What does it mean to be ultimately, completely and eternally united to Christ? We talked yesterday about the ultimate nature of being united to Christ in glorification, today we will discuss being completely united to Christ.
Completely: Being completely united to Christ occurs at our glorification, not at our death. Death is not the end of our salvation process. We just learned that glorification is the end of our salvation process.
- Death is not the end: We know that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8). This means when a justified believer dies his spirit is separated from his body and goes to be with Christ. This intermediate state will be wonderful, but the ultimate hope we are to look forward to is the even more wonderful fellowship with Christ once our bodies are raised and reunited with our spirits (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). “While death brings the Christian into the immediate presence of God, God still has work to do in order to give us ‘full salvation.’”
- New Body: Being completely united to Christ means that believers receive a new body. I get asked this question a lot, “What do you think our resurrection bodies will be like?
- Like Christ’s resurrected body. Philippians 3:20-21 “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”
- Physical: Luke 24:39 “‘See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.’ And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them.”
- New Character: 8:29 talks about our conformity to the image of the son of God, Jesus Christ; “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.” (1 John 3:1-3 ESV)
- New Kingdom: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 25:31-34 ESV)