Live Like a Champion – Week 28

The Promise of Glory!

John 6:44 (NAS95)
The play of the week is “The Promise of Glory!” The memory verse for this promise is John 6:44, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.”
The theology of this verse is the work of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in salvation. The promise of this verse is that every believer will enter God’s glory through participation in the eternal life of God through faith in Jesus Christ! The ancient’s cosmology was such that to be raised up was to go to God’s domain. Heaven is still often talked about as being somehow above us, even if now that is more figurative than literal.


In Romans 8:29-30, Paul explicitly lays out Jesus’ promise of glory within a larger framework of God’s work of salvation:
“For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”


To glorify: theologically, this is called the glorification of the saints. In Ephesians 2:4-7, Paul describes the promise of glory, not as a futuristic hope of glorification, but as the present reality of our being “in Christ”:


But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.


It is common that when we discuss God’s work of salvation that we say our justification has been done by Jesus on the Cross (past), our sanctification is being done by the Spirit (present), and glorification will be with Our Father who is in Heaven (future)! Those categories help us talk about it, but God’s overarching reality of salvation was declared by Jesus, “It is done!” from the Cross in John 19:28-30 and from Heaven in Revelation 21:6. This is the plan of the Father, the provision of the Son, and the power of the Spirit.
The promise of glory is an integral part of our salvation because salvation cannot be compartmentalized. These three categories of salvation must be seen as the cord of three strands of our salvation—I am justified, sanctified, and glorified! Just like we cannot stop seeing God as being only one God, even though He has clearly revealed Himself as three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Just because our language is limited and our capacity to understand is finite, does not mean we need to diminish the glory of God and His work of salvation. His glory is expansive and beyond our capacity to fully comprehend, but God, because of His great love, revealed Himself to us so that we can partake in His glory!
So, while your glorification with God is a future hope, God’s glory has already come to you in love! In John 1:14, we see this in the incarnation of Jesus Christ: “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Furthermore, in John 17:22-24, Jesus taught us about God’s gift of glory to every believer through Him:


The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.


Do you know where the word “glory” came from? Listen to how the original audience would have heard it:


The Hebrew word for “glory” originally meant “weighty, heavy, or important.” From there it moved to the idea of an influential, rich, or prominent person. In ancient cultures the wealthy and the powerful were marked by the finery of their dress and jewels. Hence a person’s glory meant the ostentatious signs of wealth and power. Glory also suggested beauty, since fine clothes and jewels were items of beauty. The concept was then extended to God.


Jesus brought the weight of God’s immensity to the people! Hebrews 1:3a teaches us, “He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.”


Understanding the word “glory” helps us apply this promise in a very practical way to our everyday lives. I bet you never knew that that the promised hope of your future glorification would be so relevant to your lifetoday. The hope of glory is the ballast of your life so that you can sail true through the storms of life!Without the weight of glory, the rough waters and high winds will sink you in their despair and turmoil.


God’s promise of glory puts everything in perspective because God’s glory outweighs all else! That is exactly why in Philippians 1:19-21 Paul can say weighty, perspective-altering truths while he was in prison:


I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.


Paul had an earnest expectation of hope! God’s glory provided ballast to His mind, heart, and soul! His faith prioritized his emotional response to his circumstances, his mental health through the situation, and his priorities of decision making for his lifestyle. That is what the promise of glory gives us—it calms our hearts, orders our minds, and directs our paths.


The weight of glory stabilizes us through life’s storms!
Let’s talk about this application to our lives.


You weigh your options based on their urgency and their importance. There is a competition for our attention and whatever weighs the most wins! This happens at a level we are not even aware of and we have lots of ways of explaining it: it is heavy, it grabbed me, it caught my attention, it’s got a hold of me, etc.

For example, if there are bills pressing you, making money weighs the most and decisions reflect that priority. If you are in pain or have a pressing medical diagnosis, seeing the doctor and medical treatmentsweigh the most and all else that was important are put in the back seat. If there is a broken relationship, a heavy heart weighs you down and shades your perceptions of everything else.


What weighs us down shapes our perceptions of life and determines our decision making!


Important things, left unattended will eventually become urgent, but if we can prioritize them by the weight of their actual importance before their urgency starts weighing us down emotionally, then potentially we can save ourselves a lot of pain, anxiety, and heart ache. Here is a quick list of everyday examples:


• You don’t take the time to get your oil changed (though it’s important) until the tow truck is taking you to the mechanic after your engine seizes up on I-70 (now it’s urgent). A $50 bill becomes $1000!

• You don’t make time for exercise and diet (important) until you have a heart attack (urgent). Your lifestyle has been changed, but not by your own choice!
• You don’t make time for your children (important) until you are having meetings about their behavior and trying to get them help (urgent). Your figurative priority has now becoming your real priority!
• You don’t make time for your marriage (important) until you are spending time and money for marital counseling (urgent). You will pay the piper eventually for ignoring what’s most important!
I often tell people to prioritize the important now or it will prioritize your time for you later.
Our everyday lives are driven by what is heaviest! We have internal scales that we use to make our decisions and we prioritize our lives based on what those internal scales tell us what is heaviest. If those scales are not calibrated by God’s glory, then we are controlled by lesser things! People generally live from crisis to crisis, and they don’t know how to get out from under the weight of their life being out of control.
The answer is to add the ballast of God’s glory to your life to stabilize you in the storms so that your course is not directed by the storm itself, but by the Captain of the ship.
That’s why God’s glory is all about God’s weightiness! God’s glory allows us to make decisions based on an eternal perspective of what is God’s purpose for our lives! Philippians 1:9-11 teaches us this truth:


And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.


The promise of glory allows us to love faithfully in all circumstances so that God gets the glory in all that we think, say, and do. Listen to 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 and how understanding the weightiness of God’s glory helps you in your everyday decision making:


Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.


The promise of glory minimizes the emotional hijacking of the urgent, the mental kidnapping of anxiety-producing circumstances, and the physical straight jacket of your stress response to bad news. It allows you to put everything in right perspective to God’s overarching reality—your salvation is signed, sealed, and delivered. You are justified, sanctified, and glorified. Rest! Believe! Trust!


The promise of glory is how you can be a peaceful presence and a loving person in the midst of the raging storms around our world, nation, and community.


The promise of glory is not only the promise of being raised up to Heaven in perfect union with God, but it is the promise of being intimately yoked with the One who walks with you every day to that destination. I can only live that way and think that way because I know my destination is secure and that death is not the reality of my eternity. Therefore, fear, anxiety, and insecurity will not outweigh God’s promise of glory!


I have been raised up because I am in Christ and I have my eyes fixed on His glory—past, present, and future. May God’s glory be your motivation and help you discern your decisions each and every day. May your emotional well-being and mental health be stabilized by the weight of glory in these turbulent times.


You can listen to the message here:


You can watch this message by clicking HERE.



[1] Bernard L. Ramm, “Glorification,” Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 869.