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The Riches of His Glorious Inheritance in the Saints Week 13. Westminster Larger Catechism Q57-89 [Q84-87: Communion in Glory – After Death]. Our theme for the next several weeks:.
Westminster Larger Catechism Q57-89
[Q84-87: Communion in Glory – After Death]
“For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe,…”
Q. 65. What special benefits do the members of the invisible church enjoy by Christ?
A. The members of the invisible church by Christ enjoy union and communion with him in grace and glory.
Q. 82. What is the communion in glory which the members of the invisible church have with Christ?A. The communion in glory which the members of the invisible church have with Christ, is in this life, immediately after death, and at last perfected at the resurrection and day of judgment.
Q. 83. What is the communion in glory with Christ which the members of the invisible church enjoy in this life?A. The members of the invisible church have communicated to them in this life the firstfruits of glory with Christ, as they are members of him their head, and so in him are interested in that glory which he is fully possessed of; and, as an earnest thereof, enjoy the sense of God’s love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, and hope of glory; as, on the contrary, sense of God’s revenging wrath, horror of conscience, and a fearful expectation of judgment, are to the wicked the beginning of their torments which they shall endure after death.
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11, ESV)
… and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1:19-23, ESV)
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-10)
To the invisible church:
To the wicked:
Sense of God’s revenging wrath
Horror of conscience
Fearful expectation of judgment
Beginning of torments
Q. 84. Shall all men die?A. Death being threatened as the wages of sin, it is appointed unto all men once to die; for that all have sinned.
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:27-28 ESV)
Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come….
For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, … (Romans 5:14, 17)
In an age of scientific advancement and specialization, many Christians turn to medical professionals to direct them in stewardship of their bodies. While in many ways the advancements of medical science are a blessing, they are also largely driven by a secular mindset that, though it appears compassionate and to proclaim hope, is actually often subversive of genuine compassion and our hope in Christ.
In Compassionate Jesus, Christopher Bogosh calls Christians to examine the pervasive “prolong life at all costs” mentality against biblical principles of care and compassion that are rooted in Christ. This is a call to enter into medical situations trusting in God’s sovereign care and the power of prayer. It is hoped that this book will begin a long-needed discussion among Christians about how we relate to modern medicine, encouraging us to allow the gospel to inform the way we engage the healthcare system.
When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:54-57, ESV)
The righteous man perishes, and no one lays it to heart;
devout men are taken away, while no one understands.
For the righteous man is taken away from calamity; he enters into peace;
they rest in their beds who walk in their uprightness. (Isaiah 57:1-2, ESV)
And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” (Revelation 14:13, ESV)
Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his saints. (Psalm 116:15)
And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43, ESV)
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. (Philippians 1:21-23, ESV)
A. The righteous shall be delivered from death itself at the last day, and even in death are delivered from the sting and curse of it; so that, although they die, yet it is out of God’s love, to free them perfectly from sin and misery, and to make them capable of further communion with Christ in glory, which they then enter upon.
Q. 86. What is the communion in glory with Christ, which the members of the invisible church enjoy immediately after death?A. The communion in glory with Christ, which the members of the invisible church enjoy immediately after death, is, in that their souls are then made perfect in holiness, and received into the highest heavens, where they behold the face of God in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies, which even in death continue united to Christ, and rest in their graves as in their beds, till at the last day they be again united to their souls. Whereas the souls of the wicked are at their death cast into hell, where they remain in torments and utter darkness, and their bodies kept in their graves, as in their prisons, till the resurrection and judgment of the great day.
For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. (1 Cor 15; 1 Thess4:14ff)
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15:20, ESV)
There is an essential difference between the decease of the godly and the death of the ungodly. Death comes to the ungodly man as a penal infliction, but to the righteous as a summons to his Father's palace. To the sinner it is an execution, to the saint an undressing from his sins and infirmities. Death to the wicked is the King of terrors. Death to the saint is the end of terrors, the commencement of glory.