FROM JUSTIFICATION TO GLORIFICATION
FROM JUSTIFICATION TO GLORIFICATION
From: The Mainspring, by Robert B. Thompson Copyright 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
The principal goal of the Christian redemption is to change into the image of the Lord Jesus those whom God has predestined and to glorify them together with Christ. Christ then will be the Firstborn of many brothers.
Table of Contents
FROM JUSTIFICATION TO GLORIFICATION
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
"To them who are the called according to his purpose."
God has a purpose, a plan, a method, an objective. If there is an area of greater confusion in Christian thinking than that of God’s eternal purpose we do not know of it.
According to current thinking, the purpose of God is to bring us to Heaven when we die. However, this objective is not found in the Old Testament or the New Testament.
The scriptural purpose of God is set forth as follows:
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be changed into the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29)
"To be changed into the image of his Son."
"That he might be the firstborn among many brethren."
It is clear from the Scriptures that some people of earth’s population were known of God in advance of their lifetime. No doubt it is true that God knows about everyone before he is born. But it appears that specific individuals were predestined to be changed into the image of the Lord Jesus and to be His brothers.
We see this concept of election in several places in the seventeenth chapter of the Gospel of John:
As thou hast given him power [authority] over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. (John 7:2)
I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. (John 17:6)
The people that were known in advance of God were predestined to be glorified together with the Lord Jesus.
And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: (John 17:22)
God causes all things of the creation to work together for the good of those whom God foreknew and predestined to be changed into the image of His Son, and to be glorified together with His Son in the eyes of the world. This is Israel, God’s elect.
That the elect were predestined to be glorified with Christ does not mean that their glorification is an accomplished fact or that their destiny will be fulfilled whether or not they respond to their calling. There is no place in the redemptive processes for an attitude of inevitability on the part of God’s elect. We must grasp that for which we have been grasped.
God makes sovereign declarations concerning us. However, every aspect of salvation is an opportunity. Whether we gain the Divine Glory depends on the decisions we make.
God’s covenants always require our continuing response. If the wicked individual forsakes his wicked behavior and turns to righteousness, his wickedness will not be held against him by the Lord. If the righteous person forsakes his righteous behavior and begins to practice wickedness, his prior righteousness will not save him in the day of judgment.
We always and continually must be laboring to insure that our election is not rendered invalid by our behavior.
Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: (II Peter 1:10)
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. (I Corinthians 10:12)
It is possible for a member of God’s elect to "fall."
Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (Romans 8:30)
"Them he also called." For each of the elect there comes a time in his or her life when he or she is made aware of Calvary. The individual becomes conscious of the blood atonement. The Holy Spirit convicts of sin and leads to the Lamb of God. The person receives the authority to be a child of God on the basis of accepting the Sin-offering God has provided.
"Whom he called, them he also justified." The elect were justified from the creation of the world. God chose them to belong to Himself in a special way. He declared them to be righteous in His sight—acceptable and pleasing to Him before they had done good or evil.
"Whom He justified, them he also glorified." The elect are destined to have Christ formed in them, resulting in the transformation of their moral nature. They are to be trained in the ways and knowledge of the Lord. If they are faithful in obeying the words of the Lord Jesus, the Father and the Son will make Their eternal abode in their transformed inner nature.
God’s elect will be so anointed with the Holy Spirit that their presence will bring Divine life to all of God’s creatures. God will adopt their mortal bodies by changing their bodies from mortality into immortality. When the Lord Jesus Christ appears in the Glory of the Father, the elect, the brothers of Christ, will appear with Him in the fullness of that same Glory.
This is what it means for the elect to be glorified.
In the eternal vision of God the elect have been foreknown, predestined, called, and justified. These are sovereign acts of almighty God. None of them causes an actual behavioral change in the individual.
God foreknew the person. This did not change the individual nor did it require a response on his part.
God predestined the person. This did not change the individual nor did it require a response on his part.
God called the person. This did not change the individual but he must decide whether or not to respond to the call.
God justified the person. This did not change the individual but he must accept Christ in order to be justified.
However, to pass from justification to glorification requires the total transformation of the one whom God has called, and diligent application to the program of redemption if the Divine election is not to be aborted.
The Scriptures describe God’s role and our role in creating the brothers of Christ. When we overemphasize God’s role and minimize our role we have a plan of salvation that is unconditional, not affected significantly by the response of the believer. To view Divine grace as unconditional, an eternal amnesty that remains in effect apart from diligent effort on the part of the recipient, is an error of great magnitude.
Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (Romans 8:30)
"Whom he justified, them he also glorified."
How do we go from justification to glorification? Is there a Divine program that brings us from justification to glorification, or is glorification imputed (ascribed) to us? Are justification and glorification sovereignly imposed states given to us apart from any significant effort on our part?
"It is all by grace!" many preachers of today cry. "Jesus did it all! Settle back and enjoy the free ride. Nothing is required of you. Agree with our doctrine and nothing can prevent your entering Paradise when you die. He became poor in money so you would be rich in money. He suffered so you will never have to suffer. You forever will be an unworthy sinner who perpetually is accepted of God on the basis of imputed (ascribed) righteousness."
That this wrenching of the Scriptures has gained the ground that it has is a sad commentary on the self-love of the present generation of human beings and also on the lack of prayer and consecration of the believers.
It seems that not enough thought has gone into the consequences of such a position. Would we want to be part of a "holy" city that was holy by assigned righteousness?—the people were still worldly, lustful, and self-seeking but justified by their identification with Christ?
We know that ascribed righteousness is a temporary device because the eternal purpose of God is stated as our change into the image of Christ. God did not predestine us to be forever unrighteous and accepted "by grace" but to be changed into the very likeness of Christ in every element of our personality.
As we proceed in this booklet we shall speak of the process of moving from justification to glorification. We believe there is widespread ignorance of the necessity for such a move and of the actual Divine process that accomplishes the move.
Justification. While there were instances of God justifying people under previous covenants, the justification contained in the new covenant is of a much superior kind.
For God to justify someone is to declare that person acceptable to God. No matter what type of personality the individual has or what he has done, God has declared him acceptable. His sins are forgiven. He is authorized to participate in the Kingdom of God.
Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, (Romans 4:6)
Under the old covenant the forgiveness of sins was available through the offering of animals. The blood, the life of the innocent animals, was offered in place of the life of the sinning human being. The blood served to appease the wrath of God. The blood provided an atonement, a covering, so that God was able to accept the worshiper.
The forgiveness of the new covenant is as superior to the forgiveness of the old covenant as the Person of the Lord Jesus is superior to a bull or goat. There indeed is a tremendous difference in quality.
The blood of bulls and goats could serve only to defer the wrath of God until the next offering. But the blood of Christ put an end to the guilt of sin for all time. The perfect, total atonement has been made. God’s wrath has been appeased concerning the sin and rebellion of mankind. If the worshiper continues walking in Christ his conscience can be completely free from all guilt and condemnation. Through the one offering of Calvary the believer remains guiltless forever.
This total, complete appeasing of the wrath of God, and the resulting perfect justification of whoever chooses to receive the Divine atonement, is the foundation of the redemption that is in Christ. Nothing can be added to this complete atonement or removed from it. The sin-offering is perfect forever, awaiting each individual who chooses to believe and receive.
God in this manner declares His elect to be righteous in His sight.
It is a marvel that Saul of Tarsus, so steeped in the Law of Moses, was able to look up from the scroll of the Torah and accept the righteousness that comes only from faith and trust in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. (Romans 4:5)
Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation [appeasement] through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (Romans 3:25)
Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (Romans 5:9)
The day when God would accept the blood of animals as an atonement for sin ended when Christ was crucified. No person, young or old, male or female, rich or poor, of whatever nationality, can approach God and be accepted of God other than through the blood offering made by Christ on the cross.
The most righteous individual must come and receive the Divine pardon. The most wretched sinner, the perpetrator of deeds so foul they are not to be mentioned, can come and be forgiven freely because of the Divine Virtue in the blood of Christ.
There is a fountain opened to the House of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem (and to believing Gentiles) for sin and for uncleanness. Blessed is the person who receives the atonement. Woe to that individual who spurns the love of God in Christ! He shall answer for his sins, and the penalty is eternal separation from God.
The first part of the Day of Atonement included the offering of the blood of a goat on behalf of the sins of the congregation.
Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat: (Leviticus 16:15)
Whom God called God justified. God justified His elect with the blood of the righteous Jesus. No finger of accusation can be raised against those whom God has justified.
God said, "The soul that sins shall die." This is an eternal warning. All the peoples of the earth are spiritually dead because all have sinned. Those who receive the Lord Jesus have access to eternal life because the Lord Jesus died in their stead.
This is the Divine justification and it is the foundation of the Divine redemption.
It appears that in numerous instances this is as far as contemporary teaching takes us. The Christian Gospel has been changed from the coming of the Kingdom of God to establish God’s will on the earth to a "grace" of forgiveness that insures the sinner’s entrance into the spiritual Paradise upon his death.
If this were the true Gospel of the Kingdom of God, the new covenant would not be as effective as the old in terms of God’s desire for righteous people, because the old covenant included the forgiveness of sins and also insisted upon righteous behavior. By removing the requirement for righteous behavior the we have created a salvation that is ineffective in view of God’s stated purpose to conform the elect to the image of Christ.
The second goat. We have spoken of the goat that was offered for the sins of the people on the Day of Atonement.
There was a second goat that was offered as an inseparable part of the sin offering.
And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering. (Leviticus 16:5)
"Two kids of the goats for a sin offering."
The fact that there was a second goat invalidates the current concept of the Divine atonement for sin, the concept that there is little or no deliverance, only forgiveness.
The blood of the second goat was not shed; therefore the goat was not used to appease the wrath of God. However, it was part of the sin offering. The use of the second goat as a sin offering was made authentic by the offering of the blood of the first goat.
And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: (Leviticus 16:21)
Little imagination is required to see that while the first goat portrayed the appeasing of Divine wrath by innocent blood, the second goat spoke of the removal of the presence of sin itself; that is, of deliverance from sin.
Forgiveness by the first goat; deliverance by the second goat.
It is of the greatest importance to remember that the Christian redemption consists of both forgiveness of sin and deliverance from sin, and the deliverance is made possible by the forgiveness. Both are absolutely necessary in the Kingdom of God, Both are absolutely necessary if we are to fulfill God’s purpose that we be changed into the image of Christ. Both are absolutely necessary if we are to be glorified.
Deliverance from sin. If the Christian salvation includes deliverance from sin, as well as forgiveness, when and how does such deliverance take place.
Deliverance from sin is the salvation promised for the last days. We think that we are in the last days now and that the promised redemption is beginning.
Notice carefully the following passages in terms of the preceding paragraph:
And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. (Romans 13:11)
"Now is our salvation nearer than when we believed."
Paul is speaking here of the salvation that is deliverance from sin, the salvation of the second goat of the Day of Atonement.
Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (I Peter 1:5)
"Salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."
We are being kept today by God’s power in view of a salvation (deliverance from sin) that is to be revealed in the "last time."
What is this last-day salvation? It is none other than the spiritual fulfillment of the second goat, that is, the removing of sin from God’s people.
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Hebrews 9:28)
"So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many." This is the first goat of the Day of Atonement.
"Without sin unto salvation." This is the second goat.
"Unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time."
This is when the deliverance will take place. It will take place at a second appearing to those that look for Christ. We know that Hebrews 9:28 is not referring to the second coming of the Lord because at His second coming every eye shall see Him, not just those who are looking for Him.
Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. (Revelation 1:7)
We know from the Scriptures that part of the sin offering is the removal of sin from God’s elect, that this "salvation" will take place in the last days, that it is an appearing of the Lord, and that it will come to those who are looking for Christ. Does the Old Testament teach that sin will be removed from God’s people? If so, under what circumstances?
When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. (Isaiah 4:4)
The above passage describes an actual removal of sin from the Lord’s people—not just a forgiveness but an actual removal.
The removal is accomplished "by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning."
Other passages say much the same thing.
And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God. (Zechariah 13:9)
But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s (a launderer’s) soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. (Malachi 3:2,3)
John the Baptist may have been referring to Malachi 3:3 when he proclaimed:
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is more powerful than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: (Matthew 3:11)
"He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire."
John was describing the removal of sin from the Lord’s elect:
Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. (Matthew 3:12)
"He will throughly purge his floor."
Other passages suggesting an actual removal of sin from the elect are as follows:
And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. (Zechariah 3:4)
And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. (Revelation 6:11)
The "white robe" of the Scripture speaks of the holiness of the personality and behavior of the royal priesthood. Perhaps this white robe is the glorified body that will be given to the martyrs just before the return of the Lord.
And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness [righteous deeds] of saints. (Revelation 19:8)
The Lord Jesus did not come to forgive the works of Satan but to destroy their power and remove them.
He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. (I John 3:8)
We are in the power of Satan until the Lord Jesus destroys Satan’s works in us.
But does the New Testament state that the new covenant results in our deliverance from sin? Yes. As part of the normal Christian walk, and then as a redemption that shall come in the last days.
Which is the earnest [pledge] of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:14)
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)
We have been "sealed unto the day of redemption." The day of redemption will begin in the last days as God purifies His elect with a baptism of fire. The redemption will be consummated at the appearing of the Lord Jesus as God adopts the mortal bodies of the saints by removing mortality from them and clothing them with immortality.
And not only they [the material creation], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. (Romans 8:23)
How does God deliver us from sin in the present hour? By the power of the law of the Spirit of life.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)
As we walk in the power of the law of the Spirit of life He gives us daily victory over the sins of the flesh.
For if ye live in the appetites of the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify [put to death] the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (Romans 8:13)
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16)
We have deliverance today as we await the fiery baptism of the last days. If we are faithful in walking in the Spirit today, then, when the Lord appears, we will experience the alteration of our mortal body from flesh-and-blood life to Holy-Spirit life.
The first step in moving from justification to glorification is deliverance from sin. Both testaments state clearly that the new covenant of God with His people will include not only the forgiveness of Isaiah, Chapter 53 but also the purification of Malachi, Chapter Three.
Change. The second step in moving from assigned righteousness to actual change into the image of Christ is the change that occurs in our personality as the gold of Christ is formed in us and then hammered into shape and refined through suffering.
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (II Corinthians 3:18)
Here is the change into the image of Christ, mentioned in Romans 8:29.
Change into Christ’s image occurs in us as we see His Glory in the written Word, in personal revelation, in the gifts and ministries of others as well our own gifts, and in all other places where we behold the Divine Glory.
Just as Moses was changed as a result of standing in the Divine Presence, so we are changed as we are exposed to the Presence of Christ.
Change into Christ’s image takes place in us as Christ is formed and grows in us.
My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, (Galatians 4:19)
Christ in us is planted as a Seed, the Seed of the Kingdom. We must turn the prime energies and attention of our life to insuring that the Seed is taken care of properly. We know from the parable of the sower that a shallow experience with Christ or the cares of this world can prevent the Divine Seed from bearing lasting fruit.
The greatest fact of the new covenant is that Christ, the Seed, the living Word, is actually conceived in us. Then the ministries of the Body of Christ are to travail until the Seed brings forth Christ in us, the hope of the glory to come in the last days.
Deliverance from sin and the forming of Christ in us are important aspects of our journey from justification to glorification, from imputed (ascribed) righteousness to the moral image of Christ.
It is true also that change into Christ’s image occurs in us as the Divine gold in us is purified through suffering.
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: (I Peter 1:7)
Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; (I Peter 4:1)
The Divine chastisement is administered to us so we may partake of God’s holy nature, so we may enjoy the peaceable fruit of righteousness. Suffering prepares us to be revealed in glory with the Lord Jesus.
The sufferings we experience in Christ are a judgment on the sins of our flesh and are a necessary part of the process of salvation. It is through suffering that we are made worthy of the Kingdom of God.
So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: (II Thessalonians 1:4,5)
Change into Christ’s image takes place in our personality as through experience we learn the ways of God and become totally obedient. The golden Lampstand of the Tabernacle of the Congregation was hammered into shape from a talent of refined gold. The Lampstand could have been cast from a mold (a skill the Israelites possessed because of their experience in Egypt) in a fraction of the time required to hammer it into shape.
The gold was refined and then hammered into the shape of the Lampstand. So it is that the gold of Christ is purified through our suffering and then "hammered" into shape by the buffeting we endure as we make our way through the wilderness of the present age. We are members of the Divine Lampstand, the Anointed One of God.
It is the constant tribulations we suffer that make it possible for the resurrection Life of Christ to be revealed to those to whom the Lord directs us.
For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. (II Corinthians 4:11)
Being filled with the fullness of God. Another aspect of our journey from justification to glorification is brought about by the filling of our changed and refined inner nature with the fullness of God.
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. (Ephesians 3:19)
God the Father will dwell only in Christ. As God’s Spirit forms Christ in us we are ready and able to receive more of God. The goal is to bring us to the place where Christ has been formed to full stature within us. God then will be able to abide in us in His fullness.
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. (John 14:23)
Complete preparation for glorification includes the dwelling of the Father and the Son in our transformed inner nature. We arrive at the fullness of God as we keep the words of Christ, treasuring them, meditating on them, continually confessing our shortcomings and seeking to obey the admonitions of the Scriptures as God sends help to us from the Most Holy Place in the heavenlies.
Complete oneness with God through Christ. Union with God through Christ is much the same concept as being filled with the fullness of God, except that by considering union separately we are stressing our voluntary reconciliation to God’s Person, thoughts, desires, ways, and objectives. It is one matter to have Christ formed in us. A second consideration is that of the Father and Christ through the Holy Spirit dwelling in our transformed inner nature.
Yet a third subject of concern is our full reconciliation, cooperation, compliance, and joy in flowing with the will of God. The greatest rest, the greatest joy, and the greatest peace come to us when our total desire is in complete, perfect harmony with the total desire of God; when everything found in us is found in God and nothing found in us is not found in God.
Here is the desired objective—complete, perfect oneness with God through Christ, total joy, total rest, total love.
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (John 17:21-23)
We must learn to live by Christ as He lives by the Father. As we eat His flesh and drink His blood there is a change of life force within us. We pass from natural life to life lived in the Presence and will of God. This is true eternal life and greatly to be desired. It is as high above the adamic animal life as the heavens are high above the earth.
As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. (John 6:57)
We have entered fully into the following:
Deliverance from sin.
Being filled with the fullness of God.
Complete oneness with God through Christ.
Now we are prepared for glorification at the side of, together with, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Lord Jesus Christ always is glorified together with the Father. As the Father is glorified (lifted up in glory and preeminence) the Lord Jesus is glorified.
And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self [together with Yourself; in Your Presence] with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. (John 17:5)
It is the Lord’s will that His Church be glorified together with Him, in His Presence, just as Christ is glorified together with the Father.
And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: (John 17:22)
We are to appear with Christ to the world as an eternally incorruptible, integral part of His Divine Glory.
When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:4)
The glory of the thousand-year Kingdom Age will be revealed to the world through the saints.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)
When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. (II Thessalonians 1:10)
"The glory which shall be revealed in us." "When he shall come to be glorified in his saints."
We are justified, delivered from sin, changed, filled with the fullness of God, and brought into restful union with God to the end that we may be glorified together with Christ as His brothers.
The sons of God shall be revealed in glory, and that Divine glory will release the material creation from the bondage of futility and corruption.
Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. (Romans 8:21)
Our inner nature is to be filled with the Presence of God in Christ. The change from the animal to the Divine is taking place today. The Divine Glory being prepared in us now will be revealed to the world at the coming of Christ.
The glory is hidden in our flesh-and-blood, sin-oppressed body.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. (II Corinthians 4:7).
The light in the jars of Gideon’s army was revealed when the jars were broken. In the Day of the Lord our animal body will be "broken" and then swallowed up by a body of such power and life that all resistance to the will of Christ in us shall be swept away.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (I John 3:2)
"We shall be like Him."
Our mortal body will be adopted by the Lord. By His unlimited power He will transform our body until it resembles His glorious body.
Who shall change our vile body [the body of our humbling], that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. (Philippians 3:21)
God knew us by name from the beginning of the creation. He predestined us to be changed into the image of Christ so that Christ might be the Firstborn among many brothers—brothers who, although not as great in glory, rank, authority, or power as He, nonetheless have been born of God.
The Only Begotten has become the First Begotten. We, Christ’s brothers, have learned obedience through suffering just as He did. We have carried our cross through this world as He did. We have shared His power and His sufferings. We have suffered that we may be glorified together with Him. Through Him we have overcome the world just as He did.
We stated before that the foreknowledge of God was a sovereign action of God. No action on our part was required and there was no change in us.
The same was true of predestination. No action on our part was required and there was no change in us.
Our calling produces no change in us but we are required to respond to the Divine summons.
God has justified His elect. Being declared righteous by the blood of Calvary represents no change in us; it is a legal maneuver that enables God to hear our prayers and give us eternal life even though our behavior is not in accordance with the eternal moral law of God. We must by faith receive the Divine offer of reconciliation.
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (II Corinthians 5:20,21)
"Be ye reconciled to God."
However, passing from justification to glorification necessitates total change in us, as we have described and requires diligent participation on our part.
If we will follow the Lord diligently He will bring us from the lowest pit to the highest throne. Ours is a truly great salvation.
Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25)
It is God’s will and objective that there be a perfect Church, a mature Body of Christ, an unblemished Bride of the Lamb—victorious sons who will be able to assume the rulership of the creation. These are the heirs of God, of whom Christ is the Lord and the Firstfruits that in all things He might have the preeminence.
We have been foreknown, predestined, called, and justified in order that we may then, through the authority of the Lord Jesus and the power of the Spirit of God, fight the good fight of faith until we attain glorification in Christ.
To pass from justification to glorification requires running a race. Running the race to glorification requires more concentration and dedication than is true of the runners of the Olympic games. We must devote every aspect and ability of our personality. We must present our body to God a living sacrifice that we may prove His will.
God has given us every grace, every virtue, all the authority, power, and wisdom needed to insure success as we overcome every hindrance to our rule. Only one factor can prevent our being more than a conqueror through Christ, and that is our own unbelief.
Let us now lay aside every weight, every hindrance, and run with patience the race set before us. If we do, the day finally shall arrive when we are ready to be glorified together with the Lord Jesus at His appearing in His Kingdom.