Read - 1 John 3:2
Message - Alan Burke
It is through faith that we are now the children of God, but there is something even more wonderful that the knowledge of sins forgiven, than the reconciliation between us and our heavenly Father, than the love that he has shown us in the present age, it is the experience of that which awaits us in the future. Even though this is the last hour (1 Jn 2:18) and this world is perishing (1 John 2:17), even though we live in these in-between times, since the ascension of Christ and his Second coming. Today we can look to that future glorious hope that awaits all who have been reconciled to God and called his children and that is when he appears, even though what will be has not been made known, we know that we shall be like him (1 Jn 3:2). This is the confident hope that John is looking forward to in the second coming of Jesus. There is a sense in which as the children of God we are already like Jesus. We live in the light and we have been freed from the power of sin, but this looks to when he appears, his second coming and the assurance that believers are given here is that on that day they will be glorified with him, our bodies will be raised imperishable (1 Cor 15).
For all those who have died in the Lord before this day takes place, who have been waiting in heaven for that moment they will be reunited with their bodies, they and we will enjoy eternal life in a new creation, when the earth will be transformed, recreated by God, dwelling with our God where he dwells (2 Peter 3:13). There is a sense that we go back to the garden, not a literal Eden but a new Eden, a new paradise where the living God will dwell with his people. According to the Father’s plan, a transformation will take place because we shall see him as he is and sit as a mirror reflect the image of the person in front of it, And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Cor 3:18).
This is the hope that we can know through faith, that we will be conformed finally and fully, body and soul to the image of Christ Jesus our Lord. We do not know everything about what life will be like as resurrected, glorified people (1 John 3:2). Yet, it also tells us that we will “be like him,” that is, our Savior. Like Jesus, we will never have to die again (Rom. 6:8–9). We may also surmise that, although we will be different, we will be recognisable to those who have known us, for Jesus’ friends all recognised the risen Christ, even if not at first (Luke 24:13–35; John 20:11–18). Finally, we will be glorified, unable to sin ever again (Phil. 3:11–12; 2 Tim. 4:8) (HBC Q&A 57).
Christ’s work of salvation is comprehensive, involving not only rescue from the penalty and power of sin but also from sin’s corruption. We who are in Jesus can look forward to the day when even our bodies will be perfected, and the Spirit, who dwells within us now, will be the One to perfect our bodies. On that day, we will be like Jesus, and we are to pattern our lives after His example now in glorious anticipation of that final day. Is it a hope that we look to, a day that we long for, as we live today in a fallen broken world in corrupted bodies that age, that are decaying is our comfort this hope or is it in the many things that make our life easier than those who lived before us, our comfort in the central heating, double glazing as two, or maybe its in the hope of science or medicine that we will keep living for longer and be healthier. But what could possibly be better than seeing God face-to-face? Since He is the source of all that is good, true, and beautiful, to see the Lord face-to-face is to see goodness itself, truth itself, and beauty itself. No longer will we need to be content with created things that only reflect these attributes, but we will see the very attributes themselves. Let us yearn for that day when our faith shall become sight. We can hardly anticipate what that will be like, but it will entail a delight of such magnitude that our present suffering cannot even be compared to it (Rom. 8:18).
Q 29 How are we made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ?
We are made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ, by the effectual application of it to us, (John 1:11–12) by his Holy Spirit. (Titus 3:5–6)