Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Advent Words 2023 ~ Word 6: Between


Advent Words 2023
Day 6: Between

“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” Titus 2:11-14

As we saw with the word “epiphany” on day 2, we live in this present age between the two comings of Christ. His first coming brought the promise of salvation to all people (Titus 2:11); his second coming will bring our hope of glory (Titus 2:14). For now, we live in between what God has done and what God will do.

In this in-between time, we are called to a specific way of life. Right now, those who are in Christ already have every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). It’s a done deal. In Christ we possess these spiritual blessings which enable us to live for Christ. We just need to discover and accept that we already possess them and allow them to enable us to live the fullness of life God intends for us. This is the role of indicatives, or statements of fact, in the New Testament. Indicatives point out what is already true of you in Christ. Some of those indicatives are spelled out in the rest of Ephesians 1:3-14: In Christ you are chosen, holy, blameless, adopted as a child of God, you have redemption, forgiveness, the Holy Spirit, and an inheritance.

One might say then, “since we already possess every spiritual blessing in Christ, all we have to do now is to be happy and wait for Christ to return”. Like I said before, it is true that we possess every spiritual blessing in Christ now, but Paul points out in Titus 2:11-14, that while we possess those blessings, the grace of God, it is intended that God’s people will live in this current age in a manner that expresses to the world around us that we are His very own people. In this present age God’s people “live self-controlled, upright and godly lives… eager to do what is good”.

How we live in between Christ’s two epiphanies matters. We live for Christ and as Christ’s representatives, His ambassadors.

“For the love of Christ controls us, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. And he died for all, that those who live might live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once regarded Christ from a human point of view, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:14-21 (RSV)

In this time between Christ’s two comings we are called to live by the grace God has given us, living upright and holy lives, eager to do good, while we wait with our eyes focused on the blessed hope – the appearing of the glory of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.


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