Q: What benefits do they that are effectually called partake of in this life?
A: Those that are effectually called do in this life partake of justification, adoption, and sanctification, and the several benefits that in this life do either accompany or flow from them.
Romans 8:30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
The catechism, over the next several weeks, will begin to unpack these terms of justification, adoption, sanctification, and will explore the other benefits which accompany or flow from these benefits. But for now, I want us to see that these benefits are not only a future hope (they do give us abounding hope for our eternal future), but they are benefits for right here and right now. We not only have a future hope, but we partake of these benefits, as the catechism says, in this life.
And what does that mean for us? It means this. That while we may still be liable to the miseries of this life, and to death itself, we are still partaking of the benefits of being part of God's covenant people. You, right now, if you call on Christ by faith, are justified! You are, right now, adopted as sons and daughters into the family of God! You are, even now in the middle of your battle against indwelling sin, in your battle against the old nature, being sanctified! This is your reality right here and right now. And while we will see this fully consummated at the second coming of Christ when all things are made new, do not miss the fact that this is our present reality. Notice Paul's language in Romans 8:30. What tense of verbs are being used in this verse? "Those whom he predestined, he also called. Those whom he called, he also justified. Those whom he justified, he also glorified." Called, predestined, justified, and glorified. All past tense forms of the verbs, all stating the fact that this is a finished work! It is not only a future hope for us, brothers and sisters, but it is a present reality! Let this grand and glorious truth strengthen you daily, minister to your soul, and lead you to praise our great God, who is indeed mighty to save!