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The title of this sermon is Already But Not Yet. The idea is that we are in this space in between being perfect in Jesus already and one day being perfect in heaven. It’s in the in-between time that we’re being perfected. It’s as confusing as a Penrose triangle, an impossible shape, an optical illusion, but you can’t take your eyes off it. When you look at it, you think, what is this thing? How is that possible?

It's common to feel the same way about this mystery we live in. How is it possible that I’m becoming something I already am but won’t completely be until I’m in heaven? Yet, this is the mystery we find ourselves in this life. The already, but not yet.

Colossians 3
1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Chris is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

If you’ve trusted Jesus alone to save your soul, you’re a child of God. You’re positionally perfect because of His sacrifice. His blood has washed away your sins. That is the already. But then we also see the what will be in appearing with Him in glory.

So, we are stuck here in this place, in the tension of the already, but not yet.

So, we might ask ourselves, if we are already perfected by God or one day will be, why does it matter what we do in the in-between?    

Colossians 3
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 

It’s human nature that pleads for our desires to be fed. However, they will never be satisfied. These human desires are affections of the heart that need to be deprived of their power and drained of their strength. These desires are where addiction grows.

Colossians 3
8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes time to learn how to catch ourselves when these things come to mind. But the more we focus our minds, thoughts, hearts, and affections on the things of the kingdom of heaven, the more we will be able to recognize our vices and be grieved by them.

And vices aren’t the occasional slip-up. They are the things nurtured by the heart and mind, practiced consistently.

But they don’t belong. They don’t suit us anymore because they don’t show who we are or whose we are.

Colossians 3
11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 

The more our attentions and affections are set on the kingdom of heaven, the more the vices of our human nature will be replaced by the virtues of Jesus.

Colossians 3
16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

So, what does it matter what we do in the in-between? What we do in our lives here ripples through eternity. What we do in this life matters to the world. Our lives and what we do with every moment of it bears consequence.

And if there are truly only 6 degrees of separation between ourselves and others in this life, what effect might your life have? What could it accomplish? What is it accomplishing?

As you wait in this mystery of already but not yet, what is your intention, what are your affections set at, and what is your heart passionate about?

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