Romans 5:1-2. Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
We’re looking at Paul’s list of six benefits of our justification. Today, we’ll explore the third one: Since we have been justified by faith…#3) we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
We were made by God to experience and share in the glory of God.
What is glory? Glory is weightiness. Value. Meaning. Significance. Purpose. Beauty. Glory is something, anything, that impacts or changes the world around it for the good. In this way virtually everything in the universe has some level of glory. But there is only one thing in the universe that has more weight, meaning, and impact than humanity – God himself.
Glory, including God’s glory, is something that is externally manifested as majesty, beauty, brilliance, or power. But glory is also the inner character or goodness of a person. In Greek the word for glory, doxa, is used to mean both the majestic brilliance of something but it also means “a good word” or “good opinion” about someone, that is, their character or reputation is their glory. God’s glory is both his beautiful splendor and his inner character of goodness, holiness, and love.
All of this is what we were made for. Beauty, strength, meaning, impact, goodness, holiness, love, and grace. These things are the glory that every human being desires. Glory is what we chase after every day when we chase good grades, or promotions, or a clean kitchen, or Super Bowl victories, or some video fantasy, or designer shoes. We are meant for the glory of God, but we settle for the glory of a million lesser things. Things that are meant to point to God’s glory and are therefore good, but they were never meant to replace God’s glory (idols).
Ever since Genesis 3, and the invasion of sin into our souls, we’ve been prevented from seeing the fullness of the glory of God. Moses asked to see God’s glory and God said no. “You can see my back but not my face (Exodus 33:17-23).” Why? Because God’s full glory would destroy him. What Moses lacked was what Christ now provides. Justification unto glorification.
The promise of Romans 5:1-2 is that the justification of Christ has made the fullness of God’s glory possible for us. This glory is now our hope. Not a hope full of uncertainty. A hope full of the guarantee of God himself inside of you. Because we have been united to the righteousness of Christ (justification), we know that we will be united in the glory of God (glorification).
Remember what we said above, glory is an external manifestation of beauty, majesty and splendor, but it is also an internal character, goodness, and holiness. God’s greatest of glories was most fully displayed on the cross of Jesus Christ. That most horrific of days was also the most glorious of days. Yes, even in it’s ugliness there’s was a beauty, in it’s depravity a majesty, in its darkness a splendor. But the cross of Christ was also the greatest display of the doxa of God. His good word. His righteous decree that sin would be destroyed and goodness would prevail. The glory of God was there on that cross, but it was veiled until Sunday morning. On Sunday the majesty, splendor, and beauty of God literally broke through and walked out of a tomb. Now, we have seen the glory of the Lord in the face of Christ (2 Cor. 4:6).
And that glory lives within us! The glory of perfect goodness, purity, righteousness, holiness, love and grace. The good word of God, his doxa, is inside of us as the indwelling life of Christ. We have the glory of God and yet we wait in hope for the glory of God.
This is not a glory that we will sit around for eternity and just look at, like an eternal fireworks show or never ending sunset. God’s glory isn’t just something we will behold forever, it is something we will share in forever. We will experience it. Participate in it. Feel it. His glory will be our glory.
There will never be a feeling of inadequacy again. No doubting of our eternal purpose. No dulling of our sense of wonder. No smoldering of the flame of love. No quenching of the Spirit. Ever.
This is our hope. This is “to live is Christ.” This is what we rejoice in today.
What do you rejoice in each day? What do you hope for? Is it sharing in the everlasting glory of God? How does union with Christ allow you to begin sharing that glory today? Forever?