Glory Through Glorification
“Those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified” (v. 30).- Romans 8:28–30
God’s glory is by no means dependent upon the actions of human beings, for He possessed glory long “before the world existed” (John 17:5). Nevertheless, the Lord has sovereignly chosen to display His glory and further the universe’s awareness of this glory through the words and deeds of His people. Since we are made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26–28), redeemed human beings are uniquely able to reflect the refulgent beauty of the Lord in our characters, which is our highest calling. Moreover, because God created us for His glory (Isa. 43:1–7), living according to the vocation the Lord gave us when He made our first parents glorifies Him.
Humanity’s initial vocation involved “dominion … over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen. 1:28), and this task remains ours today. To put it simply, we are called to imitate the Lord’s sovereignty over all creation in exercising a delegated sovereignty over the spheres entrusted to us. This means leading our families to serve and worship our Creator. It means stewarding our resources wisely and not exploiting God’s creation at the expense of others. It requires us to do everything to the glory of God, serving Him according to His gifts and with a wholehearted desire to please Him (1 Cor. 10:31).
Of course, we can by no means exercise perfectly the sovereignty God delegates to us. That is why we need the Savior. Having redeemed us, He sends us forth on our original mission to take dominion over creation, bringing all nations into His service through the preaching of the gospel and the discipling of all peoples (Matt. 28:18–20).
Yet, this is not the only way the Lord will be glorified in us. In His grace, our great and holy God has granted that we will actually share in His glory. Today’s passage reminds us of this great truth, revealing the ways in which salvation is worked out in our lives from predestination to glorification (Rom. 8:28–30). Our conversions do not mark the consummation of our redemption; rather, the Lord will be glorified most fully in us only when He has brought us into our own glorification. Although we grow in our ability to reflect God’s glory over the course of our lives, the remaining presence of sin keeps us from shining forth His light in its full beauty. One day, however, the Lord will glorify us, removing even the presence of sin from our bodies. At that point, God will bring us into a full state of glorification in order that we might give glory back to Him.
Think about how amazing it is that the Lord has purposed to bring about His own glory in and through our glorification. God could have left us in our sin, and He would have been glorified in our condemnation. Yet, He has chosen His people that He might be glorified not only as Judge but also as Savior (Rom. 9:1–29). Because God has sworn that He will be glorified through our glorification, He cannot fail to bring our salvation to completion in the day of Christ Jesus.
Passages for Further Study
2 Thessalonians 1:5–12