Glorified Through Grace – H. Hoeksema

… and whom he justified, them he also glorified.- Romans 8:30

“But what is the meaning of this state of glory for which we hope and which is the ultimate realization of the wonder of God’s grace in Christ Jesus our Lord?

“The heart and essence of it is, undoubtedly, perfect fellowship with God as His friend-servants. To be received, according to the measure and capacity of the creature, in God’s own family, to live His own life, to dwell in His house, to taste that He is good, to enter into His secrets, to know Him even as we are known, to see Him face to face, to love Him and be loved of Him without fear, to walk with Him and talk with Him in most intimate communion, and then to consecrate ourselves and all things to Him as His servants, to have our delight in His perfect will, and to glorify Him for ever – that is the heart of the heavenly blessedness for which we look. Everywhere this receives the emphasis in Scripture. God is building a house in which we shall dwell with Him under one roof, as one family, as a company of friends; a tabernacle in which He shall dwell with us and be our God; the house of many mansions, a home in which He will be our Father and we shall be His sons and His daughters. (John 14:1-3; II Corinthians 6:16-18; Revelation 21:3) And then we shall truly know Him with the knowledge of perfect love: for “this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3) Now we know in part, but then we shall know even as we are known; now we see as in a glass darkly, but then we shall see face to face, and we shall see Him as He is. (I Corinthians 13:12; I John 3:2) Then shall be perfected what the Lord Jesus declared in His beautiful sacerdotal prayer: “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one.” (John 17:23) And this fellowship of friendship, in which we shall serve God as His friends, will be raised to the highest possible degree of perfection in the sphere and on the plane of heavenly glory. It will not be a return to the original state of rectitude and bliss in the first paradise but will be exalted above that state as Christ is exalted above the first Adam. And it will be everlasting. No tempter shall be able to intrude into that house of God and to destroy that state of perfect blessedness; nor shall there be any possibility of falling into sin and death again. For that perfect glory is centered in the Son of God in our nature, our Lord Jesus Christ. Such is eternal life !

“Unto that central idea of heavenly life with God all things shall be adapted. We ourselves shall be so changed that we will be able to inherit that kingdom and to live in that sphere of perfect fellowship with God. For we must all be changed. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. (I Corinthians 15: 50).

“…You will readily understand that this transformation of ourselves and of all things can be accomplished only by the wonder of God’s grace in Jesus Christ our Lord. Not by a process of gradual development can we be translated from our present state of earthly imperfection into the state of heavenly glory and perfection. Nor can our present universe by gradual development attain to the glory of the new heavens and the new earth. The first Adam could not possibly have developed into the second Adam. The sinner, dead and corrupt in sin and misery, cannot possibly be reformed into a living child of God. The first Adam must die, to make room for the second. Only the wonder of grace in regeneration can make us new creatures in Christ Jesus. The same is true of our glorification and of the liberation and regeneration of all things: we must be glorified by grace.

“By this we mean not only that Christ has merited this glory for us and that, therefore, it is freely bestowed upon us, but also that it is by the marvelous power of grace that this transformation into heavenly glory will be realized. For in its widest and all-comprehensive sense, grace is that wonderful power whereby God in Christ raises us and the whole creation from the depth of sin and death and the curse to the height of everlasting and heavenly glory in Christ Jesus our Lord. That wonder of grace is centralized in the incarnation, God dwelling with us in the flesh of Jesus Christ. It is based upon the atoning death of our Lord: God was reconciling the world unto Himself in Him. It is centrally realized in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and in His exaltation at the right hand of God, whereby He has received power even to subdue all things under Himself. (Philippians 3 :21) That wonder of grace is realized in us through the Spirit which He hath given us and through Whom we receive the beginning of salvation even now. By the wonder of grace we are regenerated, translated from death unto life. By the wonder of grace we are called, translated from darkness to light. By the wonder of grace we are justified, sanctified, and preserved even unto the end in the midst of this world of sin and death.

“But it is also by the wonder of grace that presently, when the earthly house of this tabernacle shall be dissolved, our spirit shall be glorified and perfected to be with Christ in God’s house. It is by the wonder of grace that our bodies shall sleep in the dust of the earth till the day of the resurrection, and that in that day they shall be raised, so that this corruptible shall put on incorruption, this mortal shall put on immortality, and death shall be swallowed up in victory. By the wonder of grace the image of the earthy which we now bear shall be transformed into the image of the heavenly, that we may be like Christ. And, finally, by the power of that same wondrous grace the present creation shall pass through the final catastrophe, to come forth out of the world-fire purified and renewed, in heavenly beauty and glory, that all things in heaven and earth may be united in Christ forever, and God may be all in all.

“And all this is done to the glory of that wonderful God, Whose delight it is to call the light out of darkness, righteousness out of sin, holiness out of corruption, life out of death, heavenly glory out of the desolation of hell! “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God: how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! … For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.”

Quoted from chapter 15, “Gloried Through Grace,” the final chapter of The Wonder of Grace (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1944), pp.125-29. This work is newly reprinted by the RFPA and may be purchased from them.

Published in: on January 23, 2022 at 7:13 AM  Leave a Comment  

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