How the Gospel Makes Us “But Now” People

[Guest post by Joshua D. Rowe]

I had worked late that day, so I ate a quick dinner and hastily prepared to teach my weekly English Language Learning class.  I was jumping in the car when Rob called, asking if I had time to proofread an article.  I told him I had 5-10 minutes max, but would be glad to stop by.  I expected to skim through the article, point out some minor things, and be on my way.  What I didn’t expect was that, after proofreading something so quickly, the words would continue to preach to me so powerfully.

It’s a basic tenant of the Christian faith that we become a new creation when Christ saves us.  Yet daily we forget that we are “but now” people.  In Rob’s article, he notes Scriptures that make this abundantly clear:

  • But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2: 13).
  • But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life” (Romans 6:22).
  • “You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8).
  • “Once you were alienated from God. … But now He has reconciled you” (Colossians 1:21-22).
  • “Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (1 Peter 2:10).
  • “I was blind but now I see!” (John 9:25).

Rob writes:

When we experience the power of the Gospel, we become But now people. We were lost, confused, hell-bound, alienated from God, groping for answers when we didn’t even know the questions. But now we are children of God, members of the body of Christ, citizens of Heaven with one eye peeled to the Eastern sky for His return. When the cross of Christ enters our lives, it comes with But now differences. Our guilt is washed away.

The words of Scripture and Rob’s exposition moved in my heart as I drove to class that night.  Jesus has truly transferred me from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light.  What if I were not living a “but now” life?  I’d be stuck in destructive habits, burdened with guilt, trying to cover my shame with fig leaves.  But now, I have a Father in God, a brother in Jesus, a comforter in the Spirit.  I have an inheritance, a family, eternal life, and blessings beyond measure.

I don’t often write a guest post on Rob’s behalf, but I wanted to challenge you to take a few moments to read his article.  Then take a few moments to ponder the mercy of God and praise Him for what He’s done for you.  And if you’re not living a “but now” life or don’t know Christ, please contact us so we can get you in touch with someone who can help you with that decision.

The article I read that evening was written by Rob for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and is now online at the Decision Magazine website and is available in the January 2010 issue of “Decision” Magazine.