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Past & Present

Posted by Eric Farmer on

Have you ever noticed how much past experiences can influence what you’re like in the present? Serious or quirky, things we are aware of or operate in the subconscious, past events can influence us for better or worse in the here and now. For instance:

I like a certain banana flavoured candy that’s doesn’t even taste good… because my mom did
I feel nauseous at the smell of paint…because I spent a summer painting as a teenager
I’m often impatient and overly sensitive if I feel someone’s not really listening to me…because it happened continually in an important relationship growing up

We often assume these are events or experiences of the past that are just dots on our timeline, but somehow they seem to find their way into our lives even in the present. As I was reading Romans 5:1-11, I found that Paul too was foregoing linear thinking and drawing key connections from the past into the present. For instance, check out verse 1…

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Paul is calling to mind a past event that was already completed, but is not without its present and future implications. He shares that we have peace (v.1), access into grace and the hope of glory that causes rejoicing (v.2) all because of that crucial past event! And what links Jesus’s death and resurrection in the past with its present and future blessings? Faith.

Faith is the bridge that connects us being justified (put in right standing with God) by Jesus, and the wonderful fruit that comes from it. In a good way, faith connects what happened in the past with what’s possible in the present and future. You’ll notice this all throughout this passage, but for one more example, look at verse …

“…but God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

God “demonstrates.” Wow, I would have fully expected this verb to be in the past tense. But, it wasn’t proof, it IS proof of God’s love. It’s an ongoing reality we need every day. So, a good prayer today might be this:

“God, help me have faith that connects what you accomplished in the past with what you want to accomplish in me and through me today.”

Amen.

 

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