In these bulletin articles, we’ve been going through a list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism, published in the 17th Century. This week, we begin to look at the glory Christians share with Christ.
The Bible teaches us that God bestows glory on his people.
Paul says: ‘For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified’ (Romans 8:29-30).
The Bible also teaches us that Christians share in Christ’s glory at three different stages: in this life, immediately after death and also at the day of judgement. And it is the glory that we experience in this life that I want to unpack today.
The apostle Paul explains in his letter to the Ephesians that Christians share in Christ’s glory even now. He says: ‘All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus’ (Ephesians 2:3-7).
But how do Christians show such glory in their lives? One of the ways that Christians show the glory they enjoy is by the peace that they have with God in this life.
Notice how Paul speaks about the life of the Christian prior to his conversion. The Christian is in a perpetual state of sin and therefore an object of God’s wrath.
But once the Christian is justified and glorified, the Christian now lives at peace with God. Paul writes in his letter to the church in Rome: ‘Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God’ (Romans 5:1-2).
The Christian is no longer an enemy of God, he is a child of God. And that peace that the Christian has manifests itself in his life even now, by fruit like love and joy.
Whereas the unbeliever who continues to sin remains an object of God’s wrath and will have no peace. The author of Hebrews writes about such people: ‘If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God’ (Hebrews 10:26-27).
So do you believe in Christ and share in his glory even now? Do you have the peace that comes with such glory?