History of Redemption: Blog Post 39
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. - 1 Peter 5:10 ESV.
We need to take time everyday to remind ourselves of what it is that God has called us to. Ultimately, what He has called us to is this, “eternal glory in Christ”. It seems to me that many churches today neglect the doctrine of glorification, which is the final step in the “order of salvation”. Wayne Grudem defines glorification as, “the final step in the application of redemption. It will happen when Christ returns and raises from the dead the bodies of all believers for all time who have died, and reunites them with their souls, and changes the bodies of all believers who remain alive, thereby giving all believers at the same time perfect resurrection bodies like his own” (Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem).
Since I came to faith in Christ, I have spent far too little time studying and meditating on the doctrine of heaven. I have spent even less time meditating on the fact that as a follower of Jesus Christ, my body will one day be resurrected and glorified, to be made like his. “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself” (Philippians 3:20-21). We should all live in eager expectation of this truth delivered to us by the mouth of God.
This phrase, “eternal glory in Christ”, is the hope upon which I now live my life. Early in my walk with Jesus, I looked forward to heaven as “eternal life” or as a place of beauty and “glory”. But I confess that I often struggled with how Christ would fit into that picture. And I often had feelings of guilt, knowing that what I longed for was heaven for the sake of heaven, not heaven for the sake of Christ. What God later opened my eyes to is that you cannot separate “eternity” and “glory” from Christ. They are part of who He is. He is eternal. He is glorious. Without Christ, there is no heaven. And as I have grown closer to Him, I now long deeply to be with Him, for His sake.
Do you feel broken? Take heart, He will restore you. Has your faith been slandered by those near to you? Take heart, He will confirm you. Do you feel weak? Take heart, He will strengthen you. Do you feel as if you have come undone? Take heart, He will establish you. And after you have suffered a little while, He will bring you into his “eternal glory in Christ”. Let this be the hope upon which you stand. All other ground is sinking sand.
“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:11)