Complete In Thee
by John D. Morris, Ph.D.
Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified (Romans 8:30).
When a believer ponders all that God has done for him through Christs perfect work on the cross, it drives him to his knees in thankfulness. A wonderful old hymn, Complete in Thee, expresses these thoughts well. We can use its chorus today and its four verses in the days following, to lead us to greater awareness of these things.
Yes justified! O blessed thought! And sanctified! Salvation wrought! Thy blood hath pardon bought for me, And glorified, I too shall be!
The term justified may be understood as a forensic term, the declaration a judge would make when a defendant is declared to be fully righteous, not because he himself is righteous, but because Christs righteousness is imputed to him, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:24).
To be sanctified, is to be set apart for holiness. It includes a progressive aspect and has to do with holy character, which cannot be imputed, but must be built up through obedience to the word of God. This sanctification comes at a price, for we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all (Hebrews 10:10).
Pardoned is the same word as forgiven, a remission of the punishment for sin. We have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sin (Colossians 1:14).
Glorified looks to the future, when He shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body (Philippians 3:21) when we achieve complete Christ-likeness. As we see in our text, all of this is His doing.
In Him we are complete. JDM