I was preaching on Sunday on the subject “Salvation belongs to our God – Understanding the Process of Salvation” and I was struck in my preparation by the fact that Paul says we have not only been justified but we have also been glorified (Romans 8:30).
Now it’s strange that the rest of this verse we treat has being in the past or the present active tense – we’ve been predestined to be like Jesus; called; justified – and yet I don’t think I’ve ever heard a preacher say that we’ve been glorified, that’s usually something that’s going to happen when we die, when the ultimate transformation takes place, yet that is not what the text appears to say. Indeed Paul elsewhere talks about us being changed or transformed from one degree of glory to another (2 Cor. 3:18), so for Paul this has a very real and present application.
The reality is that something happened when we were born again, saved, became a Christian. Prior to Christ there was no glory in our lives. We were lost and dead in our tresspasses and sins, dominated by our passions, with the constant downward pull towards defeat and death. Our lives reflected darkness not light; bondage, not liberty etc..
But this gospel, this good news that Paul calls “the glory of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:4) changes all that! He breaks the power of cancelled sin. He translates us from darkness to light. He snaps the fetters and sets the captives free. He takes the rebel and makes him or her a priest and a king. He transforms the sinner into a saint.
Yes God not only justifies us, he glorifies us. He lifts us up and sets our feet on the eternal Rock of Jesus Christ our Lord, and exhibits us as trophies of his glorious grace. He takes sinners, redeems them and puts his Spirit in their hearts adopting them as his very own sons and daughters, with all the privileges that bestows!
Again Paul says “Such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1Corinthians 6: 11). Such they may well have been, but now they are radically different! The God of glory has met them and they have met him in Jesus Christ, and now they can never be defined by what they were – hallelujah!
It may be that you need to go and draw afresh from the well of salvation (Isaiah 12). To put on your beautiful garments and shake off the dust (Isaiah 52:1, 2) that has gathered on you or that the enemy keeps thowing back at you. To realise afresh that your light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you, therefore you can arise (Isaiah 60:1), lift up your head and walk tall in this world.