GLORIFICATION

1 Corinthians 15:42-43 – So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory.

Glorification is the final result of salvation for God’s triune creation man. In our spirit, we are in right standing before God. In our soul, we are sanctified or set apart to God. Our bodies will be glorified at His appearing when the dead in Christ will rise. Paul describes the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15. He makes several comparisons to the natural creation. He begins with questions concerning the resurrection. “How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?” (1 Corinthians 15:35). Paul compares the resurrection to a seed that first must be buried in the ground. When it comes to life, the body that is produced does not look like the seed that was planted.  Each seed is given a body of its own. Paul describes the many types of flesh that have bodies. He describes heavenly bodies and earthly bodies. He speaks of the differences in the heavenly bodies and their glory such as the sun, the moon, and the stars. The stars themselves differ in their glory.

Paul says, “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:42-45).

The Lord’s coming and the resurrection of the dead has been the glorious hope of the church throughout the ages. Just as God raised Christ from the dead and joined His spirit, soul, and body in resurrected life, He will do the same for every believer. “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:50-54).

What could I ever hope to add to Paul’s inspired words? Today, simply bask in the promise of our glorified bodies. Rejoice in the blessed hope of the church. Hope toward the day that we will all be as He is, glorified, fulfilling all the Father has willed.

Father, this is the day that You have made and I will rejoice and be glad in it. Thank You for Your complete salvation. Holy Spirit, help me to walk in the resurrection life and power of the Lord Jesus Christ until the day I am joined with Him and see Jesus face to face.

SANCTIFIED

ohn 17:17 – Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.

The word sanctification means “to be set apart. The Word of God testifies that those who have put their faith in Christ have been set apart for God’s eternal purposes. In Jesus’ high priestly prayer, He is requesting His Father to “sanctify the disciples in the truth.” Jesus said of Himself, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me” (John 14:6). We too are called to be His disciples. If one is a disciple of the Lord Jesus, that one is sanctified through Christ. The Scriptures declare that we are set apart to the Father. Jesus, the truth, has set us apart for His kingdom. The Holy Spirit has been given to empower us in our sanctification.

Justification deals with our position in Christ before the Father. Sanctification deals with our daily walk in surrendering our life to the Father’s will. Sanctification is the process of our daily salvation. Paul instructs us, “So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12-13). In justification we trust the work of Christ for our redemption. In sanctification, we have a part in the work. Sanctification is a life of obedience to the Father, through Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

“If you continue in My word, then are you truly disciples of Mine” (John 8:31). This is a qualifying statement by Jesus. There are many which say, “I believe in Jesus.” The question becomes, what do you believe? In the gospel, belief is not a mental assent, but rather a life surrendered to the King of kings. It is a life sanctified for the Master’s purpose.  A disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ bears witness of faith by the life they live. Jesus’ word to Saul on the road to Damascus tells him of the Lord’s call on his life toward the Gentiles which was “To open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts 26:18).

The disciple of Christ is justified, sanctified and one day will be glorified when Christ returns for His own. What a salvation He has given us! In our next devotion, we will look at glorification, the future dimension of our three-fold salvation.

Father, I am grateful for all You have done for me in Christ. I ask for the Holy Spirit to help me live out my salvation daily for Your glory. I receive Your sanctifying power to obey and separate myself to Your eternal purposes in and through my life.

JUSTIFIED

Romans 5:1 – Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

In Romans 4, Paul lays the foundation of justification by faith from the life of Abraham as recorded in the Old Testament. He tells us that Abraham’s faith was “credited to him for righteousness” (Romans 4:22).  Not for his sake only, but for our sake also (Vs. 23). So Paul begins Romans 5 with “Therefore” having referred to Abraham in chapter 4. Abraham walked in peace with God, knowing that God was faithful. We too have peace with God as we have trusted the Lord Jesus in faith. It is faith that leads to “justification.” Justification takes place in our spirit man. The Lord sees us just as if we have never sinned. He sees us through the cross of Christ.

The first phase of our salvation takes place in our spirit. Our spirit has been regenerated, or born again. The work of justification brings us into a right standing with God. Our position before Him is not only forgiven, but accepted in every way because of the work of Christ. The penalty of sin has been paid in full by the Lord Jesus. We were baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit when we were born again. I am not speaking about water baptism, but the Spirit’s work of immersing us into the body. “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13).

The blood of Christ gives testimony in our spirit to the Father that we are justified, having authority to stand before the Throne of Grace, knowing that we are sons and daughters of the living God. God faith works in our spirit. We have a sure expectation of God’s promises. We have God’s love ruling in our spirit and a reverential fear of God. True worship flows from the new birth of our regenerated man. In our spirit, we become God-conscious, whereas before the new birth took place in us, we were self-conscious.

The Tabernacle of the Old Testament provides a symbol of God’s triune man. The holy of holies speaks of the spirit of man which is the dwelling place of Christ. God’s covenant is sealed by Christ’s blood. Jesus offered His blood for the forgiveness of our sins. Jesus applies His blood to our spirit as the High Priest would apply the blood of the sacrificial lamb to the Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat each year on behalf of God’s covenant people.  

Father, I thank You for what You have done in Christ for me. Thank You for the blood of Christ which has been applied to my spirit man. Thank You for all of the provisions You have made for my spirit and my right standing in Your presence.

REIGNING IN LIFE

Romans 5:17 – For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

The reign in life is present, not simply future. The Scriptures are clear that we died when we were buried with Christ. We rose from the dead when we were raised up in His resurrection. “When we were dead in our transgressions, God made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) (Ephesians 2:5).

We are aware that our body has five senses. They are extremely helpful in navigating in this natural world. The problem is that because the senses are connected to the natural world, they feed the appetites of the flesh. The entire book of James deals with this reality. Consider James’ statement, “Each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust” (James 1:13). Temptation enters through the eye and ear gate. John speaks to this when he says, “All that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life is not from the Father” (1 John 2:16).   

Our daily challenge is to bring the natural man into submission to the spiritual man. It is the will of God that we reign in this life with Christ. Ruling our soul and our body is the key to ruling in other areas. Paul taught, “By grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:5). The theme of God’s grace is seen throughout the entire New Testament. For some, grace is only speaking of God’s gift of eternal life. It is true, “I am a sinner, saved by grace,” but there is so much more. Paul teaches, “So that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:21).  The reign through righteousness to eternal life is in the now, not just the future. Paul declares how grace operates, “I die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:31). Paul goes on to say that his battle is not rooted in human motives. “Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning; for some have not the knowledge of God” (1 Corinthians 15:34).

The attitude of grace is, I have died with Christ, I am buried with Christ and I am alive in the power of His resurrection. The attitude of grace is, I too may walk in newness of life. The attitude of grace is, certainly, I shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection.

Take time to study thoroughly Romans 6 to grasp Paul’s view of grace and reigning in life through Christ.

Father, I thank You for Your amazing grace applied to my life. I surrender my body to You, along with my soul and spirit. I claim the prayer of the apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, that You would sanctify me entirely; that my spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

SENSES OF THE SOUL, continued

1 Corinthians 2:16 – We have the mind of Christ.

Yesterday we saw that the Lord wants to transform our reasoning and our imaginations and bring them under the control of the Holy Spirit. Today, we will consider three more areas of the soul. The third sense is our affections. Paul addresses this subject when he teaches, “If ye then be raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1-3 KJV). The things of the Spirit can only function through the cross of Christ. You cannot set your affections on things above without walking in the risen life of Christ. Once our affections were attached to this world, but now they are to be joined to the Lord.

The fourth sense is memory. Jesus told His disciples in the upper room, “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you” (John 14:26).  Paul made known the gospel to the Corinthians. They received the gospel and he tells them, “in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast (keep in memory) the word I preached unto you, unless you have believed in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:2).  Over the years I have met some who at one point believed, but did not keep in mind what they received and their faith turned out to be vain. David instructs us when he says, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word. With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments. Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You (Psalm 119:9-11). David treasured God’s word by committing it to memory and applying it in his daily walk.

The last sense we will consider is conscience. The writer of Hebrews prays that, “The blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God (Hebrews 9:14). Peter says, “Keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame (1 Peter 3:16-17). It is vitally important to know in our hearts that we are right with God, regardless of what others may say. Paul said to Timothy, “The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith (1Timothy 1:5-6).

Father, I commit my soul to You. I pray for the Holy Spirit to control my reasoning, imagination, affections, memory and conscience. I pray that each of these senses of my soul would be yielded to the work of Your grace in my inner man.  

LEARN TO EXERCISE THE SENSES OF YOUR SOUL IN GODLINESS

James 1:21 – Putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.

In his letter to the church, James helps us understand that salvation is not a matter of simply believing, but that we must participate in salvation’s application to our soul in our daily walk. It is impossible to save one’s self through human effort. Through Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit, one can apply salvation’s provision daily.

There are areas of the soul which I call “the senses of the soul” that need to be washed, cleansed, and surrendered to Christ each day. The soul is to become dependent on the work of God’s grace that took place in our spirit man when we were “born again.” It is by grace through faith our life is lived in the Spirit (see Ephesians 2:8). The five senses that were once fully controlled through the natural man and influenced by the world are: reason, imagination, affection, memory, and conscience. 

First is our reasoning. “Immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts?” (Mark 2:8). Jesus knew in His spirit man how the religious leaders were thinking about the healing of a crippled man through Jesus’ words, “Son, your sins are forgiven” (Mark 2:5). They determined in their minds that Jesus was “blaspheming” because only God can forgive sins. The Holy Spirit wants to lead us to “reason” by God’s word and not from our natural thinking. Their reasoning was rooted in their evil hearts which affected how they viewed the ministry of Jesus.

Second, is our “imagination.” “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-6 KJV). The King James uses the word “imagination” while other translations use the word “speculations.” Jesus wants to help bring this strong area of our soul under the control of His word by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is in the realm of our imaginations or speculations that the enemy of our souls works. He causes us to doubt God and trust our own natural thoughts. The further one studies the realm of reasoning and imagination of the mind, one becomes aware of the direct relationship these two areas have on each other. Tomorrow, we will examine the remaining three senses of our soul.

Father, I ask for the work of Your Holy Spirit to be activated in my reasoning and my imaginations so that You may have control in both of these major areas of my soul. I pray that my thoughts would be made captive to Christ.