I’ve been re-reading John Piper’s book, Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die. I would like to share with you some Scripture and some of Piper’s insights from chapter 15 of the book which greatly encouraged me. I hope God will encourage you too.
Piper says, “One of the greatest heartaches in the Christian life is the slowness of our change.” Just hearing that is encouraging. We all feel the same way, don’t we? I have determined to change certain things in my a life a thousand times! I’m not exaggerating a bit. Habits are hard to break. Disciplining yourself for the purpose of godliness can be soooooo difficult. It is easy to gossip. It is easy to complain. It is easy to hold grudges. It is easy to worry. “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24)
But, beloved, listen to this!..
For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are [being] sanctified. [I added a word to provide a literal translation.]
Don’t you love it! Though you are “being sanctified” you are “perfected for all time.” Listen to Piper’s excellent remark: “The joyful encouragement here is that the evidence of our perfection before God is not our experienced perfection, but our experienced progress. The good news is that being on the way is proof that we have arrived.” Wow!
Rejoice because your striving against sin is not so you can become perfect for all time. No! Your striving against sin is because you are perfect!
As you strive against your sin, keep rejoicing in what Christ has already done for you! You, beloved, have already been perfected for all time. Your striving proves it! Keep striving against your sin. Keep looking at Christ.