Often in life, we’re only given privileges or responsibilities, once we have proven that we are ready and able to handle them. I remember my first bicycle had stabilizers. After I got used to pedalling and steering, my dad took training wheels off, held on the bike behind and ran while I was riding. Then I realized later that my Dad had already let me go without his support. I was a little bit scared of riding the bike by myself, but Dad believed me that I could keep my balance without stabilizers and his support.
My daughters have now got their “Learner driver’s license”. They must complete at least 120 hours of driving practice including 20 hours of night driving to apply for “Provisional P1 license”. It means that they must show that they are ready by passing an often stressful test, before they are given a full driver’s license. In order to find employment, you must prove that you have the education and experience to do a good job. No one will give you anything unless they think you are qualified for it or that you deserve it. That is, no one except God.
In Philippian 3:16, Apostle Paul exhorts the church, “Let us live up to what we have already attained.” This means we have already received a free gift that is worth far more than anything we could earn or deserve, and this should, in turn, transform how we live. In Paul’s worldview, life is not about sacrificing ourselves for a goal that is yet to be achieved; rather, it is about aspiring to live a life worthy of the gift we have already received from God. This is why he constantly reminds sinners in the church that they are, in fact, “saints.” Our imperfections were made perfect in God’s eyes because of Christ’s complete work on the cross.