Consists of Union with him.
In short, it is this world which is in travail with that new inner man which is "created after the likeness of God" (Eph 4:24).
When he has been shaped and formed here he is thus born into that perfect world which grows not old. As nature prepares the foetus, while it is in its dark and fluid life, for that life which is in the light, and shapes it, as though according to a model, for the life which it is about to receive, so likewise it happens to the saints. This is what the Apostle Paul said when he wrote to the Galatians, "my little children, with whom I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you" (Gal 4:19)
However, while the unborn have no perception whatever of this life, the blessed ones have many hints in this present life of things to come. This is the reason. The unborn do not yet possess this life, but it is wholly in the future. In that condition there is no ray of light nor anything else which sustains this life. In our case this is not so, but that future life is, as it were, infused into this present life and mingled with it. For us too that Sun has graciously risen, the heavenly fragrance has been poured forth into the malodorous places, and the Bread of angels has been given even to men.
In this present world, therefore, it is possible for the saints not only to be disposed and prepared for that life, but also even now to live and act in accordance with it.
Paul writes, "lay hold on eternal life" (Tim 6:12), and "it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me" (Gal 2:20). The divine Ignatius says, "there is water living and speaking in me" (To the Romans, 7:2). Scripture is full of such passages! Beside all these, when He who is the Life promises the saints to be with them for ever, and says, "behold, I am with you always, to the close of the age" (Mt 28:20), what else should one think?
When he had sown the seed of life on the earth (Lk. 8:5) and cast on it the fire (Lk. 12:49) and the sword (Mt. 10:34), He did not forthwith depart and leave it to men to plant and nourish the seed and to kindle the fire and use the sword. He Himself is truly with us and "works in us to will and to do, as the blessed Paul said (Phil 2:12). It is He Himself who kindles and applies the fire, He Himself holds the sword. In short, "neither does the axe boast without him who lifts it" (Is. 10:15). Those from whom the Good One is absent will attain to no good.
Yet the Lord did not promise merely to be present with the saints, but to abide with them-nay more than this, to make His abode in them (Jn 14:23). What then shall I say? Where it is said that He is united with them, it is with such love that He becomes one spirit with them. As Paul says, "he who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him" (I Cor 6:17), and "that you may be one body and one spirit, just as you were called" (Eph. 4:4)