Archive for the ‘Effects of Christ’s Death’ Category

Christ’s Death Effects Our Glorification

Eph. 1:7, 2:4-7 – In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace…But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

John Owen writes in his book, The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, that Christ’s death effects our glorification. Grasping this truth  is very similar in difficulty to grasping the truth that Christ’s death effects our sanctification. For we can easily see Christ’s death bringing us reconciliation with God and bringing us justification we so desperately need and adoption as children of God.  However, the connection between Christ’s death and our glorification is often overlooked because it, like our sanctification, does not appear to us as directly connected to Christ’s death on the cross. In the believer’s experience, glorification, like sanctification, is not an immediately realized benefit. This is primarily why it is helpful for the Christian to consider ultimate things and the death of Christ purchasing those ultimate things for us.

The crucial question in this matter is what kind of connection does the scripture make between Christ’s death on the cross and the ultimate glorification of those who are in Christ. In other words, did Christ’s death on the cross purchase the glorification of those who are in Christ? If Christ’s death did purchase the glorification of those who are in Christ, then those who are in Christ are ultimately secure in their salvation. However, if Christ’s death only made it possible for those who are in Christ to be glorified then what, if anything, ultimately secures the salvation of those who are in Christ? Did Christ’s death secure the believer’s glorification or merely make it possible for them to be glorified? The New Testament’s answer? – Christ’s death on the cross secures the ultimate glorification of those who, in faith, look to Christ’s death on the cross as the only acceptable satisfaction of the penalty for our sins in the eyes of God.

Read John 6 and you’ll see the phrase used by Jesus himself over and over that he “will raise it/him up on the last day”

v. 39 – And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.
v. 40 – For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
v. 44 – No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
v. 54 – Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.

The use of the word “him” or “it” above refers to those whom the Father has given to the Son, who look on the Son in faith, who are drawn by the Father to come to Jesus, and whose life comes from the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Notice the definite language that Christ uses. He doesn’t say it is a possibility that he will raise these up on the last day. He says he WILL raise these up on the last day.

You can see the connection in the first two chapters of Ephesians. The phrase that makes the connection appears in 1:7 and 2:7 – “riches of his grace.” In 1:7 the phrase is used to point the reader to the blood of Christ, shed on the cross, for our redemption – Christ’s death. Then in 2:7, Paul uses the same phrase to describe for us the kindness of God toward us in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Paul explicitly proclaims to the reader of the epistle that part of God’s work in Christ was to raise up with Christ those who are redeemed by his blood and to seat them with him in the heavenly places – our glorification. Christ’s primary work is accomplished at the cross. This was Christ’s focus in his earthly ministry and it is what we will behold in our glorified state for all eternity as we sing the songs proclaiming the worth of the Lamb who was slain. Christ’s death effects our glorification.

Advertisements