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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Already or All Ready?

When I was first learning how to spell and developing more and more of a vocabulary, one of the things that stumped me on more than one occasion was when you wrote out words such as "already" vs. "all ready".  One has a completely different meaning than the other, just as much as "then" and "than" or perhaps "your" and "you're".  I'm not sure why our English language has to be all that complicated, but I also tried a year of Spanish in high school and let me just tell you - language isn't easy no matter how you speak it!  One thing is for certain, when we say "already" it isn't meaning we are "all ready" - it means something has been done, come before, is completed, etc.  It does speak of a particular "condition" or "state" - but it is in the past - it has been.  To make matters more confusing, it can also speak of a condition meaning "as of now" or "at present".  Now, do you understand why it easy to get confused about our language? It means something in the past, but it also means something in the present - something from earlier, but also something from now.  


God has already saved us and called us to this holy calling—not because of any good works we may have done, but because of His own intention and because eons and eons ago (before time itself existed), He gave us this grace in Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King. (2 Timothy 1:9 VOICE)

God has "already" saved us and called us to this holy calling - it is an accomplished thing in the past, but it has an "at present" meaning, as well.  Salvation is a "one time" matter of saying yes to Jesus and allowing him to remove the guilt and shame of all our sinfulness by his grace.  Salvation is also a "continuing" thing - something in the present - because we are constantly being renewed by grace.  Eons and eons ago - before time itself existed - and even before we existed - God extended his grace to us.  That may seem a little hard to grasp because we didn't exist yet, but God "already" made a way for us to "exist" with him through eternity in the grace he would extend to each of us through his Son, Jesus Christ.  

Some of us are "existence" kind of creatures in our thinking - we have to see and feel something to experience it "for real" - we have a harder time with this concept of something being there if we cannot see it.  Scientists had to tell me oxygen existed - I know I breathe in and out, and there is something occurring inside me as I do.  I also know when I don't continue that cycle of breathing in and out, the consequences cause a little panic for me.

Sin or sinfulness is one of those things we all struggle with as long as we are breathing - even AFTER we say yes to Jesus this internal struggle can still exist. We still compromise when we know better - no surprise there because we still struggle to be in control of our lives. We still argue about the things we have deemed too hard to grasp in scripture - because when we don't understand things we make up other things to support why we believe scripture to say one thing or another. Yet, if we trust what scripture tells us here, we are "already" saved and called - we might just not always "feel" saved and called, but it doesn't change the facts!  

If we are to understand the "already" of this passage, we might put it this way:  What God saw as a continual need in us a long, long time ago, he prepared for far in advance of us continually needing it in the here and now.  As much as salvation is a one time event, it is also a continual process because the "need" for grace is never really fulfilled.  Grace made a way, continues to make a way, and will provide a way in a future state.  It is this idea of "already" - it was provided earlier, it is available to us at present, and by the time we need it again, it is there. Salvation doesn't mean we are "all ready" - although we are made ready in God's grace.  It means we have a continually renewing means to be "all ready" whenever we breathe in and out - grace is renewed each moment we need it in our lives!  Just sayin!