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Already, But Not Yet

• Greg Boyd

“He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever. His kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:32-33). Such were the words of Gabriel to Mary regarding the coming of Jesus. These were words promising that Jesus would be the Messiah, the one who would reign over the earth, bringing peace and victory.So what does it mean for Jesus to reign today or “for everything to placed under his feet” as Paul writes in Eph 1:22? Where is the victory?

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“He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever. His kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:32-33). Such were the words of Gabriel to Mary regarding the coming of Jesus. These were words promising that Jesus would be the Messiah, the one who would reign over the earth, bringing peace and victory.

Greg asked a poignant question: Was Gabriel telling the truth? If we look around today, it is hard to find evidence that Christ is ruling in this world. There is enough chaos, war, destruction and plenty of sin to go around to make a case that Gabriel did not know what he was talking about. So what does it mean for Jesus to reign today or “for everything to placed under his feet” as Paul writes in Eph 1:22? Where is the victory?

The reign of Jesus has already occurred in principle, but it is not yet realized on manifest as fact. He is victorious in principle, but the victory has yet to be demonstrated in our physical world. To put it another way, the enemy is already defeated in principle, but his complete demise has not manifested as fact, yet. Therefore, we live in a world of the already but not yet tension.

How then do we walk in the victory of the Kingdom in this tension. Greg highlighted two ways:

  1. Live in the “already” in the midst of the “not yet.” Our calling is to demonstrate the future victory that is coming. We are to choose to live or manifest heaven here on earth. In the midst of turmoil and rage, we are to manifest peace. In the midst of fear and doubt, we are to manifest faith and trust. In the midst of sickness and death, we are to pray for healing and wholeness.
  2. Savor the “already” in the midst of the “not yet.” In the midst of the realities of life that fall short of God’s Kingdom, we must take hold of the fact that these struggles are temporary, that the world is moving toward the manifestation of the rule of Christ. We need to live by God’s big story and bring that into the little things that come against in the day-to-day struggles.
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Topics: Hope, Kingdom of God, Sin


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Focus Scripture:

  • Luke 1:32-33

    32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."

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