In this lab, Pastor John discusses the peculiar age that we live in: where battles rage but the war is won, spring dawns and summer looms, Christ came and is coming back.
Principle for Bible Reading
Already and Not Yet
We live in an overlap of two ages: the present age of sin and death and the coming age of Christ’s complete reign. We are no longer just in the age of fallen humanity because Christ has come and ushered in his kingdom into this age (Matthew 12:28, Luke 17:20–21).
In other words, we no longer live in the winter of sin and death looking forward to summer, but because of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, he brought spring, which totters on the brink of everlasting summer for his people.
The already/not yet distinction (referring to things that are already true/real but not yet fully realized) aids our understanding of how to make sense of the Bible, especially as it depicts the Christian life. The gospel makes us new people (Romans 6:4), and yet we still need to renew our minds (Romans 12:1–2). Jesus freed us decisively from sin (Romans 6:6), and yet we still need to put the old man to death (Romans 8:13). Christ brought the kingdom of God to earth (Luke 17:20–21), and yet it awaits consummation (Mark 10:17–30).
We live in the age of already and not yet: caught between winter and summer, death and eternal bliss, Christ’s first and second coming. Many texts must be understood in light of this reality.
- How would you describe the age between the first and second coming of Jesus (the age that we live in now)?
- Read the Principle for Bible Reading above. Do you agree with the idea of already/not yet? Why or why not?
- Can you think of any practical implications that living between the ages has for your life?