God’s offspring, His future manifested sons and daughters for these last days, will realize that conversion to Christ is just the first step on their spiritual journey back to their Father’s heart.
Their conversion, yes, is an astounding miracle performed by the Spirit of God, whereby their old heart is cleansed from sin and sinning, as they stand before the King justified by their faith in Him and His power to change lives. This true conversion experience is giddy-wonderful, filling our souls with an inexplicable peace and love.
Charles G. Finney described this experience of justification in his memoirs: “I felt myself justified by faith; and, so far as I could see, I was in a state in which I did not sin. Instead of feeling that I was sinning all the time, my heart was so full of love that it overflowed. My cup ran over with blessing and with love; and I could not feel that I was sinning against God. Nor could I recover the least sense of guilt for my past sins. Of this experience I said nothing that I recollect, at the time, to anybody; that is, of this experience of justification” ( http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/DETOC/religion/conversion.html ).
Justification (just-if-I’d never sinned) is truly wonderful. It is our ticket to Immortality and a Life in the presence of the King of the Universe. But it is just the first step. And it is here that many “babes in Christ” remain, for they are taught that this is all there is by well-meaning, unenlightened teachers. [For more see https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2009/06/26/the-manifested-sons-of-god-overcoming-the-law-of-sin-and-death/ ]
The sons and daughters of God will see that conversion is something even more grand than justification. Being converted to Christ sets our feet on the path “to the glory we had with Him before the world began.” Through it we revert back to what we had with Him before the worlds were ever created. We are “called unto glory and virtue.” After being “justified by faith,” we are to “sanctify ourselves,” setting ourselves apart for His purposes. In turn, those who become sanctified may enter the rarified realm of glorification.
Yes, a few of His followers will be glorified, just as our example was. The apostle Paul wrote of “the glory which shall be revealed in us.” A few will complete Christ’s spiritual life-cycle; they will “suffer with Him” now, that they “may be also glorified together” (Romans 8: 17-18). Yes, some of His followers will grow to the point that they will be “glorified together” with Christ! You can read it in plain English in any translation; they all say the same thing.
These that are “glorified together” with Christ are manifested sons and daughters of God (v. 19). This is the “high calling.” There is no greater calling on this planet than to be one of these. For they will “sit with Him on [His] throne” and will become “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” (Rev. 3: 21; Rom. 8: 17).
Suffering With Christ
But this calling is only to those who “suffer with Christ.” They must first suffer their own crucifixion, allowing their old self and old heart to die with Christ on the cross; to be buried with Him into His death, and by believing His resurrection, we believe that we are raised from the dead, from the death sentence caused by all our past sins. We then receive His Spirit by faith. This is justification (Romans 6: 1-16).
We then must suffer the Spirit of God to “purge out the old leaven” from our thinking. We all in our old lives have been taught erroneous doctrines and teachings. Coming off of these things that we were taught and believed our whole lives is difficult, but very necessary. Difficult because of what friends, family, and acquintances will say. We will suffer rejection from loved ones as we make a stand for truth. They will not understand and will try and talk us out of our newfound beliefs. It is all in the parable of the sower in Matthew 13. All false doctrines and concepts must be gotten rid of. This takes much prayerful study. This also takes humility to learn from someone else who knows the way and has been sent to help teach the future sons and daughters of God. This is part of the sanctification experience, the second leg on our journey. Only those who make it through to the end of this process will go on to glorification.
All this is a process that yields an astounding spiritual transformation in a few good men and women. They will do the “greater works” that Christ spoke of (John 14: 12). They will shine as “lights in the midst of a wicked and perverse nation.” The darkness is thick, but God, who is light, will pierce the darkness through, and will bring in a wonderful new government to earth. And these manifested ones will rule and reign with Him. Incredible, I know. But that is what The Book says. Kenneth Wayne Hancock