As I grapple with my own depression I am reminded that there is an already / not yet tension in the way the apostles spoke of salvation. They had witnessed the resurrection of Jesus, but the resurrection of the dead was still to come. They had witnessed the defeat of death, and yet the threat of death still hung over them as they bore witness to the ends of the earth. Death has been dethroned in this world but it has not yet been exorcised from this world. We still await for all things to be made new, even though we’ve seen glimpses of the new. It’s like we’ve now seen light at the end of the tunnel, but the tunnel still hangs above us. Jesus gives me a new perspective, and that perspective can change how I relate to my circumstances, but it doesn’t mean my circumstances have changed. Not yet.
Three things we have no need of:
As we already have them all in Christ
Three ways Jesus helps us:
He guides us,
He empowers us,
And he intercedes for us.
Three things Jesus achieved:
He revealed the way of life,
He released us from tyranny,
And he restored our standing before God.
Love your enemies –
Lies your salvation
Justification has a horizontal dimension. Justification is clearly vertical and declares one’s right status/standing before God (e.g., Rom 5:1, 8:1), but also declares that a person is a member of the messianic community, the Israel of God. Note that the first thing imputed to Gentile believers in Romans is “circumcision,” i.e. covenant membership (Rom 3:26). Jesus was cursed on the cross so that the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles (Gal 3:14). The first implication that Paul draws after Eph 2:8-10 is not sanctification, but the unity of Gentiles with Jews in the commonwealth of Israel defined by the Messiah (Eph 2.11ff).
What say you?