But has this really paid off for me? So I can now hold my head up high when the need arises to chat with the odd English Professor...but seriously...is that all? Well, I will let you in on a little secret. I have discovered a far greater blessing.My understanding of scripture has significantly improved. It helps to understand these things when exegeting a passage of scripture. I have discovered a whole new world of understanding! I like that.
Did you know grammar is important when understanding God's plan of salvation for us?
Let me explain.
It's all about tense.
Tense is a grammar term used to indicate whether a sentence (or verb) is an action in the past, the present or the future.Read more at http://www.yourdictionary.com/tense#Lk3ygJjfZvYOtdW8.99
A simple way to understand what the Bible teaches about salvation can be understood by examining tense.
Past tense: Describes an action that has occurred in the past.
Present tense: Describes an action that is happening currently, right now.
Future Tense: Describes an action that will occur in the future.
So, with this in mind, let's look at God's plan for our salvation.
Past Tense: 2000 or so years ago, Jesus Christ, God incarnate, died on the cross and arose again. It is a very well documented event that occurred in the past. Through this action, God saved us from the punishment we deserved for our sin, once and forever - for those who put their faith in Him.
Present Tense: For those who have put their trust in what Jesus did at the cross, there is now an ongoing action currently happening right now. We are being saved from the power of sin in our lives. This is a process. It is ongoing. It takes time. I often have to really focus on this aspect in my life. I don't like that it takes time... I want it to all be in the past tense. But that's not a reality the Bible speaks of. It speaks of us maturing in our faith. It uses similes like babies and elders in the faith. It uses marathon runners and elite soldiers as metaphors to describe this process. Maturation takes time, like a good cheese or wine. It doesn't happen over night. For this I need patience, both with myself and with others. It is my understanding of this process that helps me to forgive others when they 'trespass against me'.
For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. Hebrews 10:14
Future Tense: We look forward to a future time, when we will be saved from the presence of sin. There will come a time, when this old order will pass away and a new order will come in. We will live in a new heaven and earth where there is no sickness, death, pain, or evil. The old, broken, evil ways of this world will be gone forever. That is our future hope. That is what keeps us going when life here gets really, really hard. We look to the future, like Old Tom in Uncle Tom's Cabin.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Rev 21:1-5
So to review, as all good homeschool mother's do... :)
- Past Tense: Punishment of sin
- Present Tense: Power of sin
- Future Tense: Presence of sin.
May this bless you with hope.