The Twenty-first Sunday of Pentecost – October 22, 2023
Holy Trinity Church – Tom Mount
Reading: Romans 8:15-23
- We are wrapping up our series of lessons from Romans. Three weeks ago: justification (Rom 1-5: declared righteous). Two weeks ago: sanctification (Rom 6-8: made righteous through regeneration and a progressive transformative work in us).
- Today, we consider a third dimension of our salvation: glorification (Rom 8) set within the larger framework of God’s broader eschatological designs for the cosmos: he is making all things new, and we are right at the center of those renewal plans.
- Our bodies will be infused with and will radiate the divine splendor
- God is a being of blinding brilliance (e.g., Job 37:22; Ps 145:5; Mk 9:3; Rev 1:12-16).
- Moses in Ex 34:29-35
- When our Lord returns at his parousia, he will instantaneously transfigure our bodies into “glorious bodies” (Rom 8:22-23; 1 Cor 15:20-23, 50-54; Phil 3:20-21; 1 Jn 3:2).
- Think of John in Rev 19:10; 22:8-9.
- What will it be like to:
- To shine like the sun?
- To be instantaneously healed?
- To have a reservoir of physical strength that matches all your ambitions
- Will we have superhuman powers? Jesus was the “firstfruits” (1 Cor 15:20, 49).
- What is the result? We can mock death (1 Cor 15:50-55).
- Sin with all its resultant distortions will be annihilated
- “annihilate” – Ln. annihilare, ad –“to” and nihil, “nothing”: “make nothing.”
- Sin will be “nothinged.” What else will be nothinged with it?
- What will happen to them? Exile (Rev 22:14-15) and fire (Rev 21:14-15).
- Imagine a world free of everything that is not “good.” No more relational evil (hatred, war, pride, pettiness). No more “natural” evil (pathogens, droughts, natural disasters).
- What is the result? Rev 21:4.
- We will romp in a refashioned cosmos
- The present “heavens and earth” will be “renewed” or destroyed” (refashioned, cleansed by fire) and we will live in a repristinated cosmos (Matt 19:28; 1 Cor 15:25; 2 Peter 3:7-10; Rev 21:1-3; 22:1-5).
- Will we worship 24/7? Cf. Rom 12:1; 1 Cor 10:31
- We will have rewarding work to do uniquely suited to our personalities and proportionate to our faithfulness in this life (cf. Gen 2:15; Lk 19:11-19)
- We will also frolic, explore and play (cf. Gen 1:26-2:3).
- We will live “face to face” with the triune God and each other
- The three Persons of the blessed holy Trinity experience the most exquisite intimacy (Matt 28:19; John 10:30; 17:10, 20-23).
- We are invited in to share in that very intimacy (Rev 22:4). “Face to face,” Heb. paniym el paniym; Gk. prosopon pros prosopon.
- We will thrive in our relationships with God and each other. They will be life enriching, nonintrusive and nonthreatening (Gen 2:25 vs. 3:7-10).
- We were designed for this, and we long for it. C.S. Lewis, Weight of Glory: “We do not want merely to see beauty… We want something else which can hardly be put into words — to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.”
- In this eternal embrace, God will lavish on us his immeasurable blessings (Eph 2:6-7).
- Meditate regularly on the rewards to come (Col 3:1-4; Phil 4:8; 1 Cor 2:9).
- Live in light of these truths (2 Peter 3:11-12a).