Sermon 627. Justification And Glory
DELIVERED ON SUNDAY MORNING, APRIL 30, 1865, BY C. H. SPURGEON, AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
"Whom He justified, them He also glorified." Romans 8:30.
WELL said the Apostle in another place, "All things are of God." And here in this passage all works of Divine Grace are evidentlyso. The pronoun, "He," is repeated yet again and again, as if to set the Lord always before us. "Whom He did foreknow, Healso did predestinate to be conformed to theimage of His Son." "Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also justified and whom He justified, them He also glorified."It is of God all the way through. There is not an inch of ground left to he covered by the creature's foot. The eternal Creatorworks all things in theCovenant of Grace according to the counsel of His own will. Haldane has an admirable note on this passage which we willquote in full:
"In looking back on this passage we should observe that in all that is stated man acts no part, but is passive and all isdone by God. He is elected and predestinated and called and justified and glorified by God. The Apostle was here concludingall that he had said before in enumerating topics ofconsolation to Believers. He is now going on to show that God is 'for us,' or on the part of His people. Could anything,then, be more consolatory to those who love God, than to be in this manner assured that the great concern of their salvationis not left in their own keeping?God, even their Covenant God, has taken the whole upon Himself. He has undertaken for them. There is no room, then, forchance or change, He will perfect that which concerns them."
Does not this account for the majestic manner in which these Covenant mercies follow one another as in a triumphal procession?Foreknowledge leads the van with eyes beaming with love. Then come predestination, calling, justification, glorification-allin their proper order. Not one of thesegigantic mercies limps along the road-but marching with stately tread, adorned in robes of glory, each one keeping its place-theymake up a magnificent procession to the praise of the Glory of His Grace who has set them all in order and written His ownname upon themall.
Observe, there is no "if," no "but," no "maybe," no "perhaps" here. He foreknows. He predestinates. No creature lifts up itspuny voice to object to the predestinating decree. Having predestinated, He calls and it is such an effectual calling, thatwe hear of no resistance. Having called, Hejustifies and "who is he that condemns?" Having justified without let or hindrance, He achieves His eternal purpose withoutimpediment and brings forth the top stone of the temple of His Grace with shouting, as it is written, "Whom He justified,them He also glorified."
Let our souls be glad as we clearly see the mighty Presence of our God in every work of Divine Grace. And let us understandfrom where the force, the certainty, the immutability, the majesty of the whole matter comes-namely, from the fact that, "Heorders all things according to the counselof His own will." "Who shall stay His hand, or say unto Him, What are you doing?"
This morning, God the Holy Spirit, I trust, will make it to your profit to weigh these two precious gems of loving-kindness,to count over these priceless treasures of mercy, to swim in these two seas of love, justification and glorification. Andthen we shall need time carefully to search afterthe connection between them both, for they are riveted together by rivets of diamonds. They are fastened together so fastand firmly that neither death nor Hell can separate them. "Whom He justified, them He also glorified."
I. Let us begin, then, by considering WHAT IT IS TO BE JUSTIFIED. If you wish for an answer in a few words, ask your childrenwho have learned our catechism and you have it-"Justification is an act of God's free Grace, wherein He pardons all our sinsand accepts us as righteous in His sightonly for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us and received by faith alone."
Perhaps, however, I had better unfold this Truth of God in detail. You will perceive by reading the connection and by a moment'sreflection that the justification here meant is an act of God passed upon a person needing it- consequently passed upon aperson who could not justifyhimself-a person naturally guilty of sin and being in a state of condemnation naturally and needing to be lifted out ofit by an act of justification of a Divine order. It is not possible that God should have devised a plan of justification forthose who were already justifiedby their own actions.
We do not talk with any wonder, or speak with any astonishment of a justification which a man achieves for himself. The guiltlessneed no justification. They have it already. If any man has kept the Law of God and made it honorable, he is in himself justand needs not to be made just-he is soalready. Justification is an act of Divine Grace passed upon a sinner. Upon one who has transgressed the Law and cannotbe justified by it and who, therefore, needs to be made just in another way-a way out of his own reach, above his own comingand going, as in thetext-from God Himself. For it says, "He justifies."
This, though it is a very commonplace observation, is a very sweet Truth of God to begin with. Oh, Sinner! However black yoursins may have been, you may yet be justified! Though your sins are as scarlet, they may yet be as wool. And though you arered like crimson, you may be white as snow! It iswritten that, "He justifies the ungodly." Yes, the ungodly-such as you have been! Christ came not into the world as a physicianfor those who are whole, but for those who are sick. Justification is an act of Grace which looks out for a sinner upon whomto exercise itself. Maythe eyes of Grace find you out this morning, poor Transgressor, and make you just!
In the next place, justification is the result of Sovereign Grace and of Sovereign Grace alone. We are told that, "by theworks of the Law shall no flesh living be justified." And yet again, "justified freely by His Grace through the redemptionthat is in Christ Jesus." I cannot earn justification.Nothing which I can ever do can merit justification at the hands of God. I have so offended that all which is due to meis God's wrath and that forever. If I shall ever be accounted just it must be because God wills to make me just. It must bebecause out of His Divine compassionand for no other reason whatever, He looks upon me in my sin and misery, lifts me up from the dunghill of my ruin, and determinesto wrap me about with the royal apparel of a righteousness which He has prepared!
There is no justification, then, as an act of merit. The day for that was past when Adam fell and when we fell in him. Justificationnow comes as a priceless gift from the liberal hand of God's Grace. Justification has for its matter and means the righteousnessof Jesus Christ set forth in Hisvicarious obedience both in life and death. Certain modern heretics, who ought to know better, have denied this and therewere some in older times who, by reason of ignorance said that there was no such thing as the imputed righteousness of JesusChrist. He who denies this, perhapsunconsciously, cuts at the root of the Gospel system.
I believe that this doctrine is involved in the whole system of substitution and sanctification. We all know that substitutionand a vicarious sacrifice are the very marrow of the Gospel of Christ. The Law, like the God from whom it came, is absolutelyimmutable and can be satisfied by nothing elsethan a complete and perfect righteousness at once suffering the penalty for guilt incurred already and working out obedienceto the precept which still binds those upon whom penalty has passed. This was rendered by the Lord Jesus as the representativeof His chosen and is the solelegal ground for the justification of the elect.
As for me, I can never doubt that Christ's righteousness is mine when I find that Christ Himself and all that He has belongsto me! If I find that He gives me everything, surely He gives me His righteousness among the rest. And what am I to do withthat if not to wear it? Am I to lay it by in awardrobe and not put it on? Well, Sirs, let others wear what they will-my soul rejoices in the royal apparel! For me theterm, "the Lord our righteousness" is significant and has a weight of meaning. Jesus Christ shall be my righteousness so longas I read the language of theApostle, "He is made of God unto us wisdom and righteousness, sanctification and redemption."
My dear Brothers and Sisters, do not doubt the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ whatever cavilers may say. Remember thatyou must have a righteousness. It is this which the Law requires. I do not read that the Law made with our first parents requiredsuffering-it demanded it as a penaltyafter its breach-the righteousness of the Law required not suffering, but obedience. Suffering would not release us fromthe duty of obeying. Lost souls in Hell are still under the Law and their woes and pangs, if completely endured, would neverjustify them. Obedience andobedience alone can justify, and where can we have it but in Jesus our Substitute?
Christ comes to magnify the Law-how does He do it but by obedience? If I am to enter into life by the keeping of the Commandments,as the Lord tells me in the nineteenth chapter of Matthew and the seventeenth verse, how can I, except by Christ having keptthem? And how can He have kept theLaw except by obedience to its commands? The promises in the Word of God are not made to suffering. They are made to obedience-consequentlyChrist's sufferings, though they may remove the penalty, do not, alone, make me the inheritor of the promise.
"If you will enter into life," said Christ, "keep the Commandments." It is only Christ's keeping the Commandments that entitlesme to enter life. "The Lord is well-pleased for His righteousness' sake. He will magnify the Law and make it honorable." Ido not enter into life by virtue of Hissufferings-those deliver me from death, those purge me from filthi-ness. But entering the enjoyments of the life eternalmust be the result of obedience. And as it cannot be the result of mine, it is the result of His which is imputed to me.
We find the Apostle Paul putting Christ's obedience in contrast to the disobedience of Adam-"As by one man's disobediencemany were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous." Now this is not Christ's death merely, butChrist's active obedience which is here meantand it is by this that we are made righteous. Beloved, you need not sing with stammering tongues that blessed verse of ourhymn-
"Jesus, Your perfect righteousness, My beauty is, my glorious dress." In spite of all the outcry of modern times against thisdoctrine-it is written in Heaven and is a sure and precious Truth of God to be received by all the faithful-that we are justifiedby faith through therighteousness of Christ Jesus imputed to us.
See what Christ has done in His living and in His dying-His acts becoming our acts, and His righteousness being imputed tous so that we are rewarded as if we were righteous-while He was punished as though He had been guilty. This justification,then, comes to sinners as an act of pureGrace, the foundation of it being Christ's righteousness. The practical way of its application is by faith. The sinner believesGod and believes that Christ is sent of God and takes Christ Jesus to be his only confidence and trust. And by that act hebecomes a justified soul. It isnot by repenting, but by believing that we are justified! It is not by deep experience of the guilt of sin. It is not bybitter pangs and throes under the temptations of Satan. It is not by mortification of the body, nor by the renunciation ofself. All these are good, but the actwhich justifies is a look at Christ!
We, having nothing, being nothing, boasting of nothing and being utterly emptied, do look to Him whose wounds stream withlife-giving blood. And as we look to Him, we live and are justified by His life. There is life in a look at the CrucifiedOne and life in the sense of justification. He who aminute before was in himself a condemned criminal fit only to be taken to the place from where he came and to suffer Divinewrath, is at once, by an act of faith, made an heir of God, joint-heir with Jesus Christ-taken from the place of condemnationand put into the place ofacceptance-so that now he dreads no more the wrath of God! The curse of God cannot touch him, for Christ was made a cursefor him, as it is written, "Cursed is everyone that hangs on a tree."
Now concerning this great mercy of justification let us say that it is instantaneous. Sanctification needs a whole life. Justificationis the work of a second, perhaps it needs no appreciable time. The sinner looks to Christ. It is all done-his sin is gonein a moment. The righteousness ofChrist is, as in an instant, imputed to the believing sinner. Sanctification, however, progresses or declines. It is a thingof changes. The work of the Holy Spirit sometimes ripens swiftly and at other times, by reason of temptation or trial within,it is but slow in its advance.But justification is complete in a moment! The dying thief was as clean one moment after he had trusted in Christ as hewas when he was with Christ in Paradise.
Justification in Heaven is not more complete than it is on earth. No, listen to me, Child of God. When your soul seems tobe a very pandemonium through the blasphemies of Satan. When your doubts and fears leap upon you like so many lions. Whenyour sins prevail against you so that you cannot lookup, yet, if you are a Believer you are even then, in your worst moments, as completely and perfectly justified as in thosehappy days when on Tabor's summit you were apt to say, "Let us build three tabernacles and here abide." Justification neveralters in a child of God. Godpronounces him guiltless and guiltless he is! Jehovah justifies him and neither his holiness can improve his righteousness,nor his sins diminish it. He stands in Christ Jesus the same yesterday, today and forever-as accepted one moment as at anothermo- ment-as sure ofeternal life at one instant as at another. Oh, how blessed is this Truth of God-justified in a moment and justified completely!
And observe, my dear Brothers and Sisters, that he who is thus justified is justified infallibly. There is no mistake concerningthe transaction. "It is God that justifies." Where, then, can there be a mistake? If I justify myself, I am a tool and I makeGod a liar. But if God justifies me, who ishe that condemns? I, a poor sinner, black as night, fly to the shelter of the great Shield stained with blood which Godholds over my head and there I stand at all times. And though I know that every lightning of Justice might well dart its forceupon me, as I am in myself, yet as Isee my Shield, the Lord's Anointed, I am not afraid. Standing under that Shield, I defy Heaven, and earth and Hell! Cryingin the language of Paul, "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifies. Who is he that condemns?"
There is a prisoner at the bar and the jury has just brought in a verdict of, "Not guilty." The judge bids him go free. Thereare people in the court who gnash their teeth at him. There are persons in the street who hate him-what does he care? "I havebeen pronounced 'not guilty' by theproper tribunal. The Judge himself tells me that I am acquitted. No law officer can touch me. Not the fiercest enemy inthe world can drag me into court again. I have been tried and found 'not guilty.' And who is he that condemns?"
It is just so with the Christian. Christ's righteousness is put upon him. Christ takes his sins and when he stands beforeGod's bar, the eternal Voice seems to say, "I see no sin in that man." How can He? All that man's sins Christ took away! Theeternal Voice sounds forth again, "I can seerighteousness there." And well He may see it, for Christ's righteousness is there and therefore the man is infallibly, upongrounds of justice which are not disputable-infallibly, upon grounds which he himself may realize as being certain-justifiedthrough Christ Jesus!Remember, dear Brethren-and I will not occupy you much longer over a theme where we might be tempted to say that this justificationis irreversible!
Once justified you shall never be condemned. Jehovah never plays fast and loose with men. He does not look upon a sinner andsay, "I forgive you," and then afterwards say, "Depart, you cursed!" Arminians may think so, but the God of Believers willnot do so. The God of Christians says, "I am theLord, I change not. Therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed." Having taken the prodigal into the house and put thering on his finger and the shoes on his feet, He never turns that prodigal out of doors. Being married to His people He neversues for divorce, for the Lord, theGod of Israel, says He hates putting away.
"I, even I, am He that blots out your iniquities for My name's sake and will not remember them against you anymore forever.""I have cast your iniquities into the depths of the sea." Pardon and justification are irreversible and consequently the blessingswhich justification brings to us belong tous by a promise that can never be broken, forever and ever. If I am justified then I have peace with God and that peaceshall be like a river, never dried up, because my righteousness is like the waves of the sea, never exhausted. If I am justifiedI can claim Jehovah's protection.And I shall have it, for He will not suffer the just man to perish. If I am justified I may come before God and ask forHeaven as my right, as a reward of righteousness imputed to me. And I shall have it, for He will never deny to a justifiedperson the fullness of joy which is atHis right hand forevermore. Oh, what a blessing to be justified!
Once more, before I leave this point, I must ask you to be kind enough to question yourselves as to whether you have beenjustified. "Well," says one, "perhaps I have been and do not know it." My dear Friend, I do not think so. The work of justificationis generally attended with such a flood ofjoy that I think you must know it. Bunyan's pilgrim did not lose the burden off his back and not know it! As soon as itwas gone, he gave three great leaps for joy and went on his way singing. You may have doubts about whether you are justified-Ihope you will not be easyunder them-but will seek after an assured interest in Christ.
My dear Brothers and Sisters, if you have any doubt, go to Christ again! If you are not justified, go to Him to be justified.Just as you are, with nothing but the plea of His blood in your mouth-go to Him-for He casts out none that come unto God byHim. Know that the act of faithjustifies and be not afraid to exercise that act of faith, notwithstanding all your shortcomings and your sins. "Hear me,Jesus! If I never was a saint, I am a sinner and You did come to save sinners and I cast myself on You. Your promise is thatYou will cast out none that come.Oh, cast me not out! Receive even me, and accept me for Your love's sake."
II. Thus much upon justification. And now a little upon GLORY. How that golden word has been debased in the coinage of humanspeech. It has come to mean the glitter of war's helmet and the noise of the crowd's hurrahs. Smollet called it, "the fairchild of peril." Johnson wrote-"Glory, thecasual gift of thoughtless crowds. Glory, the bride of greedy virtue!" It is a far other and higher Glory of which we speaktoday. As high as the Heaven is above the earth is God's Glory from all the poor stuff which mortals dignify with that fairname.
"Whom He justified, them He also glorified." They follow close together, you see. A little stream divides them, but the Apostlesays nothing about it and you and I need not say much. It is a narrow stream called Death-there is no Glory without passingthrough that, or through the great changewhen the Lord comes. But there is nothing said about it and so we will not say anything. It is not worth thinking of, itis swallowed up in victory. It may be an enemy, but it is an enemy that is to be destroyed.
Now, while speaking of Glory, I think I must divide the Glory which God gives to the justified into three parts. There is,first of all, the Glory which disembodied spirits are enjoying even now. There is, secondly, the Resurrection Glory, whichthey will enjoy when the soul and body shall bereunited and when, through the millennium, they shall be "forever with the Lord." And then there is "the eternal weightof Glory," which is to be revealed both in body and soul in the never-ending state of bliss which God has prepared for Hispeople.
Let us raise our thoughts a little while to the state of disembodied spirits. The moment that the soul leaves the body, thebelieving soul, the justified soul, is in Glory. We know that there is no preparatory process for it to pass through. Romanismholds that some of the best saints go to Heavenwhen they die, but that the great mass of inferior saints are not qualified for Heaven and must undergo a purgation fora series of years till they are prepared to enter Glory. They say that the saints who died under the Old Testament, or atleast the most of them, went to thelimbus patrurn-which some wicked Protestants call Limbo-where they remained without the beatific vision until the Lord Jesuswent and preached to the spirits in prison and led them up afterwards to Heaven with Him.
As for the grossly wicked who have by mortal sin lost the grace of Baptism, they go to Hell at once. But the better sort ofpartially sanctified Christians must suffer more or less intensely till their sins are atoned for and purged away. It waswell said by Hugh Latimer that the key of Purgatoryhangs in the pope's treasury, for, said he, it has helped to keep it pretty full-and I have no doubt it has. It has beena very profitable invention! More money has been paid, I suppose, for getting souls out of Purgatory than people have beentempted to pay in order to keepthem out of Hell. However, we are not deceived in this matter! Let the Council of Trent say what it may, the case of thedying thief is to the point.
He was no eminent saint. He had not for many years performed works of supererogation by which he reached perfection and couldclaim that the gates should be opened to him. He was a sinner up to the very last moment and the only good deed that we everread of his doing, was, when he claimed Christas Lord and rebuked his fellow thief for slandering the Savior. Yet, hear the words-"Today shall you be with Me in Paradise."Nor is this the only instance. We find, when Lazarus died, according to the parable, that he was carried by angels into Abraham'sbosom, a place ofunspeakable rest and delight which the rich man greatly envied.
Stephen expected the Lord Jesus to receive his spirit and the Apostle Paul was in a strait betwixt two, being willing "todepart and to be with Christ." He evidently did not anticipate any delay between earth and Heaven, for he says, "knowing thatwhile we are at home in the body, we are absentfrom the Lord." He puts the two as an alternative. We are not in trouble about them that sleep. We know that they that sleepin Jesus, He will bring with Him. In Ephesians 3:15, the Apostle mentions the whole family as being in Heaven and earth, but he speaks of none of the Lord'speople being in Limbo or Purgatory.
Those whom we are bid to follow, in Hebrews 6:12, are now inheriting the promises. Let the voice of God decide the case forever. Revelation 14:13-"And I heard a voice from Heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from therefore. Yes, saysthe Spirit, that theymay rest from their labors. And their works do follow them." Perhaps that word, "Paradise," which Christ uses to describethe state of disembodied spirits may be a help to us in judging of the condition of the blessed. Paradise was a place of perfectpeace, of sinlessness, of rest,of enjoyment and freedom from evil.
Eden! Oh, how shall we talk of its glories long since faded? Let us, however, remember its winding walks among trees loadedwith luscious fruits. Let us remember the glory of its rising and its setting sun. The immortality, the peace, the joy, thelove, the brightness which our first parentsenjoyed in their naked innocence. That happy garden is a faint picture of the naked spirits, unclothed with bodies, whoare now before the Eternal Throne. They have no pain, nor weariness, no evil, nor fear of death. They possess everything thatcan make them blessed except theresurrection body-
"There fruits that never fade, On trees immortal grow. There, rocks and hills and floods and vales, With milk and honey flow."I think Dr. Watts was right when he said-
"There everlasting spring abides, And never-withering flowers."
They are in a blessed state of tranquility and perfection! But the Savior added, what was the beauty of all-"Today shall yoube with Me in Paradise." The Glory of Paradise was that God walked there in the cool of the evening with His creatures. Andthe Glory of Heaven is that "they need nocandle, neither light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light," and the days of their mourning shall be ended. Godwipes away all tears from their eyes and the Lamb leads them to the living fountains of waters. God is with them to be theirGod and they are with Him to be Hishappy people at His right hand where there are pleasures forevermore. This is the state of the justified disembodied spiritsnow.
If I read the word aright and it is honest to admit that there is much room for difference of opinion here, the day will comewhen the Lord Jesus will descend from Heaven with a shout, with the trump of the archangel and the voice of God. Some thinkthat this descent of the Lord will bepost-millennial-that is, after the thousand years of His reign. I cannot think so. I conceive that the advent will be pre-millennial-thatHe will come first. And then will come the millennium as the result of His personal reign upon earth.
But whether or not, this much is fact-Christ will suddenly come, come to reign and come to judge the earth in righteousness.Now at that time those of us who are alive and remain shall have no preference over them that sleep. It is true, "We shallnot all sleep, but we shall all be changed ina moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptibleand we shall be changed." Christ will bring with Him those who sleep in Him. Their bodies are now in that state which is calledsleep-that is, astate of hallowed rest, tran-quility and enjoyment-but they shall come with Him.
Lo, He comes with ten thousands times ten thousands of His saints. Then, from beds of dust and silent clay their bodies shallwake up. The very bodies that were put into the tomb shall rise instinct with life. I say the very bodies. And it is not necessarythat that there should be the very sameparticles of matter. My body is the same body that it was ten years ago, yet I am told, and I believe it, that there isnot a particle of matter in my body now that was in it ten years ago! And yet its identity is not disturbed by that fact!Protect the germ, as God doubtless will,the life-germ of the seed corn which you sow in the earth-protect that and you have protected identity.
And though when we rise it will not be as flesh and blood, "for flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, neithercan corruption inherit incorruption," yet it shall be the same body, for all bodies are not the same bodies, for there arebodies celestial and bodies terrestrial. And theglory is not the same-for there is the glory of the sun, the glory of the moon and of the stars. So I may have the samebody, the same for identity and yet as to its constituent elements and especially as to its qualities of weakness, mortalityand corruption, it may be asdistinct and changed as light is distinct and changed from darkness.
Oh, my Brethren, let this be an assured Truth of God to us that we do not put the body into the grave to lose it! Watts isright when he says-
"Corruption, earth and worms Do but refine this flesh."
We put the body there as the chemist puts gold into the furnace. It shall come out the same as to its gold, but the drossshall be left behind. All that was precious in the fabric shall remain-that which was corruptible, defiled, sinful, shallhave passed away. According to our belief thesoul will then return to the body. There will be a joyful meeting. Soul and body often quarrel here-but they are alwaysloath to part-which proves how true is the wedlock between them. But what a happy meeting it will be when there will be nomore quarrels between thishusband and wife-when the soul and body shall be merged together in the perfection of union!
Then, whatever may be the splendor of Christ will be the splendor of His people. Our bodies shall be like His glorious bodyand we ourselves shall be like He-
"It does not yet appear How great we must be made. But when we see our Savior here, We shall be like our Head."
Will He reign? We shall reign with Him. Will He judge the earth? "Know you not that you shall judge angels." "The saints shalljudge the world." Will He be ruler over cities? He will make us ruler over many cities. All the splendor and triumph and victoryand shouting-we shall have a share!And when the grand song of praise shall go up from earth, and land and sea and from the depths that are under the earth,our tongue shall swell the tremendous chorus and our ears shall be a partaker of the ever-blessed harmony! Let us not fear."Whom He justified, them He alsoglorified"-both in the sense of giving their disembodied spirits joy and giving the soul and body power to reign with Him.
Well, and what then? Then comes the end-when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father. When the mediatorialdispensation shall be finished, what then? Will the earth be renovated and fitted up anew as a new Heaven and a new earth?Will that new Jerusalem that is to comedown at the coming of Christ be the future abode of saints? We do not know and we do not care one whit! This much we know-thatwe shall be forever with the Lord! With Christ shall be the Heaven of Believers forever, according to the Lord's own prayer,"Father, I will thatthey, also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, that they may behold My Glory."
If I might very hastily divide this Glory into its constituent elements, I think I should say it means perfect rest. "Thereremains, therefore, a rest for the people of God." Life in its fullest sense! Life with emphasis! Eternal life! Nearness toGod! Closeness to the Divine heart! A sense of Hislove shed abroad in all its fullness! Likeness to Christ! Fullness of communion with Him! Abundance of the Spirit of God-beingfilled with all the fullness of God! An excess of joy! A perpetual influx of delight! Perfection of holiness! No stain northought of sin! Perfectsubmission to the Divine will! A delight and acquiescence in and conformity to that will! Absorption as it were into God-thecreature still the crea-ture-but filled with the Creator to the brim!
And more-serenity caused by a sense of safety! Continuance of heavenly service! An intense satisfaction in serving God dayand night! Bliss in the society of perfect spirits and glorified angels! Delight in the retrospect of the past! Delight inthe enjoyment of the present and in theprospect of the future! Something ever new and forevermore the same! A delightful variety of satisfaction and a heavenlysameness of delight! Clear knowledge! Absence of all clouds! Ripeness of understanding! Excellence of judgment! And, aboveall, an intense vigor of heart and thewhole of that heart set upon Him whom our eye shall see to be altogether lovely!
I have looked at the crests of a few of the waves as I see them breaking over the sea of immortality. I have tried to giveyou the names of a few of the peaks of the long alpine range of Glory. But, ah, what are my words, and what are my thoughts?"Eye has not seen, nor has ear heard the thingswhich God has prepared for them that love Him." Our only satisfaction in thinking of it is that, "He has revealed them untous by His Spirit." May His Spirit dwell in you and give you foretastes of the rest which remains-ante pasts of the eternalbanquet where Christ willdrink the new wine with us in His heavenly Father's kingdom.
III. Briefly on the last point-THE BOND OF INTIMATE CONNECTION BETWEEN JUSTIFICATION AND
GLORY. "Whom He justified, them He glorified." Let me show you why it must be-in the first place, a justified person has inhim the bud of Glory. What is Glory? It is a state of perfect peace-"Therefore, being justified, we have peace with God throughJesus Christ our Lord." What isGlory? It is a state of rest-"We, which have believed, do enter into rest." What is Glory? It is a state of safety. Whensin is pardoned I am secure. I am safe-safe now-through being justified.
What is Heaven? It is a place of nearness to God-but He has made us near by the blood of His Son having justified us. Whatis Heaven? It is communion with Christ-but, Beloved, we have already boldness and access with boldness unto our Lord Jesus,seeing He has made us accepted inHimself. If you will but look carefully into justification you may see Heaven hidden within it. They tell us that insidethe acorn there is the whole oak with all its branches and roots. And, certainly, within justification, there is Heaven withall its light, and life, and love,and joy, and perpetual serenity and security.
If you are justified, my dear Brothers and Sisters, you are already in a sense glorified. You notice how the text puts it.It does not say, "Whom He justified, them He will glorify," but, "them He also glorified," as if the thing came at the sametime. Certainly it does in embryo, in the germ, inthe essence of the thing. He that is justified, is, in a certain sense, glorified, for, "He has raised us up together andmade us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." Even this day, the life that we live is, "not I that live, but Christthat lives in me." Heaven isbegun, Glory is begun below.
Note again, justification is a claim to glorification. I speak with great reverence here and caution, I hope. But it doesnot strike me that it could be consistent with the Justice of God to deny eternal Glory to a justified person. Certainly,justification has its rights. I am now speakingforensically, using forensic or legal terms. Justification is a legal term, signifying that the person is right in the eyesof the Law. Now he that is right in the eyes of the Law has a claim to the protection and smile of the Law. And if I havea righteousness to which a promise isappended, I have a right to the promise appended to the righteousness which I possess.
The promise is, "He that does these things, shall live by them." And I claim to live by them. I claim to live by virtue ofwhat Christ has done for me! I come before God with His Son's righteousness in my hands. And I claim as a matter of justiceto His own dear Son that He should give to me whatHis Son has merited because the merits of His dear Son have been by Him willed over in His dying breath to me! Oh, Christian,God cannot condemn you unless He should cease to be just. He will not, for He cannot cease to be gracious. Justification wouldbe but a very sorry gift ofGod if it did not involve Glory.
Oh, to be justified and then cast into Hell? Brethren, can you suppose such a thing? If you can so pervert your imaginationsand make your judgments play the acrobat as to conceive a justified soul damned, then I ask you what greater curse could theinfernal Fiend himself confer upon a mortal thanthis so-called justification? A spirit pronounced just and then sent down to Hell, accursed of God, accursed by the samelips that justified it? Blasphemous thought! To lie in those flames and to remember that I once had the righteousness of Christ-thatI once was washed inHis precious blood-oh, impossible! It shall not, must not, cannot be while the Deity is immutable and while the strong handof God will not suffer the righteousness of Christ thus to be covered with disgrace!
He did not begin to build and then fail to finish. "Whom He justified, them He also glorified." Where a man has done the greater,he does not fail to do the less. Now it is a greater thing to justify a man than it is to glorify him. I mean this-that justificationcost the Savior's life andthe Savior's death-but to glorify a man who is already justified costs God nothing. The expense is already laid out in thejustification of the soul. And to take a man to Heaven is only to take him to a prepared place for which he is, himself, prepared.Shall He do the greaterand then neglect the less? "He that spared not His own Son, but freely delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not, withHim, also freely give us all things?"
The only question is, am I justified? I would say in closing, do not let that be a question, dear Hearer. But look to Himwho freely justifies every believing soul and trust yourself now in His hands. May the Spirit of God bring you graciouslyto do it and you shall find it true, "Whom Hejustified, them He also glorified."
["A Catechism with Proofs," compiled by C. H. Spurgeon from the Assembly's Shorter Catechism and the Baptist Catechism. London-Passmore& Alabaster, 23, Paternoster Row. Price 1d.; 7s. per hundred.]