I’m a work in progress
Pastor Mark Jeske
The Bible’s message has a lot of paradoxes and seeming contradictions. There. I’ve said it. It kind of helps to be able to hold two seemingly conflicting ideas in your head at the same time without going crazy. How can Christ be fully human and fully divine at the same time? How can God be three and one at the same time? Hmm . . .
One of those paradoxes that once may have confused you is the contrast between justification (complete) and sanctification (incomplete). Are you a sinner or a saint (i.e., holy)? The answer is yes. It’s yes because in Christ you are declared to be as holy and sinless as Christ himself. But you are also a work in progress, a sinner who sometimes backslides, sometimes balks, sometimes doesn’t understand, sometimes pushes back on God.
St. Paul did not hesitate to hold himself forth as an example of how to live the Christian life, but he also confessed his terrible failings and called himself the chief of sinners. But here’s the deal—he didn’t let his sins and guilt of the past become a dead weight on his shoulders: “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Philippians 3:12).
Knowing that we are loved, forgiven, and immortal, we can keep moving forward. God knows that we are works in progress. Glory awaits. Soon. Soon.
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