What happens the moment you accept the Son of God, Jesus Christ, as your Savior and Teacher? Many people believe that they have received eternal life in that instant. But the truth is that the path to eternal life is a journey that lasts a lifetime, and eternal life is only one part of the bundle of blessings that come with salvation for a faithful Christian. Here, let’s explore the various stages of salvation and its eternal blessings and privileges.
Stage 1: Justification
Pretend that today you have accepted Christ as your Savior and Lord by acknowledging your sins, confessing them and seeking God’s forgiveness, and voluntarily submitting to God’s will and commandments to rule the rest of your life. The moment you repent by turning to Christ, you have been justified by your faith.
Justification by faith is receiving the declaration of righteousness. God declares you righteous, with all your past sins forgiven, when you put faith in His Son. Your plate of sins has been cleansed. As a result, you have become a new creation with a new beginning: “Old things have passed away. Behold, all are made new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17, WEB)
Stage 2: Reconciliation
Justification brings reconciliation. Before accepting Jesus Christ in his heart and life, he had been an enemy of God because of his sinful lifestyle (Colossians 1:21; Romans 5:10). But once you are justified by faith, you have been reconciled to God, where the wall of hostility between you and God has been broken down.
Because you have been justified and reconciled, you are now blessed with peace with God. “Peace with God” is an essential and fundamental element of communion with God. You cannot have a relationship with God without peace. That peace is also the peace that helps you stay at peace during life’s difficulties. This peace is granted by God, you do not develop it yourself. Only when you are justified and reconciled will you possess such peace.
Stage 3: Adoption
As someone who has been justified and reconciled, you have now been adopted as a child of God. It is from this moment that you can call God “Abba” (“Father”) (Romans 8:15). Therefore, although God is the Creator of every person, He is the Father only of those who have accepted His Son. Sonship comes only through Jesus Christ.
As an adopted son of God, you have become an heir of God and a joint heir with Jesus Christ. The heir of God will be glorified along with Jesus Christ (Romans 8:17). Glorification is the final stage of salvation, which I will address later.
Stage 4: Sanctification
After adoption into the family of God, your new life has begun according to God’s will. In this stage of salvation, God will gradually and steadily mold you into the person He wants you to be. He will develop in you the fruit of the Holy Spirit, which are Christlike qualities that include love, peace, joy, patience, goodness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control (Galatians 5: 22-23). This is progressive sanctification, the process of setting you apart for God’s holy use and purpose by molding you into the spiritual image of Jesus (Romans 8:29; 1 Thessalonians 4: 7).
The first three stages – justification, reconciliation, and adoption – are all works performed exclusively by God. But the sanctification process is teamwork: you have to work with God to accomplish God’s will in your life. You have to cooperate by obeying His voice and allowing Him to direct your life.
How will God guide and guide you to follow him? He will guide you through His Holy Spirit, which He has given you by accepting His Son for your salvation. The Holy Spirit will regenerate you, mature you spiritually, and sanctify you for good works (Titus 3: 5; Ephesians 2:10).
As the Holy Spirit guides you, you have the option to obey or disobey Him. God does not take away your free will. Therefore, it is up to you whether you will live according to God’s will as a true child of God or rebel against Him.
Listen to what Jesus said: “Not everyone who says to me: Lord, Lord, will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day: ‘Lord Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, in your name we cast out demons, and in your name we did many mighty works? ‘ Then I’ll tell them, “I never knew you. Depart from me, you workers of iniquity. “(Matthew 7: 21-23)
Yes, the sanctification stage of salvation is a crucial stage! If you do not do God’s will and deliberately continue to sin after accepting Jesus Christ, then a “certain terrible expectation of judgment” awaits you:
“For if we sin voluntarily after having received the knowledge of the truth, there is no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain terrible expectation of judgment, and a fiery fierceness that will devour the adversaries. A man who ignores the words of Moses” . The law dies without compassion on the word of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be judged worthy of the one who has trampled the Son of God, and has counted the blood of the covenant with which He was sanctified as an impious thing, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? Because we know the one who said: “Vengeance is mine,” says the Lord, “I will pay.” Again, ‘The Lord will judge his people.’ It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God. “(Hebrews 10: 26-31)
“For as for those who were once enlightened and tasted the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then turned away, it is impossible to renew them again for let them repent; seeing that they crucify to themselves the Son of God again, and openly put him to shame. For the land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and yields a suitable harvest for those for whose sake it is also tilled, he receives blessing from God, but if he bears thorns and thistles, he is rejected and close to being cursed, whose purpose is to be burned. ” (Hebrews 6: 4-8)
In fact, you have been justified by your faith. But understand that faith without works is dead: “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but has no works? Can faith save him? And if a brother or sister is naked and without daily food ., and one of you says to them: “Go in peace, be warm and be satisfied”; and yet you did not give them what the body needs, what use is it? So also faith, if it does not have works, is dead. Yes , a man will say: “You have faith and I have works”. Show me your faith without works, and by my works I will show you my faith “. (James 2: 14-18)
Even demons believe in God (James 2:19), but will they receive salvation? No, unless they repent and prove their faith to be genuine by works.
Read what God’s Word says about faith and works that work together for justification:
“Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith worked with his works, and by works faith was perfected; and the Scripture which says: ‘ Abraham believed God, and it was not credited to him as righteousness’; and he was called God’s friend. You see, man is justified by works, and not only by faith. In the same way, Rahab the prostitute is also justified by works. works, as soon as he received the messengers and sent them another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. ” (James 2: 21-26)
Sanctification will last your whole life. Like a child who cannot physically mature overnight, he will gradually reach spiritual maturity as he lives and learns of God’s principles in the Bible. Whenever you sin, you will have to confess your sin to God, who will forgive you (1 John 1: 9).
As you live according to God’s will, you will experience immeasurable joy in communing with your Creator and His Son: “God is light, and there is no darkness in him. If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in darkness.” we lie and do not tell the truth, but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. “(1 John 1: 5-7)
“Where [in God’s salvation] you rejoice very much, though now for a time, if need be, you have been afflicted in various trials, that the proof of your faith, which is more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire, may be found to prove in praise, glory and honor in the revelation of Jesus Christ – whom, having not known, you love; in whom, though you do not see him now, but believing, you rejoice greatly with joy unspeakable and full of glory “(1 Peter 1: 6-8).
Stage 5: Glorification
When Jesus returns to earth at his second coming, he will be revealed in all his glory (Luke 9:26). Upon his arrival, all Christians who have ever died will be resurrected to meet him in heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
Jesus “will change the body of our humiliation to conform it to the body of his glory.” (Philippians 3:21) Therefore, when you are resurrected as a Christian, you will be revealed in blood as our Lord Jesus Christ (1 John 3: 2). You will be resurrected incorruptible, because “this corruptible must clothe himself with incorruption, and this mortal must clothe himself with immortality … then what is written will come to pass: ‘Death is devoured by victory'” (1 Corinthians 15:53, 54). )
This, my friend, will be the final stage of your salvation. First you have been justified, sanctified and now glorified. As a glorified new individual, you will never again experience or know pain, sickness, suffering, or death (Revelation 21: 4). Instead, you will live in love, peace, and security in the presence of your Creator, Yahweh Almighty God, and His Son, Jesus Christ, your Savior, for all eternity (Revelation 21: 3; Revelation 22: 3-5).
That is why “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy of being compared with the glory that will be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18)
Therefore, we must not lose heart in the face of our current sufferings and difficulties; although we are decaying externally, we are nevertheless being spiritually renewed day after day, because “our slight affliction, which is for the moment, works for us more and more and more in the extreme an eternal weight of glory; while we do not look at things that are seen, but those that are not seen (2 Corinthians 4: 17-18)
Let us all pray that, after our death, we can echo the words of the Apostle Paul: “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the journey. I have kept the faith. From now on, the crown of justice is saved for me, that the Lord, the just judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me, but also to all who have loved his coming. ” (2 Timothy 4: 7-8) In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!