Becoming 'born again' does no completely eradicate our old ways of thinking and acting. We live in a strange sense of 'now and not yet'. There is a saying, "I am saved, I am being saved, and I will be saved."
"I am saved," because Jesus has paid for my sins and satisfied God's justice. Jesus said, "No one can take them out of my hand." In the course of daily living it is easy to feel that we are losing it and see to earn what God has already freely given. We need to hold on to the promises of assurance. We also need to rememer that we are precious to God and "he rejoices over [us] with singing."
"I am being saved," because God works with our own wills to transform us to the likeness of Christ. Sometimes I wish I could have been instantly transformed outwardly as well as in my spirit when I became a child of God. But I guess such a transformation would have altered me from my distinctive 'me-ness' and perhaps have made it impossible for me to go on living in an imperfect world with imperfect people. How would they relate to me? Also, what sort of character would I have if everything were done for me? Paul exp-lained it very well:
"... we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us." (Romans 5:3-5)
As the T-shirt slogan says: "Be patient, God hasn't finished with me yet."
"I will be saved," because the hope that Paul referred to is the promise that in the end we will all be like Christ and receive the desire of our hearts. So it will be finished one day, but the process is ongoing.
Other posts in this series:
2 The Kingdom of God
Inventing the Individual: Book Review
4 months ago