“Obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:9).
One of the most memorable ways I have heard the grace of God illustrated is in the image of a teacher talking to his students on the first day of class. As the illustration goes, the students walk in and sit down, and the teacher begins by saying, “I have already given each one of you an ‘A’. The grade has already been submitted, and the decision is final. so, just enjoy the material.”
If you were in this class, how do you think this would affect you? Do you think you would learn better and pay closer attention if you knew your final grade was already decided? I think each one of us can agree that the experience would be fundamentally different, and I think this change would be for the better. I think we would listen more closely and learn more deeply without the stress of performance lurking in the back of our minds.
In the gospel—because of the perfect life and sacrificial death of Jesus—all those who trust in Jesus experience a remarkably similar reality. In Christ, you are already righteous, and your destiny has already been decided. In the book of Romans, Paul says about those who are in Christ, “those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified” (Romans 8:30). Notice Paul’s use of the past tense of the word “glorified.” Although our glorification has yet to take place, it is so certain and so guaranteed that we may as well talk like it has already happened!
Having a new destiny fundamentally changes every aspect of our lives. It allows us to love and forgive others with the love and forgiveness that has already been extended to us. It allows us to face suffering and hardship with the confidence that any trial, no matter how painful and how difficult, is merely a breath in the eyes of eternity. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians, “this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17). Peter says it like this, “after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you” (1 Peter 5:10).
If you are in Christ today, you have a new destiny. The end has already been decided, and the final grade has already been submitted, Let this reality strengthen you in the midst of trials and spur you on to greater love and good works as those who have been predestined, called, justified, and glorified in Christ!
All the best,
Missional Action Prayer: Lord, thank you for the new destiny that I have in Jesus. Help me to live in light of these truths each and every day. Amen.