Have you thought biblically and clearly about your coming glory? That’s right. Your glory. Does that sound heretical to you? Then, you’ll want to listen to this episode.
In this episode, you’ll be surprised at the findings that we, as believers, are headed for a glorious existence that we can’t even imagine and will receive rewards or glory from Christ that will shock us.
This is the third episode in a three-part series on glory.
We want to help you raise strong disciples of Jesus Christ, who can stand strong in today’s culture, and you can get the audiobook of the Disciple Making Parent absolutely free.
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I’m Chap Bettis, and you’re listening to The Disciple-Making Parent Podcast, where we seek to equip parents and churches to pass the gospel to their children. Have you thought biblically and clearly about your coming glory? That’s right. Your glory. Does that sound heretical to you? Well, then, you’re going to want to listen to this episode of The Disciple-Making Parent Podcast.
Hi, my name is Chap Bettis, and I’m the author of The Disciple-Making Parent. This is the third of three podcasts in which we’re going to explore a subject that had been rattling around in my brain for several years. It’s the subject of glory. And I started thinking about it because I felt like as Christians, we throw that word around a lot, but we don’t actually know what it means. And I believe thinking about the subject of glory will actually change your spiritual life. And I covered this topic over three sermons on Sunday night at my home church, Grace Harbor Church.
Well, in the first episode, we sought to understand the word “glory” and looked at glimpses of God’s glory. We looked at four different ways the word is used, and I labeled them glory owned, meaning someone- or in this case God- has glory in and of himself. He is glorious. Glory seen: We see that glory displayed. Glory given: It comes out of our mouth, we verbalize it. And glory boasted, meaning we glory in something when we hang onto it, as when we’re nervous. And then we did a quick survey of where we see God’s glory in the world.
Well, in the second episode, we sought to think about glimpses of Christ’s glory. How he should be getting bigger and better in our understanding each year, and that we’re changed as we behold that glory, the glory of Christ.
Finally, in this episode, I think you’re going to be surprised at the findings that we as believers are headed for a glorious existence that we can’t even imagine, and will receive rewards- or glory- from Christ that will shock us.
Again, let me answer: How is this important for family discipleship? Well, first, everything is not about the family. Everything is about Jesus. And the more we live for eternity, the more human we’ll be and the more we’ll have our proper focus. Sometimes in the busyness of parenting, we forget our eternal or heavenly focus.
Well, before we start, I’d like you to let you know that we’ve started another podcast, and that is The Disciple-Making Parent Audioblog. In that podcast, I read some of my blog posts in audio format for your convenience. Our plan is to release three of those a week. And so even as I record this, we’re into the first year and we’re six months in. So check out all those episodes of The Disciple-Making Parent Audioblog on your favorite podcast provider. But for now, let’s think about glimpses of the believer’s glory.
It’s a joy again to address the saints tonight. I will be looking at 2 Corinthians chapter four. It will be a topical sermon, but we will look at that verse: 2 Corinthians chapter four. And that is page 1025 if you want to follow along in the pew Bible.
So tonight we continue with the third sermon on glory. And several months ago I preached a sermon entitled Glimpses of God’s Glory. And in that sermon I suggested that we use the word “glory” a lot if you’re a follower of Christ, but I don’t think we often know what that means. And one of the reasons is because it’s used in multiple ways in the Bible.
So one of those ways I called it glory owned. So God is excellent. God is magnificent in himself. He is glorious. But then another way we talked about was glory seen. God desires that that excellence would be seen in the world. Heavens declare the glory of God, help us see it slightly.
And then another way the Bible uses the word “glory” is “glory given.” Even as we sang the song tonight, “Magnify the Lord with me, glorify his name.” Giving God praise with our mouth and sometimes with our actions as well. And then the last way I suggested was glory boasted, which is who is our hope when we are nervous, who is our confidence, what we boast. That’s what we call our glory, which of course is Christ.
In the second sermon, we narrowed in and the title that was “Glimpses of Christ’s Glory” and we looked at the magnificence or excellence of the Son. His glory was before creation. His glory was veiled by the fall, but is still seen in the incarnation. And then his magnificence is shown in the cross, the resurrection, and then the ascension. And when he was glorified, Scripture says in the heavenly realms, he sent the Holy Spirit. So he received glory in heaven. And Scripture talks about that he will return with great glory. And Habakkuk says that the Earth will be filled with the knowledge and the glory of the Lord. And that’s what we’re looking forward to. Well, what I want to suggest, and in that sermon we talked about, is we have a duty and delight to contemplate that glory. We can’t see it now with our eyes, but we see it by faith in the Scripture.
Well, tonight I want us to take a slightly different tack and I want us to talk about our glory. So tonight’s message is entitled “Glimpses of the Believer’s Glory.” And it’s going to also be a topical message, but I want to root it in 2 Corinthians four. So if you’re there, we’ll look in verses 16 to 18. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. Paul’s writing to the believers at Corinth, and he says,
Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Just pray a second with me. Lord, in your word you say your testimonies are righteous. Give us understanding that we may live. The psalmists prayed that, and we pray that as well. Would you give us understanding? In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Well, my main point tonight is really simple. Your glory is coming, so glorify God today. Your glory is coming, so glorify God today, and we’ll look at several different truths here. The first truth is this: that we are on a trajectory of glory. We are on a trajectory of glorification in this life. When we look at the whole Scriptures, we see that Adam and Eve, our first parents, when they were created, there was no sin or decay in the world. They were magnificent! Supposedly we only use 20% of our brain. They used a hundred percent of their brain! Some of us need to work out more. They looked great! Their bodies looked great, not subject to decay or fatigue. You can read some of C. S. Lewis’s fiction to get a sense of his speculation of what the world might have been like- in this fiction- before the fall.
And we still share some of that glory a little bit. The psalmist writes, What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. Even in our fallen state, Psalm 8:4 & 5 says, we’re crowned with glory and honor.
But you know the story of the Bible. In our sin, we lost our glory, our excellence, our magnificence. We call it the fall of mankind, but in a sense, it may might be better renamed the plummet of mankind. God’s word tells us that all- you and me- all of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We fall short of where God created Adam and Eve, that perfect righteousness of living. We fall short of his praise. We fall short of being with him in glory. And God would’ve been perfectly justified to leave us in that state, but in a display of his excellence and majesty and- Didn’t you see the beauty of Christ this morning as Luke portrayed it? In kindness and humility, God comes down to rescue sinners like you and me to the cross. Purchasing our sin, purchasing our salvation.
God is on a rescue mission, but he’s not just rescuing us from sin. He’s rescuing us to something. To himself and to a greater glory. So you- yes, you, and you, and you- are on a trajectory of glory. How do we know we’re on a trajectory of glory? Well, let me read this passage in Romans 8:30 because it says, really, salvation is not complete until there is glorification. Paul, as he’s writing, he writes this: For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified.
What Paul is doing is saying, “Here’s salvation. You were foreknown, and then predestined and called and justified.” And then if he was really doing his grammar right, he said, “and you will be glorified.” But he doesn’t do that. It’s so certain we’re just going to speak of it in the past tense. Justified, glorified, even though it hasn’t happened.
Well, that’s the overall picture, but let’s get down into the day to day. And another way we see our trajectory of glory, and we talked about this in the previous sermon, was that our sanctification is causing us to increase in glory right now. 2 Corinthians 3:18, We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord– That’s what was happening this morning as Luke was preaching to us- and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit. He’s talking about you and me. As I am listening to Luke and thinking and praying to see the kindness of Jesus Christ and the humility I am being transformed from glory to glory. As we look to Jesus, he is making us like him in greater glory on the inside.
Just a sidebar, I think application: I think the older you get as a Christian, the more happy and hopeful we should be, not more grumpy or critical. I say that as one of the older members. We’re going up, man! We’re going up!
But not only do our deliberate focus on Christ, make us glorious on the inside, but this brings us to our verse in 2 Corinthians 4:17. We’re on our trajectory of glory in that our trials, your trials, are causing you to increase in glory. It’s as we look at Christ, but it’s also in the pressing of the trials. Here’s our passage now, Therefore– verse 16- we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. There’s that glory to glory. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us– me and you- an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. Paul’s saying what Travis covered in Peter last week: that these trials are refining your faith, getting rid of those impurities and producing a weighty person.
Think about if you’ve heard a person- and I can remember back in college, we had a guy come mooch off us in our college dorm who had a trust fund. He had never worked a day in his life. Compare his lightness and his moochiness with someone who has suffered and gone through those. Who is more weighty? The person who has suffered. In Romans, Paul says that this glory is so great, it’s not even worth comparing to whatever trial you’re going through. In verse 18 he says- well, let me go back.
Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not even worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. So Paul, from this perspective, is saying we’re on a trajectory of glory. Its promise: our sanctification and our trials are bringing it back from glory to glory.
Well, not only are we on a trajectory of glory, but Scripture also says we will receive glory in the next life. How? Well, a couple of different ways that we’re going to receive glory: One is our bodies will be glorified. Our bodies. Scripture says, Paul was saying in 1 Corinthians 15, our bodies are sown in dishonor. When we bury an older person. As the body decays. As you get older and you see just the old age and they’re under the weight of death. And then finally there’s an old body. He says that’s sown in dishonor, but that is going to be raised in glory. It’s going to be the difference between a nursing home and a college athletic gym. One day the bodies of those who are believers will be even better than some 20-year-old athlete. It’ll be like Jesus resurrected body. He has the first glorified body. And some theologians suggest that since the glory is so often used with the brightness of our new bodies, that we’re going to have some sort of brightness associated with it.
So for example, in Matthew 13:43, Jesus says the righteous will shine like the sun. Isn’t that fun to think about? You and I are going to glow in a good way. That gives me hope. That gives me hope as I watch people I love age. That may give you hope as you age. That gives me hope as I know that one day I’ll go to the doctor and get the news. I’ll get the news. But I’m going to get a new body.
But there’s a second way that we’re we’ll be glorified in the next life. We will be glorified by Jesus. Wait, what? What did he just say? And maybe you guys barely listening, did I just say heresy? Jesus is going to glorify us. Wait, what? 1 Peter 1:6 & 7. Travis, you spoke on this last week. You rejoice in this, even though now for a short time, if necessary, you suffer grief in various trials so that the proven character of your faith—more valuable than gold which, though perishable, is refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. What Jesus is doing when he says in the parable, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” That was the point Travis made last week. And I’m like, “Man, you’re preaching my message!” just for a moment there in the sense that we read that passage and we think, oh, it’s the praise, glory, and honor of Jesus. And yet, as Travis said and I agree, it’s actually our praise.
Now let me amplify that. C. S. Lewis in the book The Weight of Glory says, “A good many Christians in history have taken heavenly glory in the sense of fame or good report. But not fame by our fellow creatures, fame with God or his approval.” So isn’t one aspect of glory praise. And what does? What does the master say to the faithful servant? “Well done, good and faithful servant.” We watch this play out in miniature with little kids. There’s a child who rightly delights to please his parents. And what do those parents do? They praise the child. It’s a fitting circle. Their praise, from the child’s perspective, is all that matters. Proverbs 17:6 says The glory of children is their fathers. And so in a similar way, what we too are adopted into this warm relationship with our Heavenly Father, and we are looking to please him on a day-to-day basis. We are pleasing in Christ because we’ve come to Christ, embraced him as our savior. His righteousness is ours, our sin is his. We are adopted as sons and daughters. And now we have a heart that wants to please him, and when we don’t please him, we can confess it and that pleases him too. So we are pleasing, but we want to please him. We live for an audience of one. You and I are on a trajectory of glory, and we will receive glory in the next life.
Let me give you three applications. Remember, my main point was, Your glory is coming, so glorify God today. How do we glorify God? Let me give you three applications.
One is just rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. No matter how bad our life is. No matter what the trials are that you’re facing now, you can rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. That’s Romans 5:2. Christians, Paul writes, we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
A second application comes right out of 1 Corinthians, and it’s this: we glorify God, whatever we do. 1 Corinthians 10:31: So whether you eat or drink, whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God. The context there is grey matters: things that are not exactly clear in scripture. And Paul says there’s no part of your life where you go, “Well, that’s my God life and this is my own life, and I can do what I want.” Paul’s saying all of life, whether you eat, whether you drink, whatever you do, you do it for the glory of God. Whatever decisions you’re making. You do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 6:2, he says the same thing about our body. You were bought at a price, therefore glorify God with your body. What does glorify mean? Glorify means to make attractive. There are movies that glorify violence, glorify drug use. What do they do? By words, by action, by the storyline they’re making you think, “Man, drugs are cool.” That’s glorifying drugs, glorifying violence. God says we are to glorify and make him attractive, following him. We live for an audience of one. If Jesus is pleased with your life, it doesn’t matter what others think. That’s the cure for insecurity. Am I living for the glory of others? Or the glory of Jesus? The praise from others, or the praise from Jesus by his Spirit?
Let me switch gears here and listen carefully because the second application that I just told you is we glorify God, whatever we do. But thirdly, we glorify God, whatever he does. You know the story in John 21. Jesus is restoring Peter, and he says to them, When you’re old, you’ll stretch out your hands. Someone else will tie you and carry you where you don’t want to go. And he said this to indicate by what kind of death Peter would glorify God. And after saying this, he said, follow me.
Do you remember what Peter did? “What about John?” Jesus says, “What’s that to you? You follow me. You’re going to die a martyr’s death, and that’s going to glorify me.” John, tradition says, died a natural death, and that glorified him. Here in the moment, Jesus is saying, “I’m calling you to follow me to what the circumstances I give you, not the circumstances I give him.”
And it’s the classic problem. I’m jealous, right? I want his life. I want her money. I want their children. Jesus said, I have a perfect life planned out for you. It involves suffering. You follow me. Don’t say, “What about him?” What’s that to you? You follow me. For our light and momentary troubles are producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we focus not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. Your glory is coming. It’s coming. So glorify God today. And tomorrow. And Tuesday. Let’s pray together.
Lord Jesus, we bow. We thank you that we can see your glory greatest on the cross, as you paid out of humility for the sin of undeserving sinners, offering salvation for whosoever would receive it. Lord, you have a wonderful plan for us that includes glorification and our minds can’t even get around that. Would you help us to rejoice in that coming glory, bank on that coming glory, live for that coming glory and honor you tomorrow morning, whatever comes at nine o’clock tomorrow morning. Help us to live for you. We pray in Jesus’ name, amen.
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