What I will be

I am not what I was but I am what I will be.

Chances are that you have heard that line differently.  We are usually told, “I am not what I was and I am not what I will be.”  But where does that leave us?  Many believers accept that they live in some kind of “no man’s land” between what they were and what they will be.  They believe that they are no longer lost in sin, because of Jesus (or their participation in the church), but that they are still broken sinners waiting to be forgiven and redeemed and accepted when they die. There is no victory, no righteousness, not even any joy for them because they have not arrived at their goal.

We understand this, of course.  We still suffer the limitations and indignities of earthly life and we trust that will change.  We still do things we don’t want to do and we look forward to a time when that will no longer be true.  In other words, we don’t feel like saints and we don’t act in the way we think saints should act, but we expect that we will someday.  Our present may not be as bad as our past was, but it isn’t as good as we believe our future will be.

Now, if you promise to read the rest of this post, I will concede that there is an important point here.  I don’t know what it will be like to live without the influence of sin, but I long for the day when sin is out of my world and my life forever.  I believe that will be a wonderful day—and that it will be quite different from today.  My thinking will be completely uncompromised.  My choices will always be right.  My heart will respond only to Jesus.  What a day that will be!

However, the only things that will be different in that day are that sin will be gone in you and in me and that we will finally know who we are.  In a sense, the only differences will be in our behavior and in our understanding.  We will finally think like saints and act like saints, because we will finally feel like saints.  Our experience will catch up with the truth about ourselves.

You see, nothing spiritual will change in those who belong to Jesus when they die.  We are as saved right now as we will be when we stand in Heaven.  We are as clean and forgiven and righteous today as we will be then.  Our thinking will catch up; our environment will certainly change; but there will be no substantial difference in us.

This is the wonder of Paul’s words to the Corinthians:

And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:11

The work that was necessary for you has already been done for you and in you.  When you came to Jesus, you accepted the work of Jesus on your behalf.  Nothing more needs to be done.  You can’t add to what He has already done.

So the proper Christian goal for the New Year is not to be a better person.  You can’t make yourself better than Christ has already made you.  The proper Christian goal is to become what you are, to think according to the truth about you.

I believe that learning to live in His presence, to walk with Him through the day, is the best way to begin thinking in the right way.  They claim that you begin to think like the people you are with.  How does Jesus think of you?  He loves you and values you.  He knows what He has done in your life and who you really are.  If you and I can begin to think of ourselves in the way He thinks of us, our lives will be full and free.

3 Comments

Filed under Freedom, grace, heart, Relationship

3 responses to “What I will be

  1. Darius

    If you are living a life of sin you are not saved by the blood of Jesus Christ and you are still waiting for Him to do a work in your life.

    The verse you quoted by Paul says and such WERE some of you, past tense, not such are still some of you today. There verse up from that assures us that none that do such things shall inherit the kingdom of God. You won’t be a part of God’s kingdom, which is the abode of the saint of God.

    You can be made free by the blood of Jesus and experience this bliss abundant life right now. You don’t have to wait for a future time to experience another part of your salvation, nor will you ever grow into it.

    The word of God assures us, “if the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). Free from what? Free from sin. “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin” (John 8:34). You can’t serve sin and serve God at the same time. “No man can serve two masters.”

    When you are saved you are made free from sin. “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life” (Romans 6:22).

    The only way to have everlasting life is to be made free from sin. Seek God and His deliverance today. Seek Him while He may be found!

    • Darius,

      There is so much I could say here. First, what does “living a life of sin” mean? Does it mean anyone who sins in any way? Or does it mean seeking to draw spiritual life from sin? If it means anyone who sins, then I am wondering if you are suggesting that you or anyone else no longer sins or does those things God calls sin. If that’s what you are saying, then you are either under a delusion or you are a liar. I know of no one who no longer does anything God considers sin, nor do I believe such a person exists. Our salvation is being worked out in our lives and we are changing, but this life is too short for all sin to disappear.

      Second, you miss the point of the 1 Cor passage. It is not what the people have done that has cleansed them. It is not that they have stopped doing anything. They have stopped being something because they have been washed by the blood of Jesus. The passage does not suggest that the person who used to steal will never steal again in any way. It says that he is no longer a thief. His identity has changed and his actions will follow. True believers can and do step back into the sins of their past, but those sins no longer own them or define them. They are free to step out of them.

      I think you also miss the point of eternal life. You seem to think that the center point of humanity is our relationship with sin. We are either bound to it or free from it, in your thinking. That’s not far from the truth, except that sin is more than our actions. Sin is a realm or a state in which the non-believer exists. Sin, for the person apart from the Lord, is natural and unavoidable and inevitable. That isn’t true for the believer. The believer is, as you say, free from sin. That means much more than just doing better things in life. That means that the believer is no longer owned and identified by sin. We no longer live in sin. Now we live in Christ. The acts of sin, which any honest believer will admit still appear in his or her life, are inconsistent with our new life in Christ. Life in Christ is holy and righteous because He is holy and righteous. Eternal life is life in and of the Eternal.

      Finally, you seem to say that anyone who sins cannot be saved. If that were true, then salvation and eternal life would be based on our works and not on what Jesus has done for us. There is no room for grace or love in the system you seem to present. Your call is to change behavior so that we can be judged righteous by our works. That was the message of the Pharisee.

      No, Darius, that is not the message of the gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ. The gospel tells of lost sinners who could do nothing to save themselves, who needed a Savior. The gospel tells of a Savior who loved us so much that He gave Himself to pay the consequence of our sin and to be our Life. The gospel tells of our eternal dependence on Him. We will never deserve or earn or maintain the righteousness of Christ. It is His and we can only live in it and enjoy it. The gospel is Good News. Any suggestion that we are saved (or kept saved) by our works is Bad News.

  2. Cybil

    This message was a breath of fresh air for me. Tonight I have been struggling to forgive someone, thinking of the Lord’s prayer and “Forgive me my sins as I forgive others.” But I have trouble forgiving … so I pray that the Spirit will help me forgive better, but anxiety remains. As I read your post, I remembered that I am forgiven, and forgiveness suddenly seems easier. Many thanks.

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