Look: “...But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— if you continue in your faith…” (Colossians 1:22-23)
Two things stand out here: (1) My reconciliation with God and my freedom from sin and its consequence, death, have been accomplished. I’m not waiting for salvation to happen to me. In Christ and through my faith in Christ, it has happened to me and is happening to me. I’m reminded of Jesus’ words to the woman at the well: “...a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth…” (John 4:23) The kingdom is coming in its fullness, but it has already come fully to all who believe in Jesus. “Today salvation has come to this house…,” Jesus said of the unlikely candidate for salvation, the extortionist Zacchaeus (Luke 19:9). As I trust in Jesus, I am in the kingdom even now and know that nothing can separate me from the love of God given in Christ (Romans 8:31-39).[Blogger Mark Daniels is pastor of Living Water Lutheran Church in Centerville, Ohio.]
(2) The citizenship in the kingdom of God which I enter by faith in Christ is mine so long as I continue to live my faith in Christ. God is faithful. God will never rescind my salvation. But if I cease to believe, ceasing to trust God with my sins through Christ or to trust in Christ for forgiveness and life, I voluntarily cede my citizenship. Jesus says: “"Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33)
Listen: “Daily repentance and renewal” must be more than a Lutheran motto, but my way of life. The daily renewal of my faith relationship with the God I know in Jesus is how my faith is maintained against the corrosive influences of my own sin, the sin of the world, and the never-ceasing temptations presented by Satan. As I live in intimacy with Christ, He takes hold of my life more deeply. He enters into my life more fully (Revelation 3:20). I experience His kingdom and the confidence, peace, and hope of it more completely.
Respond: Today, Lord, help me to more fully, completely, and transparently yield my life to You. Help me to trust You with my whole life. Thank You for making me part of Your kingdom through Christ and my faith in Christ. Amen