God's Glory, Part 3

©2024 dan bulkley | ask@lifechurchco.com

our participation in God’s glory

section 1

God is the most misunderstood person EVER. This is not because He necessarily makes Himself hard to understand, but rather because we humans are hard hearted mark 4:33-34, 38  mark 6:49-52  mark 8:14-21 . We don’t want to understand hebrews 5:11  isaiah 30:10-11 , lest our own faults and pitiful neediness be shamefully exposed john 3:19-20 . This is one reason why the Lord has graciously deemed it worth His while to make Himself known to us from one human to another deuteronomy 5:23-29  ii corinthians 4:6-7 . He is our Almighty King, but as our Savior, He is the suffering isaiah 53:1-6 , meek Matthew 21:5  servant luke 22:25-27 . Yet, we humans hate Him because we do not want to know Him in His glory john 15:21 . So, to make Himself known to us, He reveals Himself mainly through people Who have already come to know Him john 5:31-34  isaiah 43:10  ii corinthians 5:20 .

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mark 4:33-34, 38 esv

With many such parables He spoke the Word to them, as they were able to hear it. He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to His own disciples He explained everything.

But He was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?"

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mark 6:49-52 esv

but when they saw Him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, for they all saw Him and were terrified. But immediately He spoke to them and said, "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid." And He got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.

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mark 8:14-21 esv

Now they had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. And He cautioned them, saying, "Watch out; beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod."

And they began discussing with one another the fact that they had no bread. And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, "Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?"

They said to Him, "Twelve."

"And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?"

And they said to Him, "Seven."

And He said to them, "Do you not yet understand?"

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hebrews 5:11 niv

We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand.

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isaiah 30:10-11 niv

They say to the seers, "See no more visions!" and to the prophets, "Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!"

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john 3:19-20 niv

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.

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deuteronomy 5:23-29 nas

"And when you heard the voice from the midst of the darkness, while the mountain was burning with fire, you came near to me, all the heads of your tribes and your elders. "You said, ‘Behold, the LORD our God has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from the midst of the fire; we have seen today that God speaks with man, yet he lives.

‘Now then why should we die? For this great fire will consume us; if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any longer, then we will die. ‘For who is there of all flesh who has heard the voice of the living God speaking from the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? ‘Go near and hear all that the LORD our God says; then speak to us all that the LORD our God speaks to you, and we will hear and do it.’

"The LORD heard the voice of your words when you spoke to me, and the LORD said to me, ‘I have heard the voice of the words of this people which they have spoken to you. They have done well in all that they have spoken. ‘Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever!

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ii corinthians 4:6-7 esv

For God, Who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.

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isaiah 53:1-6 esv

Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For He grew up before Him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; He had no form or majesty that we should look at Him, and no beauty that we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

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Matthew 21:5 niv

"Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your King comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ "

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luke 22:25-27 niv

Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.

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john 15:21 esv

But all these things they will do to you on account of My name, because they do not know Him Who sent Me.

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john 5:31-34 esv

If I alone bear witness about Myself, My testimony is not true. There is another Who bears witness about Me, and I know that the testimony that He bears about Me is true. You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved.

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isaiah 43:10 esv

"You are My witnesses," declares the LORD, "and My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe Me and understand that I Am He. Before Me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after Me.

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ii corinthians 5:20 esv

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

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section 2

So, it should be no wonder that if we are going to participate in His glory by our lives making Him known, that we too will suffer as He suffers colossians 1:24  john 15:20 . We participate in His glory by participating in His suffering romans 8:17-18 , for that is what He does FOR us in the first place i john 4:19  i peter 2:21 . We begin to experience the glory of His agape love as we practice loving people in His agape way i peter 2:19-3:8 . We suffer for His name’s sake acts 9:16  revelation 2:3 , so that He is made known and that all Who will reconcile with Him ii corinthians 5:14, 18-20  may through those sufferings have the glory of a genuine relationship with Him built up ii corinthians 4:1-18 .

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colossians 1:24 esv

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of His body, that is, the church,

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john 15:20 esv

Remember the Word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My Word, they will also keep yours.

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romans 8:17-18 esv

and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

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i john 4:19 esv

We love because He first loved us.

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i peter 2:21 esv

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps.

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i peter 2:19-3:8 esv

For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly...

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in His mouth. When He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but continued entrusting Himself to Him Who judges justly. He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands...

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way...

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.

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acts 9:16 esv

For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of My name."

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revelation 2:3 niv

You have persevered and have endured hardships for My name, and have not grown weary.

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ii corinthians 5:14, 18-20 niv

For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that One died for all, and therefore all died.

All this is from God, Who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

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ii corinthians 4:1-18 niv

...by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. ...the light of the Gospel that displays the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.

For God, Who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that His life may also be revealed in our mortal body.

So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken." Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the One Who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to Himself. 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.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

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section 3

We have this treasure in jars of clay, our bodies, so that whether things go pleasantly or unpleasantly philippians 1:20 , we display the glory of Christ’s agape love through His Truth being followed i john 3:18  i corinthians 10:24, 31  colossians 3:17  in all circumstances philippians 1:27 . By faith-filled obedience romans 1:5  we participate in His very nature, Who He is ii peter 1:4 , so that our lives glorify Him and He shares His glory by working through us to accomplish His majestic will ii thessalonians 1:11-12 .

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philippians 1:20 esv

as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.

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i john 3:18 csb

Little children, let us not love in word or speech, but in action and in truth.

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i corinthians 10:24, 31 niv

No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

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colossians 3:17 esv

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

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philippians 1:27 niv

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the Gospel

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romans 1:5 niv

Through Him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for His name’s sake.

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ii peter 1:4 niv

Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

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ii thessalonians 1:11-12 niv

With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of His calling, and that by His power He may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

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section 4

It is a wondrous, exceedingly great glory of His love to be adopted as His children i john 3:1 . That the unrighteous should be bought by the suffering of the Righteous One is an unfathomable, glorious love to be honored so i peter 3:18 ; so, to suffer for His name sake should not be a shame to us but rather a glory to participate in His work i peter 4:16  acts 5:41 . As we are diminished so that He is known all the better john 3:30  ii corinthians 12:9-10 , we are actually exchanging the pitiful self-glory john 8:54  we could theoretically have unto ourselves in exchange for sharing in the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus more and more philippians 3:7-11 . As we suffer loss so that He may gain more, we actually are being made ready to share in all the glory that is being produced through it all i peter 5:6, 10  colossians 3:4 . When we believe Him we start to genuinely experience that glory here and now as it all continues to excel upwards in Jesus john 11:40  philippians 3:8, 12-14 .

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i john 3:1 niv

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.

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i peter 3:18 esv

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the Righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,

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i peter 4:16 esv

Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.

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acts 5:41 esv

Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the Name.

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john 3:30 niv

He must become greater; I must become less."

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ii corinthians 12:9-10 esv

But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

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john 8:54 esv

Jesus answered, "If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing. It is My Father Who glorifies Me, of Whom you say, ‘He is our God.’

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philippians 3:7-11 bsb

But whatever was gain to me I count as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things as loss compared to the surpassing excellence of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for Whom I have lost all things.

I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God on the basis of faith.

I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

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i peter 5:6, 10 esv

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you...

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, Who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

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colossians 3:4 esv

When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

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john 11:40 esv

Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?"

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philippians 3:8, 12-14 bsb

More than that, I count all things as loss compared to the surpassing excellence of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for Whom I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus.

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