Eternal Life Starts Now – Romans 8:23-24

“And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.” In this passage we see the tension between the already but not yet that permeates the Apostle Paul’s theology. Paul argues that all creation was subject to corruption with the rebellion of humanity against God, leading him to conclude that even the cosmos awaits the full redemption of the children of God. It is important to understand that this eschatological dimension of our faith–where the future is warped around the present–is a supposition built into the fundamental framework of Christianity. In fact, as Paul aptly describes in Romans 8:18-30, Christianity is all about living a future hope in the present reality. The dilemma Christians face, however, is living in this present age with mortal bodies that are subject to sin while having entered into eternal life with immortal bodes that are subject to God’s righteousness. N.T. Wright says Christians must live in the present by the rules of what will be the case in the ultimate future. In other words, eternal life starts now! Fortunately, the teachings of Jesus, the Apostle Paul, and other biblical teachings can help us find ways to resolve this dilemma and live productive lives for the future in the present. So let us learn to live our lives now in a way that anticipates our eternal life.

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