Confirmation of Conquest

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined [destiny predetermined or pre-arranged] to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified, those he justified, he also glorified.

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8: 28 – 32 NIV)

I’m thinking about the conquest of Jesus over the world, sin, and the devil. I have made some underlining and emboldened emphasis in the above scripture. I will quote some other scriptures in a few moments; but I first want to write about the facts mentioned above. It is God at work in the world in Jesus Christ. God the Father sent His one and only Son into the world so that the world can be saved and not condemned. The reason God did that is to confirm the destiny He has for you. Your destiny for all eternity has been to become a daughter or son of God. The word “predestine” has within it the concept of destiny. One is pre to a destiny. The process of engaging that destiny involves engaging God’s love. We are not writing about an impersonal interaction with a spiritual force. We are writing about the desire of a person to interconnect with you and develop a relationship with you based on being a daughter or son. That destiny for you is because the purpose of God is to cause many sons and daughters to conform to the image of His Son, Jesus, so that Jesus will be more and more glorified. As more and more daughters and sons become more like Jesus the Father is constantly saying to the Son, “Our project of redeeming the human race is proving successful! What You have done is producing many sisters and brothers. Be glorified.”

When this “project” is complete at the decision and discretion of the Father; Jesus the Son, will turn to the Father and say, “Here is what You have done! You have provided salvation for the human race. Be glorified.”

Meanwhile, we walk and live in that glory. We are called, chosen, justified, sanctified, and glorified. This process is continuing and will continue until we fully measure up to the measure expressed in Jesus Christ.

“You are already clean [you have already been pruned] because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” (John 15: 3, 4 NIV [] brackets are my own)

When the glorified Christ is revealed to John in Revelation we note the sword proceeding from His mouth. His word prunes and cleanses us. His word makes it possible for us to bear fruit. As we bear fruit His word continues to prune and cleanse us so that we will bear more fruit. This process is called sanctification, the purposeful and continuous process of setting aside more and more aspects of our personalities for use by God in bringing salvation to the world. This process is stated in another way by Paul in Romans:

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12: 1, 2 NIV)

Jesus expressed this worship to the woman He encountered in Samaria at Jacob’s well:

“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” (John 4: 23, 24 NIV)