Saturday, May 23, 2015

The best is yet to come!

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TODAY'S SPECIAL: Romans 8:18-30

"Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified." Romans 8:30

A few weeks ago our pastor preached a series of sermons on the Holy Spirit. He listed four works of the Spirit in our lives: 1)Salvation; 2) Sanctification; 3) Power for Ministry and 4) Glorification.

Until he pointed it out, I had never thought of glorification as a work of the Spirit in my life. But our focus verse today bears that out as well, when it talks about Christians—the predestined, called and justified—also being glorified.

We've done a little study on Jesus' glory in the past little while so today I'm going to dig into the hope of glory for Christians.

[Glory - doxa was originally an opinion or estimation in which one was held. Then it came to mean reputation, good standing and esteem given to a person. It morphed then to mean honor or glory given to people nations and individuals. In the New Testament it means splendor, radiance and majesty centered in Jesus - from Word Wealth by Dick Mills, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible p. 1446.]

What's fascinating about the concept of glory is its interplay between the now and the not-yet.
  • For the disciples and people who saw Jesus in the flesh, glory was now. His glory was manifested in Jesus' miracles and His life generally - John 2:11.
  • For Jesus, His glory was also past—eternity past. He laid it aside to come to earth - John 17:5; Philippians 2:5-7.
  • In Jesus' John 17 prayer, He mentions glory several times both as a present reality and future hope. He prays that He will be glorified in His disciples (then and those who would believe in the future through their unity) - John 17:10,23. But He also prays that they will join Him in the future: "…be with Me where I am" to "… behold My glory" - John 17:24.
  • Paul talks about life on earth as a prequel to glorification—but not unrelated to it. He reminds the Romans in our passage that life's hardships are a contrast to the glory that's ahead - Romans 8:18.
  • He reminds the believers in Corinth that their hardships and sufferings also prepare or change them for that anticipated state, are "working for us a far more exceeding weight of glory" - 2 Corinthians 4:17.
  • And he tells Timothy that the way we endure hardships can help to encourage our fellow Christians as we journey together toward this glorified state (2 Timothy 2:10).
  • But these are just glimmerings of a hope that is future—a hope that is as old as Asaph and the Sons of Korah. "You will guide me with Your counsel, And afterward receive me to glory" Psalm 73:24, see also Psalm 84:11.

What does this have to do with you and me today?
- We live in a way that reflects Jesus' glory.
- We understand that our hardships are part of our ripening for future glory.
- We face death—the death of believing loved ones and our own deaths—with hope,
even anticipation of future glory.

Cheer up. The best is yet to come!

PRAYER: Dear Holy Spirit, have Your way in me to help me live to the glory of Jesus in my life now. And may I cooperate with you as You prepare me for glorious heaven that is still to come. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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