Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. (Romans 8:17 NIV)
God does not give His glory to another (Isaiah 42:8), yet we NT saints are of one glorious Body with Jesus Christ, who is the last Adam, the man from heaven (1 Cor. 1:45-47), AND a member of the Deity. In crucifying our flesh with Christ, God has made all whom believe on His Son one new man (Eph. 2:15) with the resurrected and glorified Lord. God called us to believe the gospel that we might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thess. 2:14).
Oh, do you see this? (If not, I encourage you to review Part 2 – the renewing of our minds requires immersion in the word about this mystery of our being one Body with Christ, who alone is the Head, the Deity.)
Now, do you know what God’s purpose for man is? Yes, we are made to glorify God. How so? God’s purpose for man is revealed in Psalm 8: to crown him with glory and honor and to appoint him over the works of His hands (vv.5-6). That means to be enthroned with our Creator and, restored to His image through our Lord and Savior, to exercise dominion with Him over His creation (see also Gen. 1:26, Rev 2:26-27 and Rev. 3:21). (More to come on our enthronement later in this series, God willing. May this whet your appetite!)
The Epistle to the Hebrews makes it clear that this co-dominion over creation will be in the world to come as it cites this passage from Psalm 8 and then expounds upon it as follows:
For in subjecting all things to him [man], He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him. But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory… (Heb. 2:8b-10a NASB, emphasis added)
So in the person of Jesus Christ, man has already been crowned with glory. In this present dispensation, the Church Age, God is working this objective truth out through those who believe on Christ by purifying us – removing the vestiges of the (already crucified!) old Adam by taking us through one firey trial after another – so that the radiance of His glory is made manifest through us. Hallelujah!
Towards understanding this vital matter of His glory in us, “the Christ” (see Intro), let’s deliberately ponder some of the Scriptures addressing it. May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ grant us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation as we make time to press in with everything we have. Amen.
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In Christ we no longer fall short of the glory of God, for, as our Justification and Redemption, He Himself is then also our Glory:
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Ro. 3:23-24 NIV)
We are members of Christ, and He has given us His glory (past tense)!
I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one – I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity. (John 17:22-23a)
Now, dear brother or sister, if you have not yet experienced a measure of this one new man‘s glory and holiness emanating from within you, know that it comes to the degree that we share in Christ’s sufferings:
Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. (Ro. 8:17)
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (2 Cor. 4:17)
But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. (1 Pet. 4:13-14)
As we humble ourselves and persevere in faith, depending on the Vine to live His life through our branches, His glory progressively radiating from within us will eventually surpass the glory which radiated forth from Moses:
If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts! …And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Cor. 3:9-11, 18).
Now, behold this: just as we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ if indeed we share in His sufferings (Ro. 8:17), it is His purpose that we likewise are His glorious inheritance:
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his saints (Eph. 1:18 emphasis added)
That is a profound truth to meditate on: inheritance is mutual with God – interdependent! Astounding…
In the very near future at the end of the coming Great Tribulation, Christ will come from heaven with His saints to be glorified IN US at His second advent (see 2 Thess. 1:10), for we will have attain[ed] to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:13). (More on THIS glorious truth will come, God-willing, towards the end of this series.) For the moment, however, consider God’s purpose, well beyond the great and terrible Day of the Lord, that His entire creation be brought into the glory of the children of God:
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. (Ro. 8:18-21, emphasis added).
Hallelujah! THIS brings us right back to where we started with God’s purpose for man as revealed in Genesis 1 and Psalm 8! Isn’t this marvelous? Praise the Holy Spirit for revealing how these Scriptures connect with one another!
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. (1 Cor. 2:9-10a, citing Is. 64:4).
+++ Thank you, Tony, for unintentionally spurring me to write this +++
[To be continued…]