There are multiple facets to salvation. We most commonly think and talk about the moment we were saved. That is our justification, the point when we were justified before God, when our sins were counted as punished in Christ, our verdict is “time paid” (1 Cor 6.11). Our sins were not magically washed away and no longer demand a reckoning. No, Jesus Christ paid the punishment if we are found in Him – covered by His blood.
We also often talk about the fact that we are “being saved” (1 Cor 1.18, 2 Cor 2.15). This refers to the ongoing change that is happening in us whereby we are dying to sin and become more like Christ: Sanctification. We the mark of the one who has been justified is that he is changing and being sanctified. If someone is not being made more holy and more Christlike, he was not justified.
The last way that we often hear and talk about salvation is in the future sense, when we die:
“You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.”
– Matt 10.22
This last phase of salvation is called glorification. Why? Because when we die, we will be glorified: given glory. We will be given new bodies, our sinful nature and flesh will pass away and all that will be left will be the final product of the sanctification.
For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.
– 2 Cor 5.1-5
God has made us for the very purpose of our ultimate state of being in our new, glorified bodies with Him for eternity. We are going to shine! Just like Jesus!
“Then the righteous will shine forth like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”
– Matt 13.43
The glory that we will be given will not be like the glory of God.
“I am the Lord, that is My name;
I will not give My glory to another,
Nor My praise to graven images.”
– Is 42.8
But it will be a glory higher than the angels.
“Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?”
– 1 Cor 6.3
There are other aspects of salvation like election: God’s choosing of us and giving us faith to believe, regeneration: the moment that we are spiritually born, and perseverance: the grace of God for us to continue in faith until the end. But meditate with me today on the fact that if you are in Christ, you will be glorified.
For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
– Rom 8.29-31
We often hear the last verse of this section of Scripture, “If God is for us, who is against us?” but the context here adds all the more power and hope. He chose us before the foundation of the world to be saved, and He justified us the moment that Jesus died on the cross. He is the one working in us to sanctify us, giving us the Holy Spirit who enables us to change, and everyone who is being sanctified will be glorified. In fact, the deal is so done in God’s eyes that Paul writes it in the past tense! “…these whom He justified He also glorified.”
Jesus is the firstborn. He was the first to die a physical death and raise to eternal life. We are saved to follow in those same footsteps. We will be conformed to His image finally when we die and shed our Earthly bodies and take on our new, glorified bodies, in the likeness of Christ’s.
So press on! God already considers the deal done. Do not grow weary of doing good and dying to sin, but look on to the promise of eternity with Christ. In our new bodies which will not see decay. In our new homes where there will be no sin, no sorrow and no tears. In perfect communion with our Savior, Jesus Christ.