Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 3 Study # 3
Thesis: The expectation of glory is rooted in the ministry of the Spirit through us.
Introduction: We have been looking into Paul's transition from our identity as the children of God to our identity as the heirs of God. We have drawn a line of distinction between being an "heir of God" and a "joint heir with Christ". That distinction exists because of the differences in the text between being an heir of God because we are a child of God and being a joint heir with Christ because we suffer with Him. This distinction also exists because of the general tenor of Scripture in which we see a strong encouragement to fidelity so that one's inheritance can be "rich". There are multiple places in the Bible which declare that there is a relationship between what we end up doing in this world and what we end up experiencing in the world to come. There is a difference between "life" and the "crown of life".
However, these issues are not without their own problems for our understanding. If we do not understand the distinctions, we are left to the concept of "temporal insecurity" because there are too many places where inheritance is taught to be dependent upon whether we do this or that. But, if we go there, we are inevitably liable to become "legalists". On the other hand, if we do not accept the distinctions, we are in "eternal security" of a kind that opens the doors to libertine carelessness, which in reality eats up our inheritance.
So, this evening we are going to look further. What did Paul mean when he said that we would be "glorified together with Him"? What did he mean when he said "if we suffer together with Him"?
October 30, 2007
- I. The Issues of "Glory".
- A. The over-arching issue: its incomparability.
- 1. There is a teaching that runs throughout all revelation, whether biblical or extra-biblical (Psalm 19), that God is an extremist.
- a. Both in the processes of creation and in the actions of God towards men, there is a very present expression of "super-abundance".
- b. In both of the doctrines of eternal life and eternal death, there is a sense of massiveness.
- 2. The foundation of this perception of "extremity" is the infinity of God: He is so "huge" in every sense that it is almost like he cannot act without excessive impact.
- a. This is not like "a bull in a china closet" where there is no finesse or ability to be delicate.
- b. But it is like the "splitting of an atom" where the release of power is "relatively incomparable" to the size of the atom and the impact is beyond expectation.
- 3. Paul simply declares that the "sufferings" are not worthy "toward" the glory.
- B. The particular issues.
- 1. In all of the ways Jesus was "glorified", we shall also be.
- a. According to the doctrine of physical resurrection from the dead, Paul specifically declares that the mortal body is to be "raised in glory" (1 Corinthians 15:43), and Jesus' post-resurrection activities simply give us small hints as to what that might mean.
- b. According to Hebrews 12:2, Jesus did what He did "for the joy" that was set before Him...
- 1) One aspect of that "joy" was the "reunion" -- "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?".
- 2) Another aspect of that "joy" was the position given "at the right hand of the throne of God" (Note Revelation 3:21, Hebrews 12:2, and Hebrews 1:3, 13; 8:1; and 10:12).
- c. According to Philippians 2:5-11, the reaction of God is to a "mindset" and the "glory" is in the form of "rule" (having both the insight and authority to set the directions others will take and see it produce enormous good).
- 2. Paul emphasizes one of the particulars of Jesus' "glorification" in 8:21 -- the freedom of the glory as a contrast to the bondage of corruption.
- a. This means, on the one hand, that a part of the essence of "glory" is its incorruptibility (1 Corinthians 9:25; 15:52; and 1 Peter 1:4).
- b. This means, on another hand, that a major aspect of the "glory" is the freedom from everything that smacks of "coercion unto destruction".
- C. The relationship to "sufferings".
- 1. The essence of "sufferings" is the experience of some kind of pain (physical, emotional, or spiritual, or some amalgam of these three).
- 2. The point of "sufferings" on the part of the adversaries is the attempt to compel a change of course.
- 3. The point of "sufferings" on the part of the Father of the Glory is the production of a character that is solidified in righteousness.
- II. The Mechanics of "Glory".
- A. The works of Christ.
- B. The works of the Spirit.