Chapter # 9 Paragraph # 1 Study # 5
November 12, 2017
4 Who are Israelites; to whom [pertaineth] the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service [of God], and the promises;
5 Whose [are] the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ [came], who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
1901 ASV Translation:
4 who are Israelites; whose is the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service [of God], and the promises;
5 whose are the fathers, and of whom is Christ as concerning the flesh, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
- I. The Glory.
- A. The term is wide open with many possible meanings.
- B. But Paul's use in Romans includes several texts that indicate "glory" as something promised and anticipated.
- 1. Romans 2:7 makes a general commitment to those who "by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory...".
- 2. Romans 2:10 makes this same commitment to those who "...worketh the good...".
- 3. Romans 5:2 says of those who "have access by faith into this grace" that they "stand in hope of the glory of God".
- 4. Romans 8:18 says that the present sufferings are incomparable to "the glory which shall be revealed in respect to us".
- 5. Romans 8:21 says that the entire creation is looking forward in anticipation for the deliverance involved in "the glory of the liberty of the children of God". In 8:28-30 he mentions "being glorified" as an integral aspect of the total salvation package (justification, sanctification, glorification).
- 6. Romans 9:23 says that God is going to make known the riches "of His glory upon the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory".
- C. Observations.
- 1. The "glory" is presented as a future promised reality that is not yet, though the Spirit is given as a "first fruit".
- a. In this concept of The Spirit as "first fruit", there are two dangers.
- 1) The first is "over-anticipation" wherein the possessor of the Spirit "expects" more "personal development in godliness" than has been promised or warranted. This leads to significant doubt and personal failure when what is expected does not come to pass (2 Corinthians 1:9; the declaration being that Paul needed to be subjected to death continuously because of a strong tendency to "trust in ourselves").
- 2) The second is "under-anticipation" wherein the possessor of the Spirit relegates Him to the status of a "doctrine" without active personal involvement (2 Timothy 3:5).
- b. Romans 8:23 clearly declares that the "reality" is a "groaning" that is handled by "waiting for the adoption". This is as strong an implication as can be that He does not alter "us" as He dwells within us, but is willing to express Himself through our bodies if we are willing to let Him. In other words, our unredeemed bodies continue to press us to yield to their lusts, and that with a growing determination as the "old man" waxes worse and worse as time goes by (Ephesians 4:22; note the translation in the ASV). Some are so dismayed by their experience of this growing depravity that they think themselves "unregenerated" rather than simply addressing the actual reality of a growing warfare within over the divine agenda.
- 1) At issue in the "altering us" idea is the underlying assumption that we shall be changed into independently capable saints, able to produce righteousness ourselves. This is the ultimate heresy of man's depraved desire to be independent of the absolutely necessary dependence of creatures upon their Creator. As men of depraved minds, human beings seek independence from God as a mark of a desired "glory". But the Scriptures are clear that independence is not only rationally impossible, it is the epitome of foolishness.
- 2) At issue in the "altering us" concept found in the Scriptures ("being transformed by...") is the "marriage" of our souls to Christ (as in Romans 7:4) so that all "production" from the union of our souls to His Spirit is "of Him" as children are "of the father" by reason of his "seed" being united to the mother's "egg". In this sense, we are "transformed" by the realization of our utter dependence upon Him and the jettisoning of our carnal desire for independence from Him in any matter.
- 2. There is a logical progression from "the adoption" to "the glory" seeing that the adoption must take place before the experience of the glory can become reality. Also, the adoption is cast by Paul in terms of "the redemption of the body" in Romans 8:23 as a future aspect of the faith. A great deal of "The Promise" (Note 1 John 2:25) is on hold until all the parts are in place (Hebrews 11:39-40).
- 3. The actual meaning of "The Glory" boils down to the active participation of the believer in the character of the sinless God...no Sin...no bondage...no unrighteousnesses of any kind and, thus, no sorrow, no tears, no negatives. Period. "The Glory" is the actual character of the eternal Kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy. This is the primary reason it is yet a promise and not a reality of everyday life.