Faith’s Victory Over My Past, Present, and Future
For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
1 John 5:4 ESV
One of the keys to understanding the kingdom of God is an awareness that the kingdom of God has past, present, and future implications. For example:
- I have been saved. (Past)
- I am being saved. (Present)
- I will be saved. (Future)
Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection is a finished work of God’s grace and mercy. Once my faith meets His grace, salvation is accomplished. My spirit has been saved, perfected in the eyes of the Father through the blood of His Son.
Still, there is an ongoing (present-day) work of salvation happening in my life. My mind is being renewed, my emotions are being restored, my will is being re-disciplined. In this sense I am still being saved. Theologians call it progressive sanctification. It means that, although my spirit has been saved, my soul is still being saved. I am a finished work still in progress.
There are, however, works that will only be fully accomplished in the future, when I step out of time into eternity. For example, my physical body will not reach its fullest “glorified” potential until either I pass through the doors of death, or I am caught up to meet Jesus when He returns. In other words, my body will, one day, be saved. Not only is this future salvation for my physical body, but, the truth is, because I live in a fallen world marked by sin, sickness, poverty, war, and death, there are many things that will not be fully redeemed until Jesus comes! Ultimate and complete salvation is yet to come for our world. This is why I must daily lift my eyes in expectation of that “Great Day of the Lord” when “mercy and truth meet together, and righteousness and peace kiss.” (Psalm 85:10, my paraphrase).
Past, present, and future – these are the realities of the kingdom, whose King is described as “the One who was (past), who is (present), and who is to come (future).
Faith is the substance required for us to walk in victory in each those dimensions – past, present, and future. We must believe that God’s work is finished, that He is still working to accomplish His purposes in me, and that He will be faithful to complete the work that He began in us, even until the day of Jesus Christ. (Phil. 1:6).
- This is the victory that has overcome the world- (past)
- This is the victory that is overcoming the world- (present)
- This is the victory that will overcome the world – (future)
This is the victory- our faith, not in things, but in Jesus Christ, who is “the same yesterday, today, and forever!” (Hebrews 13:8).
Father- today I declare by faith that my past is covered in the cleansing blood of Jesus, my present is empowered by your Holy Spirit, and my future gloriously awaits me with my Father’s promise of eternal life! Amen!