Janet Weaver Smith Â©gardenministries.org â€“ June 25, 2015
In my article entitled, A Faithful Bride for the Faithful Bridegroom, I describe Phase 1 and 2 of the believers walk with Christ. In this article, I introduce Phase 3.
The 3 phases of relationship with Jesus are as follows:
PHASE 1.) THE EVENT of SALVATION = Eternal LIFE
PHASE 2.) THE PROCESS of SANCTIFICATION through SURRENDER = Eternal GLORY
PHASE 3.) THE BEGINNING OF THE END = Fullness in Christ. The blameless, spotless bride.
In Phase 1, a person has accepted and come to know Jesus as their Savior.
In Phase 2, a person has entered into the process of sanctification and surrender to know Jesus as their LORD.
In Phase 3, a person has continued through Phases 1 and 2 and now comes to know Jesus as their Bridegroom-King.
Phase 3 marks the culmination of Phases 1 and 2 and happens as our spirit, in surrendered partnership with the Holy Spirit, peaks and groans under the burden of life itself; crying out for perseverance to finish its work and to be filled to the fullness of Christ that Ephesians 4:13, Colossians 2:9-10 promises.
Phase 3 is the time when we confront the last enemy, which is death (1 Cor. 15:16) by overcoming the fear of death that Hebrews 2:15 describes as a lifelong “slavery.” We are “crossing through the valley of the shadow of death and fearing no evil,” (Psalm 23:4) and we are overcoming [satan] by the blood of the Lamb, the word of our testimony; and we do not love our lives so much as to shrink from death. (Revelation 12:11)
In Phase 3, we have accepted the call of God on our life. When tested, we stand firm in the faith by believing His word and promises. We have passed through the Romans 8:30 bridal process of being called, and justified, and now, we are about to become “glorified.” Jesus Himself modeled this process for us before He died so, like Him, and in and through Him, we too can attain by His grace what he modeled for usâ€”even before we die.
The Matthew 17:2 transfiguration and subsequent interaction with the Cloud of Witnesses is available to Christ’s overcomers on this side of eternity. If we hold fast to the word of life and patiently endure the intense bridal preparation process, we will enter the state of fullness, which is union with Christ Himself, and experience the light of God as we become one with Himâ€”on this side of eternity! Like Jesus, though we are not yet in our final resurrected bodies, we can be transfigured though not fully changed into the final resurrected state. The parousia presence of God fill us as He comes to us before He comes for us. (For more on the parousia, see my article: The Spirit of Might and Power â€“ The Fullness of Christ)
In Phase 3, the believer is entering the stage of transition into a complete new-man rebirth. They are crossing over into the fullness of Christ and are experiencing the climatic end juxtaposed by the intense groanings of their dying flesh and the Spirit’s emerging new life. And yet, the greater grace to endure and complete this phase is always available and dispensed upon request. The process of sanctification is almost done and the pure and spotless, glorified bride emerges.
2 Corinthians 5:1-7, Philippians 2:15, 2 Peter 3, Daniel 12:3, 2 Peter 1:19, Matthew 13:43, Romans 8:11, Romans 8:18-23, Romans 8:30
2 Timothy 2:10-13 describes the first 2 phases: For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the [Phase 1.] salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it [Phase 2.] eternal glory. 11 It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; 13If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.