Benefits Of Justification
Hope Of Glory
In a Brief Survey of the Epistle of Paul to the Romans
Based on sermons preached in PCC Worship Services, July 2003 to Sep 2005
Part 21b of 83

1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. …” (Romans 5:1-5).

[We have begun our study of the apostle Paul’s rehearsal of the benefits of justification. In our first instalment we saw the first benefit, which is “peace with God.” In this second part, we must look at the second benefit - JJL]

2.  Hope of Glory

Paul says (v. 2)—

2 By whom [by Christ our Lord] also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Hope of the glory of God is the second benefit. Again we enjoy this blessing through Christ. Through Christ “we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand,” says Paul. The word “grace” has many meanings in the Scriptures. Here it refers to the state of salvation and the peace with God that we enjoy. How did we get to enjoy this grace? It is through the Lord Jesus Christ. We have access to it by faith in Him. Think of the state of salvation as a chariot. Christ Jesus our Lord is the one driving the chariot. Some time, not too long ago, He stopped the chariot at your door step. Do you remember that glorious day? What did the Lord do? He opened the door of the chariot. He stretch out His hand and said “stretch forth thy hand” (Mt 12:13). By faith you stretch forth your hand; and He pulled you onto the chariot. And now you are standing on the chariot with Christ beside you.

What now? You know don’t you? The chariot does not delay for any longer than to pick you up. Our Lord, taps the horse on its back and it starts galloping again.

Where is it galloping to? It is galloping towards heaven. It is galloping toward victory for you. What awaits you is the glory of God. Christ the Captain of your salvation has picked you up. You are in a race to heavenly glory.

To have hope of the glory of God is to be assured that Christ your Lord will never leave you or forsake you. He will bring you to glory.

This is what it is to “rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” To rejoice in this context is to boast. The Christian has reason to boast. You have reason to boast not because of anything you have done. You have reason to boast because Christ has introduced you into the chariot of grace.  Your hope of glory is not an empty hope.

God has “called you unto his kingdom and glory” (1 Th 2:12). Christ by His Spirit has set you on the road to this glory. You have strong reason to hope for this glory.

But what is this glory? It is the glory of God. The apostle John is referring to this glory when he tells us that when Christ shall appear, “we shall be like him” (1 Jn 3:2).

One day, we shall share in the glory of Christ. And the glory of  Christ is God’s glory. God’s glory will be reflected on us. Today we are poor images of God. One day, we shall reflect His glory fully.

This is the hope that every child of God shares in.

Do you have a desire for glory, dear reader? I am not sure, but I think if we are asked this question, many of us will say, “No; I do not desire glory.” The fact is, we have all learn how to answer in a politically correct manner. Only politicians and pompous film stars aspire for glory. Christians should be humble rather than ambitious.

But let me ask you again: In your heart of hearts, do you not desire to be loved and to be honoured by others. Do you not wish that others will like you and think well of you? I think we will not be speaking the truth if we say we have no such desire. It is human to desire to be loved and honoured. God made us this way.

Now, this desire is essentially the desire for glory. But there are right and wrong ways of fulfilling this innate desire. The way of wealth, politics, crime and hollywood are wrong ways. The ways of glory of the world, leads to transient, glory of man’s imagination. The right way leads to real glory. Only the glory of God is real glory. The right way is the way of holiness. The right way is the way of the Cross.

Dear Christian, Christ has introduced you into the way. And it is in this way alone that we must attain glory. And it is in this way that we can boast and hope.

If you know you are in this way, seek no more earthly glory. Live for Christ. Ride with Him. What awaits you is a “crown of glory that fadeth not away” (1 Pet 5:4).

But remember: the way to victory will not be an easy way. It will be a way of persecution and tribulation. The ride will be bumpy and you will have to fight off many attempts to knock you off. The Word of God assures us of this fact over and over again: “We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22) says Paul and Barnabas. “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Tim 3:12; cf. Mk 10:30) says Paul.

What shall we do with such tribulation?

…to be Continued Next Issue

—JJ Lim