What Is the Glory of God? — Romans 3
First, God’s glory is God’s holiness. God is morally and spiritually perfect. Every thought of God is pure. Every action of God is perfect and the best that can possibly be done in every situation. Every action, word, and promise of God reveal God’s holiness. We fall short of the glory of God because we fall short of holiness. Our words and deeds reveal that we are unholy. However, because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, because of the grace of God, because we have faith in Jesus Christ, because of the Holy Spirit within us, because of the Bible that God has given us, we participate in the process of sanctification—the process of God making us holy. And after we get to heaven or at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, God’s work of sanctification will be complete, and we will receive the glorification that God has promised believers in Jesus. In Hebrews 12:14, we read, “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord” (NIV). By God’s work in us, God increases our holiness, and our holiness increases our desire to see God, and we will someday.
Second, God’s glory is God’s lovingkindness, which may be considered an attribute of God’s holiness. Everything God says and does, has said and done, will ever say and do, expresses God’s lovingkindness. We fall short of the glory of God because we fall short of lovingkindness. In Romans 5:8, we read, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (NIV). We fall short of loving sinners; especially those who have chosen to sin against us. We fall short of loving God and others. God never falls short of expressing His lovingkindness. Whenever God is merciful and just or whenever God forgives sinners or passes judgement on sinners, God expresses His lovingkindness for all concerned. Some do not want to be near God or with God; they want to stay as far away from God as possible; they want to continue living for themselves and disobeying God. Because of God’s lovingkindness, God justly grants them their desires (God gives them just judgement), but God does not rejoice in the consequences and the suffering that they have chosen. In 1 John 4:19, we read, “We love because he first loved us” (NIV). Because of the loving work of the Holy Spirit in us, called the process of sanctification, we will become more loving. In Romans 5:5, we read, “And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (NIV). Because of God’s love in us through the Holy Spirit, we will more consistently express love to God and others. Someday, because of the lovingkindness of God, we will love perfectly.
Third, God’s glory is God’s truthfulness (another attribute of God’s holiness). God will always say what is truthful. What God has revealed in the Bible is true. We fall short of the glory of God because we have not always been truthful. We have deceived people and we have lied to them. If all our lies were only “little white lies,” we were still telling lies. In John 3:21, we read, “But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God” (NIV). But we have not always wanted to come into the light. Sometimes we have preferred darkness to light, because our deeds were evil (see John 3:19). All of God’s warnings about the consequences of sin are true. Happily, all of God’s promises are also true. In John 16:13, Jesus promised Christians, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come” (NIV). As Christians, because we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, we will increasingly come to know the truth, be guided by the truth, live by the truth, and speak with truthfulness. As we prayerfully read and obey the Bible’s teachings, we will become more truthful. In John 17:17, we read part of Jesus’ prayer for us as Christians, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” (NIV). Becoming more truthful is a result of the process of sanctification.
What are some additional aspects of God’s glory (for God is more glorious that these few words can describe)? What does it mean to you to “fall short of the glory of God”? What is the solution when we discover that we have fallen short of the glory of God? Please share your ideas on the IBLF.
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