Monday, January 27, 2014

A Finished Work in Progress

The concepts of "finished" and "work in progress" don't really go together, but that is what God seems to say about His children.  God, in His mercy and grace, through the finished work of Jesus Christ has done all the work of redemption for us! 

By faith we receive it!

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.

And yet...many days I feel that I should hold this sign as my disclaimer to the world!  

This is all a profound mystery and so often my life is lived out in paradox...
   -  I am perfected AND still in progress
   -  I am holy and sanctified AND still messy 

For me, the concept of a finished work in progress serves as a reminder to keep an important distinction between Law and Gospel. 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: 
The old has gone, the new is here!  2 CORINTHIANS 5:17

In faith, God has wiped the slate clean
and wants to write a new story through our lives!  
This is most certainly Good News!

The Gospel is the finished work of Christ!  It is because of Who God Is and What He Has Already done, and continues to do, that makes us who we become through faith in Jesus.  This is the place where we find peace and rest.

The Law reveals our imperfection and sin daily!  It shows us what we haven't done, what we should do, and the volume of work to be accomplished.  By itself, we are doomed!  This is where we can become anxious and allow doubt to grow.

Just before his arrest, Jesus reminds his disciples (and us):“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  JOHN 16:33

Everyday, we need to hold a healthy tension - - first, remembering that in Christ, it is finished and the slate is clean.  God holds nothing against us.  And yet...there is work for us to do as He writes His story upon us and through our lives.

LAW  and  GOSPEL's no longer because we HAVE TO, rather because we GET TO!

Maybe this is a better sign to carry!  The exclamation mark demonstrates excitement and eagerness, with a caution symbol as a disclaimer :) 

...continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.  PHILIPPIANS 2:12

Let's reverse the order!

It is finished...get to work!

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