GLORIFICATION What Jesus Is Doing For The Believer… …CLAY Finally Perfected…Because He Will One Day Glorify It!
I thank God I am not what I used to be, I fully know that I am not all that I ought to be, and I look forward to what I one day will be. What am I? I am just a sinner saved by grace, advancing along the pathway to sanctification, somewhere between justification and glorification.
Salvation exists in three phases: past – present – future. Those who have been redeemed through faith in Christ-must have already been delivered from the penalty of sin, are presently being delivered from the power of sin and will ultimately be delivered from even the very presence of sin. This final step in the divine plan is that which the Bible refers to as glorification, the process of becoming glorified. It is the deferred feature of salvation, the climactic event in God’s redemptive program. It is that which Christians now have positionally, but one day will enjoy experientially.
Time spent in the Scriptures studying the doctrine of glorification can be very rewarding. This article reveals the benefits and the results of this future aspect of salvation, Eternal life as described above would seem to provide all that one could ever possibly imagine or desire. However, God doesn’t stop there. He transcends the very limits of our minds by providing much more.
Realizers of a Special Unique Life
Quality of Life — ~ “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (Jn. 17:3).
This is the only portion of the Word of God which actually defines eternal life. This explanation describes the eternal state as much more than simply life without end. It reveals the major difference between the type or kind of life which Christians will inherit, in contrast to that which the rest of the world will suffer. All of humanity (past, present, and future) will live on forever.
The important question is how and with whom. According to Jesus, those who know Him personally will experience a special and unique quality of life. They will enjoy God forever. The phrase, “. . . that they might know thee… and Jesus Christ. . . ” is filled full with significance. Not only will the true believer acquire knowledge of God but much more is implied. This word know actually means to have an intimate, special relationship. Bom again Christians will live on forever experiencing a unique bond with God.
Birthright – “And if children [of God], then heirs — heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ — if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together (Rom. 8:17).
Under Roman law, an adopted child inherited equally with the other sons. Accordingly, then, those who become children of God will also be blessed by sharing in this inheritance as a son of God. However, this passage actually reveals that much more is reserved for the child of God. Paul presents a truth that is hard to fully fathom. He informs us that we are not only heirs” but “joint heirs with Christ.” There is a dramatic difference between heirs and joint heirs. Heirs receive a designated part, while joint heirs own everything together and in totality. All that has been given to Christ as His inheritance has also been given to all believers as their inheritance. Can you imagine what is in store for the true child of God? What glory that will be!
Recipients of a Transformed Body
First Fruits — “But now is Christ risen from the dead and become the first fruits of them that slept . . . But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming” (1 Cor. 15:20,23).
Returning from the grave, or restoration from the dead, may sound both eerie and unique. It isn’t. The Scriptures make reference to many who were brought back from the dead. However, we must not lose sight of the fact that they were retrieved from the grave only to die again (2 Ki.4:32-35; 13:21; Mt. 9:25; Lk.7:12-15;Jn. 11:43-44; Acts 9:36-41).
Christ’s return from the grave was truly a resurrection. He was raised with a glorified body, never to die again (Phil. 3:21). He then, as the first fruits of the resurrection, guarantees that all who are in Him will also experience this same unique event. Hallelujah!
Suited For Heaven — “Behold, I show you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed . . . the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Cor. 15:51-52; cfl Th. 4:13-18).
It is apparent from the Word of God that our sin-riddled bodies are not capable of inheriting Heaven. As human beings, we bear the earthly distorted image of Adam (Gen. 5:3; I Cor. 15:47-49; cf Gen. 1:26-27). It is precisely for this reason that the Apostle Paul revealed the agony that this physical body of humiliation suffers when he wrote that we groan within ourselves looking for the redemption of our bodies (Phil. 3:21; Rom. 8:23).
Thus, an overhaul must take place before man can enter the sphere of the final stage of salvation. Living on earth one must have an earthly body; likewise, living in Heaven demands a heavenly body. Since the children of God are joint heirs with Christ, they will one day be fashioned into the very image of His glorious body (1 Cor. 15:47-49; Phil. 3:20-21; 1 Jn. 3:2). Paul enumerates the benefits and results of this change from an earthly body to a heavenly body as being limitless in power, infinite in glory, eternal in endurance, and spiritual in essence (1 Cor. 15:42-44).
Relinquishers of the Sin Nature
The Battle Rages On – “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other, so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Gal. 5:17).
In another passage Paul revealed the frustrations that he himself experienced as a Christian even though he delighted in the law of God after the inward man. He experienced yet another law — that of the flesh which brought him into captivity to the law of sin (Rom. 7:15-25).
Thanks be unto God, there is an answer as well as a way out of this predicament that is by yielding one’s life to the indwelling Holy Spirit who controls this new nature (Eph. 5:18; 1 Jn. 3:4-9). The only troublesome aspect of this situation is that the old nature (sin nature) still exists within our earthly bodies and can wreak havoc within the children of God as described in Galatians 5:17.
The Ultimate Solution – “That he [Christ] might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:27).
I am not all that I ought to be but, thank God, I am not what I used to be, and I look forward to what I one day will be. Someone once made this statement which accurately communicates what theologians refer to as progressive sanctification. All human beings from the fall of Adam to the last one born in the future, will have the Adamic nature which will constantly plague all people, be they Christian or not, as long as they live on this earth.
God, however, has stated that we who have been redeemed through faith in His Son, Jesus, will one day be presented to Christ perfect, holy, and without blemish. This then insists that the process of sanctification is indeed progressive; that is, we move from what we used to be to what we one day will be – perfect in the Lord. The Scriptures teach that this is a process which should bring believers closer to the Lord daily as they walk with Him. However, it must be noted that this process will not be completed until we are glorified in the whole being — soul, spirit, and body. Hence, one day Christians will be totally delivered from the sin nature which is prone to follow the world, Satan, and sin. Hallelujah, what a glorious day that will be (1 Cor. 1:8; 1 Th. 3:13; 5:23; Heb. 9:28; 12:23; I Pet 5:10; Jude 23-24; Rev. 2:7; 22:1)!
Residents of Heaven
Glorybound – “In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. … I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also” (Jn. 14:2-3).
Even though Christians have earthly bodies and reside on planet Earth, they are aliens. At the very point of regeneration (salvation through personal belief in Jesus), citizenship changes from earth to Heaven (Phil. 3:20). Peter stated that the living hope which Christians have is in the fact that they will spend eternity with God in Heaven (1 Pet. 1:3-5).
Additionally, children of God have the promise from the lips of Jesus himself that a dwelling place is being prepared in Heaven for them. It is in this light that Paul states their lives on earth should reflect their new citizenship.
Heaven Knows No Ills – “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away” (Rev. 21:4).
Is it any wonder that Paul was betwixt and between, knowing that he had a need to minister here on the earth, yet having a great desire to depart this life and be with Christ in Heaven, which is far better (Phil. 1:23-24)? L am sure that you join the Apostle John in his fervent prayer for the imminent return of the Lord Jesus.
In 1 Corinthians, chapter 15, the greatest treatise on the bodily resurrection of Jesus, Paul makes a statement that is so meaningful to us today. If Christ had not been raised from the dead bodily, then there would be no hope and, in fact, we ought to simply eat and drink for tomorrow we die hopelessly. Thank God that Paul did not stop there. He both logically and rationally provided Christians with the confident hope that they too will be raised in a glorious body, even as Jesus was.
Not only is this a promise for all Christians, but God makes it clear that it is an event which cannot and will not be altered for those who are born again believers in Jesus Christ. He has made guaranteed reservations in Heaven for every believer, over which He himself stands guard (1 Pet. 1:4).
Additionally, in the mind of God our glorification has already been accomplished (Rom. 8:30). With this thought embedded in our hearts as well as our minds, we should all be willing and desirous to accept the encouragement and exhortation of Paul, “. . .Be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58).