To be a Christian …
To become a Christian …
We are both at the same time.
In the mind of God, we are Christians.
In the reality of time, we are becoming Christians.
In technical terms, this is the Ontological view of God - that is, our essential ontos, our being, our status in God’s mind, our being in Christ.
And the Existential view of life - that is, the incompleteness of our transformation - for we realize God’s love and live a life of love only partially, in bits and pieces.
When our Existential reality becomes troubled and sad, we take refuge in the Ontological - God’s view of things.
The Ontological is grounded in Romans 8.38-39: there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God in Christ.
The Existential struggle is grounded in Romans 7.21-25: the good I want to do, I don’t do; the evil I don’t want to do, I do.
The Existential keeps us humble, and humility is the key to authentic spirituality.
The Ontological keeps us secure, the security of faith that relies, not upon the self, but upon God, and the wideness of God’s mercy.