Now, But Not Yet


My study of Scripture has led me to these conclusions.

  • I “have” eternal life, but wait for it.
  • I  have been “made” righteous, but am unrighteous.
  • I have been “justified”, but wait to be justified.
  • I have become a “child” of God, but wait to fully experience that relationship.
  • I have been “sanctified”, but am being sanctified.
  • I have a “place” prepared for me to live in, but wait to live there.

All of this is to say I am “saved” , I am being saved, and I wait to be fully saved.

  • I  have eternal life as a present possession but being earth-bound and flesh- bound I will not fully live the eternal life I have until Jesus comes to finally complete his reconciliation of all things to himself (God).
  • I now am counted by God as righteous based wholly upon the worth and work of Jesus but I would be a liar, and be calling God a liar, if I claim I don’t still sin. I do, you do.
  • I have been justified, or ‘set right” with God though Chris,t but until I receive the immortality promised I will not have complete justification.
  • I am now God’s child but I have yet to literally sit at his table, to look Jesus in the face, and to experience all that is mine as an heir to all God owns. And, to share it all with my siblings.
  • I am now sanctified (set apart for God) but my sanctification will only be complete when the very presence of sin will be forgotten history. I’m not there yet but it’s certain I will get there.
  • There is a place reserved for me in eternity outside of time but I must wait to see it and experience it until the new heaven and new earth are revealed along with the sons and daughters that will inhabit them.

I live solidly and without doubt in the now of today, sure of the promised tomorrow. I do so with NO merit of my own. My promise realized is my promise sealed by God himself based not on me or what I have done, or will do, but wholly upon the sinless life, sacrificial death, and triumphant resurrection of Jesus Christ the righteous. When at last I stand before the Lord of all that is I can claim nothing but the blood of the Lamb poured out for ungodly sinners like me.

While I wait for my blessed hope I am content for Jesus to be my peace, my hope, my joy, my comfort, my righteousness, my advocate, and my promise of seeing the glory of God for myself. Christ is the vine, I am a branch. There is no me without Him. I’m working at abiding in Him.

Grace to you,

Royce Ogle
Monroe, LA

Nuggets of Fudge – VITAL CHRISTIAN MESSAGE LONG MUTED


The following is a timely message from my esteemed friend and spiritual mentor Edward Fudge. This is surely a needed word for today.

“Based on the little attention it receives in teaching and preaching today, one might suppose that the future return of our Lord is a fringe doctrine invented by extremists, a second thought hastily tacked on to resolve some alleged difficulty in the original Christian message. Instead, it is a foundational teaching of the faith, rooted in the promise solemnly given by angels immediately after Jesus’ ascension. This “blessed hope” is part of the earliest Christian narrative as reported by Luke: “Repent therefore . . . that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for establishing all that God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old” (Acts 3:18-21).

Jesus’ future appearance is anticipated in the most primitive of Christian communities–including those pastored by James (5:7-8), Jude (24-25), and the author of Hebrews (9:28). It is mentioned in every chapter of First Thessalonians, probably the earliest canonical New Testament book (1:7 -10; 2:17-19; 3:12-13; 4:16-18; 5:23-24). Truly a universal teaching, it is documented as taught in Philippi (Phil. 3:20-21), Corinth (1 Cor.15:23), Colossae (Col 3:1-4), Thessalonica (1 Thes 1:7- 10), in Asia Minor (1 Peter 5:1-4), Crete (Titus 2:11-13), Palestine (Jude 24-25), Rome (Acts 1:9- 11), Ephesus (1 Tim.6:14), and wherever Christians are found.

The esteem accorded to this teaching is demonstrated by its inclusion in both the most ancient and also the most prestigious post-apostolic statements of faith. In the section of the Eucharistic Liturgy known as The Great Thanksgiving, we “proclaim the mystery of our faith,” that “Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.” And in the Nicene Creed we affirm: “For us and for our salvation, he came down from heaven . . . He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.” Let us recover this vital Christian doctrine, muted too often and for too long, and once more proclaim it from the roof-tops–“Jesus is coming again!”

Edward Fudge

If you are not a recipient of Edward’s “gracEmail” why not fire off an email to him, edward@edwardfudge.com or visit his busy website, “edwardfudge.com” and subscribe. You will be blessed as you read Edward’s brief Bible studies, news of great books, teachers and preachers, lectures, etc. and his warm and interesting “family notes”. His written ministry has blessed untold millions over the years. Edward Fudge is one of those rare men, who though a renowned scholar, writes and speaks warmly and simply so that anyone can understand.

Thanks for reading,

Royce

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Some thoughts about Bible study…


I’m no expert! I’m just a guy who has over 50 years of experience of reading and studying the Bible, doing it the wrong way and doing it the best way. My purpose is not to tell you what you should do but rather to share what works for me and has been most helpful on my spiritual journey. So, I open my study door and welcome you in. Observe, and if you find something that might help you, please take it.

The absolute place to start is to develop the utmost regard for the Word of God. I can’t over stress the importance of loving and honoring God’s revelation to those he loves. Deuteronomy 32:46-47 The Bible is the way we learn about God, the beauty of the Christ, and the depth of his love for us. Always have as your purpose when you open your Bible that you want to hear from God. Believers should want to be listening to what God has to say so that they may be shaped by his words into the most useful vessels possible.Unless you master the Bible it will not master you. The following are some things that have been helpful to me and I think can be to you as well.

1. Context is king! A passage out of context often becomes a pretext.

Never come to your Bible only to find passages that seem to support what you already have decided is truth. Always come to your open Bible with an open heart and and open mind expecting to hear and learn truth from God. The Bible is the primary way God speaks to his children. But back to context…

Think of context in at least these ways.

Historical
Geographical
Cultural
Situation
Speaker
Audience

If you will think about Scripture in these ways you will be far more likely to get the meaning intended for you. All Scripture (Old Testament and New Testament) is God’s message to us to change us for the better. 2 Timothy 3:16

Critical thinking is required work here. Who was speaking? Who was the speaker speaking to? Why? What principal can I apply to my life today from a statement made many centuries ago to people in a different culture? If you will develop the habit of thinking in terms of context you will avoid some common pitfalls along the way. A good study Bible will have introductions to the books of the Bible and will give broad context to the story. Use that resource!

Remember this! Every false teacher takes God’s word(s) out of context. Everyone!

2. The Bible is it’s own best commentary.

A given text is best understood by reading other texts that address the same subject. A good reference Bible is invaluable. Before you consult a favorite teacher or preacher, before you read a commentary, read the Bible FIRST and then, and only then go elsewhere for more light.

3. Read whole books of the Bible. Admittedly some Bible books are quite long and you might not be able to read all of the book in one setting. But however you do it you must read the whole book.

My practice for many years (since I got high speed internet…) has been to do most of my Bible reading online. I prefer Bible Gateway but there are several other very good sites to choose from. I also prefer the ESV (English Standard Version). It is a trustworthy word for word translation that I find just as comfortable to read as the more popular NIV or Living Bible but more true to the best manuscripts available.

I turn off notes and references for my original reading. I read the book several times until I am pretty familiar with the story. I want to know how that passage applies to me and to others. Often it is in the simple reading of the Book that God seems to zero my mind in on a truth I had previously not seen or had forgotten. Remember, if you are God’s child, the best Teacher lives in you. The Holy Spirit alone is the supreme teacher. John 16:13

Once I have read through the text several times and thought about it, asked myself questions, and considered the actual words of passages, only then do I turn on notes and references. Then I read the passages referred to by the references given. Then next I read the notes available. My last resource is to read a commentary. I think it is far better to find what God is saying to me than to read what some other man says God is saying to me. Of course commentaries are very valuable but don’t get the cart before the horse. Let God speak first, ask God to show you His truth and then as a last step read a commentary, or your favorite preacher’s thoughts on the passage. How wonderful it is to have read a passage and come to a conclusion and then later find sweet assurance that I got it right when I find other trustworthy men and women reached the same conclusion.

4. Don’t allow a pet doctrine, your church traditions, your denomination or lack of a denomination, to get you off course.

Determine in your heart that your purpose is to allow the Word of God alone to advise you and set the agenda for what you believe and trust. If you are fortunate as I am, one day you too will be elderly and will have some time to contemplate your handling of the Word of God. You will see your mistakes, some because of youth and inexperience perhaps, some because of sinful tendencies, and some because of poor methodology. And thank God you can see some things you have done right and you will realize you are better because of it.

Remember this truth! When God described the ways we are to love him, one way is with our minds.

“And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27

To love God with our minds requires some discipline. It goes against our natural bent. We must be purposeful, determined, and persistent. We must control our thinking, bringing even our thoughts into subjection to God’s will. To be right we must think right. We are to meditate on God’s word. Think for the glory of God. Treasure Christ in your mind first and your heart will reflect it and your life will show it.

I hope these thoughts will be helpful as you learn to love God more and grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ for his magnificent name.

Royce Ogle
Monroe, LA

The Wrong Way to Pray


Often we pray for God to change our circumstances. I have done it and you have too.
Meanwhile, God might have orchestrated your circumstances so he can change you.

So, instead of asking for things to change so we can be happy, maybe we should ask, ” Lord
help me to see how I need to change in my present circumstances”.

Living by faith as we follow Jesus is not a “get-out-of-jail-free-card”. How indulgent of anyone
to beg God to make things better while that person is still involved in sinful behavior and still making
stupid decisions.

Never forget that many of God’s most useful servants found themselves in big time trouble. Even
when you are doing your very best to be what God wants you to be and when you are “faithing” it
best, your circumstances will often be undesirable and difficult.

So what is the answer? Live every moment in recognition that God is sovereign, that His love for you
is unchanging, and trust Him with the same fervor in darkness and in light, in the valley and on the peak
of the mountain. “In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path”. If we work on
conforming our ways to His ways our current circumstances will matter less and less and He will matter more and more.

You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. (James 4:3)

Royce Ogle
Monroe, LA