The Blessing of Being a Christian

KEY VERSE: “We should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. —Ephesians 1:12

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 1:3, 4

PAUL once wrote that we behold God’s glory “as in a glass”—that is, the glory of the Lord is mirrored to us from, or through, his Word. It is this reflection of God’s glory that is transforming us, from glory to glory, and it is being done by the Spirit of the Lord. This illustration is in reality merely bringing to our attention the work of grace being accomplished in our hearts, preparing us for the future work of glory with Christ.

There is a great deal said in the Bible about glory. We read, for example, that there is a glory of the terrestrial, and a glory of the celestial. (I Cor. 15:40) This is a reference to the glory of nature. Adam was created “a little lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor”—the “glory of the terrestrial.” (Ps. 8:4-6; Heb. 2:6-8) The apostle explains that we, that is the church class, who have borne the image of the earthly glory, shall be changed in the resurrection to bear the image of the heavenly glory.—I Cor. 15:48,49

When Jesus was made flesh in order to be the world’s Redeemer he was crowned with the glory and honor of the human nature, having laid aside the glory which he had with the Father before the world was created. (John 17:5) But when Jesus was raised from the dead he was exalted to a still higher glory of nature, even the divine nature, high above “angels, principalities and powers, and every name that is named.”—Heb. 1:3; Eph. 1:20,21; I Pet. 3:22

And God has promised that the church is to share this high glory with Jesus. “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises,” declares the apostle, “that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature.” (II Pet. 1:4) In view of this high calling of God in Christ Jesus, how true is Paul’s assertion that the “sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Phil. 3:14; Rom. 8:18) And again, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”—II Cor. 4:17

In addition to the glory of the divine nature to which we are called, and for which we are now being prepared, the Scriptures reveal a high degree of official glory to which the church is called. This glory of office is reflected in the many titles ascribed to our Lord and Head, Christ Jesus. He is to be the king in the coming kingdom; the great judge in the world’s coming Judgment Day; and the mediator of the “New Covenant,” which is to be inaugurated with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, and through them with all nations. The church is to share these official positions with Jesus. If we are faithful unto death, we will live and reign with Christ as kings and priests unto God. (Rev. 2:26,27; 3:21; 5:10; 20:4,6) Upon the same conditions of faithfulness we will have the privilege of being associate judges with him. (I Cor. 6:2,3) And, as ministers of reconciliation we will share with Christ in the work of the millennium. Truly there is a wonderful prospect of glory set before us in the Scriptures.

But the prospects of glory held out to us are but a reflection of the ultimate glory of Jehovah God. To be an everlasting praise to his glory and that of his beloved Son can be our future privilege if faithful to our trust in Christ.

May God’s glory shine forth, in a measure, even now in us as we use our privilege to tell his loving plan and of the time when his glory will fill the whole earth.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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