To Be or Not to Be

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by John D. Morris, Ph.D.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

The verb “to be,” in its various forms and tenses, enjoys wide usage throughout Scripture. Verses employing it, as it relates to us, contain many of the greatest and most precious truths. Consider the following sampling.

Past tense: “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). “When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God” (v. 10). “You hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). “You, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled” (Colossians 1:21).

Present tense: “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven” (Romans 4:7). “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God?” (1 Corinthians 3:16). “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation” (1 Peter 1:5). “By the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Corinthians 15:10). “Beloved, now are we the sons of God” (1 John 3:2). “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him” (Colossians 2:9-10). Note also our text verse.

Future tense: “It doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. . . . and they shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 22:3-5). JDM