purpose is our sanctification and complete salvation.[2]

Second, we become empowered to undertake a task commended to us multiple times in Scripture: to set our hope fully on the life to come, as opposed to the fleeting reality of this life.[3]

If you are looking for ultimate fulfillment, Jesus promises there is only one way to find it: you must be willing to lose your life for his sake.[4]

If you’ve ever wondered how to go about losing your life, this is a great place to start; by recognizing and cooperating with the Spirit’s ongoing work in your personal transformation.

God assures us that he is able to bring our salvation to a perfect and complete telos, to finish the good work he started in us on the day we were reconciled to him.[5]

That work will ultimately be complete when we see him face-to-face, on the day when our redemption, and that of the entire world, is complete.

[1] For instance, Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,” and 2 Corinthians 5:17-18 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” [2] See Romans 8:18-30. [3] This, along with present and future salvation, is a massive theme in Scripture: see 1 Peter 1:13, Colossians 1:3-5, 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 for starters. [4] Matthew 16:24-26 [5] Jude 24-25; Philippians 1:6.

1 Thessalonians 5:8-10

Embracing the Spirit's Work In Everyday Life | Romans 13 Devotion


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