Many Christians live by an errant notion that God is gradually making us more “Christian” day by day. Once we initially receive God’s forgiveness, we have this long list of issues, sins, addictions, healings, and weaknesses that God is going to have to address throughout the course of our lifetimes, and remedy by His patient help.
Our thinking tends to follow the lines that: “We will spend the rest of our earthly lives in God’s ‘workshop,’ as He gradually chips away all our frailties, failures, and flaws. Someday (probably in the far distant future) we just might become the people God wants us to be – we may finally become “fixed,” maybe even whole (perhaps even holy!). At long last, after much time of correction and adjustment, we will be godly or “Christian” enough to accomplish God’s purposes. But, in the meantime, thank God for His grace to cover all our failures and shortcomings along the way – because we are going to have to endure a lifetime of struggle getting there!”
This manner of thinking carries two major flaws…
One, this particular viewpoint does not honor God, as He deserves to be honored. If God has done something for us and we do not fully receive what He has done, then we cannot properly honor all that He has done. In other words, if it is true that God has already provided everything we need for “life and godliness,” then the best way to honor and glorify Him is to live our lives in the fullness of this revelation and provision. To live out only a part, or a portion, of God’s handiwork dishonors Him for all the other parts He has accomplished.
If, for example, all we ever focus upon is God’s provision of forgiveness, and ignore His provision of healing, deliverance, restoration, and empowerment, then we are not receiving (or portraying) God’s work fully or properly.
What is more, if we are not living in all that God has provided, we shortchange ourselves and delude those to whom we bear witness. We have a responsibility to proclaim, and live as an example, everything God has done on our behalf. This is part of our task in sharing the gospel of the Kingdom. We have the right and privilege to live by, and proclaim, everything that the King has done for His people. It does not properly honor the King, if we do not live in (or ignore!) the fullness of His Kingly handiwork.
True Christianity is formed on the basis that God has done everything that needed to be done for us. Our ignorance of this full provision can only paint a partial picture of Who God is, and what He has done. Our obligation, as His people, is to live in, and consistently display, the fullness of His gracious work. We need to honor God fully – and the only way to do this is to live in the fullness of His complete provision.