Living Between “The Already” and “The Not Yet”

It is a marvelous thing living in the midst of what theologians call “The Already.” Christ has come, kept God’s perfect Law, and died on the cross as the sacrifice for His elect people. Therefore, we have been chosen, called, and justified by God’s grace through His son, Jesus Christ. Not only have we been declared righteous with the righteousness of Jesus Christ, but we are also in the process of being sanctified by God’s Word and Spirit, and according to the Shorter Catechism, are being renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.” It is so comforting to know that Christ has borne the penalty for our sin, and that we need never fear the wrath of God again.


However, it is wise to remind ourselves that we have not entered the realm of “The Not Yet.” Christ has not yet returned to judge the living and the dead, and thus, we still have to face our own remaining sin, Satan’s constant temptation, hurricanes, economic recessions, aging bodies, and should the Lord tarry, physical death. Nevertheless, through Christ, the new heavens and the new earth await us; and we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)


So enjoy the blessings of Christ that you are experiencing right now, and look forward in faith to those that will be yours at the day of Jesus Christ, “for from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36)



  1. Danny Gilliam said,

    April 27, 2009 at 10:27 PM

    I just used those exact words, “already and not yet” in my sermon yesterday. I’ve been preaching (teaching) through Philippians and was in 3:17-21. I talked about our future hope while we live out our Christian values in this present world. I feel like I’m in such noble company now (LOL).

    • cliftonr said,

      April 28, 2009 at 1:42 AM

      I just started a study in Philippians in our Adult Bible Study last Sunday…you are ahead of me by three chapters…just keep sending your notes to me ;^)
      Or, all you on Sermon Audio?

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