“He did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.” (Rom. 3:26) 

Apostle Paul’s preaching is the proclamation of the Gospel to his contemporaries that the Messianic time has come. Christ is the contemporary Being, and His work is called “the time of now”.

The time of Christ’s return, which marks the end of our time, is not chronologically determined. Still, it is certain and near, though the date is unknown.

However, Paul in his exegesis, which was elucidated by the Holy Spirit, based on the revelation of the person and work of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament and through the church of his time, is particularly able to relate the past time, or prophecies about the Messiah with the present time with the final redemption of the sons of God.

For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!” (Rom. 5:17). As well as in Adam, through whom humanity received sin and death, Jesus Christ is the Messiah who grants redemption and life to those who believe.

Thus, the apostle Peter corroborates by saying: “In all this, you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith —of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire —may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Pet. 1:6-7)

Christians, in particular, need to see their present time, living in it and, at the same time, distancing themselves from it, so that, through the lens of God’s truth, they can perceive and act in its reality, which is to proclaim the Gospel of the unfathomable riches of Christ.

Hope is a fundamental characteristic of Christians. This hope in God is not based on the world of their time, with its economic or political circumstances. Still, Christians live with the spiritual reality of Christ’s resurrection, seen through the eyes of faith.

I recently read the following sentence: “An intelligent and slightly lucid man may hate his time, but he knows, in any case, that it belongs to him irrevocably, and he knows that he will not be able to escape his time.

Nevertheless, living in the present time without running away from the present time, that is, in a contemporary way, is the spiritual exercise of walking in this world, loving God and awaiting the establishment of the New Time. This means living by faith, understanding one’s own time without being distracted from God’s righteous time for their beloved. “But in keeping with his promise, we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.” (2 Pet. 3:13)

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Eric Gomes do Carmo is Pastor at First Baptist Church in Londrina-PR/ Brazil and serves in Music and Worship Ministry.