‘Already-Not Yet’ People

I have a treat for you! Laughing It’s an excerpt about the Kingdom of God from Derek Morphew book Breakthrough. I only posted half of the article so you will need to go to the Vineyard South Africa website to read the rest.

Inherent in understanding the relationship between the kingdom and the church is an understanding of the Christian life. This is the area where the theology of the kingdom affects us all personally and where our understanding or lack of understanding will have a profound effect on the everyday Christian experience. Many pastoral and counselling problems are the result of a distortion of the kingdom or an ignorance of the kingdom.

Two kinds of text express the ‘already-not yet’ Christian experience.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone; the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ. (2 Corinthians 2:14)

Such statements underline the completeness and the triumph of God’s work in us. These are ‘kingdom now’ statements. Regenerate Christians already live in the kingdom. In Jesus we have eternal life. We have already passed from death to life. To become a Christian is to become a new person, with a new nature, living a new life.[@more@]

Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling. For while we are in this tent we groan and are burdened. (2 Corinthians 5:2,4)

Conflicts on the outside, fears within. (2 Corinthians 7:5)

We despaired even of life. (2 Corinthians 1:8)

For we are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake (2 Corinthians 4:11)

Put to death whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed. (Colossians 3:5)

From these and many other texts we can conclude that the kingdom event has only taken place in the Christian in an anticipatory sense. Much still needs to be done. We are still linked to this present world, with its frailty, sin and defeat.

Do these texts contradict one another? Is the man who lives with conflict outside and fear within the man who always walks in triumph wherever he goes? Why do ‘new creations’ require warnings about lust and greed?

Interested? Click here to finish reading the article. Laughing