our hope is not in the what of our glorification, but the who of our glorification. When we see Christ as he is, it will be a vision unfettered by sin and thus we can experience the reality of Christ’s presence in a way that no human has experienced.
Only after seeing the glory of God in Christ, his own unworthiness, and the stunning beauty of salvation will he find a message to preach that is as “a fire shut in his bones” and cause him to delight in preaching. Only from this place can he genuinely be in a position to minister to anyone.
You see, our understanding of God doesn’t begin with his identity as “Creator” or “Ruler” or even “Redeemer” because these things require creation. Our God is above creation. He’s infinite—beyond all spatial and temporal limitations. Therefore, our understanding of God must move beyond creation to his chief identity. Which is what? He’s Father. This is who he is eternally.
The humility we learn at the foot of the gospel, glorying in Christ and not ourselves, therefore turns out to be the wellspring of all evangelical health. When our eyes are opened to the love of God for us sinners, we let slip our masks. Condemned as sinners yet justified, we can begin to be honest about ourselves. Loved despite our unloveliness, we begin to love. Given peace with God, we begin to know an inner peace and joy. Shown the magnificence of God above all things, we become more resilient, trembling in wonder at God, and not man.
Jesus really came to give us what Adam did not receive in the garden. Not just “no more death,” but constant fellowship with the source of all life. No unclean place outside the camp, because the whole earth will be the camp of Heaven, where God the giver of life dwells with us. There will not merely be no deaths; the very notion of death will be nonsense. The obituary columns will not be blank; they will be inconceivable.
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