Have You Tasted The Blessings of Heaven?

Have you ever been in the kitchen when someone is baking some delicious food? The cook lets you have a taste before giving you strict instructions not to touch any more until it is served on the table later. The anticipation is almost unbearable. It would have been easier if you had not been allowed that taste. But now that you know how delicious it is, you find it very hard to wait for another mouthful. Those two hours before the meal seem like an eternity.

It is similar for us in the Christian life. We have the firstfruits of the Spirit: a taste of the blessings of heaven. We know something of what it is like to be holy, and we long for more. And we know something of what it means to know God through Christ and to be loved by him, and we cannot wait to feel it more. That is why we ‘groan inwardly’. It expresses our frustration with the sin that is so prevalent in our lives and in the world, and signals our desire for more of the wonders of the world to come. That sense of frustration will never leave us in this age. It is an inevitable consequence of the fact that we live in this ‘in-between period’, in the intersection of the ages. We must not expect life to be easy. We are called to proclaim the gospel to a world that does not want to hear it and to live a Christian life among people who live in a very different way. We are citizens of heaven, who must, for the time being, live as ‘strangers’ in the world (Philippians 3:20; I Peter I:I). But we shall not have to live away from home for ever. One day the Lord Jesus will return to take us to join him in the perfected kingdom.

From Vaughan Roberts, God’s Big Picture: Tracing the storyline of the Bible (Downers Grove: IVP, 2002), 140, 142.

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