Do you see your Christian life as a work in progress? It’s really not and it’s great news for those who are struggling to measure up.
A Work in Progress?
IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
Most Christians consider themselves to be a work in progress. Pastors will tell their flocks this very thing, reminding them that no one’s perfect. In lockstep, the congregation responds with a rousing “Amen.” Who would have the audacity to claim otherwise? Some people announce this “truth” via a bumper sticker stating, “I’m under construction. Please excuse the mess.” We go to great lengths to let the world around us know that we know what a mess we are. We’re actually proud of our mess. We think our confession shows our humility.
AS I SEE IT
Our basic problem is seen in the “Under Construction” bumper sticker. We see ourselves as being part of a process of adding good and godly things to our lives, things that make us better and more acceptable to God. If we hang in there during the construction process, we’ll eventually become the finished product God desires. We look to the future in hopes that we will have learned enough and performed well enough to ultimately become what God wants us to be.
We see our salvation as the means to become something…someday. Oh, we know we’re saved the moment we receive Christ and are born again, but we’re convince that God has His work cut out for Himself if we are to become perfect. After all, our pastors keep reminding us how imperfect we are. Thinking about becoming perfect drives us into depression. Therefore, we vow to be more diligent in our Bible study or our quiet time. We will find an endless list of things we should do, but even thinking about them weighs us down even more. The cycle continues.
Here’s the fantastic news. God has always known how helpless we are. Apart from His grace, we’re absolutely hopeless. He knew that if we were ever to become what He desired, He would have to do it for us. God’s plan was to remove us from the line (lineage) of Adam and transfer us into the line of Christ. We would become one with Christ, sharing His eternal life (John 17:3)
But by His (God’s) doing, you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption (1 Cor. 1:30).
But what about our former sinful life, our life in Adam? What was to happen to it? It couldn’t be improved or fixed, so we couldn’t bring it with us. It had to go. God had to send it to its death. Here’s how it died. Being part of Christ’s eternal life meant that what happened to Him in the past happened to us, too. When He died on the cross, so did our old life. There was now a void left by our old life. In its place, God inserted the life of Christ, the life we had just been placed into. He is now our life, our only life. We have the same body and the same personality, but now we have a new life—Christ’s life.
We have a new heredity—a new identity. Christ IS our life now, and with Christ comes everything we could ever ask for—every blessing (Eph. 1:3), everything we need pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). We are complete in Christ (Col. 1:28). With Christ as our life, we already have it all. How can you add anything to Christ? Our spiritual walk isn’t about adding; it’s about subtracting. It’s not about construction; it’s about demolition. It’s a process of getting rid of everything that resembles the old life—old habits, old ideas, and old desires. It’s learning to walk in the truth about us while shedding the lies that have kept us in bondage.
While it’s true that our walk always needs improving, we (our true identity) are already at the finish line. How can you improve on Christ? God knew our righteousness would always be like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6), so He gave us His own righteousness in the person of Jesus Christ. Isn’t this freeing? Why continue striving to become something God has already made us to be? When we keep thinking of ourselves as a work in progress, we deny the supernatural work of grace God has performed in us and choose to live a life of defeat. Where’s the glory in that?
Check out this article on what this process looks like.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
What do you get when you cross a turkey with a banjo?
A turkey that can pluck itself.
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