January 04, 2010

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Toward a Better Theology of Healing, Pt. 2 [EDITOR'S NOTE: Read the previous post, "Toward a Better Theology of Healing, Pt. 1", for introductory remarks and points 1-3.] 4. The fruit of what was gained for us through Jesus has begun and is manifesting in us here and now; but it will not culminate in its fullness until He returns. The Kingdom of God has come, but it’s full and ultimate reign is not yet. The favorite theological phrase is “already, but not yet.” It doesn’t appear to make much sense, but the tension between the “already” and the “not yet” is seen throughout the New Testament. Salvation itself is described as something that has happened, something that is happening, and something that has yet to occur. Traditionally, these “tenses” of salvation have been described as “justification”, “sanctification”, and “glorification”. Consider Paul’s letter the Ephesian church. In Eph 1:3, Paul says God "has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” But a few verse later he says that “his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ” will “be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.” (Eph. 1:9b-10). Again in verses 13-14, he writes that we “also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory.” We have the deposit. Moreover, we have the guarantee. But the culmination will be when “the times have reached their fulfillment”. This is an idea that modern Americans struggle with. How could you make...

Glenn Packiam

Lead Pastor, new life DOWNTOWN, New Life Church, Colorado Springs, CO. Author and songwriter.

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