Chapter # 9 Paragraph # 1 Study # 6
Thesis: In terms of "opportunity lost", "the glory" is the greatest loss of all.
Introduction: In our studies of Romans 9, we have seen that the initial focus is upon how emotionally distraught Paul was because of the unbelief of his fleshly brethren. We have seen that it was important for Paul to reveal this emotional turmoil as a prelude to his doctrine because it creates a significant prejudice in the hearers. It is no accident that the destruction of love for another and the destruction of confidence in another is always preceded by a two part "perception" issue. On the one hand, whenever one's "perception" of one's own importance rises above reality, love is destroyed; and on the other hand, whenever one's "perception" of another's intentions include "loss for the perceiver", faith is destroyed. Thus, Paul attempted to establish his own credibility by revealing the truth about how much more valuable were his "brethren" than he. Anyone who would actually accept that was automatically on the way to "faith".
As we have moved on into Paul's description of the condition of his "fleshly brethren", we have seen that they are initially characterized as those who have had an enormously rich heritage in a divinely dominated history: they are Israelites. Then, in our last study, we looked into their "possession" of what Paul calls "the adoption". The adoption is a "post-life-in-this-world" event that is focused upon the Father's decree that the "resurrected" child is now ready for entrance into his/her actual inheritance. We saw that even Jesus was subject to the processes that culminate in "the adoption" before He was permitted to enter into His ultimate position as "the Christ". As it was with Him, so it is also with us.
Now we are ready to consider what Paul called "the glory". This evening we are going to spend our time considering what "the glory" is and what the relationship of it is to "the adoption".
August 19, 2008
- I. The Identity of "The Glory".
- A. The words "glory" and "glorify" have a set of nuanced meanings that arise out of a single issue: the actual essence.
- 1. "Glory" can be the manifestation of this essence.
- 2. To "glorify" can be a manifest expression of one's perception of this essence.
- 3. But always undergirding these extensions of the concept is the bottom line: the actual essence that gives rise to the manifestations.
- B. Thus, "The Glory" is the sum of the essential attributes.
- II. A Creature's "Possession" of "The Glory".
- A. When Paul wrote of "the glory", he was addressing another "yet future" aspect of the plan of God.
- 1. As "the adoption" is a "yet future" event, so also "possession of the glory" is a "yet future" event.
- 2. There was a sense in which Israel "possessed" "The Glory": the visible presence of the pillar of cloud/fire.
- 3. But this aspect of "The Glory" was not in Israel's possession at the time when Paul wrote Romans and the sense of "possession" was extremely external to the individual.
- B. The Bible presents a created person's possession of "the glory" in several ways.
- 1. Romans 8:29 says that the plan of God involves the conformity of a creature to the image of the Son.
- 2. Jeremiah 31:33 says that the plan of God involves a kind of writing of the Law upon the heart so that the God/My People reality can come into being.
- 3. 1 John 3:2 says that whatever it is that we are destined to become will come into our experience in the day that "we see Him as He is".
- C. The "possession" has multiple aspects.
- 1. For one to "possess" the glory, one must have something of everything involved in "The Glory".
- a. This does not require the same "degree" of possession.
- b. This does require "something" of "everything".
- 2. For one to "possess" the glory, one must have the same "balance" involved in "The Glory".
- a. This implies that at the time of "glorification" the person will be "brought into balance".
- b. A further implication is that the "bringing to balance" will be a case of "reduction to the lowest common denominator".
- c. And a yet further implication is that this explains why God supervises our set of experiences as He does: He is building a "set" of attributes as an integrated unit that will be "leveled out" when He is finished.
- 3. For one to "possess" the glory, one must have entered into the Love/Faith reality.
- a. No one is altered whose love and belief have not been altered.
- b. Thus, Paul's expression of "possession" of "The Glory" is like that of the "possession" of the adoption: it is a divinely extended potential that requires a human embrace.
- III. The Attendant "Grief".
- A. When one wishes for another's benefit, there is grief if it does not "happen".
- B. When one is "grieved" over the absence of the benefit, the grief is greater in proportion to how "possible" the "happening" is: the greater the possibility, the greater the grief if it does not happen.