Lesson Five – Glorified


From Eternity to Eternity – Lesson Five

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Therefore having been justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Rom. 5:1-5

In the foregoing the Apostle Paul depicts the spiritual and psychological condition of children of God in Christ. We stand on the “Mountain of Peace” because of justification. This peace is missing in the lives of sinners in the world; however, if they will come into Christ by the new birth they also can enjoy peace with God. After we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand we then perceive that we can also share in God’s glory in His eternal kingdom in heaven. “Glorified” is the best word to sum up what God will bestow upon faithful Christians in eternity after the end of time.

When God created mankind He put within us a great need for glory. This psychological concept is easy to perceive in children. Nothing satisfies young people more than to achieve something and then be accepted by others in their achievement. These are the two fundamental elements which give us glory, that is, achievement and the acceptance by others in our achievement. By the grace of God, Christians achieve the role of His sons and daughters, and we are accepted by Deity and the church in our role (II Cor. 6:17-18).

It is only after we have peace with God that we can contemplate the possibility of sharing in His glory. The Apostle Paul said, “We exult (rejoice) in the hope of the glory of God.” Christians do not receive the full glory of God’s kingdom now, but our hope of full satisfaction of our need for glory becomes an integrating goal in our lives. Our hope generates strength of character which promotes our happiness. Everybody wants to be strong, but we ask, “How?”

We see in our text that strong character is developed by tribulation; however, we generally find tribulations distasteful. Consequently, the key to happiness is to find a way to rejoice in tribulations. (We will have them anyway). Our text shows us how. First we attain peace with God because we are justified. Secondly, we rejoice in hope of the glory of children of God. But here is the hard part, because we are children of God, we must conform to the image of Jesus in character and personality (Rom. 8:29). Of course, we will never in this life fully attain His full stature, but He becomes our goal. Tribulation for righteousness sake will help develop our character like Jesus if other things are right (Heb. 12:1-13). Tribulation develops perseverance, perseverance brings about proven character and then our hope is strengthened toward our goal. As we revolve through this cycle set forth in Romans 5:1-5 a few times, we will begin to rejoice in our tribulations because of our success in spiritual growth.

GlorifiedOur text states that after we have peace and hope “we also exult (rejoice) in tribulations.” The athletes who compete in the Olympic Games undergo tribulations for several years in order to attain the glory of winning a gold medal. They rejoice in the opportunity to undergo these tribulations because of the hope for glory. When Christians stand on the “Mountain of Hope”, we too will rejoice in our tribulations. We must have the character of Jesus before we can hope to share in His glory in the city of God in heaven; therefore, “We also exult in our tribulations.”

Now let us investigate the full glory which will belong to faithful Christians when Jesus comes again. Because we are sons of God we are heirs of God’s kingdom and eternal life (Matt. 19:29; 25:34). Those who love the Lord are now heirs of the kingdom and will receive the crown of life (Jas. 1:12; 2:5).

When Jesus comes again we can expect that our inner man will be awakened from death’s sleep and clothed with a glorious spiritual body (Rom. 8:11; I Cor. 15:42-44). If we are alive when Jesus comes our bodies will be changed from mortal to immortal (I Cor. 15:51-53). As sons of God and with our spiritual bodies, we will be awarded our inheritance of eternal life and God’s kingdom.

Christians should try to understand our inheritance in a practical way. This will give us strength to prepare ourselves now for life in God’s eternal kingdom. We need more than a hope of a resurrection from the dead with a blurred-out view of things thereafter. We need to understand what we will have when we inherit eternal life and the kingdom of God.

A study of the Christian’s inheritance requires an understanding of several spiritual concepts. First, we should know that the word “inherit” in the New Testament is used in the same way as our secular usage. We understand that after our inheritance is finalized in court, we possess what we inherit. Consequently, when we inherit the kingdom of God as His children, we become a permanent part of this kingdom eternally. We do not take over the kingdom, but we do let God rule over us in His kingdom forever. The word kingdom suggests a rule. Conditions in heaven will be such that we can let God rule us. With Him in command we believe life will be good all the time.

Christians desire to let Jesus Christ rule our lives now; however, there are some legitimate distractions which will not let us let Him rule all of our lives all of the time. Some of these distractions are our physical bodies, Satan, sinners in the world and the lawless and stumbling blocks in the church. Jesus’ return, our resurrection and judgment will take care of all of these distractions.

Our own physical death and resurrection will free us from our tendency to lust (Rom. 13:14; II Cor. 5:1-3). Upon Jesus’ return Satan will be permanently removed from our presence as a distraction (I Pet. 5:8; Rev. 20:10). All non-believers who have matured to the point of exercising the knowledge of good and evil will be cast into hell (II Thess. 1:6-10; Rev. 20:12- 15). Jesus will remove all of the stumbling blocks and lawless Christians from His kingdom at Judgment (Matt. 7:21-23; 13:40-43). After these distractions are removed and if our will is right there will be no reason why we cannot let God rule over us as our Father forever. If we do not will that God should rule over our lives now. We have a problem which will not be solved by Jesus’ return. Some Christians may go to hell (Jas. 5:19-20). Christians who walk away from Judgment “with the sheep” will inherit God’s kingdom. We will get for our own His rule free of distractions.

In order to understand our inheritance of eternal life, we need to know that one aspect of eternal life is described by Jesus as “knowing God” (John 17:3). To know God means to think and feel about Him and others the way He does according to the Apostle John:

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. I John 4:7-8

In other words, life as it is translated from the Greek word ZOE in the New Testament means a quality of character and personality like that of God our Father and Jesus Christ (Eph. 5:1). God is love, we learn to love. Christians struggle to develop the life traits of Jesus now, but we will not reach perfection while in this body. This is why our present life is classified as “justified” (Rom. 5:17-18). Since Jesus will not function as our justifier in heaven, we can conclude that when we inherit eternal life we attain our goal. We will be given the crown of life (Rev. 2:10). All of our deficiencies of personality and weaknesses of character will be removed. We will become the mature person we are now striving to be (Eph. 4:13). The following Scripture tells us what it means to inherit eternal life.

And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. I Peter 5:10

How important is it to Christians to be aware our inheritance? Important enough for God to let the Holy Spirit serve us as an earnest of our inheritance (Eph. 1:13-14). Thank you for letting us share God’s purposes for you.


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