Called to God’s Glory

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:23-24)

The Lord God who is the Creator of all, who rules above the days of time that we are confined within, and the Lord God who is love and rules by His love and justice is longsuffering and not wanting any of His creation to be a part from Him. As all of creation lives according to His plan I can’t help but wonder why He created man. Not that God is in any way lonely, as He lives in the perfect community of the Godhead, created man for fellowship. We are to fellowship with God as His children, His wards, and to give Him glory for the mighty things He has done. Some read the Bible as a book filled with interesting stories, great ideas of how one should live their life, and a saga of man’s salvation throughout eternity. I find the Bible as God’s prayer to man that he can find life and have it abundantly. The Bible is God’s Word and the power of the universe which without all would fall to complete chaos. Everything in God’s creation has purpose and place and is dependent upon the whole. What then, as diverse as man is, is the single purpose of man? The Prophet Isaiah gives us this answer. “Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.” (Isaiah 43:7)

Why it is that man cannot appreciate what God has done for man. We read in Genesis. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) God created the heavens, then the earth, and on the sixth day of creation He created man. All was created before man and I believe all was created for man to enjoy and praise God the Creator for. What were Adam and Eve thinking that they would want to learn the knowledge of good and evil? Why would any man want to learn evil? Look now and see through the ages, look through the day, and see what evil has done. We have been cursed by the evil we have set loose from our minds. We lost our purpose of being, to glorify God our Creator.

We read from our text from the Apostle Paul all of mankind falls short of the glory of God. To give God glory is to respect His dignity, it is to give Him the honor that only He deserves, we are to praise Him for the grace that He has shown towards man, and we are to worship Him for only He is worthy of our praise. All of man in the short span of their life have failed to glorify God as He expects. Not one of us are without sin. Sin is inherent to our nature from the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden. Not one of us are perfect, which is the standard of God. “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)

Paul tells us that we are justified by the gift of God’s grace toward man. Man’s salvation is a gift to man through God’s all sufficient grace. In Paul’s teaching we see three images of how we are justified. Justification is an image from a court of law. Redemption is an image from one who is released from slavery. Propitiation is a religious word that means appeasing God through a sacrifice. A sacrifice is necessary as the wage of sin is death. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) We cannot pay the wage of sin, as it would cost us our life. But Jesus the Christ paid the sin debt for us and was raised from the grave that we too can be raised to eternal life. As we stand before the righteous judge we shall be justified by the righteousness of our Lord Jesus, as He will be our advocate. Through Him we have been redeemed and no longer are slaves to sin and are free of its wage. Propitiation fulfills the requirement of God’s Word that death is the wage of sin and it has been paid in full by our Savior Jesus.

The Apostle began his statement by stating that all have sinned and all have fallen short of the glory of God. Then Paul answers the problem that all are in by saying that all can be justified freely by the grace of God. This offer is open to all who will believe and accept Jesus for who He is and that His blood was shed to cover our sins. Man measures sin into categories but all sin is offensive to God. All sin is disobedience to God’s Word. All sin is punishable by death. A white lie is as bad as a cold blooded murder in the eyes of God.

Some live their life in ignorance of God’s Word and sin unknowingly. These people who care not to know will say that they are sin free and fail to give God glory. They fail to give God glory by not placing Him at the forefront of their thoughts and actions. Solomon gives this advice. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Some fail to glorify God by not being involved in the good work they were created to do. As Christians we were not called to sit on the side lines and wait to be taken to our heavily home. We were called into service of our God and our neighbor. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10) Jesus did not come to be served but to serve. As our Lord, we are to follow Him and work in His mission for us.

Some fail to reflect the image that we were created in. “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26) As we go through our day in the market places of the world we are to be reflectors of the image of our God. That people may come to know God through us and glorify Him. “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)

If we fail to glorify Him then on that day He will not glorify us. “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.” (Romans 8:16-17)

Being in a sinful state there is no way short of death to justify our behavior towards God. There is no work and no price that can be paid short of the wage which is death. God Himself in the God man Jesus came and lived a righteous life and shed His blood on the cross to be the sacrifice for our sin. There is no price that man could pay to receive such a privilege as forgiveness. There is nothing that can be done to be justified before a holy and righteous God. It is only by the grace of God that any man is saved. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

It is clear that there is no other way to justify ourselves apart from Jesus Christ. Jesus paid the wage of sin for all mankind and only Jesus can forgive man of his sin. There is no other sacrifice that can be made other than the sinless Godman born of the Virgin Mary without sin tainted blood who is the Lamb of God, the perfect sacrifice to appease God. “The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)

Through the work of Jesus man can be redeemed and set right before a righteous God. Redeemed is the idea of buying back something and involves a cost. For man to be redeemed unto God would require a cost that man cannot pay. Jesus paid that cost with His life that we could be redeemed and reconciled unto God. “Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:18)

King Solomon who wrote the book of Ecclesiastes at the end came to this conclusion. It is the way in which we all can strive to glorify God. “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, April 6, 2017

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