S177P3 – Forward-looking faith: the revelation of God’s glory

Rom. 5:1-5

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.  Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

This future focus of our faith is all about what we hope to see, to know, to have and to be.  It is about reaching or holding what today we can experience only in part or not at all: we do not hope for what we already see. [Rom. 8:24-25]  In this passage, Paul speaks of the hope of the glory of God, which is something to come in the future.  What we must understand is that defining the “glory of God” does not bring us to one single definition.  Scriptural references to his glory paint several pictures for us.  Of particular importance to those who follow the Lord is the revelation or visual appearance of God’s glory in a way that we have yet to see.  It is in this context that we will review these words of Paul, and we have the hope of experiencing this revelation in more than one way.

Those who love Jesus Christ and anticipate his return probably can visualize his coming on the clouds.  The biblical description of this second arrival indicates that He will appear in power and glory. [Mt. 24:29-31]  What the Son will reveal is the glory of the Father in him for all to see and understand.  This will be a new sight for our eyes.  We also know that Christ will be glorified in us. [2 Ths. 1:9-12]  That glorification is a process that happens through the transformation of our faith, and one day it will be complete.  One day, we also will reveal the glory of God.  The mechanism by which this occurs is our resurrection with Christ. [Col. 3:3-4]  As He appears in glory, He also will reveal us in glory with him, and that will be a full revelation.  

Just as we can hope with anticipation to see our Lord appear in power and glory, it also should motivate us to picture the glory we will carry along with him.  He is the perfect Son of God, so that active glorification is fitting.  We are much less than that, yet we will reveal the glory of God as well, and that is a marvelous thing.  We will have no fault or flaw then.  We will not live lives of glorifying God in one moment and defying him in the next.  All that will be seen in us is what will be seen in Christ, which is the full glory of God without blemish or adulteration.  Father, encourage us with the reminder that one day we will glorify You completely and eternally just as Your Son always has.