Monday, August 28, 2006

Two Kinds of Now

I was blown away by John Piper last week. I've never been big on intentional Scripture memorization, but recently felt challenged to memorize an extended passage: Romans 8. I am loving having these glorious truths running through my mind during the day because I have been repeating them and committing them to memory. It is a beautiful thing when God writes His Word on your heart! So on Friday I stood at the sink doing dishes and listening to an old Piper sermon on Romans 8:1, and nearly wept at the beauty of the glorious truth he was proclaiming.

Consider this: The word "now" can mean two different things. It can mean "FINALLY, now!" or it can mean "ALREADY, now?" For example...
1. A five-year-old boy receives a big package from his grandfather for his birthday. It arrives a week early, and is marked "Do not open until your birthday." Every day, the little boy asks his parents: "Now can I open it?" When his birthday arrives at last, his parents tell him, "FINALLY! NOW you can open the package."

2. The boy's father receives an envelope from the grandfather (his father) containing a check for $5,000. A note explains, "Son, you know that I'm getting older, and when I'm gone, you'll receive an inheritance from me. But I know you need that money now. So I'm giving you some of it before I die." The man thinks, "ALREADY? I get this blessing NOW?"

"Therefore, there is NOW no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus, the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:1).

We once faced condemnation for our sin. We had no hope of escaping the wrath and justice of God. But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son to redeem us. And FINALLY, NOW there is no condemnation for us who are in Him!

At some point in the future, we will stand before the throne of God for judgment. We are sinners. But on that day, we will not be condemned, because Jesus was ALREADY condemned in our place. And we walk in that freedom from condemnation NOW!

1 comment:

Eric S. said...

Great thought! Thanks for sharing things like this. May the Lord bless your Scripture memorization. I need to do more of that!