– William Temple
Not what you Own
What you are isn’t what you own and that’s a good thing because everything on this earth will burn up someday and only those things done for Christ will remain. In fact, we don’t even own ourselves as the Apostle Paul asked, “do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own” (1st Cor 6:19), so what we own doesn’t determine who or what we are, it is “whose” we are that determines our worth to God.
Now what you Were
The Apostle John often wrote in the present tense in relating to the Christian. He speaks as if we are now the children of God and not the children of the Devil who still holds captive those in the world (2nd Cor 4:3-4). John writes, “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is” (1st John 3:2). We used to be children of the Devil and doing what he desired for us to do and that was sin, however Paul writes in the past tense, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1st Cor 6:11), meaning that our past has nothing to do with our present circumstance.
What you Are
As John said, we are now the children of God, but “what we will be has not yet appeared.” You are a child of God that God has justified through Jesus Christ (2nd Cor 5:21) and now God sees you as having Jesus’ very own righteousness. That is the only way that we can enter the kingdom as “nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Rev 21:27). If you have repented and trusted in Christ, you are no longer unclean and “God has already approved what you do” (Eccl 9:7).
Mr. Temple wrote, “My worth is what I am worth to God; and that is a marvelous great deal” and that is biblical because we are not our own anymore as we belong to God; we are now the children of God and not of the Devil anymore; and we are not what we used to be but what we are now. I am not what I want to be, but I thank God I am not what I used to be.