Understanding The Bible
HOW GOD WORKS GLORIFICATION FOR OUR GOOD
Dr. John Denney claimed this to be the most daring verse in the Bible, "Whom He justified those He also glorified."
Many commentators and preachers have had problems with the Greek aorist and English past tenses of "He also glorified." Even though the five items are tied together logically and chronologically they find it convenient to make this one of five aorists a timeless aorist when the other four are claimed by the paragraph to have happened before the foundation of the world and the ages. Others like the Philadelphian John Murray claim the verb to be a theological prolepticism like Isaiah 53 and John 17. However you and I finally base our arguments pro and con, we must understand them to have all been done at the same time because they are together what we all must see as positional truths or creedal truths.
I was personally being blessed to hear one of our great nationally-revered and scholarly preachers moving along in his comments about these five factors. He at length came to "Who He justified those He also glorified." "Of course," said he, " this is different from the others for it cannot be achieved until our final change into Christ's likeness." Ah, but our glorification does not standby in waiting like a bride because already certain degrees of it already operate in proportion to our adoration of the image Christ has impressed on humanity, 2 Cor 3:18.
Our chief interpretive emphasis throughout these chapters has been, what does God say? While understanding why scholars find it difficult to accept it both grammatically and exegetically proper as a previous and achieved fact, we nonetheless are not going to let this amazing fact get lost to our present lives. God certainly intended a special glow in our daily experience as these five grace-factors "click" in our experiences.
Glorification As Part of an Issue
The first part of the issue is that originally God crowned humanity with a certain glory. Hebrews 2:5-8 contains a citation of Psalm 8:4-6. In the Psalm we read "You have crowned him with glory and honor." When Christ was incarnated and became the GodMan he had to flesh out the passage's continuing meaning and promise.
We must clearly see two candid pictures in this text from Hebrews 2:5-13. The first is in 2:5-8 where we are reminded by God that:
(1) Redeemed humanity is going to be co-ruling over the earth in the millennium, 2:5. This is a great assignment and it implies many changes in humanity and much preparation for the task.
(2) God's mind is full of humanity (i. e. "man"). God has done a lot of thinking about humanity--its fall, its resurrection, its future fulfillment of His long-ranged purpose for it.
(3) God visited mankind--in the Garden of Eden several times, in the Christologies of the 0. T., in the incarnation, Luke 19:41.
(4) God ranks humanity for a little while below the angels, 2:7a.
(5) God crowned man with glory and honor and set him over the works of His hands, 2:7c.
(6) God kept fallen man from seeing this as yet, 2:8. But this has already been set in an unalterable decree.
The second candid picture follows the first in Hebrews 2:9-13, It is a picture of the GodMan interposing Himself into the human-scene as Mr. Humanity. This alone could rescue humanity from the fall and provide the actualization of the decree:
(1) Jesus substituted Himself for fallen humanity, 2:9. We can see Him today as our anchor. He "was crowned with glory and honor for the suffering of death so that He by the grace of God should drain the cup of death for everyman."
(2) Because of these sufferings that became travail for us, He knows perfectly how to lead many sons into glory (land), 2:10.
(3) His identification with the redeemed is so close the two look like and prove to be all of one new human stock, 2:11-13. His cry of acclamation seals the tact that humanity has been glory-crowned.
The second part of the issue is that man lost his original crown of glory. Here the chief reasons, in this matter, for the coming of Christ are identified.
(1) Humanity tell under sin because it was proven that both Jews and Gentiles are all under sin, Rom 3:9b.
We have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin.
God proved this by dealing with the Gentile world before the flood in Romans 1:18-32. He dealt with the Jewish world from Romans 2:1 through 3:1-9. The two Bible classifications of the world at the time of the first advent reveal that the whole world fell under the domination of sin, whether under the law or not.
The second reason why it took Christ's coming to rescue the decree for the glorification of humanity is that He found all humanity falling short of the glory from God, Rom 3:23.
For all sinned (i. e. in Adam) and keep falling short of the glory from God.
This proves that man lost his crown of glory because of the first Adam and the devious way He handled God's Word of direction.
The GodMan alone restores the decree of glory on humanity. He did and does this in at least these three major ways. (1) Christ does it by raising the dead, Jn 11:4. Jesus spoke a meaningful word about Lazarus:
This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of Man might be glorified thereby.
That this is not merely a statement on physical death we may see clearly from Col 3:1-4 where it is stated that believers have already been raised with Christ and hidden in Him. The glory of God crowns redeemed humanity by virtue of the resurrection of the inner man.
(2) The second major way the GodMan can alone restore the glory to redeemed man is by putting him into a redeemed family. This new family's genealogy starts with the last Adam, Jesus Christ. The family is called out by the Gospel from the fallen world and this is its name, the ekkleesia--the Church, Matt 16:18.
(3) The third major reason is that Christ, as the last Adam, became the Head of the new family, the Church. Of course if the Church is not built by Christ on His own deity and on His own resurrection from among the dead and ascended into glory, all you have is a scenario of unimplemented religious jargon. But because He is the Head of the new Church family we are able to know, Eph 1:22-23:
God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be Head over everything for the Church, which is His Body, the fullness of Him Who filleth all members with all things.
Glorification as Part of a Distinction
Two major considerations challenge us in Scripture regarding this unique subject of "whom He justified, them He also glorified." The first goes back to the original communication that was made to us the time we were called by the Spirit. The second looks at a parallel entity that shows the present glory of the redeemed as a frustration to its own change.
(1) The distinct communication made to us when the Spirit called us, was the attractiveness of Jesus Christ, 2 Cor 4:1-6. Verses 3-4 show us the distinction between moral night and spiritual day:
But if our Good News be hid, it is hid in them that are lost. In whom the god of this age has pulled the blinders down over the minds of those who do not believe, lest the light from the Good News about the glory of Christ should break like dawn upon them.
As we have been saying repeatedly election is brought to human beings by means of the Gospel. The communication is a distinct one--see the attractiveness of Christ. This attractiveness is His glory. He is brilliant in every way and the Spirit asks His target to think it over. In a series like this, how fitting that the next two verses, 5-6 should relate:
For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God Who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of Christ in the face of Jesus Christ.
(2) The second distinction lies in the realm of all non-human creation, Rom 8:19-21.
The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the One Who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God.
Creation is waiting for something the redeemed already experience, liberty to experience and enjoy glory. For we do experience and enjoy liberty, Gal 2:4; 5:1, 13. That Creation does neither experience or enjoy it says something loudly about a major distinction standing as loyal proof of its opposite in a special part of mankind, redeemed humanity. There is no yet discovered way that creation, even personified, could ever know frustration without a daily testimony of the evidence of a present redeemed humanity bearing along the purposed glory of mankind.
Glorification as a Part of a Continuing Ministry
Permit a brief crowning word on the glory of God upon redeemed humanity. Since the term glory is not only an abstract noun but as well a term of infinite degrees, we need to see the ramifications of 2 Corinthians 3:18 for wherever the Spirit of the Lord is free, 3:17, this is what He does:
But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transfigured into the same image from one degree of glory to another degree of glory, This transfiguration is worked by the Spirit from the Lord.
This means we all are challenged with:
Opening up our faces.
Opening the eyes of our hearts.
Opening our lives to transfiguration.
Opening our lives to increasing degrees of glory.
Preaching is heralding and proclaiming Christ from every page of the Bible and in every place God puts you. Expository preaching is explanatory preaching. It explains what God is saying in the text preached at a given time. We are all different, even distinct in the manner we are equipped, trained, and sharpened to act. Perhaps the more we see the end results of our efforts the more flair we may be able to incorporate into our delivery. But our best is simply to be added to the Spirit's excellence. He alone can make it effective. But since the command is to preach the prescription, 2 Tim 4:2, we have a necessity to know what God is saying and explain that to people.
In my definition of the filling of the Spirit, we are filled by the Spirit with the Word God has given to preach, Col 1:9-11. That is why expository preaching and teaching of the Bible are a spiritual natural. Let the flow of the substance the Spirit prescribed be the daily experience of saturated satisfaction you all came to get.
How then will you respond to these things that the Spirit of God works together for our supreme good? He that spared not His only begotten Son but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him freely give us all these things?
The Writings of Douglas B. MacCorkle
see brief Biography)
Prophetic Peaks, Exposition of the Olivet Discourse. Copyright 1968 by Douglas B. MacCorkle. Third Printing 1972. Printed by Careers With Christ Press, Philadelphia College of Bible, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Printed in the United States of America. Published by the not for profit MacCorkle Bible Ministries, Inc. Books. P.O. 320909, Cocoa Beach, Fl 32932-0909. Used by permission through the generosity of Judith and Ray Naugle.
God's Own VIPS, Copyright 1987 by Douglas B. MacCorkle. MacCorkle Bible Ministries, Inc., Printed in the United States of America. Published by the not for profit MacCorkle Bible Ministries, Inc. Books. P.O. 320909, Cocoa Beach, Fl 32932-0909. Used by permission through the generosity of Judith and Ray Naugle.
Dr. MacCorkle's Books and Study materials on this website are made available here free, through the generosity of Judith and Ray Naugle, and may be copied for use in Bible study groups, in limited numbers, providing that no charge is made for them. No further distribution or use of these materials is allowable under U.S. or International Copyright Law without express permission.
Additional copies of Dr. MacCorkle's books are available from Judy Naugle, 2201 Harmony Hill Dr, Lancaster PA 17601.