Friday, April 14, 2006

The Restoration of Glory

For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. (Hebrews 2:10)
We were created to bear the glory of God. Indeed, we were created to be the glory of God on the earth. That is why we were created in the image of God, given the breath of God, and made to be “speaking spirits.” Adam and Eve were covered in divine glory, until the day they disobeyed God.
Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”

So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and hid myself.” (Genesis 3:9-10)
Look again at why Adam was afraid. He did not say, “I was afraid because I disobeyed,” but “because I was naked.” When Adam sinned, he disconnected from God, and he immediately became aware that he was no longer clothed — the glory of God had departed!

Think of a light bulb that has been unscrewed from its socket. It is cut off from the power source and cannot function as it was intended. When that happens, we say that the lights are dead.

That is what happened with Adam and Eve. The day they sinned was the day they died. And that is the legacy they passed on to all of us. We are the heirs of their death. That is why the Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).

But, thank God, there is also another inheritance they left behind — the promise of restoration. God immediately had a plan to deliver them from their terrible predicament, but it would require a terrible price.

Adam and Eve, seeing that the glory was gone, tried to replace it with something sewn together out of fig leaves, but that crude covering could never do. A divine solution was needed, so God made tunics of skin, and that required the shedding of blood (Genesis 3:21). This was just a stopgap measure, but it pointed toward a divine covering. To the deceiving serpent, God said, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Genesis 3:15).

This is the first promise of Messiah, the coming Deliverer, who save His people from their sins. And so, though the wages of sin is death, the Bible goes on to say, “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

How does this happen? The Bible says, “For He [God] made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). A great exchange has taken place, and it happened on the cross:
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might received the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:13-14)

Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (Hebrews 2:14-15)
This is the message of the Gospel — the Good News. It is the return of the righteousness of God in our lives, and that is the restoration of the glory. That is why Paul declared,
But we are bond to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14)

Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. (2 Timothy 2:10)
For all those who receive the Lord Jesus Christ and trust in Him, that glory is now present, though it is not fully apparent. We are being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, but it will not be fully revealed until He returns at the end of this present age. The apostle John said,
Beloved, now we are the children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. (1 John 3:2)
We were created to wear the glory of God. Though we have fallen far short, God has given His Son, Jesus, to bring us back to the Father and clothe us in His righteousness, to restore us to glory.