October 16 I Sunday
1 Thessalonians 4
“…through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” —Romans 5:2, NKJV
If rejoicing in being at peace with God is dealing with our past, rejoicing in hope of the glory of God is dealing with our future. What is the hope of the glory of God? We find the word “glory” about 18 times in the Book of Romans. If we were to look it through and examine the usage of the word, we would find various connotations depending on its context. But essentially, the glory of God speaks of the character of God—God’s moral character.
Paul tells us our predicament: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The word “sin” means “to miss the mark.” We do not know what sin is unless we know what is the mark we have missed; in this case, the mark that we miss is the glory of God. We have all sinned and come short of God’s moral character but now, we can rejoice in the hope of hitting the target—the glory of God—being restored into our experience because of Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross.
As Christians, we rejoice in the hope of hitting the target. Paul writes, “For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified” (Romans 8:29-30). When we have been brought into union with God, we are going to be glorified and fully restored to the image God originally created us in as an expression of His character. But this will not be at its fullest in this life.
Paul tells us, “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18). This is the process of our transformation, not that “we have been transformed” or “we will be transformed” but that “we are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory.” This is what we call “sanctification,” that is, the growth of godliness in this life, but will come to its culmination one day.
We may be struggling with getting through the day and there are sins that make us especially vulnerable, but the day is going to come when we are going to be fully restored to the image of Jesus Christ. We are going to be glorified and it is wonderful to remind ourselves of that. Are we rejoicing in this hope?
Prayer: Lord God, thank You that there will come a day when I am going to be fully restored to Your image. I rejoice in this hope that I have in You. Praise You!