Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Glory of God in Romans 3:23, Explained and Applied

One of the very first Bible verses that I ever memorized was Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." The reason that I memorized this verse was for the first part: that ALL have sinned. This verse is properly a proof that ALL are in need of a Savior.

I did not realize until tonight, however, that I have given woefully inadequate attention to the second half of the verse: "come short of the glory of God." What does it mean to have fallen short of God's glory? IF someone had pressed me on this point, I THINK that I would have responded with some vague idea of our sins making us less than God, who is perfect. But aren't we less than God regardless of sin? Even if a person could somehow refrain from sin throughout his or her entire life, wouldn't that person still be less than God?

I believe that Richard Barcellos' words from the Southern California Reformed Baptist Pastors' Conference are extremely helpful on this point:

Barcellos explains that the "glory of God"in Romans 3:23 refers to "the state of existence in God's special presence" (contrasted with His general omnipresence), which Man "did not possess via creation." Man was created in a blessed state, but not in a state of glory. Adam failed the test God had placed before him, eating from the forbidden fruit-thereafter being barred from eating from the tree of life (Gen 3:6, 22-24)-therefore Adam never entered into "the glory of God" that he would have attained if he had passed the test. Being "in Adam" (1 Cor 15:22), we were all "by nature children under wrath" (Eph 2:3). Adam came short of God's glory; in him, we ALL come short of the glory of God. We live out our fallenness as we choose to sin against God.

Barcellos goes on to proclaim:

"But here is the good news: another came-the last Adam, our Lord Jesus Christ-who suffered, and entered into glory in His resurrection, and will bring many sons to glory. [Believers] will also gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thess 2:14)."

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