Being and Becoming

In philosophy the common distinction of “being and becoming” has been made over and over in different ways throughout history.  Each time a new philosopher addressed this distinction it seemed to grow in its scope.  For example Parmenides was known to often say, “All that is, is.”  Pretty short and simple statement right?  Wrong.  Heracleitus took this idea one step further by saying “All that is, is changing.”  Can you see why he was the one who coined the famous phrase “you never step into the same river twice?”  Cratylus went even further with this distinction by saying “you don’t even step into the same river even once; not only is the river flowing, but so are you.  This means the you who stepped into the river is in constant flux and is not the same you who stepped out of the river.  Fascinating discussion isn’t it?

Ever since these three raised this distinction philosopher’s have been discussing it ad nauseam but it is a curious thing to me that no one ever mentions the Apostle Paul along with them.  After all he said some stunning things about this distinction as well.  He mentions in his letters to the churches that by faith in Jesus we were saved, we are being saved, and we will be saved.  We are sons and daughters of the King of Kings, we have been adopted and made heirs of the great promise, and will one day become what we are being made into now.  We are perfect in Christ, and are being made perfect in this life.  We have been made righteous by Christ’s imputation of righteousness, and we are being made righteous here and now.  What does all this mean? Paul had lots to say about being and becoming, and it is my opinion that no one in history made more headway into this distinction than he did.  In Christ we are, and in Christ we will be.

What a wondrous and mysterious thing it is to live the Christian life.

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