Friday, October 9, 2009

On Eternal “Probation” – Toward a Life of Freedom

“Do not be afraid of anyone, for judgment belongs to God.” –Deuteronomy 1:17 (TNIV).

It’s with a sense of trepidation that some of us live life. We understand the meaning and the end. It’s nothing to be innately scared of. It’s simply something that’s a matter of fact; something to be borne in mind as we meander the journey of physical and spiritual existence this side of vast eternity.

But, there’s also a joyful paradox involved in living this life of truth. Whilst we live a type of eternal probation—whilst we live this physical life—we get to enjoy the concept of eternity, but one with a rider, and that rider is we must account for all we do, eventually. And this is okay with us, because we understand we’re accountable to a fair and just God who’ll not only judge us fairly, he’ll acquit us also, provided we are seated with Christ as we enter his kingdom.

This is no ‘fire and brimstone’ message. It’s simply a fact for the saved person i.e. one who’s truly and purposefully in Christ. He redeems us not only now, and since the time we decided to accept his bountiful offer; he redeems us in all and every reality after physical death. It’s the ‘now but not yet’ phenomenon, or part thereof.

It’s unfortunate that the idea of “probation” has an ‘almost condemned’ feel about it. This is not what I want to convey—this is not the nature of salvation.

We’re not on parole. We have real, true freedom—right here, right now. Yet, we’ve also been called instantly to a higher, lovelier, holier, fairer standard. At last we’re free to live as God always intended us to live, without recourse to any other confused (for us) sense of authority.

As our sole authority and fair Judge, the Lord God—through the Holy Spirit—empowers us to live without a single sense of earthly bondage—if that is our will also; if we’re living purposefully in him. This is now.

We can also know now with complete safety that when we’re to be inevitably judged by God in fairness and in grace (his ‘unmerited favour’ toward us), account to him in the ‘here and now’ is the mightiest blessing—a true windfall.

His favour is indeed a favour.

© S. J. Wickham, 2009.

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