THE GREATEST OF ALL GLORIES
1Cor. 1:30-31 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.”
Recently, I have been having some unusual impressions of the nearness of God’s kingdom. Sometimes I feel like the powers of the world to come were breaking in on me.
During our recent class on the theology of Jonathan Edwards, we read his sermon on God Glorified in Redemption. Edwards spoke of being redeemed or delivered from the misery brought about because of our sins. It was quite a striking message, God is glorified by taking the most miserable sinners and transforming them into men and women of God. That is why He wanted us despite all of our baggage. To Him, the more baggage the better. The deeper in sin we were mired, the greater glory God receives through our deliverance. George Whitefield spoke about being overcome by the message of redemption. Check out this powerful excerpt from Whitefield’s sermon.
“But I must stop, the glories of the upper world crowd in so fast upon my soul, that I am lost in the contemplation of them. Brethren, the redemption spoken of is unutterable; we cannot here find it out; eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the hearts of the most holy men living to conceive, how great it is. Were I to entertain you whole ages with an account of it, when you come to heaven, you must say, with the Queen of Sheba, ‘Not half, no, not one thousandth part was told us! All we can do here, is to go upon Mount Pisgah, and, by the eye of faith, take a distant view of the Promised Land; we may see it, as Abraham did Christ, afar off, and rejoice in it; but here we only know in part. Blessed be God, there is a time coming, when we shall know God, even as we are known, and God be all in all. Lord Jesus, accomplish the number of thine elect! Lord Jesus, hasten thy kingdom!”
We can see God’s glory everywhere we look. After all, David said the heavens were declaring the Glory of our God. That is actually the first purpose of creation, it points us to the greatness of our God. But here is the shocking truth of redemption. The Lord has reserved the greatest display of His glory in the redemption of fallen man. We were all without hope, slaves of our own passions and lusts when Christ came to us. He not only forgave us from our sins, He also delivered us from the power of sin that controlled us. It was not enough that He declared us righteous by faith in His blood, He also imparted a new nature into us so that we could actually become righteous. We have changed, I mean really changed. Now all of your acquaintances that know who you used to be can be amazed by the power of redemption in your life.