We Share in His Glory?- Romans 8:17

In this passage, Paul tells believers here that it has been made possible for us to share in the glory of Christ. What could he possibly mean by this, what sort of glory would be shared with us? We find other similar verses featuring the same idea, such as 1Peter 5:1 (“one who will share in the glory to be revealed”), Hebrews 2:10 (“bringing many sons to glory”) and Colossians 3:4 (“you will also appear with Him in glory”). We shall begin by examining what may be meant here by the concept of glory. The Greek word translated glory here is doxa, which in the Greek language means “honor or splendor”. The concept of glory, in the bible, does not come from Greek culture but from the Old Testament. The Hebrew word translated glory is chabod, from a root meaning “weighty, that which makes or leaves an impression”. The glory of something then is that which is impressive about it, and what, in the Bible, is impressive about God? Many things spring to mind, but our focus will be on just one. In Romans 1:18, Paul tells us that God’s glory can be “clearly seen, being understood from what has been created”. God as the creator is impressive even to lost people, and looking at the creation is their only means of ever seeing God’s glory. What does all of this have to do with Christ’s glory? We learn from other Scriptures (John 1:3, John 1:10, Colossians 1:16), that all things were made by and through Christ, that God the Father gave Jesus the Son the glory of being the agent of creation, that the Son in this way shares in the glory of the Father. We now turn to Jesus prayer for all believers in John 17:22, in which Jesus tells us that He has “given them the glory that you gave me”, the glory “given me because you loved me before the creation of the world”. The “glory” referred to here is apparently the glory of being the agent of the creation of life, the one through whom all life was created. What could Jesus mean in using this language here, of sharing this glory with us? In 2 Corinthians 5:17, Christians are referred to as “new creations”, that when one is born again, a new life is created, and this creation only takes place through the faithful witness of Christians, we are the agents of this “new creation”, the ones through which eternal life comes. Just as the Father shared His glory with the Son as the agent of the creation of physical life, so also the Son shares His glory with believers by allowing them to be the agents through which spiritual life is created. God has ordained that the means to the salvation of all humanity will be through the witness provided by His church, that eternal life will only be “created” through the witness of believers as agents of the “new creation”, sharing in the glory of the creation of life, which is how the church is to make its “impression” upon the world. Believers have been given the glory and honor of sharing in the creation of life, of being the ones through whom God will create spiritual life, of being able to “share in His glory”.

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