Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 4 Study # 14
Thesis: Being "glorified" in the terms of Romans 8:30 means to be "confirmed in holiness".
Introduction: In our study of Paul's euphoric declaration that believers cannot lose, we have been looking at a very "large picture" presentation of how God intends to accomplish His Grand Plan. We have seen that He has a Plan. We have seen that His Plan involves bringing many "brethren" into the character likeness of Jesus. We have seen that His Plan includes an extended and extraordinarily difficult process which involves, most fundamentally, taking the offspring of vipers and turning them into completely selfless, absolutely trustworthy, people. We have seen that this process involves a significant level of suffering in combination with an ever deepening exposure to Reality in the form of special revelation (Truth) and experience. And we have seen that there are five major issues that are involved: foreknowledge; predestination; calling; justification; and glorification.
In our particular studies, we have come to the final issue: glorification. This evening we are going to consider at least some of the things that are involved in "being glorified".
April 22, 2008
- I. There Are Two Distinct Senses to the Word "Glorified".
- A. There is the sense that involves "recognition" and "expression".
- 1. When the Bible speaks of people "glorifying" God or men, it is addressing "expression".
- 2. When "expression" is the point, undergirding it is the fact that people often "recognize" another's "traits" and/or "actions" with approval.
- a. Approval assumes the presence of an established values/beliefs "system" that is in place and provides for "judgment".
- b. If a person, or action, when subjected to the criteria of the "system", is seen to be a legitimate expression of that "system", commendation is the result: the person responsible for the action is "commended"; this is "glorification".
- B. There is the sense that involves a more profound level.
- 1. When a person does an action that is seen to be commendable, the question is always present: What made that possible?
- 2. There are multiple places in the Bible where a certain "possibility" is set forth as a fundamental impossibility unless/until some kind of "greater capacity" is imparted to the one facing the impossibility.
- a. Jesus had this in view in His prayer in John 17 where the issue is His "return" to the larger capacities that were His before His "incarnation" and its significant limitations (see verse 5 and also note John 7:39 and 12:16).
- b. This is the issue involved in the "regenerating" of the offspring of vipers so that they take on the character of the "Dove" (at Jesus' baptism the Empowering Spirit that descended upon Him was "Dove-like", thus signifying that Jesus was going to be "like a Dove").
- C. Thus, "to glorify" either means "to enable" or "to recognize as enabled".
- II. Paul's Declaration of God's "Final Step" in the Accomplishment of The Plan.
- A. He is declaring that God has included everything that is involved in "Enabling" the heirs of the Kingdom to eternally perpetuate the Kingdom without flaw or failure.
- 1. The objective (perpetuation) is no small thing.
- 2. The process (glorifying) is, likewise, no small thing.
- B. The fundamental mechanism is the transformation declared in 1 Corinthians 15:53.
- 1. This transformation is by means of either death/resurrection or "blink of an eye" transformation without death.
- 2. Resurrection/transformation accomplishes two things.
- a. It "leaves behind" everything involved in Death -- its causes (the viper nature) and its impact (the plethora of "sins" that arise from the nature).
- b. It "brings" everything involved in Life -- its Cause (God's own divine nature) and its impact (the perpetuation of a sinless Kingdom for eternity).
- C. But, prior to the application of this fundamental mechanism there is the application of a host of lesser mechanisms that involve the creation within the seed of the characteristics that will enable the post-death plant that arises out of what was in the seed when it died.
- 1. In the physiological world these "characteristics" are called "genes".
- 2. In the spiritual world these "characteristics" are values and beliefs that, once solidified, both sponsor certain kinds of actions and deny the eruption of other kinds of actions.
- III. Paul's Purpose in Declaration.
- A. There are two fundamental issues involved in human development in the non-physiological realms.
- 1. There is "experience" which no one can escape.
- 2. There is "knowledge" which no one can escape.
- a. It is in the "knowledge" area where man is most susceptible.
- 1) He cannot control what he experiences.
- 2) He has to interpret his experiences.
- 3) But interpretation is surrounded by both Truth and delusion.
- b. It is out of the "knowledge" area that man develops the "gene pool" of the seed that he is becoming.
- B. In the Experience realm, there are two major types.
- 1. Pleasant.
- a. These experiences harbor dangers and benefits.
- b. Pleasant experiences often reinforce terrible decisions.
- c. Pleasant experiences often reinforce good decisions.
- 2. Unpleasant.
- a. Just like the "pleasant", these harbor both dangers and benefits.
- b. Unpleasant experiences often challenge good decisions.
- c. Unpleasant experiences often "drive" bad decisions.
- C. In the Knowledge realm, man evaluates his experiences and determines where he will go from where he is.
- D. Paul wrote to give us the ability to make our decisions based, not upon "pleasantness", but upon Truth.
- IV. God's "Glorification" of Us is Both in the Process and at the End of the Process.