September: A Word from the Pastor

Scripture encourages Christians to live with “contentment” and “expectation”.

At first glance these two truths seem to be in conflict with one another. How can you be content if you are living in expectation? The answer to that question centers on the finished work of Christ. We are content in Christ because of all that He secured for us at the cross. Christ died for us in order to secure our forgiveness, our peace with God, our freedom from sin and death, and our eternal salvation.

We are complete in Christ.

The reality of this truth gives every Christian a great sense of “contentment” in Christ. And with that great sense of well-being, Christians are also impressed with all that Christ is daily accomplishing in our lives. We live in expectation of His sanctifying work in our hearts, as well as His promise to glorify us for eternal life with Him. It is wonderful to know that our glorified body is secure in Christ – and to live in expectation of this final state. It is important to understand that Christians are not glorified when they die. Death is separation from the body.

When Christians die, their souls and spirits are immediately in the presence of the Lord.

Their bodies remain on the earth and return to dust. But, when the Lord returns, He will bring with Him the souls and spirits of those who have died and reunite them with their resurrected glorified bodies. Then Christians who are alive on the earth will receive their glorified bodies. This is a great moment of triumph when the whole of the church of Christ rises up to meet the Lord – glorified in the glory of the Lord.

“We shall be like Him for we shall see Him as just as He is” (1 John 3:2).

This is the great “expectation” of every believer in Christ. We are content with our union in Christ – and content with the many promises that Christ secured for us. And, we expect His finished work will one day be completed in us – to the glory of God. This sense of “contentment” and “expectation” characterizes much of our life in Christ. It explains how Christians can be so satisfied in Christ and yet so excited in all that Christ will do. This is true in our present lives and true in all eternity.

Our hope is firmly fixed – both in the present and in the future – in the fullness of Christ. 

– Gary W. Custis