Question 32: What benefits do they that are effectually called partake of in this life?
Answer: They that are effectually called do in this life partake of justification,(1) adoption,(2) and sanctification, and the several benefits which in this life do either accompany or flow from them.(3) (1)Rom. 8:30 (2)Eph. 1:5 (3)1 Cor. 1:26,30
Scripture Memory: “He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30).
An Explanation: Glorious benefits are found in Christ Jesus! Jesus Christ is full of grace and truth: “And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1:16-17). Jesus is a Storehouse of benefits and blessings for the believer! Jesus is the True Treasury of God’s riches. “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness…” (2 Pet. 1:3a). “…To reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:2b-3).
Although we are impoverished by nature, Jesus is rich! Although we are weak, Jesus gives strength! Although we are sinful, Jesus grants grace, abundant, wonderful grace for every need! “For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.…Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more…” (Eph. 1:15-23; 2 Cor. 8:9; Rom. 5:6-8, 5:15, 20).
When the Spirit unites us to Jesus Christ in our effectual calling, we are recipients of great and glorious blessings and benefits! What are the blessings and benefits of union with Christ which in this life either accompany or flow from them? Specifically, justification, adoption, and sanctification! Hallelujah, to the Lamb!
Justification: God legally declares us as righteous in Christ, imputing our sins to Christ, and imputing Christ’s righteousness to believers by faith alone apart from works (Rom. 4:5, 8, 11-12, 16). There is no condemnation for us in Christ Jesus! (Rom. 8:1). We are declared righteous by Christ’s blood (Rom. 3:24-26). Our consciences no longer condemn us (1 Jo. 3:20). We are reconciled to God, and we have peace in our union with Jesus (Rom. 5:1). We have confidence for the day of judgement because of God’s love for us in Christ (1 Jo. 4:17-18).
What a benefit to know that God has legally declared you righteous in Christ—there is no condemnation, no judgment awaiting you! We will face the Judgment Seat of Christ clothed in the perfect righteousness of Christ, and though our every word, thought and action has been tainted with sin, the Lamb without blemish has loved us and given Himself for us! (Gal. 2:20; 2 Cor. 5:14-15). We are spotless in Him! We can rejoice with the Psalmist: “…Blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”
Adoption: God legally declares us righteous before Him, but also (very importantly!) legally adopts us into His family, giving us His name, granting us privileges of children, and granting us a rich and eternal inheritance in Him, and with Him (The Westminster Confession was the first confession of faith to formally make the proper biblical distinction between justification and adoption). Our adoption is because of the Father’s love from before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4-6), it is because of the Son’s redemptive work in willingly coming as our big brother to redeem us and to obtain for us the Spirit of Sonship (Gal. 4:4-7), and it is the Spirit’s work to seal and further reveal this reality to our hearts (Rom. 8:15-16, 26; cf. Eph. 3:16-19).
We are called heirs of God, and His dearly and beloved children. “What manner of love has God the Father bestowed upon us that we are called the children of God, and that is what we are!” (1 Jo. 3:1-2). We can call on God as our Father: “Abba, Father!” because we have received the Spirit of Sonship (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6). We are heirs of all that is His! We have a big brother who gave Himself for our redemption so that we could take on a family resemblance (Heb. 2:11-18). What joy should characterize us as God’s children, because one day we will be like Him fully (1 Jo. 3:2-3; Rom. 8:23).
Sanctification: We are resurrected by the Spirit and set free from slavery to sin and self to live the life that God has created us to live: “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his… So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus…For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace” (Rom. 6:5, 11, 14). We are free from our sins so that we can live for Him: “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Gal. 5:1).
We are given a faith in our effectual calling that is a working faith that seeks to work through love (Gal. 5:6). In fact, we are created in Christ for good works: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10; 2 Thess. 2:13).
A Prayer: What manner of love is this that I should be called a child of God, dear Abba, Heavenly Father!! Thank you, kind king for your amazing love and benefits for sinners in Christ! Thank you for the Spirit of Sonship that makes my life joyous in Christ, and helps me to live for you, and to be like my elder brother, the Lord Jesus! You love me, let me be controlled by that love, kind king! (2 Cor. 5:14-15).
In Christ’s Love,