"Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen."
Paul, the Apostle of Grace
The word glory means to gaze upon the greatness of God...to stand in awe of how great God is. For all eternity we we will gaze upon God and be in awe of his greatness. We will forever be saying, “Look at how great God is!”
Why will we be gazing upon the greatness of God for all eternity?
Why will we say, "Look at how great God is!"?
One word - Grace!
2 Timothy 1:9 says God gave us grace in Christ before time began. Since God gave us grace in Christ before time began, then the purpose of time is for the unfolding of his grace to us. The entire Bible, from beginning to end, is to show us his grace, save us according to his grace, so that we can spend our lives enjoying his grace. As we enjoy his grace, we will say, “Look at how great God is!”
We were created by God to be in a love relationship with him and to live in a world where everyone was loved and everyone loved . Yet mankind chose to walk away from this relationship, thus separating ourselves from God, disconnecting us from his love (though he never stopped loving us), bringing sin into our hearts, death into our lives, and destruction into the world. This separation from God and disconnection from his love resulted in devastating consequences. The hearts of people, created to contain and disperse his love to others, now contained sin and dispersed anger, hatred, bitterness, violence, immorality, etc…
Because the hearts of mankind are not filled with the love of God, our headlines and news stories are filled with acts that bring heartache around the world. Consequently, fear grips our hearts. We wonder what is going to happen to our world.
The good news is that God had a plan before time began to reconcile us to himself in a love relationship and restore the world to its original purpose...a world of people filled with his love, where everyone is loved and everyone loves.
This plan is called Grace.
Before the beginning of time, it has been God’s plan to bring his grace to us. The Bible reveals the unfolding of his plan, telling of One who would come to reconcile us to himself and restore the world to its purpose (Genesis 3:15). This One was the Messiah, the Christ, who would be a Savior-King and establish God’s kingdom of peace and righteousness on earth. It would be a kingdom where everyone is loved and where everyone loves because our hearts are filled with God’s love.
From Genesis through Malachi, we learn of the One who was to come from the nation of Israel and bring grace to the people of the world and establish God’s kingdom of peace and righteousness, where everyone is loved and everyone loves. In Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, we discover who this One is...his name is Jesus. Through Jesus, grace appeared.
Titus 2:11 says, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men…”
John 1:16 says, “For from His fullness, we have all received grace upon grace.”
Though Jesus revealed himself as the Savior-King, the world rejected him, calling for his death, and crucifying him. However, through his death, he died, by grace, for us all.
Hebrews 2:9 says. “...by his grace he tasted death for everyone.”
Ephesians 1:6-8 says,
“...to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.”
The reason Jesus died for us was because we sinned. The consequences of sin is death. Yet, in God’s grace, Jesus died for us all. All of our sins were counted against him (2 Corinthians 5:18-21). He took the judgment and condemnation for our sin upon himself. Then, by grace, he gave us righteousness and eternal life (Romans 3:19-25; 5:11-21; Galatians 2:21).
We have eternal life because Jesus defeated death. At the cross, he defeated the cause of death, which is sin. Then, through the resurrection, he restored us to life. As a result, we have been eternally forgiven through the cross and we have been made eternally alive through the resurrection (Colossians 2:13-14).
For those who have placed their faith in Jesus, we have been saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8-9). We have received God’s eternal forgiveness and eternal life. Our hearts have become God’s home where we are growing in our love-relationship with him as our loving Father (Galatians 4:4-6). We have become citizens of the kingdom of his Son (Colossians 1:13-14).
One day Jesus will return and reign as King (Acts 1:3, 6-7; 3:19-21; Revelation 22:20). He will eventually establish the new heaven and the new earth (Revelation 21:1-4) - the home of righteousness (2 Peter 3:13).
In this home of righteousness, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4). It will be a home where everyone is loved, where everyone loves, and where everything is right.
As we live in this age to come, this eternal age, we will enjoy God’s grace forever.
Ephesians 2:7 says,
“...in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”
Forever, we will enjoy God’s grace that he has expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. And, as a result of his grace, we will forever say, “Look at how great God is!”
Until then, we have the honor of sharing his grace with others so they, too, can say “Look at how great God is!” 2 Corinthians 4:15 says,
“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.”
God's grace truly reveals how great he is!