On Becoming a Christian

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own.
On Becoming a Christian
For there is really nothing more destructive to the believer than this presumptuousness, as if he had already taken hold of it and there were no need to seek it. It is from this that many slide backward and wither away in their security and laziness. . . Therefore, whoever has begun to be a Christian, this is what remains: to consider that he has not yet become a Christian and to seek to become a Christian . . .. For a Christian is not in having become, but in becoming . . .. Therefore whoever is a Christian is not a Christian; that is, whoever thinks that he has already become a Christian when he is only becoming a Christian is nothing. For we are headed toward heaven; we are not yet in heaven. And just as he who thinks he is already in heaven will never enter heaven, so he who is headed to heaven is already in heaven since God reckons him as if he were in heaven already. . .. That is how wondrous the works of this kingdom are.

From Annotations on Matthew (Luther's Works 67:212-13)
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