GLORY: A BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE
THE GLORY OF GOD
BELIEVERS WILL HAVE THE GLORY OF GOD
"Through Whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the [sure] hope of the glory of God."
"And we rejoice in the [sure] hope of the glory of God" =
Believers are described here as rejoicing, i.e., expressing the emotion of joy in a boastful manner in the sure hope of receiving the glory of God.
"rejoice" = "kauchOmetha" = boast, glory.
[William R. Newell states, Romans verse-by-verse, Kregel classics, Grand Rapids, Mi, 1994, p. 167]:
"It ["kauchOmetha" = "rejoice"] is an inner, joyful confidence, rather than an outward glorying or boasting, before others, although this latter will often necessarily follow!"
[Bible Knowledge Commentary, Walvoord & Zuck, eds., Victor Books, U.S.A., 1988, p. 456]:
"In the Greek text the sentence, 'And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God,' is coordinate to the clause, 'we have peace' (5:1). Like that clause, this too may be translated, 'Let us keep on rejoicing.' "
"In the [sure] hope of" =
"hope" = "elpidi" = [Vines, p. 233]: "favourable, confident expectation"
This Greek word signifies certainty as opposed to possibility, especially considering that it is based on the guarantee of God Himself:
[Compare Eph 1:13-14]:
(v. 13) "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a Seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
(v. 14) Who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption [the final glorification] of those who are God's possession [those who believed, v. 13)] - to the praise of His glory."
"And we rejoice in the [sure] hope of the glory of God." =
"glory of God" = "doxEs tou theou" = The expression of the honor, power & holiness of God.
[Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Kittel & Friedrich, eds., Abridged Edition by Bromiley, Eerdmans Publishing, Grand Rapids, Mi, 1992, pp. 180-1]:
"The believer and dóxa". In the OT the stress lies on seeing the divine dóxa (Lev. 9:6; Is. 6:1; 35:2). For the rabbis, too, eternal felicity is contemplation of God's glory. In the NT, however, the emphasis shifts to participation. The righteous will shine, as in Dan 12:3. (Mt 13:43). The body is transformed in the resurrection into a body of glory (Phil 3:21). We are glorified together with Christ (Rom. 8:17; Col. 1:27; 3:4). This is part of the parallelism of Christ's resurrection and ours. Participation in dóxa is by participation in Christ. Eternal glory is the goal of our calling (1 Pet. 5:10). In this sinful aeon we fall short of God's glory (Rom. 3:23). But glory is to be revealed to us, and we are to enjoy the glorious liberty of the children of God (Rom. 8:18, 21). What is sown in dishonor is raised in glory (1 Cor. 15:43). Yet the future glory has its roots in the divine purpose and action, so that we may be said to be already glorified (Rom. 8:29-30; 1 Cor. 2:7). The Spirit is the pledge of the new thing that brings glory (cf. Eph. 3:16; 1 Pet 4:14). This is especially clear in 2 Cor. 3:7ff., which:
a. contrasts the glory of Moses with the new and greater glory of Christ and
b. shows how, beholding the glory of the Lord, believers are changed from glory to glory.
The movement here is from present glory to an eschatological consummation of glory. It is effected by the ministry of the gospel as this gives the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (4:6). Along the same lines, Jn. 17 says that the disciples will see the glory of Christ (v. 24), that He is glorified in them (v. 10), and that He gives to them the glory the Father has given to Him (v. 22)."
"Because of Christ, Christians eagerly anticipate the time when they will share Christ's glory, in contrast with their falling short of it now (3:23). In that sense He is 'the hope of glory' (Col 1:27; cf Rom 8:17-30; 2 Cor 4:17; Col 3:4; 2 Thes 2:14; Heb 2:10; 1 Peter 5:1, 10). Certainly such a prospect is cause for joy and even boasting!"
So Christians will not just observe God's glory, they will enter into it. Scripture promises that believers will receive glorified bodies just like the one our Lord possesses. Thus Christians will reflect the glory of God.
[Compare Ro 8:28-30]:
(v. 28) "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
(v. 29) For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son.
[i.e., to reflect God's glory as the Son reflects God's glory]
that He might be the firstborn among many brothers.
(v. 30) And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified."
[Compare Jn 17:20-24]:
(v. 20) "My [Jesus' prayer] is not for them [the disciples, (v. 6)] alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message,
(v. 21) that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.
(v. 23) I in them and You in Me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me."
Notice that believers are to be given the glory that God the Father gave our Lord in His humanity that they may be one as God the Father and God the Son are one.
[Compare Col 3:4]:
"When Christ, Who is your life, appears [at His Second Coming] then you also will appear with Him in glory."
[Compare 2 Cor 3:18]:
"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, Who is the Spirit."
THE DOCTRINE THAT IT IS ALL TO THE GLORY OF GOD WHETHER AN INDIVIDUAL IS SAVED OR CONDEMNED PERMITS THE DOCTRINE OF UNLIMITED ATONEMENT
[Cp Ro 9:22-24]:
(v. 22) "What if God, choosing to show His wrath and make His power known, bore with great patience the objects of His wrath - prepared for destruction?
(v. 23) What if He did this to make the riches of His glory known to the objects of His mercy, whom He prepared in advance for glory"
GOD IS OMNIPOTENT - HIS PURPOSES CAN NEVER BE DEFEATED
[Chafer, op. cit., p. 111-112]:
"IS GOD DEFEATED IF MEN ARE LOST?
This question relates to the larger question as to whether any sin or defiance of God means that God is defeated. Actually the total process of people being saved or unsaved brings glory to God because it manifest His infinite attributes. There is no defeat for God because His purposes are being perfectly fulfilled even by the judgment on the lost in which His holiness and righteousness are revealed. Rejecting Christ and His redemption, as every unbeliever does, is anticipated in the plan of God, though at the same time it is not according to the wishes of God Who is benevolent in His relationship to all mankind. As stated in 2 Peter 3:9, 'The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.' "...The view that all men are saved by Christ's death for them is not supported in Scripture, for both the lost and the elect are equally regarded as unregenerate and unsaved until the individuals involved place their trust in Christ...." The doctrine of election relative to salvation may better be comprehended if we understand that it is the infinite glory of God and the finite will of man which are simultaneously involved in man's eternal destiny. If Scripture teaches that everything is to the glory of God, and it does:
"For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen" and if God's Word indicates that each individual is accountable for his eternal destiny, (and it does, cp Jn 3:18); then in order for God to receive all the glory one must then conclude that God's omnipotence is so unfathomably infinite over man's finite will that whether man chooses to believe or to not believe, God still gets the glory. So God is not defeated if men are lost - His purpose and will being perfectly fulfilled even when men do not receive Christ as Savior.
Even though "God is not willing that any should perish," [2 Pet 3:9], man must still choose which it will be for him - heaven or hell. Those who reject God's love and sacrifice do not defeat God's purpose, but rather, fulfill it. For without God's gift of faith fallen man inevitably chooses hell, thus proving that it is God alone Who must be sovereign in the universe. No man can attain the righteousness of God without the grace of God operating in his life from start to finish.
FAITHFUL DISCIPLESHIP BRINGS GLORY TO GOD
(v. 8) This is to My Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples."
"This is to My Father's glory" = Everything that occurs is to be to the glory of God, (1 Cor 10:31; Rev 1:5-6, 14:7, 15:4; Ps 96:ALL).
"This is to My Father's glory, that you bear much fruit" = So the subject of this passage is the fruit bearing of believers with the result of glorifying God.
"This is to My Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples." = And the stated purpose of the believers' fruitbearing is so that one shows himself to be a disciple to the world to the glory of God..